Vizcaya's waterfront position makes it vulnerable; researchers believe surrounding sea levels have risen a foot since it was constructed. Born on November 12, 1859 to one of the wealthiest families in America, James Deering never had the charisma of his father, a businessman and investor who snapped up thousands of acres of land in the then underdeveloped western United States. William Deering had made a fortune when he acquired a farm equipment manufacturer and implemented a technology that allowed for harvesting an acre of grain in an hour—increasing both the value of the business and of his land investments. James, William’s younger son, suffered from anemia and was described by his contemporaries, as recounted in the 2012 film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture, as “colorless, meticulous, pedestrian, sedate, dyspeptic, proper, fastidious.” He was considered a “lifelong bachelor, ” likely code for gay, and, as often as he threw parties and moved in large social circles, he seemed forever ill at ease. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 43 Behind the Shed The allure of a garden retreat. Arts & Culture Issue 27 Cult Rooms: Russ & Daughters Noshes and nostalgia at a beloved New York deli. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Close Knit: Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force.