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Vizcaya Museum & Gardens - Miami, FL
Pictures from a trip to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens located in the Coconut Grove area of Miami Florida.

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South Miami Ave.
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Miami-Dade Police Cars
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Vizcaya East Gate

 

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the Brickell Hammock suburb at 3521 South Miami Avenue in Miami, FL 33129.

The grounds are open to the public 364 days a year from 9:30am to 4:30pm except on December 25th for Christmas. We visited on one of the free days which are sponsored by American Express and happen on the last Sundays of July, August and September.

The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens are still well worth the $12 per adult price of admission the rest of the year. Discounts are offered for seniors, students, children, and visitors using a wheelchair.

Because there were many people who also came to take advantage of the free day, we had to park in front of the Miami Science Museum near U.S. 1, instead of the usual visitor parking area, and walk through the Vizcaya Village Historic Car Show to the East Gate.

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Nature Path To Vizcaya
Besides being a National Historic Landmark, the Vizcaya estate is also accredited by the American Association of Museums. The house was originally built by James Deering, a wealthy agricultural industrialist, who held the title of Vice President at the International Harvester Company. I.H.C. manufactured farming machinery and other equipment for agricultural operations around the world. Construction of the estate took place between 1914 and 1916 with the help of three different architects. Hoffman designed the buildings, Diego Suarez planned the lavish gardens and Paul Chalfin oversaw the whole project as the general artistic supervisor. The goal was to create a replica of a 400 year old Italian estate with each generation of the family decorating part of the house with furnishings that matched the style of their time.
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Headless Statue
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Treetop Spider Web
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Native Hardwood Forest
James Deering spent years traveling through Europe purchasing all of the doors, fireplaces, decorations, lighting fixtures, furniture, and artworks. The Vizcaya mansion is considered to be one of the finest collections of European art from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The grounds originally covered about 180 acres but has since been whittled down to just 10 acres of prime waterfront property bordering Biscayne Bay. Deering used the home as a winter escape from 1916 through 1925 when he passed away. Although the mansion was built to resemble a very old estate in Northern Italy, it had all the modern features and conveniences of the early 20th century including a fire control system, central vacuuming, refrigeration, air conditioning, elevators, an automatic electronic telephone switchboard, and central heating.
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Italian Statues
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Main House Driveway
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Main Entry Walk Way
In 1926, a year after Deering passed away, a strong hurricane hit South Florida and caused extensive damage to the Vizcaya estate, grounds, and gardens. Miami-Dade county bought the property in 1952 and after a long restoration process opened the area as a historic museum for the residents of Coconut Grove.
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Estate in Italy Architecture
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Decorative Italian Arch
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Face Carved In Stone
Since 1952, Vizcaya has hosted several important events such as the Summit of the Americas in 1994, the meeting of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John II in 1987, and the signing of the Free Trade Agreement. Queen Elizabeth II of England toured the mansion and grounds in 1991. King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain also visited Vizcaya.
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Boy Sculpture
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East Terrace of Mansion
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Balcony & Stairs To Rear
Unfortunately, visitors aren't allowed to photograph the inside of the Vizcaya main house so I couldn't take any pictures of the 34 rooms decorated with antique furnishing, art works and sculptures. The mansion was built to look like a two story building but actually has 12 rooms for the servants in a middle level between the public rooms downstairs and the private bedrooms upstairs. Some of the home's rooms are labeled in Italian on the map such as Galleon, Caravel, Goyesca, Guidecca, Belgioioso, Cathay, Manin, Pantaloon, Espagnolette, and Loggia.
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Atlantic Ocean Water
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Water Flowing Under House
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The Stone Barge
Residents of Coconut Grove, Brickell Hammock or any other areas of South Florida who enjoy visiting Vizcaya should consider becoming a member of the "Vizcayans" group. Membership allows you to visit for free anytime of the year and receive discounts on admission to special events.



 

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Biscayne Bay
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Historic Yacht Landing
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Some of the special events that take place at Vizcaya include the Viz(ual) Arts series, the Contemporary Sculpture Arts Project, Elements of Architecture classes, Visions of Vizcaya Watercolor Paintings, Moonlight Garden Tours, the Venetian Fancies Concert, the Holiday Organ Concert, the Halloween Sundowner, the New Year's Eve Celebration, and the Vizcayan Ball.
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James Deering Mansion
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The Vizcaya Gardens are available for day time weddings and receptions at a price of $750 for up to 25 people. For a night or weekend wedding ceremony the cost is $12,500 for up to a 125 person guest list. This does not include access to the main house or the setup of any tents on the gardens.
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Minnows In Biscayne Bay
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National Historic Landmark
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Some of the features of the Vizcaya grounds that you should be sure to see include the stone barge, the beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, the mangroves on the shore, the tea house, the water stairway, the grottos, the casino building, the fountain garden, the peacock bridge, the swimming pool, the native hardwood hammock, the David A. Klein Orchidarium, the reflecting pool, the statuary walks, the yacht landing and the secret garden.
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34 Decorated Rooms
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Red Stone Bridge
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Wooden Pier
When Vizcaya was built there were only about ten thousand people living in the Miami metropolitan area. Over 1,000 skilled craftsmen and laborers from the USA, the Caribbean and Europe collaborated together to finish the project. To help house some of these workers and later the home's staff, James Deering had the "Vizcaya Village" area constructed.
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Miami Skyscrapers Skyline
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15th - 19th Century Inspiration
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Mangrove Shore
A few of the buildings that are contained in Vizcaya Village are a poultry barn, a garage, a mechanic's shop, a blacksmith's shop, a dairy barn, the staff residence, the mule stables, a carriage house, and the paint shop.
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Tea House
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Statues On Stone Barge
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South Terrace
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The Secret Garden
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Decorative Hedge Mazes
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Center Island
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Statuary Walk
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Semi Circular Pool
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Concentric Circles Gazebo
For more information on fun events or places in South Florida check out some of my other updates such as the delicious International Mango Festival, my South Beach Pictures, the SoFL International Auto Show, the Biscayne Lady Yacht Tour, the Miami Motorcycle Salon show, and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.
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Maze Garden
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