Preservation activists want state to help maintain Marjory Stoneman Douglas cottage

There are many ideas circulating on what to do with the Miami-Dade home that belonged to Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

COCONUT GROVE, Fla. – There are many ideas circulating on what to do with the Miami-Dade home that belonged to Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Preservation advocates say the home is basically rotting and they are calling on the state to step up and save it.

This 900-square-foot cottage is nestled on a small street in south Coconut Grove.

An advocate for women’s suffrage and a conservationist for the Everglades, Douglas lived in the home until she died in 1998.

“I think in Florida when we think of preservation, we think of the Everglades, we think of Marjory,” said preservation advocate Karelia Martinez Carbonell. “She is the person who really represents the movement.

“For her home to be in such decay says a lot about our priorities as a state.”

Martinez Carbonell told Local 10 News the state purchased the home in 1991 and the Florida Park Service assumed management four years ago.

In 2015 it became a national historic landmark, but now neighbors and advocates are concerned with the state of the home.

“It’s rotting, it’s decaying,” said Martinez Carbonell. “Pretty soon demolition by neglect and how awful would that be.”

Martinez Carbonell said there has been a public access improvement plan developed by the parks service and that the scope of work includes things to mitigate erosion and parking issues.

She also said there has been talk of possibly opening the doors to the public, but some neighbors weren’t on board with that.

Ultimately, she and other preservation advocates just want to save the historic cottage.

“The mission of it is to open it to the public,” she said. “If we’re going to do anything on terms of Preservation and environmental, this is it. Marjory is calling us to do something.”

Martinez Carbonell also said there was a meeting on site with contractors earlier this year but the lowest proposal was over budget, so they are basically starting over.

On Tuesday, the State of Florida posted a new invitation for bids to perform repairs on the cottage.

For more information about the bidding process and the projects associated with the preservation, click on this link.

About the Author:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!