The City of Opa-locka is Miami-Dade County’s eighth oldest municipality, founded in 1926 by American aviator and inventor Glenn Curtiss. A city built in the theme of Arabian Nights and with an architectural motif known today as Moorish Revival, a new movement has taken hold to identify, resurrect, and preserve landmarks from the past through comprehensive surveys, education, and community engagement.
About the Speakers
Linda Stevenson, PhD AIA, preservation architect, adjunct assistant professor for the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program, and Alex Van Mecl, public relations professional-turned citizen preservationist, founder of Discover Opa-locka and the Opa-locka Preservation Association (OPA), and also currently serving as Vice Chair of Opa-locka’s Historic Environmental Preservation Board.
Stevenson holds a PhD, with a concentration in historic preservation, from the University of Florida, where she has taught for the last eleven years. She has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of South Florida. She is a Florida-licensed architect with over 37 years of practice experience and a portfolio of award-winning projects. Some of her favorite projects focus on the many delightful and quirky resources that are found throughout Florida’s communities and state parks. She is an active Trustee for the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, serving since 2015.
Alex Van Mecl is a certified public relations professional and passionate citizen preservationist born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. He serves the City of Opa-locka, Florida as the Vice Chair of the Historic Environmental Preservation Board, and is the founder of Discover Opa-locka, a digital educational campaign focused on the preservation and promotion of the history and related activities of the community. Formerly, he resided in Los Angeles where he worked in the entertainment industry in varying capacities, including being a network publicist at HBO and HBO Max, working on network shows such as Game of Thrones