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Vizcaya Museum & Gardens: European inspired villa and gardens in Miami, FL

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Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a National Historic Landmark and accredited museum located in Miami, Florida. Guests enter through Rockland Hammock (a native forest). The back door to the museum's Main House opens to Biscayne Bay. Visitors will be awe struck by the grandeur of the villa and gardens.

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Originally the winter estate of Chicago businessman James Deering, the museum and gardens were once 180 acres. The property included the Main House, gardens, and the village (a cluster of buildings across South Miami Avenue). Approximately 50 acres of the original property still remain.

James Deering, F. Burrall Hoffman, Diego Suarez, and Paul Chalfin designed Vizcaya. The design was inspired by European estates, particularly Italian estates. The four men adapted Vizcaya to the subtropical setting of Miami. The Main House took two years to build, from 1914 to 1916. The Vizcaya house contains antique furniture and artwork collected in Europe and the United States. There are also items created specifically for Vizcaya. Vizcaya now features the Main House (with 34 decorated rooms), ten acres of formal gardens, art collections, and furniture collections.

The formal gardens were completed in 1922. They include flora, fauna, mazes, and sitting areas. The gardens are situated between a native mangrove shore and a forest. The gardens continued to be maintained by staff after Mr. Deering's death. Deering's heirs used the property on occasion. The property was damaged in a hurricane in 1926. James Deering's nieces and their husbands transferred Vizcaya over to Miami-Dade County in 1952 after years of trying to establish Vizcaya as a museum. It opened as a museum the following year. It is now open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is located at 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33129. The attraction can be reached by telephone at 305-250-9133. Send faxed inquiries to 305-285-2004. Visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens website at vizcaya.org.

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