Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion
Built in 1925, the Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion was the home of aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss who, along with James Bright, founded the cities of Miami Springs, Hialeah and Opa-locka. Curtiss and Bright selected the Pueblo theme for Miami Springs, which was inspired by the architectural vocabulary of Arizona and New Mexico during the 1920s and Curtiss’s then-recent trip through New Mexico on his way to Florida from Coronado, CA, where he had trained the first US Naval aviators. The Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion is one of the finest examples of this hybrid style that was built in Miami Springs. Over the years, deterioration, vandalism, neglect and multiple arson fires decimated the building into a roofless shell. After 12 years (interrupted by the tragedy of 9/11) of painstaking fundraising efforts by Curtiss Mansion, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, the complicated and meticulous historic restoration began in 2009. R.J. Heisenbottle Architects restored and, where necessary, replicated the building’s historic character and design elements to the original 1925 configuration based on historic research and photographs. This major rehabilitation effort balanced a respectful treatment of the historical character while providing modern amenities. The Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion reopened its doors to the public in 2012 as an historic site dedicated to Glenn Curtiss’s and other’s contributions to transportation history, with an accent on aviation, the home of the Curtiss Explorers and Camp Invention, as well as a rental venue for social, corporate, civic, governmental, educational and entertainment events.
© Dan Forer