Vizcaya was built between 1914 and 1922. The Main House has 34 decorated rooms with nearly 3,000 art objects. The estate was built through the incredible vision of James Deering who was at the time, vice president of the International Harvester Company.
Deering commissioned young New York painter Paul Chalfin to oversee his project and the two men traveled throughout Europe researching the continent’s residential architecture for design elements. Also engaged to work on the project were architect F. Burrall Hoffman and Colombian landscape architect Diego Suarez.
The house was constructed so as to appear several hundred years old, as if it had been the home of several family generations.
It took almost 10 years to construct Vizcaya at a time when Miami’s population was only around 10,000. Yet more than 1,000 workers were hired to complete its construction, including laborers and craftsmen from the Caribbean and Europe.
Vizcaya took nearly 10 years to complete including its gardens and fountains, and to acquire the necessary art to fill the masterpiece we now know as Vizcaya.
Deering passed away in 1925. Between 1952 and 1955 Deering’s heirs conveyed the estate along with its substantial furnishings and art to Dade County on condition that Vizcaya be used as a public museum in perpetuity.
Vizcaya is located at 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33129. Phone: 305.250.9133