This weekend, throwback smells at Bakehouse Art Complex.
Dade Heritage Trust, Miami’s leading organization for historic preservation and celebration, will be hosting a Baking in Historic Places event tomorrow. (FYI: The non-profit has been on a roll lately and their events quickly sell out — including this one, so you knead to pick up tickets for their May baking event at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.)
THE HISTORY: The building was built in the mid-1920s and was one of the first industrial bakeries in Miami. American Bakeries Company operated the facility through the mid-1970s.
In the mid-1980s, a few artists left an artists’ co-op in Coconut Grove called Grove House. Due to redevelopment of the area and increasing rents, they were looking for a more affordable location. With help from the City of Miami and financial support from a Miami-Dade County Community Development Block Grant, they identified the then-empty Art Deco building as a potential landing spot.
The artists were able to retrofit the bakery to accommodate 60 artist studios with the goal to support affordable working spaces for artists in the urban core of Miami. Another goal? To contribute to the economic and community development of the neighborhood.
THE FUTURE: A couple of years ago, the organization started planning for their future and explored how they could help ensure Miami’s artists had a place not only to work, but also to live.
One question the non-profit kept in mind: “What do artists need to remain, thrive, and develop in Miami?” said Bakehouse Art Complex Acting Director, Cathy Leff.
As real estate prices continue to climb in Wynwood and beyond, Bakehouse has their sights set on using their full 2.3 acre site to create affordable housing options for artists.
Their plan: As one of the largest landowners in the neighborhood, they want to build upon their 30+ years in the community and develop up to 250 housing units for artists. The board is still in the early stages of their strategic plan, but are working on the needed zoning changes.
“There was a covenant on the site that is city-imposed that requires that the land be used in support of Bakehouse’s mission, which is providing affordable spaces for artists,” Cathy said. “We decided that we really wanted to honor that mission and expand on the vision.”
Dade Heritage Trust has a number of upcoming events on their site, including exploratory neighborhood walking and biking tours. Their next Baking in Historic Places event takes place at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.