Above you see the arrival court from the house, looking back up the drive towards the entry court. In Deering's time, this green patch surrounding the pond was heavily planted, as was much of the estate.
This really is the back of the main house, as it fronts both Biscayne Bay and the main southern gardens (which we'll explore in my next post).
Notice the continuation of blue and yellow in the curtains and awnings. Originally, the center of the house was completely open and these curtains provided shade and protection from the elements. It was glassed in for preservation in the 1980s.The stucco has a pink tint with the local grey stone providing an accent. I love the texture of this stone and the little pockets provide places for greenery to sprout; Probably not the best for preservation but great for effect.The entry is flanked by more urns and statuary and these great copper sconces; the green is striking against the pink hued stucco.While the design remains Italian, lots of the details and the name itself remain true to Deering's original Spanish intentions; Spanish galleons are seen throughout, like this one below at the entrance.The court is flanked by 2 triumphal arches, which make a great backdrop for photoshoots!The stucco of the surrounding court walls is a coral pink color, much stronger than the house's light pink hue.The Beaux-arts influence is evident by the site lines, everything aligns! Below we are looking through the arches and central court.Chalfin designed the house to appear as it had evolved and changed over generations of an Italian family. The house was to seem to have been added onto as time progressed and these baroque arches would have been 'later additions' style wise.Chalfin however, was not the architect of the house but more of an owner's representative and design director. He worked closely with Deering on the design, even traveling with him throughout Europe scoping out precedents and, much like at San Simeon, buying architectural 'salvage' to use and copy in the estate.The architect they chose was Francis Burrall Hoffman, who was unceremoniously dismissed after the bulk of the main house was complete, with Landscape architect Diego Suarez (who had studied in Italy) designing the gardens (even if Chalfin later took credit!). To the side of the house are the servants entrance and maintenance sheds, which this time are in a beautiful yellow stucco. These are the entry for visitors today into the main gardens which we'll see soon, I promise!As a non sequitur, I loved seeing a true 'Florida door' (louvered wood door) in use in Florida as my old apartment here in DC used them as entry to our apartments!