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March 24, 2014

Of Graves concern: ex Miss Sweden's plans to redo legendary architect's signature SoBe building brings bitter battle to 1500 Ocean Dr.

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A former Miss Sweden is trying to get the go-ahead to redecorate three areas of the building at 1500 Ocean Drive, otherwise known as The Michael Graves Building, and according to our sources, the renowned architect is livid. "He's very unhappy," says our source. "It is his signature building!"

Designed in 1993, the building is one of Graves' most famous. So much so that he has sent the building's residents a letter expressing his unhappiness. In it, he writes, "I’m not sure any of you know, but I have been in practice now for fifty years, and this is the first time something like what is happening at 1500 Ocean Drive has occurred in my professional life. . . .  I am quite frankly, devastated by all of this, but don’t know what I can do."

That former beauty queen, Sofia Joelsson, is the owner of SoJo Design, a 13-year-old interior design business. We asked her to chime in on the situation, but so far she remains silent. As of a March 13 vote, at least 49 residents voted against Joelsson while around 48 voted for her plans. 

According to a source at the building who asked to remain anonymous, "It's a case, in my opinion, of people with too much money and too little taste." Taste or no taste, it's also a tough sell for famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a resident at the building. "He is also against this redecoration travesty."

Rumor has it he even threatens to sue. Especially after a volatile meeting they had last week when Kevin A. Fox, the husband of board president Camille Polimeni, allegedly told Dershowitz to shut up.

Dershowitz's wife Carolynn Ann Cohen sent a letter to residents saying, "It is worth taking more time to do research on the impact of destroying something – the Michael Graves signature - that many of us think adds value to the building.  Many of us believe that the SOJO design will make 1500 an unsuccessful imitation of what is already available in the area - apartment buildings with high ceilings and grand lobbies and a slicker, hotel style. Our building was not made for this aesthetic and imposing it will look like an unsuccessful hybrid that will not compete with these higher priced buildings. Wealthy people who want that aesthetic will chose the buildings intended for that look.  We will be considered a second best imitation that people with less money can afford.  It will not increase the value of our building, but lower it. We will have destroyed a classic Michael Graves building that makes us special.  Instead, we will get an imitation of a current popular trend that may change again in five years. We will not be able to recover what we had." 

"Good luck with the repercussions," laughs the spy, adding "Dershowitz gets even." Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here's the entire letter Graves wrote to the building's residents.

 

1332366456-michael-graves-438x500Sent electronically to the Residents of 1500 Ocean Drive

 

March 18, 2014

 

Dear Residents of 1500 Ocean Drive,

 

I’m not sure any of you know, but I have been in practice now for fifty years, and this is the first time something like what is happening at 1500 Ocean Drive has occurred in my professional life.  So, I’m new to all this and for that I am sorry.    I should tell you all that there is a different way architects approach problems like this than decorators and designers do.  Architects have a full knowledge about what things cost and the rules that govern certain changes.  For instance, the new covering that is proposed (if I am reading the SOJO drawings right) for the pool area is raised up from the present grade and therefore is not ADA compliant (ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act), in other words, this change is not lawful.  I looked at the proposed changes to the floor plan of the lobby and I don’t know whether you are all aware, but it is massive.  While I was a resident at 1500 Ocean Drive, nobody ever told me that they were dissatisfied with the way the lobby functioned, let alone its appearance. Therefore, I simply don’t understand why those changes were made.  It appears that there is an epoxy coating proposed for the floor finish in the porte-cochère, this too raises the height to a point where it will  not  be  ADA  compliant.    These  were  always  our  stumbling  blocks  in  former  conversations regarding the material in the porte-cochère.  The designers have made an addition of natural stone to one side of the porte-cochère with a large logo on its face.  This is the only place that stone would be used in the building and therefore strikes me as an anomaly and not in character with the rest of the building.  I feel the same way about the tiles that are used on the island in the porte-cochère, the only adjective that comes to mind for these changes is “glitzy”.   There are natural stones used as new flooring in the island – which will be very unwelcoming in regards to certain shoe types.  With regard to the lobby, do you all realize that upon entering the axis leads you directly to the assistant manager’s office, which has a glass façade? It seemed to me the original location for the reception area, where the assistant manager now is, is much preferred.

