Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vizcaya

Vizcaya was the winter residence of American industrialist James Deering from Christmas 1916 until his death in 1925. He chose a bayfront site in Miami for his tropical winter home because of the location’s warm winter climate and his appreciation of the native hardwood hammock. In addition to the house and gardens, the complex included a farm, livestock, and a variety of other service facilities covering 180 acres. 
The house was intended to appear as an Italian estate that had stood for 400 years and had been occupied and renovated by several generations of a family. It has 34 rooms with 15th through 19th century antique furnishings and art objects. The house appears to be only two stories high but between the main public rooms and the bedrooms, there is an intervening level with 12 rooms for servants and service. After Deering’s death in 1925, a minimal staff maintained the house. The hurricane of 1926, which devastated much of Miami, extensively damaged the house, surrounding grounds and formal gardens. Eventually most of the land was sold for development. In 1952, Deering’s heirs generously sold the main house and formal gardens to Dade County, for a sum below the actual value. Deering's heirs donated the estate's furnishings and art to the on condition that Vizcaya be used as a public museum in perpetuity.
Although the house’s design allowed the free flow of breezes through the open courtyard, the need to preserve the building and contents required the installation of a climate and humidity control system, including enclosing the open courtyard in glass. 
Today we can only imagine how Vizcaya felt as an open-air house, with the sounds of birds and the bay, the sudden rain showers, and the fragrance of flowers. The Museum is open every day (except Christmas) from 9.30 to 4.30 and the admission is 16$ for adults (10$ for students, senior and Florida Residents) it has a small cafe/restaurant where you can have a lunch break (sandwich/salads) 'al fresco' after you toured the house and before you hit the gardens and bay.
3521 South Miami Avenue




Maze
Library

Garden View
Dinning Room
Bathroom
Gardens

Kitchen... that big black thing is the stove.
Refrigerators in the butler's pantry
Fireplace in one of the bedrooms
Bedroom

Detail of fabric in bathroom ceiling
Ceiling Detail 
Guest Bedroom
Guest Bedroom
Wood Bird Cage
Bedroom
Mortar and pestel.
Bathroom



Tea House
My mom posing in front of the boats dock
View from the gardens 

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