We recently reported on the $29 Million sale of the Fair Havens property. If you haven’t read about that, click the link below:

Fair Havens Sells for $29 Million

We also reported on the conviction of one of the previous Fair Havens owners, Mr. Philip Esformes.  Esformes was convicted in the largest health care fraud scheme ever charged by the Department of Justice, involving $1.3 Billion in fraudulent claims.”

Recently, Theo Karantsalis reported in The Miami Herald that Fair Havens was not listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places.  However, the article seemed to create a historical kerfuffle.

The City of Miami Springs posted on social media this week:

“Recent newspaper articles have incorrectly reported the historical status of Fair Havens.”

So, we checked the Federal Register of Historic places for ourselves.  Here are all the Miami Springs properties currently listed in the Federal Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service:

As you can see in the list above, the Fair Havens property is NOT listed in the Federal Register of Historic places.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  You can click here to download the entire Federal Register of Historic Places file for yourself.

So, we asked the City Manager, William Alonso, if he would explain what was wrong in the article published in The Herald.  Here was his response:

“He never talked about the municipality’s local designation”, that’s the problem. Read the headline in the herald: “ Miami Springs Landmark sold for $29 Million, Its historical designation is in question”

That headline led many residents to infer that the property was not historically protected. If in the body of the story he would have devoted a paragraph saying the property is historically designated and protected by the city designation passed in 1984, and that the fact that it is not on the federal register does not mean it lost its historic designation or that it raises any questions about the designation. THE HISTORICAL DESIGNATION HAS NEVER BEEN IN QUESTION.

So, let’s clarify this a bit.  The Herald article was highlighting the deficiency in the property.  Despite many other historical properties being listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places, including the Curtiss Mansion which was only added to the register in 2001, Fair Havens is not listed on the Federal Register.

Fair Havens

Mr. Alonso is correct. The Fair Havens property is listed locally by the City of Miami Springs as a locally historic property.  But that’s only by the City of Miami Springs.

If the only thing that was important was to have the City of Miami Springs recognize a property as historically significant, and if the Federal Registration didn’t matter, then why was the Curtiss Mansion added to the Federal Register of Historic Places back in 2001?

In fact, we believe calling Theo’s article inaccurate was in itself, inaccurate.  Could Theo have called out that the Fair Havens property is still listed as historically significant by the City of Miami Springs?  Sure.  He could have. But that’s not his job.  His job is to call out what may be wrong, out of place, newsworthy. The fact that the Fair Havens is still listed on the local City of Miami Springs list of Historic Places is not news.  It becomes news if it’s removed.  It’s news if it’s added.  It’s not news if it’s the same as it has been for a long time. It’s news if you think it’s on the list when in reality, it’s not.

Again, the big news in all this drama was the $1.5 billion fraudster that was convicted.  The next big news was the transfer of Fair Havens for $29 Million.  All Theo pointed out was the fact that the largest historical property in Miami Springs, Fair Havens, which many people (including myself) thought was on the National Register, in fact is not listed on the National Register for Historic Places.  That surprised many people.  It was accurate and newsworthy.

I thank Theo for his kind reporting.  I also hope that the City of Miami Springs becomes less defensive about the fact that Fair Havens is NOT listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places and use this opportunity to help place the Fair Havens property on the Federal Register of Historic places.

Don’t we all want that?

Nestor Suarez
Publisher – MiamiSprings.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here