The Coral Gables Museum Celebrates Architect Phineas Paist’s 150th Birthday with Two New Exhibitions Opening on August 23rd, 2023

The Coral Gables Museum Celebrates Architect Phineas Paist’s 150th Birthday with Two New Exhibitions Opening on August 23rd, 2023

CORAL GABLES, Fla., Aug. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Coral Gables Museum is proud to announce the opening of two exhibitions in celebration of the 150th Birthday of Coral Gables Architect Phineas E. Paist, a key figure in shaping The City Beautiful. The public opening reception will take place on Wednesday, August 23rd, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Members will have their Preview reception from 5:30 to 7 PM on the same day.

The first exhibition, A True Artist: Phineas Paist and the Early Architecture of Coral Gables traces the inspiring life of a Quaker boy living in Philadelphia, who became the Supervising Architect of a new utopian city, Coral Gables. Curated by Dr. Nicholas N. Patricios, Dean Emeritus of the School of Architecture, University of Miami, this exhibition dwells in the long lasting legacy of Paist in Coral Gables and Miami. Hired by George Merrick after his work at Vizcaya, Paist designed many iconic structures in the city, either by himself or in collaboration with other architects. Among the remaining buildings are the Venetian Pool, the Douglas Entrance, the Colonnade, the Coral Gables City Hall and the former Police & Fire Station, now the Coral Gables Museum.

“By visiting the Coral Gables Museum, you will be immersing yourself into Phineas Paist’s designs for public architecture, as this is one of his original buildings,” said Dr. Nicholas N. Patricios, guest curator of the exhibition. 

Through a selection of original artworks, vintage historic photographs, newspaper illustrations, and some of his publications, Paist’s individual architectural work will be exhibited, along with buildings he designed with his architectural partner Harold D. Steward, such as the San Sebastian Apartment Hotel, First Church of Christ Scientist, which now houses the Sanctuary of the Arts. The exhibition also features a new didactic panel on the Colors and Stucco that Paist developed for Coral Gables. Architect Ricardo Lopez from RJ Heisenbottle Architects, main sponsor of the exhibition, led the team from Kalam that produced the panel.

“We could not be more thrilled to be celebrating Phineas Paist on his 150th birthday this coming August 28th. His artistic influence in creating the Mediterranean Architecture that The City Beautiful is known for cannot be overstated. His background as a colorist made his plans unique from other architects and continue to be a part of what distinguishes our community from other cities of the world”, said Elvis Fuentes, Executive Director at the Coral Gables Museum.

The second exhibition, Vizcaya 1917: From The Gardens To The Gilded Grandeur In Richard Daniels Collection, showcases the Vizcaya mansion’s early years through Mattie Edwards Hewitt’s vintage black and white photographs from the Richard Daniels Collection. Hewitt’s images range from stunning Baroque interiors to dazzling neoclassical exterior scenes. Alongside her photographs, the exhibition will display watercolors by Vizcaya’s Chief Architect, Francis Burrall Hoffman, postcards released by the Vizcaya Corporation in 1934, and a printed map of Vizcaya to offer a comprehensive view of the estate in its original glory.

Curated by Elvis Fuentes with the assistance of Sophia Ramirez-Peralta, this exhibition allows visitors to step back in time to Vizcaya during its inception and captures the essence of Miami’s Golden Age through Hewitt’s lens. It highlights the importance of the work of this renowned photographer and The Architectural Review magazine in beginning Vizcaya’s international fame.

A True Artist: Phineas Paist and the Early Architecture of Coral Gables

August 23 – October 22, 2023 | Galeras Gallery
Curated by Dr. Nicholas N. Patricios, Professor and Dean Emeritus in the School of Architecture at the University of Miami

Vizcaya 1917: From The Gardens To The Gilded Grandeur In Richard Daniels Collection

August 23, 2023March 3, 2024 | Permanent Collection Gallery
Curated by Elvis Fuentes, Executive Director, and Sophia Ramirez-Peralta, Coral Gables Museum

For more information, please contact:

Pamela Londono

Institutional Advancement Coordinator, Coral Gables Museum


Phone: 305-603-8067

About the Coral Gables Museum

The Coral Gables Museum fosters an appreciation for the Civic Arts in Coral Gables. It explores and celebrates the history, vision, urban and environmental design, and cultural landscape of the City Beautiful within a broad audience that goes from children, families, and community members to national and international visitors. The museum optimizes its mission by cultivating effective partnerships, and providing programming that includes exhibitions, educational programs, lectures, tours, publications and special events.

We are Very Grateful to our Sponsors

Richard J. Heisenbottle Architects


Special Thanks to

Dr. Nicholas N. Patricios, Sheryl McMahan from The Museum of the City of New York, Ayla Toussaint from Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Kimberley Bergen from The Wolfsonian FIU, Amanda LeVassser from the Valdés-Fauli Coral Gables Archives, Hoang Tran from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Therese Lantigua from the University of Miami Special Collections, Christine Rupp from the Dade Heritage Trust and Ricardo Lopez from R. J. Heisenbottle Architects 

SOURCE Coral Gables Museum

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