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  • Source: James Deering, ca. 1900. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1859

    James Deering is born in South Paris, Maine.

    James Deering, ca. 1900. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • International Harvester Catalogues, 1903. International Harvester Company of America: Chicago.

    1880

    James Deering joins his father, William, and half-brother, Charles, in Evanston Illinois to found the Deering Harvester Company. 

    International Harvester Catalogues, 1903. International Harvester Company of America: Chicago. 

  • 1900

    James Deering presents Deering Harvester Company products at the Paris Exposition of 1900 and is inducted into the French Legion of Honor.

    The Official Retrospective Exhibit of the Development of Harvesting Machinery. (Deering Harvester Company: Chicago), 1900.

  • 1902

    J. P. Morgan orchestrates the merger of Deering Harvester Company with McCormick Reaper Company and others to form the International Harvester Company. James Deering becomes Vice President of the new firm.

    International Harvester Catalogues, 1903.  International Harvester Company of America: Chicago.

  • 1908

    James Deering retires from International Harvester.

    James Deering, ca. 1917. Deering Era Photographs, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • 1910

    James Deering is introduced to Paul Chalfin, Vizcaya’s artistic director, by interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe.

    Paul Chalfin, ca. 1916. Arva Moore Parks Collection, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Gamberaia Illustration by Maxfield Parrish from Wharton, Edith. Italian Villas and their Makers. New York: The Century Co., 1903. 64.

    1910

    Jame Deering and Paul Chalfin begin plans to create a house in Florida and make their first visit Italy to buy antiquities and tour villas for inspiration.

    Gamberaia Illustration by Maxfield Parrish from Wharton, Edith. Italian Villas and their Makers. New York: The Century Co., 1903. 64.

  • Plat of Property of James Deering South of Miami, Florida, 1913. Deering Era Architectural Drawings. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1912

    Deering purchases the first 130 acres of Vizcaya’s 180 acres of bay front land from Mary Brickell to build his winter estate.

    Plat of Property of James Deering South of Miami, Florida, 1913. Deering Era Architectural Drawings. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • F. Burrall Hoffman, ca. 1915. Photograph by Alice Woods. Arva Moore Parks Collection, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1912

    Francis Burrall Hoffman, Jr. is chosen to be architect of James Deering’s Florida house.

    F. Burrall Hoffman, ca. 1915. Photograph by Alice Woods. Arva Moore Parks Collection, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • 1914

    Construction of Vizcaya's Main House begins; during a visit to Villa la Pietra in Florence, Deering and Chalfin meet Colombian landscape architect Diego Suarez.

    View from Second Floor Level looking Northeast, ca. 1913. Construction Albums. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Mrs. Gaston Drake, ca. 1913. Photograph by Mattie Edwards Hewitt. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1916

    On December 25th, James Deering hosts a party to celebrate the completion of Vizcaya’s Main House; his guests dress as Italian peasants.

    Mrs. Gaston Drake, ca. 1913. Photograph by Mattie Edwards Hewitt. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • James Deering Portrait by John Singer Sargent, ca. 1916. Private Collection.

    1917

    John Singer Sargent visits Vizcaya and creates watercolors of the estate.

    James Deering Portrait by John Singer Sargent, ca. 1916. Private Collection.

  • Leda Statue, ca. 1922.Construction Albums. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1921

    Construction of the gardens is completed.

    Leda Statue, ca. 1922.Construction Albums. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Ellerman Lines SS City of Paris, ca. 1922. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1925

    James Deering dies on September 18 aboard the SS City of Paris ocean liner returning from France. Ownership of Vizcaya is passed to Deering's brother Charles, who dies in 1927.

    Ellerman Lines SS City of Paris, ca. 1922. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Main House After Hurricane, ca. 1926. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archive.

    1926

    The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 devastates South Florida and causes extensive damage to Vizcaya.

    Main House After Hurricane, ca. 1926. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archive.

  • Paul Chalfin, ca. 1930. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archive.

    1934

    Paul Chalfin is engaged by Deering's heirs to repair the estate with the intention of opening it as a museum.

    Paul Chalfin, ca. 1930. Deering Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archive.

  • Postcard, ca. 1935. Postcard Collection. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1935

    Vizcaya opens seasonally as a privately owned museum.

    Postcard, ca. 1935. Postcard Collection. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Vizcaya is Closed to Winter Visitors, 6/2/1945. The Miami News.

    1935

    Another major hurricane hits Miami causing extensive damage to the estate and putting on hold the Deering family’s efforts at opening Vizcaya as a museum.

    Vizcaya is Closed to Winter Visitors, 6/2/1945. The Miami News.

  • County Pays Million for Deering Estate, 6/2/1945. The Miami News.

    1945

    130 Acres of the Vizcaya property, including the Lagoon Gardens, are conveyed to Mercy Hospital and the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine; the latter later sells some of its property to developers who create the residential subdivision of Bay Heights.

    County Pays Million for Deering Estate, 6/2/1945. The Miami News.

  • Crowd Outside Main Gate, ca. 1953. Museum Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1953

    In March, Vizcaya opens to the public as Dade County Art Museum, later to be known as Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Its first director is Robert Tyler Davis.

    Crowd Outside Main Gate, ca. 1953. Museum Era Photographs. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Volunteer Guides, ca. 1960. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1954

    The Vizcaya Volunteer Guides organize and begin offering tours of the Main House, a service that continues to the present.

    Volunteer Guides, ca. 1960. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Paint Shop in Village, ca. 1930. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1955

    James Deering’s heirs convey the Vizcaya Village to Dade County to support the ambience and operation of Vizcaya as a museum.

    Paint Shop in Village, ca. 1930. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

     

  • Vizcayans Ball, ca. 1960. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1957

    The Vizcayans is organized to help preserve Vizcaya through private-sector fundraising, including their prominent annual Ball.

    Vizcayans Ball, ca. 1960. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • National Register of Historic Places Plaque, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1979

    Vizcaya is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    National Register of Historic Places Plaque, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Courtyard, ca. 1985. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1986

    Vizcaya’s Courtyard is enclosed with its first skylight and air conditioning is installed throughout the Main House, helping Vizcaya earn accreditation from the American Association of Museums.

    Courtyard, ca. 1985. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Ronald and Nancy Reagan with Pope John Paul II, 9/10/1987 Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    1987

    Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan meet at Vizcaya. 

    Ronald and Nancy Reagan with Pope John Paul II, 9/10/1987 Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • Main House from North Sea Arm, ca. 1916. Construction Photo. Vizcaya Museum and Archives.

    1994

    Vizcaya is named a National Historic Landmark by the United States Secretary of the Interior —a distinction granted to only about 3% of registered historic properties.

    Main House from North Sea Arm, ca. 1916. Construction Photo. Vizcaya Museum and Archives.

  • Sutri Fountain, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    2004

    Miami-Dade County voters pass the “Building Better Communities” General Obligation Bond, allocating $50 million for the preservation and renovation of Vizcaya as a national treasure and community resource.

    Sutri Fountain, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

  • David A. Klein Orchidarium, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.

    2008

    Renovation of the Café and Shop, East and West Gate Lodges, and the David A. Klein Orchidarium begins, with completion in 2011.

    David A. Klein Orchidarium, 2012. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.