Monday, June 17, 2013

Word from Beilinson/Gomez Architects (sent Saturday):

To Friends and Clients of Beilinson_Gomez Architects: 

We lost Les Beilinson last night. 

He fought a brutal, three week-battle following abdominal surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Les was 66 and nowhere near ready to leave South Florida or his beloved Miami Beach where he lived since age 5.  

Both are richer thanks to his inspired preservation and new design work over the past 35 years.  

Les was my mentor, friend and partner. He was also a pioneer and visionary who played a key role in restoring South Beach to its glory days, starting in the late 70s when he and a handful of architects and historic preservationists fought developers' plans to raze much of South Beach.

During ensuing years, Les was instrumental in helping preserve South Beach history, with more than 200 projects to his credit. It is safe to say that without Les, South Beach would not be what it is today.

The list is endless -- renovations of the Espanola Way Hotel, Essex House, Marlin, Edison, Breakwater, Park Central, Century, Shore Park, Traymore, Tiffany, Betsy Ross, Ritz Plaza and Imperial Hotels. Then there's the Lyric Theater, Opa Locka City Hall, Coral Gables City Hall, the Old Fire and Police Station in Coral Gables and Merrick Manor there.

Most recently, our firm completed a historic renovation of the renowned national landmark Hialeah Park.  There's News Cafe, Armani Exchange, the Super Bowl arch over Ocean Drive, Capt. Harry's Fishing Supply on I-95, the Vintro Hotels in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Modani’s furniture showroom, Miami’s Mayfair Hotel, Omphoy Hotel in Palm Beach and custom residences and sculpture park at Altos Del Mar.  You can’t walk down Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue or Lincoln Road without benefiting from his work. That's just a fraction of the many projects, which earned our firm dozens of accolades and awards over the years. 

Equal to his architectural contributions to landmark properties, Les established a culture of integrity, excellence and an unparalleled commitment to client service in our firm.  He set protocols, secured resources and nurtured talent to allow us to deliver a wide-range of architectural services for generations.  Les was as proud of this firm and our dedicated team as he was of any project he ever developed. These hallmarks are embedded in all we do and the work at Beilinson_Gomez Architects will continue as we expand on Les' profound legacy.  

Les leaves his wife of 43 years, Sherry; a daughter, Tory Johnson, and her husband Peter; a son, David Beilinson, and his wife Julie; five grandchildren, to whom he was devoted, Nick, Jake, Emma, Charlotte and Morgan – all of New York; and his mother-in-law, Evelyn Goldstein of Aventura.

You are welcome to join us at a memorial service celebrating Les' life and work, which will take place this Wednesday, June 19 at 3pm at Temple Beth Sholom, located at 4144 Chase Ave on Miami Beach.

Please join me in sending Les' family our deepest condolences for their sudden, unexpected loss.

As always, I’m available at your service by phone, email and in person. 


Jose Gomez
Beilinson_Gomez Architects

Note to blog readers - this firm responded to the Casino building RFQ, but really turned into more of an RFP, and had what I thought was the most historically appropriate proposal for the rehabilitation of the complex.  You might remember it.

This would have preserved the actual historic integrity of the building more than what ultimately resulted.  We must remember that the building that no one really liked that ended up being 96% demolished, had historic significance and was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  What we have there now is not.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I pass on this information about the death of Mr. Beilinson.