MIM Ineffable Miami Fall 2020: Coconut Grove by Rafaella Ribeiro

Photo Rafaella Ribeiro by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CC BY 4.0

Student Bio

My name is Rafaella Ribeiro. I am currently a junior at FIU. I am majoring in international business and supply chain management. I was born and raised in a small town in Brazil. I have always loved Miami, that love however is fading away. I am taking this class to fall in love with Miami all over again. I love taking pictures, hanging out with friends, and learning a new side of things.

Geography

Miami Neighborhood Map: Coconut Grove [UPDATED] - Culture Crusaders :  Culture Crusaders

Coconut grove is also known as The Grove. It is the oldest inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami dade county. Coconut Gove’s  geographical coordinates are 25° 42′ 44” North, 80° 15′ 26″ West. It has an elevation of 13’. The neighborhood is roughly bound by North Prospect Drive to the south, Le Jeune Road to the west, South Dixie Highway (US 1) and Rickenbacker Causeway to the north, and Biscayne Bay to the east. It is south of the neighborhoods of Brickell and The Roads and east of Coral Gables. Coconut Grove is known for its green areas, and it’s eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, hotels, and business. Coconut Grove is a place that has a sophisticated style, lively energy, character, and is culturally rich. 

History

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove was frist established  by  Bahamian immigrants, and it is the oldest permanent settlement in Miami-Dade. In 1919 it became its own city. In 1925 the city of Miami annexed two areas about equal size, and coconut Grove became part of the city of Miami.Before all of that toke place  Coconut Grove was a very popular stop for marines attracted to  bubbling fresh water springs on its waterfront. After the Cape Florida Lighthouse opened in 1825, light keepers and their assistants became frequent visitors to Coconut Grove. Wreckers or salvagers of disabled ships also visited the area. 

By the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Coconut Grove’s first known, permanent residents, Edmund and Ann Beasley, lived along its bay front in the area around today’s Barnacle State Park. When Beasley died, Ann rented a portion of their property to Dr. Horace Porter, a one time Union surgeon. Porter applied for a U.S. Post Office for the area in 1873, calling it Cocoanut Grove  after viewing a couple of nearby Coconut Palm trees. 

  During the 1870s, other settlers  were attracted to Coconut Grove by the prospect of free land through federal homestead laws, entered the region. Most important of the settlers in Coconut Grove were the Pent and Frow families, who hailed from the Bahamas. In the late 1870s, Jack Peacock brought his brother and family from Eangland. During the same time Ralph Munroe, an accomplished sailboat designer from Long Island and Staten Island, came to Miami on a sailing vacation. Munroe met many of the people living on the bay, including the Peacocks with whom he became friends. In 1882, Munroe returned to the area with his young, tubercular wife, Eva, hoping that the subtropical climate would help her convalesce. But Eva succumbed to the scourge despite the loving care of Isabella Peacock, the wife of Charles Peacock. That friendship was the reason why the first inn was opened. In the late 1880’s Munroe discovered that the land had already been named and  the post office was reopened and Coconut Grove acquired its enduring name although it continued to include an “a” in its spelling. The inn continued to grow.  Enthralled with the natural splendors of Coconut Grove, many of the guests of the Inn decided to build homes in the area thereby ensuring an enduring Bohemian flavor through their lengthy presence there. By 1890, Coconut Grove claimed more than one hundred residents ranking it among the largest settlements on the southeast Florida mainland. With that the community started to grow and new doors started to open. They found a yacht club, started sunday school, and much more. Flora McFarlane founded the Housekeeper’s Club (today’s Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove ) in 1891 with the goal of “community uplift,” which it achieved through fundraisers that paid for amenities in the community. The club was a instant hit and gained popularity. . Its members established the first library, which grew quickly in stature while serving a far-flung clientele. Today’s Coconut Grove library, housed in a unique building on the ridge across McFarlane Road from Peacock Park, is a direct outgrowth of the early library.

Everything changed a lot in 1896 when Henry M. Flagler’s East Coast Railway steamed into Miami. With that hundreds of new settlers came to Miami. Coconut Grove feel the changes. In the early 1900s several wealthy and accomplished visitors built splendid homes on or near Coconut Grove’s bay front, thereby creating a “millionaire’s row.” In addition to that , Coconut Grove gained new importance as a farming community, since produce markets became more readily accessible.

In 1917 Coconut Grove became home to one of the nation’s first naval air stations, more than 1,000 aviators trained there.  Coconut Grove citizens however were not happy with the base and it eventually closed in 1919, and the same year “Cocoanut Grove” was incorporated as a town. After six years it was attached to the city of Miami and it became Coconut Grove. Over the years the city continued to develop while maintaining elements of its unique identity. History and heritage are still a big part of Coconut Grove. Today Coconut Grove is known as “ The Grove”. Time has changed but the atmosphere of a free, welcoming, and fun place has remind. The Grove holds many local businesses, restaurants, charming sidewalk cafes, boutiques, parks, and a glittering shoreline decorated by sailboats. 

