Blog Archives

Putting the pieces together: a Spanish Monastery for Miami


Time magazine called it “the world’s biggest jigsaw puzzle.” A cloister and refectory built almost 1000 years ago as part of a monastery in Sacramenia, Spain was salvaged from a Brooklyn warehouse and the estate of William Randolph Hearst – and reconstructed in Miami. There were 35,000 pieces in 11,000 wooden crates, mixed-up and misnumbered.

In 1925, Hearst purchased the former Cloisters of St. Bernard de Clairvaux with the intention of using it to surround his pool at his California San Simeon estate. Completed in 1141, it was occupied by Cistercian monks for almost 700 years.  Hearst’s plan was derailed by an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease in Spain, causing concern by U.S. officials who quarantined the shipment, burning the hay protecting the carefully numbered and packed stones.  Workers must not have been too concerned with any sort of system as they repacked the massive shipment. Read the rest of this entry

Miami’s First Preservation Group, The Villagers, Turns 50

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Check out my recent story, in Pinecrest Lifestyle magazine, about this incredible group of historic preservationists:

Pinecrest Mag.50 Years of Saving Places