Elvira Salazar Aims to Protect Stiltsville

Elvira Salazar Aims to Protect Stiltsville

“DOI bureaucrats in Washington have refused to enter arbitration for consideration of repairs.”

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
May 22, 2022

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) has introduced H.R. 7833, the Stiltsville Restoration Act. Elvira Salazar's legislation would “authorize repairs to a damaged Stiltsville structure in Biscayne Bay National Park.”

Joining her in introducing the legislation are Florida Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R), Mario Diaz-Balart (R), and Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico.

Stiltsville’s history dates back to the 190s when Eddie Walker, known as “Crawfish,” built a house on stilts in Biscayne Bay. According to a press release from Elvira Salazar, “its history as an outlaw’s paradise during the prohibition era led to its protection as a historical landmark in 2003 when the Stiltsville Trust was established.” There are six remaining houses in Stiltsville, but one of them was damaged by a fire in January 2021. Because the houses remain an important tourist destination in Miami, “the Stiltsville Trust, in cooperative agreement with with the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), would like to repair the structure.”

The lawmakers however argue that “DOI bureaucrats in Washington have refused to enter arbitration for consideration of repairs.”

If the repairs are authorized as a result of the legislation, the repairs would come from “private funds via the Stiltsville Trust, at no cost to American taxpayers.”

In a statement, Elvira Salazar championed the effort, expressing that “as a Miami native, I want to preserve our city’s rich history and Stiltsville is not only a unique tourist attraction, but a testament to the growth of our community over the last 90 years.”

She added that “it is crucial to protect our landmarks so we never forget our city’s unique beginnings and culture,” affirming that the effort “has the support of the local community.”

The Florida Republican vowed to not “let Washington bureaucrats destroy Miami’s history.”

The press release further notes that if the Department of Interior moves forward with tearing down the structure that has been damaged without gaining the community’s authority, “this would directly go against the wishes of Miami residents and the Stiltsville Trust, which was authorized by Congress to protect the one-of-a-kind landmark.”

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina holds a Bachelor’s in English Literature. His hobbies include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.

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