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Miami, Florida
A Gilded-Age Estate and Its Treasures in Miami
An elaborate stone barge frames Vizcaya, the Gilded-Age estate built by James Deering. NEH funding has helped Vizcaya conserve its historic collections and monitor the estate's interior environment. Image courtesy of Vizcaya.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark, house museum, and public garden. Built between 1914 and 1922, Vizcaya was the winter home of American businessman James Deering and was conceived to appear as a centuries-old European Villa. It is as spectacular an example of Gilded Age design as it is a repository for a diverse collection of decorative and fine art spanning more than 2,000 years. But because it sits on the shores of Biscayne Bay, Vizcaya and its treasures have been threatened by its marine environment since it was constructed. Though hurricanes pose an obvious and dramatic threat, deterioration caused by sustained high humidity, salts, and relentless sun presents a persistent challenge.

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