Clematis Street wins 4 out of 9 awards in Miami Herald’s Best Block Contest

We drove down to Miami on Saturday night for Miami Herald’s Best Block contest award ceremony and we weren’t disappointed.

Clematis St. won the following prizes:

The story is running on the front page of today’s Miami Herald. Here’s what they have to say about Clematis Street.

It was also a big night for another iconic South Florida street: downtown West Palm Beach’s resurgent Clematis Street, which grabbed a bunch of prizes, including a sweep of the people’s choice awards for photo and video, a just-for-fun online poll in which readers could “like’’ their favorites.

The people’s-choice-winning video of the 200 block of Clematis, by West Palm residents and boosters Jesse Bailey and Aaron Wormus, also took the $300 juried third prize in that category. And Bailey also won the $300 third prize in the photo category for a neon-soaked view of the 300 block of Clematis taken from a rooftop bar. The people’s choice photo of Clematis Street was submitted by the city’s Downtown Development Authority. All four runner-up awards were announced earlier this week.

In the early 1980s, Clematis, the historic spine of downtown West Palm, was a desolate, rundown place. City codes prohibited sidewalk cafes, recalled Gonzalez, whose architecture firm has been on the street for years. Planners, meanwhile, focused on moving cars through as quickly as possible, giving people few reasons to linger.

Transforming streets like Clematis requires vision and changes in both zoning codes and attitudes, Gonzalez and other jurors said.

It was a big day for grass-roots efforts as 17-year-old Jared Robins’ submission for Española Way in Miami Beach picked up the Grand Prize making, as well as two other prizes.

We are extremely happy with the results and are proud to have a community that can pull together to put our little street on the map. I’d like to thank all 167 people who LIKEed our video, as well as the countless others who shared and encouraged their friends to LIKE our video as well. Also a special thank you to the DDA for participating and helping get the word out, Nick and Pedro from Pixil Agency for putting the video together, and Lenny and the Clematis St. Facebook Group for the huge exposure they gave to this contest and Clematis Street.