About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
Register to receive the Amerisurv Newsletter | Also See Our LiDAR News Newsletter | RSS Feed  
advertisement


Subscriptions
Product Reviews
Software Reviews
Sponsored By

Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 

LiDAR News

symbianone
lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

  The American Surveyor     

Vizcaya Documentary Gets Help From Surveying and Engineering Firm Print E-mail
Written by Biscayne Engineering   
Thursday, 30 April 2009

Keeping records helps, even after 83 years

Miami, FL, April 29, 2009…When a Public Broadcasting Station’s Senior Producer began research for a documentary about an 83-year-old Italian style villa in Miami, Florida, most people would never have thought she would check with the surveying and engineering company that did all the surveying and engineering for the project. That’s almost a hundred years ago. However, that’s exactly what Senior Producer Linda Corley of PBS Channel 2 did. Surprisingly, she found the company is still in business and is today the oldest company headquartered in the city of Miami –111 years to be exact. Here is a short version of the story that airs in south Florida in late May and nationally in the fall.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many of America’s wealthiest people built lavish homes, and many still stand today. One such home is Vizcaya in Miami, Florida. (Vizcaya is Basque for “elevated place”) Built by James Deering, a vice president of International Harvester, Vizcaya is a composite of many Italian villas Deering visited in search of his dream home. Deering spent some $22 million creating what is today an official United States Landmark. The American Association of Museums also accredits his much-loved villa.

Deering made several trips to Europe where he bought furnishings, fireplaces, doors, and gates. He brought back styles and decorations that represented different periods of European history covering 400 years. Evident were the period styles of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classic. His idea was to build the home in such a way that it would appear to span the 15th through 19th centuries. With different period designs in all the furnished rooms, Deering accomplished the creation that gave to the villa an appearance that the villa went through several renovations during those periods, even though it was a new structure.

Besides the self-sufficient 70-room villa, the 180-acre estate included a dairy, poultry house, mule stable, a small farm, a village, a greenhouse, a staff residence and formal gardens.

Construction began in 1914 and finished in 1916. The final project that brought it all together was the completion of the formal gardens in 1922. Vizcaya became Deering’s winter home, but only 3 years after the project’s completion, Deering died in 1925 at the age of 66.

Much of the estate fell into disrepair after Deering’s death, and in 1952, Dade County (Now, Miami-Dade County) purchased the house and gardens. The county restored the property and every year thousands of visitors visit the Vizcaya Museum.

During the research phase of the documentary, producer Corley visited with George Bolton, president of Biscayne Engineering Company, the 111 year old company that performed the surveying and engineering for Deering’s estate. The machine that produced Deering’s blueprints is still in existence and Bolton shared some of the stories of the surveyors, how they created plans for the roads, the gardens, drainage and conservation of the area’s natural vegetation, and the dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway for a boat landing at Vizcaya.

Bolton stated that Deering retained the services of Biscayne Engineering around 1910 when the project was getting started. Deering designated Biscayne’s J.J. Bennett, who was 21 at the time, as resident engineer, and he stayed on the job for the next ten years. Bennett became one of the leading engineers in Florida and eventually president of Biscayne Engineering.

Work stopped briefly in 1917 when the United States entered World War I. When the war ended in1918, Biscayne Engineering resumed work, this time to design and provide construction supervision of the foundation for the Cape Florida Lighthouse, and to maintain checks on the foundation. This project was part of an agreement Deering made with the Army Corps of Engineers, which in turn granted permission for the dredging of a channel to Deering’s beloved Vizcaya.

During those early years, Biscayne Engineering acquired a large quantity of artifacts and memorabilia from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The company donated much of it to the Southern Historical Museum in Miami. Corley said, “George was such a great help from the surveying sector that I regarded him as one of our technical advisors. He even produced records from the Vizcaya project. Now, that is record keeping.”

Vizcaya airs throughout South Florida on WPBT Channel 2 Thursday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. It will air nationally on PBS stations around the country in the fall.

Image captions
(in order of appearance): 1. Linda Corley, Senior Producer interviews one of J.J. Bennett’s daughters, Jean Bennett Underwood.
2. George Bolton, president of Biscayne Engineering met with Corley at Biscayne’s Miami headquarters and showed her some of the memorabilia from the Vizcaya project.
3. The Deering farm at Vizcaya
4. Vizcaya formal gardens, still in existence.
5. A room in the Villa.
6. Construction photo.
7. One of the entrances to the villa.
 
< Prev   Next >

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS


Phoenix Intros
$55K Scanner

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax