We have been spending most Januarys in southern Florida for 30 years. Every few years we would mention the painted house, the one with flowers and vines and birds and birdhouses. We found it as we were walking to the beach one evening many, many years ago. In resent years we drove around looking for it – but couldn’t find it. We knew about where it had been but it wasn’t there now. Maybe we weren’t looking in the right place. It was lost.
The other day I was looking for some other pictures and found these. Yes, the painted house! Just as I remembered it.
I think I know where the house went. The bulldozer got it. It was on a corner, in that first block from the gulf beach. People can’t own beach property in this city, but they can own property along the beach. And all of these small, quaint southern-Florida houses are being bought up to build HUGE houses, with lots of foliage blocking the views of the beach for people going down the street. It makes me sad.
I guess there are times when we want to hold onto the past. I know that European cities face this dilemma. I was talking to a woman in London about city ordinances to preserve the old buildings. She wasn’t in favor of it because she said what is built today will become tomorrows historic buildings. Of course she is right. We need a balance of preserving and inventing, hanging on and letting go, old and new. But I do miss the painted house.