Save the Coconut Grove Playhouse

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    Coconut Grove Playhouse Board, Miami Dade Cultural Affairs, Mayor Regalado, GableStage
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We, the undersigned supporters, past members, patrons and employees of the Coconut Grove Playhouse petition its Board of Directors, Miami Dade Cultural Affairs, the City of Miami and GableStage to exhaust everything within their power to stop the plan to tear down one of the few remaining beloved treasures from this region's collective past, the nationally historic Coconut Grove Playhouse Theatre.

Joe Adler is without question the wisest and finest choice as well as the greatest hope for continuing the Playhouse's proud legacy. It is therefore most unfortunate that a plan with so much promise and great hope is coupled with a design to destroy a house filled with so much rich history--from the national premiere of Waiting for Godot to the guiding artistic presence of such legends as Tennessee Williams and Jose Ferrer, and the countless stars of stage and film who so cherished performing there.

The latest news reports tell of quiet plans with developers to bring the last thing Coconut Grove needs, more condos and T-shirt shops. Look around Coconut Grove and you'll see that commercial development left unchecked has diminished the very identity that development hoped to benefit from. Learn the lesson from South Beach's Art Deco district, which at one point had considered going down the path of erasing history and paving it over for profit. Some felt that profit necessitated the eradication of the nationally historic Art Deco buildings. Instead the opposite was true: a thriving economy and historical preservation are not mutually exclusive; they are interdependent. Coconut Grove needs to learn from this example. The Playhouse is its last remaining gem.

The need to repair and improve it should not require its demolition. If we can spend billions on a baseball stadium, surely we must be able to find the funding to make the necessary repairs for such an important landmark.

Please step back and listen to the voices of the many whose lives were brightened by the long history of its existence.

Please allow an opportunity where you can meet with the public and hear these voices and concerns. We are also part of its future, and we wish to be heard.