CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 20, 2015)—Continuing to draw notice for its restoration, the two-story former art building known by its 1300 Campo Sano address won Coral Gables’ City Beautiful Award for its outstanding renovation and was formally recognized at the Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast on Thursday, August 20 at the Biltmore Hotel.
The 1947 building, which served as UM’s first registration and administration center, already had won three other major preservation awards: the American Institute of Architects Florida/Caribbean Chapter’s Honor Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Restoration/Rehabilitation, and the Dade Heritage Trust’s Outstanding Restoration of a Historic Site Award.
Presented by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, the City Beautiful Awards celebrate outstanding examples of architectural achievement among the city’s commercial properties. The wood building, which was hastily constructed from decommissioned World War II Army barracks to accommodate the flood of veterans who enrolled in college on the GI Bill, was home to the Department of Art and Art History for half a century. But over the decades, it fell into a state of disrepair, and was boarded up until the University hired alumnus R.J. Heisenbottle, B.Arch. ’84, one of Miami’s best-known preservation architects, to preserve its architecture while bringing it up to modern codes and standards. Today, the tranquil oasis is occupied by the College of Arts and Sciences’ departments of Geography and Regional Studies, International Studies, and Political Science.