MIAMI SPRINGS, FL The City of Miami Springs has received its first grant towards restoration of the grounds of the historic Glenn H. Curtiss Mansion from the Florida League of Cities (FLC) Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Through the FLCs Florida Municipal Insurance Trust Matching Safety Grant program, a check for $2,500 was presented to the City for installation of a wrought iron safety gate. Corresponding to the distinctive architectural character of existing wrought iron work in the Mansion, the gate will secure a coral rock stairway that bridges a koi pond at the rear of the property.
The Curtiss Mansion was constructed in 1925 for aviation pioneer, inventor, developer, and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Glenn Hammond Curtiss. It was situated on several acres of magnificent tropical landscaping designed by the famous agricultural explorer and botanist Dr. David Fairchild. The Mansion and its gardens were designated locally in 1987 as an historic site, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, and have a pending application for National Landmark status, as the only existing structure directly associated with national hero Glenn Curtiss.
After the sale of the property following the death of Mrs. Curtiss, it underwent many uses and eventually fell victim to three separate acts of arson in the 1990s. The Mansion and its surrounding 4.5 acres were deeded to Miami Springs in 1998.
This beautiful historic home has been undergoing restoration by Curtiss Mansion, Inc., an all-volunteer not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is under contract with the City and tasked with restoring, managing and maintaining the site for educational, recreational, civic and other community uses. This restoration is now in its final stages, and the Curtiss Mansion will open to the general public on October 9, 2011.
Restoration of this national historic site to its 1920s original footprint and character converges both the economic benefits of having such a destination in the heart of Miami-Dade County with the enhancement for visitors and residents of the outdoor recreational spaces on the property and the exotic and beautiful garden areas. These grounds will be free and open to the general public, although a small entrance fee will be required for the Mansion.