Walter De Garmo

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Photograph of the McAllister Hotel in 1926 courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection. Once the tallest building in Miami, it was eventually demolished.

Walter C. De Garmo (1876–1951) was a prominent architect in Miami, Florida and its surrounding communities.[1][2] His buildings include the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove and the 1907 Miami City Hall.[2][3] He is known for his residential work in South Florida, especially large luxury residences in the Mission Revival and Mediterranean Revival styles.[2][4]

Biography and career[edit]

Miami Beach Community Church

De Garmo studied under John Russell Pope, and worked as an architect in New York before moving to Miami.[5] He was the first registered architect in the Miami area.[6] He held a degree in architecture from Cornell University.[2] Marion Manley, Florida's first female architect, interned with De Garmo.[7] He has been referred to as the "Dean of Miami architects."

The 1907 Miami City Hall designed by De Garmo was demolished.[8] As of 1996, only two buildings by De Garmo remained in Miami Beach.[9]

Coral Gables[edit]

Colonnade Building, 1926, Coral Gables, with Phineas Paist and Paul Chalfin

The developer of Coral Gables, Florida, George E. Merrick, selected De Garmo as "one of the lead architects."[2] In 1924, Degarmo joined with Denman Fink to design the Douglas Entrance in Coral Gables, which is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[10]

A 1926 home in Coral Gables, Florida, described as De Garmo's "masterpiece," was up for sale in 2013 for US$12.5 million.[11] A 1925 luxury residence by De Garmo, Casa Di Paolo, in Star Island, Miami Beach, was described in 2011 as having 12 bedrooms and 13.5 baths, with a "courtyard, arches, Moorish influences and columns," a "separate two-story guesthouse and 100 feet of deep-water dockage."[12]


  1. ^ Perkins, Kelly K. (2013). "Exploring the Hallmarks of a Successful Volunteer Preservation Organization: The Villagers, Incorporated". Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida: 23. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Historic Coral Gables Architect Walter C. Degarmo". The Coral Gables Story. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Woman's Club of Coconut Grove records, 1891–1991". University of Miami Special Collections. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  4. ^ Inventory of the Walter C. DeGarmo Architectural Drawings Historical Museum of South Florida, Walter C. DeGarmo Collection.
  5. ^ Mullaney, Laura (April 9, 2010). "Villa DeGarmo, an architectural masterpiece in Coconut Grove". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Garden Design, 1991, page 48.
  7. ^ Marion Manley: Miami's First Woman Architect Miami International by Catherine Lynn and Carie Penabad The Architects Newspaper
  8. ^ Inventory of the Walter C. DeGarmo Architectural Drawings Historical Museum of South Florida.
  9. ^ Semple, Kirk (1996-11-28). "First the Bumbling, Then the Crumbling". Miami New Times – News. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  10. ^ Behar, Roberto M., ed. Coral Gables. Paris, France: Editions Norma, 1997, p. 99. ISBN 2-909283-34-8
  11. ^ Arsenovic, Aleksandra (2013-12-30). "Walter De Garmo’s Masterpiece in the Heart of Coral Gables on Sale for $12,5 Million". eXtravaganzi. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  12. ^ Zbar, Jeff (2011-06-03). "Timeless architecture, area’s cachet lure buyer to Star Island". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]