Downtown NEWS: Grand Old Church

October 21, 2020

Plusurbia’s Megan McLaughlin contributed to the latest issue of Downtown News where she addressed the importance of historic preservation and more specifically, her work in preserving the grand Central Baptist Church on NE First Avenue.

Issue 2 Volume 4. November 2020
Historic Preservation I Raul Guerrero

Miami has great historic buildings. One is the Central Baptist Church which parallels the very history of Miami. Built in 1926 in neoclassical grandeur by the Memphis firm of Dougherty and Gardner, it has undergone a complete rehabilitation, explained preservationist Megan McLaughlin of PlusUrbia, who serves as adviser and liaison for permitting with the city. Given that she is an expert in historic preservation, we start by addressing characteristics of downtown historic architecture?

Megan McLaughlin: Buildings from the 1920s are distinctive because they are very large. There was such a boom going on in the 1920s. Miami buildings were taller, more robust, than those in Palm Beach, Orlando and other municipalities in Florida. Because of the nature of architecture in that period, and up to the 1960s, buildings were more humane, designed for people to inhabit them, to experience them…

“Older buildings were more about the human experience.”

Downtown News: You mean today’s buildings aren’t as humane?

MM: Yes. Today they build with a different audience in mind. They have other requirements, which might not be so much human interaction. They have to house a lot of cars and that changes the nature and feeling of the building. Sometimes they build for impressiveness, to be viewed from across the Bay or from I95. It’s almost like advertisement, not so much to experience the building as a person from the street or inside. Older buildings were more about the human experience.

To continue reading and to access the digital version of the November issue of Downtown News, please click below:
Downtown News November digital edition



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