Vizcaya Timeline

1910-04-12 02:36:12

First Ties to Florida

James Deering’s father William Deering builds a home in Coconut Grove. Celebrated interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe introduces James Deering to Paul Chalfin, who would become Vizcaya’s artistic director. James Deering and Paul Chalfin begin to plan the creation of a winter home in Miami, Florida and visit France and Italy to gain design inspiration and source furnishings and antiques. James Deering meets F. Burrall Hoffman, who would become Vizcaya’s architect.

1910-07-07 19:10:57

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1910-11-20 02:36:12

Mexican Revolution

The outbreak of the Mexican Revolution results in an influx of Mexican immigrants to the U.S.

1910-12-01 02:36:12

Miami Herald Published

The first edition of The Miami Herald is published by Frank Shutts with the backing of industrialist Henry Flagler.

1912-02-20 02:36:12

Vizcaya Land Purchase

Deering purchases 130 acres of bay-front land from Miami landowner and businesswoman Mary Brickell. F. Burrall Hoffman is asked by Paul Chalfin to become Vizcaya’s architect.

1912-04-15 04:14:12

Titanic Sinks

The RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg while crossing the Atlantic on its maiden voyage and sinks. Dinnerware ordered by James Deering and destined for Vizcaya was on the ship.

1912-09-11 04:14:12

Overseas Railroad to Key West

The Overseas Railroad to Key West, built by Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway opens with the arrival of a five-car train in Key West. Miami’s first “skyscraper” – Burdine’s department store, consisting of five stories – opens for business.

1913-04-15 04:14:12

Lyric Theater Opens

The 400 seat Lyric Theater opens and serves as a venue for performances, movies and vaudeville for Miami’s black residents. Artists such as Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King would perform there over the next 50 years. Miami makes alcohol consumption illegal after six years of efforts by the Anti-Saloon League. Collins Bridge, which crossed Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach, opens. At the time of its completion it was the longest wooden bridge in the world.

1913-04-15 04:14:12

Excavations Begin

Deering reviews initial plans for Vizcaya. The site for the Main House is cleared and excavations begin. James Deering’s father William dies in Coconut Grove.

1914-06-28 05:56:24

Outbreak of World War I

After 36 years of work, the Panama Canal is completed, cutting the distance from the east to west coast by more than 8,000 miles. Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated on June 28 in Sarajevo, leading to the outbreak of World War I.

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