There was a mention of a $50,000 fee in a letter to me, I don’t know where this number came from as I gave my services pro bono.  My services had to do with the ocean room, the recovering of the furniture and drawings for the elevator cabs.  I am quite frankly, devastated by all of this, but don’t know what I can do.  It’s so strange to me to have gone through the reupholstering of the furniture throughout the public spaces and the installation of the gaming tables in the ocean room, for somebody to come along and say, “Let’s do it again”.  I am sure you are aware of the enormous cost to each of you.  I suspect, if a contractor gave you a preliminary bid, it would exceed the number you are now using.   Even the current number to me, would kill the deal for what you are getting.  Would it be more reasonable for you to take smaller steps in all of this and perhaps, do the porte-cochère first and see how that turns out, instead of the complete upheaval that would be caused by the changes to the lobby, etc. as currently proposed.  I would propose also that you make a distinction between material upgrades such as the resurfacing of the porte-cochere and what has been called “freshening”.  Freshening, I suspect is a euphemism for redesign.   That has nothing to do with material changes, but individual esthetics.

This is hard for me to say, but I noticed that the bottled water that’s given out to residents has on its logo, “The Michael Graves Building”, I was quite surprised to see that , but I’m sorry to say that it will no longer be true if the proposed changes are implemented.   There are elements of design throughout the proposal where I simply don’t understand the rationale.  For instance, there are two round columns in the lobby with a Venetian plaster finish I have always thought were quite beautiful, but the new scheme makes the round columns square.  For what reason would a designer do that? It is simply somebody’s taste, and perhaps changes for changes sake to build up the cost.

I have a fantasy that if you go ahead with all that is proposed, that in the next ten or twenty years the next well-meaning board will come along and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  If I were still a tenant I would insist on bringing the contractor into the mix at this point to get a preliminary bid on the designs that have been proposed, as I think you will all be quite surprised, and I would hate for you all to get this bill after the renovation and have no idea what you are getting into now.  I would give this to more than one contractor as I don’t think it should be anybody that is proposed by SOJO, there is too much conflict of interest possible for that to take place.  The contractor should be made to bid on what would be ADA compliant, rather than just putting a surface on top of what’s there already with a step.

Finally, I read in one of your letters that SOJO was in contact with me relative to what they were doing. I should tell you that nobody from that firm ever talked to me.  I stand ready to help in any way I can and if there are any further questions you need answered, don’t hesitate to call me.

All my best,

Michael Graves

 

Update: Residents on the other side of the battle--those who wish to see the interior design spruced up--have chimed in loudly, explaining that "There are a multitude of buildings in Miami Beach, NY and other parts of the world whose structures are designed by first class world renowned architects, some even greater than Mr. Graves, and its common areas are designed by qualified INTERIOR DESIGNERS.  They seem to know the difference between the two disciplines." The battle, it seems, is over interior aesthetics. Graves, whose chairs adorn a lobby that some say is reminiscent of "an old age home," stands firm on his original decor. What follows is the first letter he sent to residents in which he expresses his ire at any interior tweaking:

February 6, 2014
Residents of 1500 Ocean Drive
1500 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Dear Residents of 1500 Ocean Drive,
I have been sent copies of the proposed changes and I can’t imagine a worse fate for the building. I would have to characterize them (one in particular) as somewhere between a brothel and Las Vegas. I had always assumed from talking to Ines that the prices were elevated in the building because of my involvement; however the new board seems to think the opposite. From what I can tell the proposals have been made by decorators, not architects and designers like these have no clue as to the concept of domesticity. I am quite frankly devastated by all of this, but don’t know what I can do. It’s so strange to me to have gone through the reupholstering of the furniture and the installation of the gaming tables in the ocean room, for somebody to come along and say, “Let’s do it again”. Are the residents aware of the enormous cost to each of them, which would be the result of any of these schemes? The old board that I worked with was quite frugal, as they didn’t do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary for fear of the costs.
It really comes down to a question of taste; the glitz that they might have seen in a hotel versus the domestic character that we aimed for. If they are successful in making these renovations, I am afraid not only will the character of the spaces change so dramatically, but I think the character of the inhabitants will over time reflect the glitziness of the renovation.
If there is anything that you can think of that I can do to help the situation, please let me know.
All my best,
Michael Graves

