Vizcaya was created as James Deering’s subtropical winter home in the 1910s and today it is a National Historic Landmark and accredited museum. Deering was the son of William Deering and together with his half-brother, Charles, they formed the Deering Harvester company in Evanston, Illinois (later known as International Harvester).
Deering, a “confirmed bachelor” all of his life, employed Paul Chalfin, a flamboyant and publicly gay designer, to make sure that the building was a lavish home full of rich architectural elements imported from across Europe, with a distinct taste for Italian renaissance and baroque features.
When visiting Miami, this is a “must see” attraction. The audio tour is available in 5 languages, making it one of the most accessible museums to the international tourists to Florida. The website includes a fantastic video documentary narrated by Andy Garcia.