Alex Van Mecl is the owner of a beautifully restored residence in Opa-Locka and an advocate for the preservation of Opa-Locka’s historic architectural fabric. Since 2021, Alex has been leading the charge to elevate and preserve the unique historic proposition of the city in the form of digital production, archiving, restoration, and community activism. Alex and his husband, Darwin Betancourth, purchased the locally registered historic site, The Dove House, located at 806 Jann Avenue, and have worked tirelessly to protect the landmark by stabilizing and restoring it. Alex has visited every archive known to harbor ephemera, architectural drawings, original photos, and other items connected to Opa-Locka’s history, and he has digitized these materials with the intent to aggregate into a single source, with appropriate credits, and curate select materials into a program he’s founded called Discover Opa-Locka. Alex also serves on the City’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board.