And lastly, as we leave the battle to the building, the renovation proposal from the aforementioned SoJo:

Download 1500OceanDriveProposal_finallo

Comments

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Frank

1500 Ocean Drive is often referred to as "The Michael Graves Building" because it is the only SIGNATURE residential building in South Beach. Designed in 1993, The Michael Graves Building reflects the signature curvilinear design that has made his "brand" internationally renown. Soothing pastels and subtle ocean themes epitomize the South Beach lifestyle in a timeless design that will endure through the 21st century.

The Michael Graves Building is truly a building that was designed to fit the landscape of Miami Beach. The exterior and interior design elements are what make the boutique building a visual presence on the beach.

As a former original owner and someone who frequently visits the building I am in awe at how ludicrious this proposed change in design will bastardize the special elements of Michael Graves designs.

It would be unfortunate if the original design essence of the building were flagrantly obliterated. There is great merit in keeping with the original design so the Michael Graves Building continues to be 'signature" emblem on the beach.

It also sounds like that maybe a "Reality Show" should ensue at 1500 called "Condo Board Commando's of South Beach".

Mr. Fed Up

Leslie, why don't you ask the leaker(who is only ONE vote among 97)why they did not provide you with the OTHER Michael Graves letter - where Michael Graves derides the entire interior design profession "as having no concept of domesticity" and compares the designs offered to a BROTHEL. Maybe because it would be too embarrassing to have that made public. However it is public domain since he wrote it to all the residents of 1500 and it was publically distributed. Pls. get a copy and print it.
The truth is 60% of the owners voted for NO MORE Michael Graves involvement in the common areas. One owner even said "I am fed up with having 1500 Ocean Drive continue being Michael Graves personal ATM Machine". 60% voted for someone OTHER than Michael Graves. That's quite a mandate. Conveniently, your spy forgot to mention that salient fact. If you want additional information, why not contact residents who are on the other side of the issue and want to upgrade the common areas so it doesn't look like a warehouse of Michael Graves chairs an old age facility happened to buy regardless of scale, color and design sensibility. Graves is an architect, not an interior designer, period. Our lobby reflects that currently. Leslie, we invite you to visit our common areas by yourself and see for yourself the travesty our lobby is to the tune of $275,000 the previous board wasted without allowing any owner input or voting. Does our lobby look like it belongs in South Beach? Or would you categorize it as looking like a cross between romper room and an old age home? Every one has a vote, allowing just one side to hijack this issue is not right and we as owners will fight back. We will not allow Michael Graves common areas to be forced upon us once AGAIN against our wishes. With the majority of owners against his involvement in OUR common areas, this leak looks more like a cowardly act of desperation.

Lesley Abravanel

Hey Mr. Fed Up, email me at Lank@aol.com. I did contact Sofia Joelsson but got no reply. Thanks.

Sofia Joelsson

Lesley,
Where have you tried to contact me ? I emailed all my contact info to the email address above

Mr. Fed Up

Frank, the "signature" building aspect is referring to the building ARCHITECTURE, not the interior design of the common areas. stop with the tired argument, it sounds ignorant... and if you want to speak about Condo Board Commandos, maybe Leslie should look into the past actions of the previous board.

Yikes!

An old age home is more appropriate since Michael Graves now designs and sells wheel chairs. Ugh........By the way Mr. Fed up, he lobby looks like a Denny's located in a Howard Johnsons Motel.

Yikes!

By the way FRANK, why did you move from the building if you loved it so much

ALSO FED UP

why contact Sofia? She is just an innocent bystander in a battle between a very vocal minority who want to leave things the way they are (looking like an assisted living facility) and a majority who want a fresh look . Have you even tried to contact any of the 58 people who voted for a change? Yes, 58 voted for a change and not 48 as your source states. 38 residents voted for no change and most of them only because they do not want to spend any money and not because they are a fan of Michael Graves. As a matter of fact only ONE resident wrote in Michael Graves. Probably Alan Derhowitz and his wife Carolyn. Ya think? Why haven't you published the original letter from Michael Graves where he attacks another professional's work and characterizes it as "somewhere between a brothel and Las Vegas"? Michael Graves is an architect, not a decorator. He already made an attempt at decorating two years ago when he sold us 42 chairs all in multi colored leather! what an epic fail! Looks like an assisted living facility where old people are waiting to die. Let's leave the decorating to the decorators and lets leave Michael Graves to designing buildings and teapots. There are no plans on the table to change the architecture of the building.

