Unpacking Coconut Grove ► A Compendium [UPDATED]
This is the historical marker I just happened to discover
one day in early 2009. It led to all the research that followed.

As I add chapters to my ongoing series “Unpacking Coconut Grove” this compendium will be updated with the latest on top. The first entry for 2013 is:

Happy Birthday Coconut Grove!!! Now Honour Your Past

In which I briefly lay out the history of Coconut Grove from the mid-1800s to the present-day and make the case that systemic racism is the reason the E.W.F. Stirrup House and the Mariah Brown House have not been renovated, despite promises to do so.

Previous chapters:

The corner of Charles Avenue and
Main Highway
in Coconut Grove.

Unpacking Coconut Grove, Florida – Part One

This is an overview of the area, the issues at stake, how I came to discover Coconut Grove, and why I became so passionate about it.

Unpacking Coconut Grove, Florida – Part 1.1

This chapter contrasts the 120-year old E.W.F. Stirrup House, currently undergoing Demolition by Neglect, with a house built in 1964 less than a mile away. One is rotting away and the other is for sale for $22,000,000.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Two – E.W.F. Stirrup House

The E.W.F. Stirrup House,
standing proud on Charles Avenue.

This chapter delves deeper into the history of the E.W.F. Stirrup House and the history of Ebenezer Woodbury Franklin Stirrup. It explains why this proud Bahamian man’s legacy is in need of preserving for the community, as opposed to rapacious developers. E.W.F. Stirrup almost single-handedly created a Black community unique in the entire United States.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part 2.2 – The Neighbourhood Around The E.W.F. Stirrup House

Musings upon recent discoveries in my continued research of Coconut Grove, Charles Avenue and the Grove Gardens Residence Condominiums immediately behind the E.W.F. Stirrup House. It also includes a close up photo essay showing the damage that years of neglect have caused on the E.W.F. Stirrup House.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part 2.3 – The Charles Avenue Rabbit Hole Leads To Canada

Imagine my surprise when I discover my ongoing research on the E.W.F. Stirrup House leads to Canada, the country I chose to become a citizen of.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Three – Who Controls What On Charles Avenue

The Coconut Grove Playhouse at the corner of Charles Avenue
and Main Highway. The City of Miami has been trying to wrest
control of it back, but one person is holding up all progress.

After extensive research I share what I have learned on who controls, or owns, properties along Charles Avenue. It turns out it’s all the same guy, or companies owned, in part, by the same guy, or properties controlled by the same guy. And, that even includes the Coconut Grove Playhouse, which I never even considered to be a part of my original research. Come on down, Gino Falsetto.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Four – Open Houses and Broken Laws

In which I discover that demolition work is proceeding within the E.W.F. Stirrup House without the benefit of a Building Permit issued by the City of Miami. Also, for the first time, I get inside the Stirrup House after being invited inside by one of the men doing the demolition. This entry has lots of pictures of the inside of this historic 120-year old architectural treasure.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part 4.1 – A Photo Essay

Another visit to Charles Avenue seems to indicate that my blog posts are being read because the property is locked up tight again and all (allegedly) illegal demolition work appears to have stopped after being reported to the City of Miami Building Department. 

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Five – A Charles Avenue Love Story

180 degree panorama of the entrance to the Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery,
at one time the only place around where Black folk could bury their dead.

I would like to know more about the love affair between E.W.F. Stirrup and his childhood sweetheart, and wife, for whom the Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery, at the far end of Charles Avenue, is named. Here is the little I have been able to learn so far.

One of the informational
signs along Charles Avenue.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Six – Still Building With No Building Permit

An update a week later, where I discover that (allegedly) illegal work is still proceeding within the E.W.F. Stirrup House without benefit of a work permit on prominent display.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part 6.1 – An Open Email to the City of Miami

Since the City of Miami has not seen fit to respond to my email, I have printed it here for all the world to read.

Unpacking Coconut Grove – Part Seven – Signs along Charles Avenue

At some point in the recent past a series of informational signs were erected along Charles Avenue. Here they are for you to read.

Unpacking Coconut Grove ► Part Eight ► The Powers That Be

Read along as I try to unpack the power structure in Coconut Grove. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, even if it is Gino Falsetto, a Canadian who left a string of bankruptcies behind before he left cold Canada for warm Miami.

Unpacking Coconut Grove ► Part Nine ► Good Neighbours and Bad Neighbours 

What makes a good neighbour and what makes a bad neighbour? In this latest chapter of Unpacking Coconut Grove I state the difference and name names.

Unpacking Coconut Grove ► Part 9.1 ► A Bad Neighbour Photo Essay 

A follow-up to last week’s entry with some hot, new information: How did The Bad Neighbour acquire his 50-year lease on the E.W.F. Stirrup House? It wasn’t by putting up any hard-earned cash. Read this chapter to find out how a (alleged) scumbag works real estate a deal.

Unpacking Coconut Grove ► Part 9.2 ► A Photo Essay Follow Up

Why did the alleged scumbag, aka The Bad Neighbour, allow the owners of the E.W.F. Stirrup House to be cited for contravening city by-laws by the City of Miami?  ALSO: More on how the alleged rapacious developer, aka Gino Falsetto, managed to acquire his 50-year lease on the E.W.F. Stirrup House. It isn’t pretty.



About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.

3 thoughts on “Unpacking Coconut Grove ► A Compendium [UPDATED]

    1. Thanks so much, Geoffrey.

      I first fell in love with a house and then I fell in love with the history of the man who built it and the area in which it was built.

      Since I live up in Sunrise, I have no personal stake in the area or the house. It just seems like something that needs doing.

      Please help me publicize this and help me make it go viral.

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