Eminent Domain in Hollywood
June 6, 2005, 1:21 PM
Filed under: City Commission, Development, Downtown

June 6, 2005

As the mainstream media have reported, the City Commission voted 5-2 to begin eminent domain proceedings against the owner of the Art Deco Mach building in downtown Hollywood, despite a public outcry in the Commission chambers against this use of city power.

The Mayor and four commissioners (Anderson, Russo, Bober, and Wasserstrom) supported the move. Commissioners Furr and Oliveri sided with the public.

Joan Mickelson, a historian, is a Hollywood native and daughter of Tony Mickelson, head of survey crews for J. W. Young when the City of Hollywood was laid out. She wrote a letter to the Herald after reading the story in this morning’s paper about this proceeding in which Commissioner Anderson was quoted as saying that 50% of the Great Southern Hotel would be saved and that such a public purpose justified seizure of the neighboring Mach building. Her letter follows:

“Thank you for the detailed reporting on the Hollywood City Commission’s actions regarding its historic buildings. Apparently the present city commission is bound and determined to demolish every last building that was built before they took office, in order to recreate the city in their own likeness.”

“The Mach building is listed in the Florida Master Site File of historic buildings compiled by the state in 1984. It was built c. 1930 and to anyone with an eye for good architecture, it is clearly a fine example of Art Deco/Art Moderne. No doubt it was designed by an architect.  The developer apparently offered to retain this elegant building, but the forces of destruction demand that it be removed.”

“While I fail to see any connection between tearing down one building because another has been “saved,” I challenge the quote you give from
Cathy Anderson. If she was quoted correctly, she is wrong–two exterior walls do not constitute ’50 percent of the Great Southern Hotel.'”

“Poor Hollywood. It used to be so attractive, so distinctive. It is rapidly becoming just another line of big bland half-empty towers. Nowhere Special, USA.”


Joan Mickelson
Plantation (formerly Hollywood)





















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