Mr Practical

Mr FedUp
If you're really FED UP then why not SELL your place in the "uniquely Michael Graves building " and move to any of the many other NON Michael Graves buildings in Miami?

Brooklyn

The most significant and truthful line in this blog is "Dershowitz gets even." His reputation for destroying any one who disagrees with him is a badge of honor for him. Most of us who live here have witnessed Alan Dershowitz displaying the oddest behavior, and have lost any modicum of respect for him.
An apology should be offered to Sofia Joelson.

Lesley Abravanel

Hello! I would LOVE to put the letter in which he calls it a brothel and Las Vegas. Y'all know where to reach me. Thanks

aida

Posted in the "Miami Herald" 4/19/13 "Indulge Section" Sofia Joelsson started her custom furniture & design studio with a local real estate flyer! She claims to be a former art major. I am a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, BFA '74 and a graduate of The Instituto Allende, MFA '76,in painting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I worked as a commercial/fine artist & designer for my entire lifetime. I am appalled that a presumably "jumped up beauty queen" and "Newbie's" who moved to South Beach because it's cool, purposely intend to change the architecture of Michael Graves and the landscape of South Beach. His impeccable integrity as a renowned 20th C architect and visionary of South Beach, especially in his chosen design of a 50's revival, boat inspired building at 1500 Ocean Drive was the last building to be built on a vacant site on Ocean Drive in the 90's. This world renowned architect built this building with foresight, sensitivity and demeanor to fit into the 50's style. I lived in South Beach in 1999, 1500 Ocean Drive is known as a "Michael Graves" piece of art history and architecture. Unfortunately, I think that a Swedish model/beauty queen may not understand nor care about American purism and architectural integrity especially in the 50's style, which she was not raised. This site is an American treasure and should not be tampered with nor bastardized by Europeans and persons and/or quasi- residents who have no aesthetic knowledge.

Frank Fiorentino

Just to set the record straight...I am Frank Fiorentino and I did not write any previous comments on this blog signed "Frank." I also have no idea who that "Frank" is and until someone told me that my name was being bantered about I had no interest in getting involved in this childishness.
My only comment is that all this divisiveness and anymosity is sad to see. 1500 has always been a warm, welcoming and friendly place to live and perhaps much of this disharmony could have been avoided by simply including Michael Graves as an option in design choice. Just a thought.

Mr. Fed Up

AIDA, your comments against Sofia Joellson are absolutely disgusting and smack of discrimination. I am surprised you say you are an art major because your comments also smack of absolute undiluted ignorance. The greatest architectural treasures and art have come from Europe. Miami happens to be an INTERNATIONAL city, not Kansas. It is thanks to professionals like Sofia who brought style and sophistication to South Beach. I can only surmise your bitterness against her as reflecting jealousy for her brains, beauty and sophisticated style all wrapped into a great designer. At least Sofia has not designed Adolf Hitler teapots like Mr. Graves has! Nor do her items sell at discount outlets like JCPenney. Shame on you!

aida

Don't twist the facts, Mr. Fed Up, because I lived in Rome, Italy and I did not say Europe had no architectural treasures, you don't read very well. I said she is not born American and has no American 50's sensibility. What's wrong with you? You are twisted I'm afraid. She is no architectural treasure in my mind!!!!!!!!!!

Cupcake

AIDA dear, do you know that no one is demolishing the building itself? lets stop the panic and the draaaama!
calm yourself, we are speaking about interior design, not demolishing a piece of architecture. Did they teach you in school there is a difference between the two? And about your time in Rome, we are not impressed. Many residents at 1500 have lived abroad or hail from other countries....

