Program Focuses on Historic Preservation

Program Focuses on Historic Preservation


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Thompson Mayes, FAAR, Vice President and Senior Counsel of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and author and historian Arva Moore Parks, presented thought-provoking speeches about the value and necessity of preservation of a community’s most historic places, during a joint cocktail reception August 24 co-hosted by the 100 Ladies of Deering and the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables (HPACG).

The “All About the Numbers” program, held in the ballroom of the historic Stone House at the Deering Estate, celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and the 30th Anniversary of the Deering Estate being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the reception paid tribute to the 100th Anniversary of Charles Deering’s purchase and restoration of the Richmond Hotel, which he turned into his winter residence.

Making the introductions were Liede DeValdivielso, president of 100 Ladies of Deering; Karelia Carbonell, president of the HPACG and Becky Roper Matkov, Deering Foundation Board Member and noted historic preservation community leader.

Focusing on the subject of the program, Mr. Mayes addressed the central question: Why do old places matter? Because, he answered, old places provide a sense of orientation; give us a sense of history with all of our senses; stabilize the economy; drive tourism; provide a sense of continuity in a world that is constantly changing; help anchor us and our memories; and form our identity.

Ms. Parks, who has written numerous books about Miami-Dade cities and their founders, reminded the audience of the successful campaigns that have been waged in the county on behalf of historic preservation. “We have come a long way in preserving South Florida’s special places,” she said, “but we must continue to be constantly vigilant as time moves forward and development pressures continue. We appreciate the help of the National Trust.”

“All About the Numbers” sponsors included Baptist Health South Florida, Sabadell Bank, Professional Bank, Bennett & Bennett Attorneys at Law, Dolly Macintyre, Karelia Martinez Carbonell and Mary Anne Danguillecourt.

The Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1991. The mission of the organization is to promote the understanding and importance of historic resources and their preservation. HPACG works to focus attention and support of local historic treasures such as the De Soto Fountain, the Granada Boulevard entrances, the Coral Way-Granada fountains, the Country Club Prado entrance and other City landmarks. HPACG has financially contributed to restoration and education causes such as the Save the Alhambra Water Tower Campaign and Coral Gables Museum’s historic walking tours. For more information, email

The 100 Ladies of Deering is a philanthropic circle dedicated to helping preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Deering Estate. The Ladies consist of a diverse group of mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends focused on the group’s mission. In an effort to sustain this mission, membership into the group is by invitation only. Each member, valued for their expertise and contribution to the group, is selected by a current member and approved by leadership. For more information about the Deering Foundation and the 100 Ladies of Deering, contact Mary Pettit, Executive Director, at (305) 235-1668.

Click here to scroll through the evening program’s photos.

About The Deering Estate Foundation

Established in 1989, The Deering Estate Foundation is a community-based charitable 501(c) 3 Florida Corporation and the philanthropic arm of the Deering Estate. Its Board of Directors, members and volunteers are made up of a diverse group of business and community leaders who are dedicated advocates of the Estate and active supporters of education, research, cultural arts, environmental conservation and historic preservation.

 About The Deering Estate

A Miami-Dade County park, this 444-acre natural and archeological preserve and historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places serves as a center for education, culture and recreation. For more information on the Deering Estate’s educational and cultural programs, please visit