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Historic Preservation in Miami Shores – Mediterranean Revival architecture

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on December 16, 2014

A few years ago, while a board member of the Miami Shores Historic Preservation Board, I created, with the help of other board members, an educational brochure for our community.  The brochure included the image shown as well as a brief history of Miami Shores and its development back in the 1920′s.

The style popular in South Florida in the 1920′s is now called “Mediterranean Revival” which was influenced by the architecture of the countries bordering the Mediterranean coast, namely Spain, France, Italy and North Africa.  Historic architecture in Miami Shores is comprised of mostly Mediterranean Revival homes and we thought it would be valuable for home owners to be able to identify different elements, learn about them and hopefully inspire them into renovating and restoring our historic core.  This same style of architecture can be seen in other historic districts in South Florida like Historic Morningside, Coral Gables, Miami Springs, Historic Bayside, Coconut Grove, and of course Miami Beach.

Miami Shores Mediterranean Revival architecture

The exterior identifying features of these fabulous old houses are shown in the illustration:   Historic Cuban Clay Barrel Tile, Cornice Details, Lime Based Paint, arched windows, decorative columns, wood casement windows, balustrated balconies, decorative or structural ornamental brackets, decorative ventilation grids, rough textured stucco walls, low pitched multiple gabled roofs, chimney, and awnings.

Please understand that not all homes have all these features, but we picked a home in Miami Shores that displayed all of these.  It is also important to understand that proportion and the manner in which these elements were used is what makes these properties so breathtaking.

Interior floor plans are mostly informal and asymmetrical in arrangement.  Arched openings separate main rooms or areas.  Ceilings have exposed beams and rafters, some carved, and others painted.  Plaster walls have a rough texture.

Over the years many of these homes have undergone alterations to both the exterior and the interior.  Yet, despite these changes their distinctive character makes them stand out from those of more recent construction.  These historic homes make our Miami Shores Village unique.

The restoration of a historic property should be done with a lot of care, patience as well as knowledge.  It takes some people years to restore their home to perfection, but the effort is well worth it.  Educating yourself about the features should be an important part of the process.  Restorations should be consistent with The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  Such standards include examples of correct and incorrect repairs and replacement of roofs, windows, materials and other features.

When restoring a historic home, some people start with windows- I urge all historic home owners to try to get the original floor plans of their home in order to study the proportion of the openings,  to see the type of windows originally installed, their vertical nature and the materials.  It would not be historically appropriate to install a colonial window in a Mediterranean Revival home.  One controversial topic is replacing wood windows with more modern, metal clad ones.  In my opinion, replacement with a better constructed, more durable insolated window is acceptable as long as the opening remains the same, as well as the type of window and proportion of lights and muntins.

The same applies to other features and basic knowledge is crucial.  For example, you should never install arched awnings over rectangular openings; never replace decorative ornamental metals with different materials like concrete balustrades, always repair decorative and structural columns with the same or similar order; exterior and interior plaster should be matched to look like original.   There are numerous details that should not be overlooked and minor details is what makes the final product.

Here are some sketches I did of historic Miami Shores homes.

Sketch of Miami Shores Historic Home

Sketch of Miami Shores Historic Home

Sketch of Miami Shores Historic Home

Sketch of Miami Shores Historic Home

After reading this article you may be wondering, How does this apply to buying or selling real estate?  The answer is simple.  When planning to buy or sell a historically relevant home, you should work with a real estate agent that is not only sensitive to historic preservation issues, but someone that understands historic architecture, from materials to features to minor details.  I light up when I walk into a historic home and will not only share my knowledge, but will also point out deficiencies and great features for you to know the intricacies of each home and be able to make an educated decision.

**Leer artículo en Español**

**originally published in March 2008**


Happy Hanukkah from Team Miamism

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on December 16, 2014

happy Hanukkah from Miamism Sales Team

The Miamism Sales Team wishes you and your family a Happy Hanukkah!


MiMO Architecture – preservation movement is born

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on December 15, 2014

Is it [ma-ee-mo] or [meeh-mo] ??  It’s a question I get ALL THE TIME!!  To think I wrote this article back in 2007 and how incredibly hot the MiMO District has gotten, especially with the latest opening and amazing restoration of the Vagabond Motel by developer Avra Jain…now a boutique hotel with restaurant in the works.  This is our hood and we can help you buy or sell properties in the area, from land to multi-family (although inventory is scarce).

The South Florida Chapter for DoCoMoMo was supposed to launch when I wrote this but don’t know if it ever came into fruition.  There is a Florida Chapter and there is strong historic preservation evident in the area.  The truth is that there is a need for land and more and more of our historic buildings are in danger with a number of them being demolished to make room for new construction.

It’s a hot and controversial topic in Miami – preserving our architecture versus giving property owners free will to do as they wish.

Miami is HOT, SEXY and FASHIONABLE!  But who would think that even words become part of our trendy vocabulary?

When you read real estate descriptions you get these words all over the place – “chic” “contemporary” “mid-century modern” “SoBe” “SoFi” ” MiMO”

And then you hear someone mispronounce one of the trendy words – instead of  “meemo”, they say “mah-eh-mo” – it cracks me up!

mimo.jpgSo where am I going with this?  Miami Modern (MiMO) Architecture is finally getting an organization to help its preservation, The South Florida chapter of (International Working Party for Documentation and Conservation of Building Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement…….say that 5 times fast).  According to Beth Dunlop, who writes wrote architectural commentaries for The Miami Herald, “DoCoMoMo has long been a vigilant watchdog over the architecture of the recent past”.