Ms. Rossi

I was literally introduced to the brilliance of Michael Graves and his architectural genius when the idea of the building was at ground level. Those that purchased the units at 1500 Ocean Drive were very proud they would be owning a home with Michael Graves signature on the building. I believe he should be consulted regarding any change to his interior/exterior design. We know what Howard Roark would do. Why now should someone decide to glamorous a fountain head. Howard refused to compromise and so should Michael. Ms. Rossi

Chris Bungo

For those of us following along at home, can you all please use your full, real names. It would:

a) Keep the invective at a minimum

b) Provide the rest of us the opportunity to know where each of you stand on the issue

Just a suggestion from a former resident of 1500 who still considers the building a special place.

its raining chairs!

I am wondering why all these 11th hour michael graves fans never mentioned his name when the board asked owners for recommendations. Not one owner brought his name up or recommended him at the appropriate time. i all of a sudden we have all this nonsense from those who don't want to spend the money and they are blaming it on wanting Michael graves. he received just one vote! seems like a question I would like answered.

A 1500 FAN

Another upsetting aspect of this renovation is that the vote is an open vote and everyone knows how each resident is voting. Many residents are afraid of being harassed or ostracized.
The previous president was forced to move due to the constant berating and name calling at 5am by Kevin Fox, husband of Camile Polimeni, the current president, when he went to the gym. Although he taped the encounters, he was afraid to publicize it. He was followed everyday by Camille Polimeni, then a board member, & her husband, Kevin Fox when he walked his dogs in the morning.
Another resident has a recording made recently with Kevin Fox threatening her and using vile language.
Another resident was accosted in the lobby when she walked her dog by Kevin Fox putting two fingers into her eyes and threatening her using fowl language.
Another resident was surrounded by Kevin Fox and his cronies at a party Friday night when one of their wives lied about a statement that was supposedly made about her. Kevin Fox pushed an elderly man when he tried to stop the intimidation.
1500 was know as the "friendliest building in South Beach" just 2 years ago. Condo commandos or low-class thugs!

AnusIsHeinous

The real issue here are the crooked individuals who have blessed themselves with some sort of power over what goes on in the building. Reality is that a vote was conducted and Sofia won. I understand that many of you bought your now million dollar and multi million dollar homes in the 90's and paid 2 chickens and a bag of beans for them, but that's not an excuse to be cheap. It's time to renovate and bring a modern aesthetic to an otherwise eyesore!!! Wake up! Il villaggio always beats us in sales and reputation because they look like a stylish building, their common areas are pristine and the community acts like a community. Sofia is not the bad guy and neither is any of the residents. The bad guys are those who contributed to this bloggers misled article and those seeing this as an opportunity to bad mouth like a bunch of wimpy babies a person who won fair and square. I thought it was a fundamental rule to not be a sore loser. Pay up or sell!

ME

Well said Heinous!

its raining chairs!

hey 1500 fan, do you mean the past president who acted like a misogynist and who humiliated Camille both privately and in public at board meetings for uncovering monetary discrepancies for the time period he was treasurer? how about the time your lovely past prez attacked a female owner in public saying as an owner she had no say in anything regarding the building and told her to shut up and left her in tears. do ya mean that dude? how about the past prezidents lovely anti-Semitic wife who was outrageous in her very vocal anti-Semitic expressions? if you want to talk about thugs and commando boards, that conversation can be had about past boards...

situpstraightchris

Speaking of thugs, I was a guest the party mentioned in these comments. I was shocked when, as I was speaking to some residents, Alan Dershowitz began screaming at some woman "thanks to her" he was going to sue the board. What? Why?
He was very nasty to her, and I was taken aback by the assault and concerned for the woman's safety.
I'd take a lie detector test to attest to what I was eyewitness to that night.

Mayte

Makes you want to buy in the building, sounds like a great place to live

Rhoda Penmark

Hi Mayte, This IS a great place to live! I'm the proud owner of a beautiful apartment decorated by Sofia Joelson. I have the most wonderful neighbors, and I am proud to also call them my friends. I would add though, there are many very, old, depressed people who live here who are afraid of change. Its very sad, they might not feel they won't still be around to enjoy the renovated common areas. The rest of us feel blessed to be here and are excited to update our interior.
To those of you who cling to the Michael Graves style, there will always be the lovely Ocean Steps next door, go enjoy! Happiness is the key!

