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    Miami Science MuseumMiami Science Museum Miami, Florida
    the science museum in Miami, Florida began as the Junior Museum of Miami in 1949, and located in a house on Biscayne Boulevard, but began to grow so quickly that it had to be relocated to the city's Women's Club building on Bayshore Drive and renamed to its present one. It would still continue to grow fast, eventually overflowing the spaces that they already had, so a new structure was built and opened in 1960. It was situated on three acres of the historic Vizcaya complex, constructed and then furnished rent-free by the county. The Space Transit planetarium would be added in 1966, growing into the leading institution of its kind in the world, with international television programming as part of its program now. The 48,000 square foot museum is actually geared more towards children now, with an exciting live science demonstration on the weekends that includes fun with liquid nitrogen and a big set of games that change every six months that is perfect for those kids that are between 3 and 12 years old. Local philanthropist, Phillip Frost would donate $35 million in March of 2014 to build a new science museum in downtown Miami, is one of the biggest donations to a Miami cultural institution ever. The planetarium that opened in 1966 is home to Jack Horkheimer's Star Gazer, the world's first and only weekly television series that is based on naked-eye astronomy, with a projection dome room that is 65 feet in diameter and will seat 230 people. The star projector used is a Spitz STP or Space Transit planetarium. Current exhibits include Heart Smart, North Pole/South Pole Installations, Energy Tracker, 40 Tons of Coral in New York City, Immersion theater and The Reclamation Project/Native Flags.

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    Vizcaya Museum & GardensVizcaya Museum & Gardens Miami, Florida
    Vizcaya, once the villa and estate of businessman James Deering of the Deering, McCormick-International Harvester fortune, sits alongside Biscayne Bay in the Coconut Grove district of Miami, Florida and welcomes visitors to its opulent and extravagant surroundings that include native woodland landscapes, expansive Italian renaissance gardens, the early 20th century villa, and a historical village with outbuildings. Originally the estate held 180 acres of pristine mangrove swamps and thick inland native tropical forests, that would be left, since Deering was an avid conservationist. The villa would be constructed between 1914 and 1916, with the gardens and village continuing to be worked on until 1923. In the years around WWI, supplies and materials would be difficult to come by, so the builders decided to incorporate the historical European aesthetic traditions to southern Florida's subtropical ecosystem, like combining imported French and Italian garden layouts and elements that could be implemented into the Cuban limestone stonework with Floridian coral architectural trim and planted with sub-tropic compatible and native plants that would thrive very well in this environment. Deering would use the villa as his winter retreat from 1916 until his passing in 1925. After his death, the estate would be inherited by his two nieces, Ely Deering McCormick Danielson and Marion Chauncey Deering McCormick. As the years rolled on, the estate would be beset by hurricanes and higher maintenance costs so that the two ladies would be forced to sell off the surrounding land and outer gardens. Then, in 1945, they would donate large parts of the property to the Catholic archdiocese of St. Augustine, Florida and to Miami's Mercy Hospital; with just fifty acres, the villa, the village and formal gardens retained. In 1952, Miami-Dade county would acquire the estate for $1 million, with Deering heirs donating the furnishings and antiquities to the county museum. In 1953, it would become the Dade County Art museum, until they could find a place of their own on another part of the estate.

March 30, 2014