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Project to beautify 142nd Street draws interest from guests

(Aug. 2, 2013) The spread of shrubbery, fountains, flowers and statues lining the beachfront and hugging condos on the 142nd Street ocean block was a beautification project 15 years in the making.

Mostly a solo effort by 142nd Street resident Avery Taylor, the project has spread into most nooks surrounding the block’s condo complexes and is a draw for visitors.

“You just don’t see this kind of thing at the beach,” Taylor said.

A hobby gardener, he chose the plants and designed the gardens. After retiring from working with marble surfacing in Baltimore, the project has helped keep him busy, Taylor said.

“It motivates you to keep going when people tell you they like it,” he said, and he gets that feedback daily.

Hawaiian Village Condominium and other surrounding complexes funded the project, but Taylor remains the main caretaker. He rinses the saltwater from the plants and sweeps sand off the street daily.

Around 9 p.m., fountains, flags, dolphins and palm trees illuminate the block. Visible from Coastal Highway, they’re the crowning piece of the project, Taylor said.

The effort has helped draw families to 142nd Street, he said, and children’s approval is “the most important part.”

“This is the reason they come back,” Taylor said.

The project also features benches and an outdoor shower for visitors to rinse their feet.

Avery Taylor stands in front of the fruits of his labor, a beautification project on the 142nd Street ocean block that includes landscaping, sculptures and fountains. (Clara Vaughn)

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