Lily Zanardi

Need a realtor?
Oz@worldwideproperties.com

Lesley Abravanel

HA! Lily! One thing's for sure, your building has some juicy drama. I'd live there. Good luck on what may come. And thanks to everyone who offered their opinions, anonymous or otherwise.

WENDY DAWSON

Hi Lesley, I have contacted you and I'm willing to go on the record with all the information you need to take this story to the front page.

Outside looking in

WOW!!! I just downloaded the design proposal from SoJo attached to the end of the article (took awhile to download-be patient)This is what all the fuss is about?? Seriously??? Its beautiful and a huge improvement the current state of the common areas! I don't understand why anyone would be against this. Surely would increase the buildings property values. I think your building will need it after all this bad publicity. Surely no one will ant to buy anything at 1500 after reading all this.

Outside looking in

I also just saw the original Michael Graves letter (copy and pasted at the end of the article). Very unprofessional! Why would anyone want to hire him after reading that letter? I would want to distance myself from the MG name.

Joe

Looking at the current photos of the lobby, I feel like I am looking at a hospital lobby. Sterile environment. I don't get what Mr. Graves is up in arms about. They building he designed is still standing but like many buildings in South Beach have done, the common areas just need to be updated. Not a big deal and not worth all this trouble.

Beachfront Property

A leaked scandal with an enticing name like Dershowitz has a Page 6 feel. Did it seem a little all too convenient that you were provided a story like this? Who had to gain from its placement? Dershowitz and a small angry group that lost an interior design election. No one was murdered. Changes can be made, if needed, to SOJOs concepts to be compliant with ADA requirements.

The City of Miami Beach will enforce proper building codes and standards. Michael Graves scare tactics are misleading and maligning. He overlooks his own 1500 oversights in relationship to ADA requirements. Ines Flax would be a helpful resource to provide insight on that particular issues as it impacted Gary, her husband. The threat of suing the condo association advanced the implementation for the necessary ADA changes.

Graves’ insistence on attacking a colleague rather than congratulating them is sad. He’s not interested in a harmonious relationship to support the process. Instead he comes across threatened by Sofia Joelsson. Graves’ remarks may have Sofia knocking on Dershowitz’s door for legal representation. His inflammatory words have left SOJO Designs as the victim in this ridiculous mess.

Joelsson is being attacked for her beauty, entrepreneurial skills and for being Swedish. Really Swedish??? Dershowitz please help me out – is it illegal to be beautiful, entrepreneurial and Swedish in America? Or is that just an envious tone that deserves sparse response for its ignorance? And, is impacting someone’s livelihood a legal question?

Graves has had 15 years to complete his design vision. The funding and stamina once afforded to Graves by residents has dwindled. He now cries, “NOT FAIR” and “NO MORE BOTTLED WATER WITH MY NAME ON IT”. Take the water and take a hike.

The sourness of Graves’ reaction to all this insults the people that bought at 1500 Ocean Drive due to its prime location on the beach and to Lincoln Road. Some of us never knew who Michael Graves was. Clearly the exterior architecture is magnificent but the interior design has been problematic for 15 years.

Keep in mind that the legal name of the building is 1500 Ocean Drive. Perhaps Graves needs to keep his ego in check. I mention this as Graves next threat will be that his name can’t be used in association with the building. I doubt that will detract buyers seeking beachfront property. For Graves to express that his name attached to the building may have elevated the prices of units shows his lack of knowledge in the real estate market. 1500 is jeweled beachfront property in which the supply for inventory is very limited. That’s the prime reason for elevated prices.

As for Dershowitz tread very careful Leslie. This is a man that has managed to turn condo living into condo drama. He is a high-profile defense and civil liberties lawyer. Not a civil resident. He’s dismayed with the democratic process that didn’t go his way. Wonder why so many anonymous comments? Dare to have a different view than Dershowitz? A man that is impressive and appalling in the same breath.