DoCoMoMo will be launched sometime in the fall and the founders are a group of architects and academics (Jean-Francois Lejeune, Virginia Kohen, Enrique Madia and Allan Shulman).  I was so excited to hear about the founders because Lejeune was an architectural professor of mine when I attended The University of Miami and Allan Shulman, the nicest guy in the world, was finishing up his Masters when I was doing my bachelors.  The organization cannot be in better hands!

We usually see an architectural preservation movement with buildings from the 20′s, but the preservation of the modern movement, in my opinion, is even more important.  We are surrounded my exquisite modern buildings that are too often butchered beyond recognition and I only hope that DoCoMoMo is instrumental in protecting the MiMO movement and also of educating the public about this architectural period’s importance.

My good wishes go to The South Florida Chapter of DoCoMoMo!

**July 14, 2007


Surfside Real Estate Market Report for November 2014

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on December 11, 2014

Surfside Real Estate Market Report

Surfside real estate market 2012

There are currently  22  Surfside homes for sale: (3 more than last month)

  • Highest priced listing: $6,900,000 (waterfront contemporary estate at 1236 Biscaya Dr)
  • Lowest priced listing: $399,000 for a short sale at 8753 Abbott Av
  • Pending Sales: 8 (same as last month)
  • Closed sales in November: 4 (2 less than last month)

The 4 Surfside homes sold in November were the following:

  • 8835 Emerson Av – listed for $749,000 in July and selling for $715,000 ($324/sq.ft.)
  • 8919 Emerson Av – listed for $589,000 in September and selling for $550,000 ($341/sq.ft.)
  • 8850 Emerson Av – originally listed for $589,000 in July, reduced to $550,000 in October and sold for $500,000 ($271/sq.ft.)
  • 8859 Byron Av – listed for $540,000 in October and selling for $535,000 ($285/sq.ft.)

The average selling price per square foot for Surfside homes in November came in at $305, compared to October’s $262, September’s $300 and August $328.  The average selling price this year has been $300 compared to 2013′s average of $270.  That’s a solid 11% increase for Surfside homes.

What’s interesting to note in Surfside is that homes in great condition are selling quickly with multiple offers!  Take our “coming soon listing” which we announced in last month’s market reports.  We had multiple offers and house was under contract in 4 days with a 30 day closing date.  Take a look at property photos below.

We are Surfside REALTORS, ready to list and market your property! Call us for a listing appointment.

We are now also providing these quick services to help with your real estate needs – your email address will be necessary to get the reports. And always keep in mind that these are automated and should only give you a ballpark figure.


To sell or buy your Surfside home, please contact us at

UNDER CONTRACT IN 4 DAYS!!  Beautiful Surfside corner home with 3 bedrooms + den, 3 bathrooms, marble floors, impact windows, new roof and plenty of room for pool.

Asking price  $740,000

Surfside Home listed by Team Miamism


Miami Shores Village News – December 2014

By: Ines Hegedus-Garcia on December 8, 2014

Here’s a community update from Jesse Walters, Vice-Mayor, Miami Shores Village.  And remember that these go hand in hand with our monthly Miami Shores real estate market reports.

miami shores-village-news by miamism

Straight from Jesse Walters:

I am happy to share the following recent developments that I think will be of interest to you!

On December 2, Council unanimously voted on my motion to create a special taxing district funded by commercial property owners that will fund NE 2nd Avenue’s new sewer and water main project.  Construction will begin in April 2015, and hopefully by this time next year we will see the reality of expanded retail and restaurants opening on the Avenue!

Thanks to a suggestion from resident Elisa Peleaz, and at my request, Miami Shores Village has installed 6 new doggie clean up stations downtown and along the railroad tracks.  These come with bags and a receptacle for the bags.

Speaking of the railroad tracks, Miami-Dade County will begin installation of “quiet rail crossing equipment” in April and by summer those train whistles will end!

On December 2, Council unanimously approved funds for a feasibility study on a new Community Center, an important first step in this process. Part of the process is convening public meetings for input and conducting a survey of residents. You’ll be hearing more about this from the Village and in the Egret. This is tremendous news!

Many of you asked how Miami Shores residents voted in November’s gubernatorial election:

Charlie Crist received 2,683 votes, Rick Scott garnered 905 votes.

Medical marijuana got 2,550 “yes” votes to 935 “no” votes.

Miami Shores voters turned out at a nearly 60% rate, far higher than the county’s overall turnout of 40%.  Imagine having our Miami Shores municipal elections in November instead of in April.  We wouldn’t have anymore 16% turnouts when we choose our Council!

Hopefully I will see many of you around  town this month.  But if I don’t, best wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from my partner David, daughter Faith, and me!

Get Into the Holiday Spirit at these Village Holiday Events
If you missed attending the Village’s Winterfest celebration at the Recreation Fields this past weekend, mark your calendar for these other holiday events being presented by our Village

 Check out the calendar of all upcoming Village events here.
Miami Shores Muppet Christmas Carol


Miami Shores Caroling Hayride


Jesse Walters
Vice Mayor, Miami Shores Village