Demographics

Demographically, Coconut Grove is split up into “Northeast Coconut Grove” and “Southwest Coconut Grove”, and as of 2000, the total population of both of the neighborhood’s sections made up between 18,953 and 19,646 people. The zip codes for all of Coconut Grove include 33129 and 33133. The area covers 5.607 square miles (14.52 km2). As of 2000, there were 9,695 males and 9,951 females. The median age for males were 38.4 years old, while the median age for females were 40.3 years old. The average household size had 2.1 people, while the average family size had 2.8 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 33.6%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 11.1%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 7.6%. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 18.3%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 14.3%.[4] The percentage of people that speak English not well or not at all made up 8.1% of the population. The percentage of residents born in Florida was 31.6%, the percentage of people born in another U.S. state was 34.7%, and the percentage of native residents but born outside the U.S. was 2.3%, while the percentage of foreign born residents was 31.4%. The education levels are as following: 33% have a masters degree or higher, 31% have a bachelor’s degree, 17% have some college or associate’s degree, 13% have a high school diploma or equivalent, and 5% have less than a high school diploma. 43% of the population is White, 40% is Hispanic, 13% is African American.  The median household income is $108,751. 

Landmarks

Viscaya Museum

Viscaya Museum picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Viscaya was established by James Deering. Today it is owned by Miami-Dade County. The museum was first used as a winter home for the Deering family. Today the museum is known location of Miami. The museum includes 10 acres of Italianate gardens, waterfront views, a historic house, and artifacts from over the world. The museum is open with limitations due to COVID. Viscaya holds many events thought the year and it is a place that shows the beauty of the original roots of Miami. Viscaya is now recognizing that it could not have been built without black migrant works particularly Bahamians.

Ermita De la Caridade 

Ermita de la Caridad picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This is a beautiful church by the water. It is dedicated to the Cuban version of the VIrgin Mary. Most of the services are in Spanish. It is a  very peaceful place and the view is breathtaking.  The church was built over 50 years ago. Most of the services are in Spanish.

Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove

This has been around since Coconut Grove was established. The present building, designed by Walter DeGarmo with native oolitic limestone (coral rock), opened in 1921. In 1957, the club changed its name to the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The club aims to bring community together and help their community. 

Green

Peacock Park

Park picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Peacock Park is conveniently located within walking distance of Coconut Grove shops and eateries. It’s hours are 7am – 10pm seven days a week. The park is always full. People really enjoy this space. Every February, Peacock Park hosts musical performances on its open field area for the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival. There is a bridge overlooking the water. The park is very calms and family oriented.

Kenneth Myers Park 

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This park is a smaller park but there is a very interesting and colorful sculpture. The park is near the water. It’s a great park to walk dogs. The park is also near the water, and very close to CocoWalk. 

Overall green 

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

There is no way to talk about Coconut Grove without talking with the amount of green that is found everywhere. Whether someone is driving around just going for a walk there are a lot of trees. Coconut Grove is known as the greenest neighborhood of Miami. This is definitely something that people see when visiting. 

Transportation

Coconut Grove picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove has access to the miami trolley. The trolley goes across the whole Coconut Grove area until other parts of the city of Miami. The stops are near each other. There is also an app to help people find the stops, and the schedule for the trolley. Coconut grove also has stations to rent bikes and scooters. Coconut grove also has a Metrorail station.

Food

Panther Cafe 

Panther Coffee is a Miami Based Specialty Coffee Company. Roaster, Retailer and Wholesaler Specializing in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans and the preparation of coffee beverages. The coffee shop is a very popular stop and they are located in the heart of the Gove. 

A.C’s Icees

ACs’ Icees by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

They have been around since 1978 and take great pride in their Coconut Grove location near the park. Their frozen lemonade is a known syllable for anybody that has grown near the area. They have flexible business hours and only take cash. The truck has been in the same family since it opened. Their beverages are made fresh every morning by AC himself. 

Jaguar 

Jaguar quinoa salad picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

This restaurant has a very free and welcoming atmosphere. Just as you go in there is a sign that says “dress code: If you are dressed you meet the code. We are in coconut Gove.” The service is fast and the food is inspired by latin cosine. The ingredients are very fresh and their menu changes every season to accommodate items that are in season. 

Business

Coconut Grove Cocowalk directory picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

There are a lot of local businesses in Coconut Grove. As you go to CocoWalk you will be able to find  many stores and boutiques, as well as restaurants. Coconut Grove a has a business improvement district since 2009.  The BID develops programs to keep the District clean and secure, funds marketing projects, sponsors special events, beautifies the streetscapes, makes capital improvements, collects and disseminates economic development research, facilitates access to parking, fosters new business relationships, and partners with national, state and local organizations.

Summary

Coconut Grove art picture by Rafaella Ribeiro/ CCBY 4.0

Coconut Grove is a unique and beautiful neighborhood. It has its own character. There is truly no other place in Miami like it. There is a very chill and welcoming vibe. There is always a lot going on in the Grove. Being the oldest neighborhood in Miami the Gove has maintained its charme while also staying up to date. There is a lot of art everywhere. The green and the view to the water help set the mood. Coconut Grove is now becoming more aware of it’s past and the influence that the pioneer immigrants had in its origin. Coconut Grove is a place that you get to esperice a bit of all eras of Miami. 

 

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