Miss Lucky

I agree with you Outside Looking, very poor and unprofessional letter.
Change that lobby and tell MG he's a well known person and he should keep himself away from this, unless he owns a unit in the building and has voted then he can give his opinion, otherwise just accept the fact that people want a change and that's the way life is.

X

Beachfront Property: Bravo! Could not have said it better myself!

READBETWEENTHELINES

After reading the comments from the other side (the majority), reading the original Michael Graves letter, and seeing the actual proposal, I am beginning to think the people against this change (the minority)have misrepresented their side of the argument and are a bunch of sore losers.

Rhoda

A few years ago, my 92 year old Mom almost had a heart attack as she watched one of her long time idols crash and crumble right on the sand in front of her eyes.

Marjorie and David Mishkin

We have called 1500 Ocean Drive home from the day it opened. In our view the building is a gem. It is conveniently located and conducive to a casual yet elegant lifestyle. Nevertheless, after 15 years, it needs to be updated in a way that broker Sildy Cervera describes as the vision of Michael Graves. She explains that "Graves has managed to create 1500 Ocean Drive...with a remarkable harmony of exterior and interior features that speak of beauty, luxury, ease. 1500 Ocean Drive Condo in South Beach is an elegant colonnade that rises from the beach."

We believe the entire design is timeless. We also know that Michael has a design firm as well as an architectural firm, both of which are in demand internationally. Together, they produce an integrated vision of a building. That is but one of the reasons we live here, as the building becomes a home--not a hybrid hotel/apartment house. As Ms. Cervera put it, 1500 "owes its singular profile and detail to the celebrated Michael Graves."

Duh

David and Marjorie. Those quotes are not Sildy's words! They were pulled off the Internet from some website and used to market real estate. I've seen those same words on other realtors websites. Duh!

Peter Pan & Tinkerbell

We own at Il Villaggio and have friends at 1500...I don't fully understand what the fuss is about. As someone said, no one is demolishing the architectural body of 1500. Chill out and accept the results of a vote! If no one recommended Graves during the open period of several months, isn't that a sign that no one wanted yet another Graves Interior chair fiasco!
We are living in 2014, not 1920... Even the Art Deco hotels on ocean drive realize this! Get real people...go to the beach and listen to the song by Pharrell called HAPPY!

Curious

I would like to know how many of the vocal minority have asked Michael Graves to decorate their apartments? I bet not one!

Who's gonna check me Boo

Hey! Where's the all opposition to the renovation today?

Marjorie and David Mishkin

Cervera's words were direct quotes from her website.

JD

If you want to quote Sildy Cervera, why not quote from her letter she sent to the 1500 owners we all rcvd yesterday encouraging us to go ahead with this lobby renovation as proposed by Sofia Joellson. Basing it on her experience as a veteran realtor, she stated 1500 values would go up...Marjorie and David, you received that letter as well ...why have you chosen to ignore it and yet attach her name to some description of a building she did not write...there is a huge difference between a direct quote in a letter which is signed and a building description found on various real estate websites all saying the same thing...bottom line: SILDY CERVERA IS IN FAVOR AND ENCOURAGES THE RENOVATION AT 1500 . The letter was mailed to all owners.

Readyourmail

They went home. They come to 1500 one week a year and think they have a right to get involved now when they never got involved in anything in the past, Act surprised that a renovation may take place.

Marjorie and David Mishkin

She wants to sell. Anything. At high prices to anyone.

Readyourmail

Lesley, I have a copy of that signed letter from Sildy if you want me to send it to you!

Makes No Sense

Marjorie and David, And exactly what is wrong with increasing our investment and home values...please explain because that objection is one I really can't get a grasp on! Now I get it, lets keep the old age home Graves interiors so we can keep our home values artificially down ! And all the while owners should keep pouring in hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions into MORE graves interiors...only so we can keep our values artificially down....ok, Got it Marjorie and David, now I understand. thanks!

Duh

Marjorie and David: so you are admitting that redoing out lobby would raise property values?
Isn't that a good thing?!!!

Marjorie and David Mishkin

Not as proposed. It would decrease values. Cervera gets hired for her sales ability, not her confused taste. She will tell you whatever you want to hear. She contradicts herself if she thinks it will please you.

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