I spotted this item over the weekend, but held off commenting because I figured somebody closer to the action might have some insights. Somebody like Balance Sheet Blog or City of Hollywood Whistle Blower, or even Broward Outage. But radio silence prevailed. Oh well.
After an extended battle with the city of Hollywood, the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center is moving out.
The 15,000-square-foot building was supposed to house a museum and exhibit videos, DVDs and paper manuscripts of 2,400 eyewitness testimonies to the Holocaust. But with the museum unable to open to the public, the artifacts sat in boxes, and the rooms were empty except for construction debris. — Miami Hurled
This was a rotten idea from the outset. Whose brilliant insight and marketing acumen led to putting a facility like this in the city’s arts and entertainment district? Explain the match between the Holocaust Museum and Documentation Center on the one hand, and restaurants, clubs, music, dancing, art galleries, coffee shops, etc., on the other? “Hey, Babe, let’s have a few drinks, run over to the Holocaust Center and sift through some human vivisection experiment documentation and death certificates, then grab something to eat and go dancing!”
Think about the railroad car they wanted to install — a Nazi-era cattle-car used to shuffle doomed prisoners to the concentration camps. Who needs vintage car weekends in downtown Hollywood when you have this nifty vehicle on permanent display?
No, this was One Bad Idea. But credit the Museum’s board and leadership for making it even worse:
Relations between museum executives and Hollywood officials deteriorated. Although the Holocaust center had signed a 15-year deal to pay the city $16,000 a month in principal and interest on the building’s purchase, it never paid the city a penny….Instead, the museum put $3 million into repairs, including a new room, elevator, sprinklers and stucco, said Rositta Kenigsberg, the Holocaust center’s president.
Instead, the museum put $3 million into repairs, including a new room, elevator, sprinklers and stucco, said Rositta Kenigsberg, the Holocaust center’s president.
Last February, Hollywood said it would file a foreclosure action against the museum….The museum had a counter-offer: It would pay nothing and stay for free until it could find a new location — but not in Hollywood.
Great offer. We’ll just keep sitting right here paying you nothing until we’re good and ready to move and you’ll like us on Facebook or go pound sand. Did I mention the board president is former State Senator Steve Geller? And that former Hollywood Mayor Mara Guilianti was a big player in this deal?
Anyway, they’re off to (ready?) “downtown” Dania Beach. They purchased a vacant building on US-1 across from Docker’s Restaurant, just north of the largely deserted antique district. It’s perfect — a facility commemorating inhuman atrocities opening up in an urban disaster area.
While I don’t have a problem with this museum or the mission of the organization behind it, it just doesn’t belong in a tourist district. It belongs on a college campus, or the back lot of a synagogue, or in a space of its own set apart from areas where people seek entertainment, diversion, and fun. Isn’t this obvious?
Why doesn’t Steve Geller move it to his own back yard? He could get a Mittney-esque tax write-off.
That’s all I’m saying except that I want it on record that I in this post resisted the temptation to repeat that tasteless joke about Jews and pizzas.