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Stair II

Vizcaya is a National Historic Landmark; Built by agricultural industrialist James Deering between 1914 and 1922. The architect of record was F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. and the formal gardens were designed by Diego Suarez but, in fact, the mastermind of the project was its designer Paul Chalfin. Chalfin, a Harvard grad trained as a painter at The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, was working for decorator Elsie de Wolfe in 1911 when Deering approached de Wolfe for advice on the interiors of his Chicago home. De Wolfe (who later passed on the commission for Vizcaya as she considered Miami too far away and too provincial to be worthwhile) sent Chalfin to Chicago in her stead, and Chalfin insinuated himself with Deering as a sort of cultural majordomo. By 1913, Chalfin and Deering traveled in Europe to gather design inspiration and to purchase art and antiques. The culmination of their efforts, and the most lasting memorial to each man, is Vizcaya, the Miami estate they created between 1914 and 1922.

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Taken on October 7, 2007