New Yorker Tony Goldman has sure been stealing the spotlight this week. He has appeared here on HauteLiving.com already twice since Monday; then we saw his heart-warming smile show up on the pages of The New York Times.
Goldman has been hard at work, not just making headlines, but as most Miamians already know, revitalizing the Wynwood art district, just as he did with Soho and South Beach. We brought you his background details, as told from perspective of his daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, in our April/May issue of Haute Living Miami:
“I was 8 years old when my Dad, Tony Goldman, invested in our first of 16 properties in Soho. Back then, it was a manufacturing district that was known only to the factory workers, artists, and gallery owners and some friendly and not-so-friendly vagrants. We opened the Greene Street Café in 1979 and life was fun and unorthodox, living over the store.
When I was 15, my dad fell in love with South Beach. It was 1985, and South Beach was considered ‘Heaven’s Waiting Room.’ No banks would finance such an at-risk neighborhood of dilapidated buildings and crack houses. We bought a property a month for 18 months. The photograph of the future had been taken and we would spend the next decade enhancing the American Riviera to what it has become today. Living in these neighborhoods showed me that anything is possible with hard work, vision, passion and commitment.”
Now papa Goldman is out to accomplish the same South Beach and Soho success in Wynwood, an area just north of downtown, off of North Miami Avenue. NYT confirms his push with numbers: “Since 2004, he has spent some $35 million to buy about two dozen buildings.”
Goldman’s Art Basel project, Wynwood Walls, caught the attention of visionaries everywhere when it debuted in December. He and gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch invited street artists Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, and Os Gemeos, to tag the concrete walls in the neighborhood as part of an exhibition that all of the trendsetters wanted to be part of. His next project to earn attention is The Light Box, a 14,000-square-foot performance studio that will be the new home for Miami Light Project, along with several other nonprofits. (He will be honored at the annual Friends Dinner on May 8.) But that’s not all, he’s also involved in the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium, as well as consulting on downtown Newark improvement projects.
To such a visionary, whose fingerprints are all over some of New York’s and Miami’s most defining neighborhoods, we say congratulations and thank you.