Miami Shores Historic Beauty Is Leading Example of Mediterranean Revival

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Miami ShoresWhen we look for historical shelters every week, we always find some beautiful homes with interesting stories — and that’s true this week as well, with the Simmons Estate in Miami Shores, Florida.

It’s always fun to go back and look at 1920s architecture — the era embraced luxury in a way that was potentially over the top, but so well crafted that to this day newer construction often attempts to emulate the grandeur.

And that’s true with this week’s gorgeous Mediterranean built in 1925 and designed by the nationally-acclaimed architects Kiehnel and Elliot, whose work includes the Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Carlyle Hotel in Miami Beach, and the downtown Miami Post Office.

The venerated firm began in 1906 with Richard Kiehnel as its senior partner. Born in Germany, he began the firm in Pittsburgh before opening the Miami office in 1922. One of his earliest commissions there was El Jardin, the home of John Bindley, the president of the Pittsburgh Steel Company.

From there, he introduced Mediterranean Revival throughout Pinellas County before jumping into Art Deco design with the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on the Miami River.

And the home was built several years before Miami Shores became a city, growing to eventually 3,000 homes (most of which are historic).

“Its story began in the years after the devastation of the Civil War,” Flashback Miami shared. “In the postwar era, William Gleason served as Florida’s lieutenant governor, and in the early 1870s, he settled in the area that would become Miami Shores. Gleason named the community Biscayne, and in those days the new community temporarily served as the home of the Dade County Court and County Commission.”

By the time this estate was built, developer Hugh Anderson had taken a good look at the community and deemed it the perfect spot for a planned community, and his Shoreland Co. advertised the area as “America’s Mediterranean,” selling 400 acres of land for $22 million.

Want to see more of this gorgeous home? Head over to

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

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