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2024 Docomomo US National Symposium. It was a big deal, actually a very big deal.


Last month, the Docomomo folks came to Miami for the organization’s 2024 National Symposium. It was a big deal, actually a very big deal, in that it brought attendees from around the U.S. to experience “one of the country’s richest collections of mid-century
and postmodern architecture.” According to event organizers, South Florida (including Coral Gables) has become “a laboratory to explore new urban patterns, building types, evolving aesthetics and emerging environmental consciousness.”

Images left to right: Colorful Program Cover. Image of the Atlantis on Brickell. Photo credit @RobinHill; Coral Gables Modern. This brutalist-style structure [the former public safety building] was included in the “Coral to Concrete” Tour. The building is undergoing adaptive reuse by Perkins+Will for Mercedes Benz.

Docomomo’s tour of Coral Gables on May 30th (led by HPACG President Karelia Martinez Carbonell and HPACG Member
Albert Menendez) began at the former Coral Gables Public Safety Building, currently being re-purposed by Perkins & Will as the new Mercedes-Benz showroom. This Brutalist beauty, designed by Walter Klements in 1973, was but one of twelve modern buildings
showcased during the tour and — with its white towers gleaming in the midday sun — it did not disappoint. It dazzled.

Opening Reception at the Lowe Art Museum.
Artwork in background is titled “Dance of Reason” [2023] by William Osorio.

Perkins+Will Architect Lawrence Kline, who is overseeing the adaptive reuse project of the former public safety building with Karelia and a tour participant inside the Mercedes Benz current dealership.

HPACG president, co-leader of the “Coral to Concrete” tour
ready to ride with @DocomomoFl symposium co-chair Charlotte Von Moos.

Closing Ceremony at the Cosford Cinema. All good things come to an end. HPACG president, Karelia, who served on the host committee, with Uta Pottgeisser, closing keynote speaker and chair of Docomomo International. Image of the brutalist building. Poster graphic by Madrid_Brutalism.

The point here is that modernism in its various iterations is now a signature part of the City’s architectural streetscape. The mix continues to be the message, one that the guests assembled on May 30th clearly and enthusiastically understood. If you haven’t seen the building lately, please do a drive-by and feast your eyes!

Double vision. 2801 Salzedo Street. Former Coral Gables Public Safety Building


Gables Living May 2024



The Moderns: Mid-Century Architecture – Coral Gables Magazine
Coral Gables to host the 2024 Docomomo US National Symposium  – Gables Insider

Coral Gables to host 2024 Docomomo US National Symposium (


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