Interior - Main House 1960's

The property was designed and built in several phases: The Main House Bungalow in 1925, was designed by architect William Bosman in the Mediterranean style of the day.  The Coral Rock Cottages were built of a local stone called oolite (known as ‘coral rock’) from 1935 – 41. They were designed by architect J. Dean Parmelee in the Streamlined Moderne style of the day, but in a ‘native tropical’ mode. 

Coral Rock Village was built by Warren Zinsmaster, a land speculator from Ohio, comptroller for the University of Miami and the school’s first accounting teacher.

Originally intended to house guests and visiting faculty for the local university, the Coral Rock Village has always provided a unique environment to enhance creativity, hosting dance contests, art exhibitions and musicales. 

The property even had an avant-garde solar water heating system and rain collector, anticipating the advent of energy conscious tropical design.

 

It  was an entertainment site and hosted many visitors throughout the decades from the 1930s to the 1950s. Mr. Z installed a terrazzo dance floor with a jukebox, and hosted many a moonlight dance party. In the 1960’s, when the energetic Zinsmaster passed away, the vibrant life at the Coral Rock Village became muted.

It was animated again in the late 1960s and 1970s by a resident artist Fred Albert, who hosted art exhibitions and chamber music performances on the roof terrace. After he left, the whole property became overgrown with trees and palms that made the cottages virtually invisible. Many kids knew it as the ‘Zen Master’ house, and the ‘Haunted House’  and the ‘Hippie House’  (due to its rock and roll tenant mix).  During the 1980s it changed hands again and deteriorated until the mid 1990s when a sequence of new owners began to revitalize the property, starting with the main house bungalow.

 

Past Owners of Coral Rock Village
Gladys & Ray - Coral Rock Village

In 1995, Gladys Margarita drove by and saw a ‘FOR SALE’ sign, and thought “I should buy this and put my Cornell Summer design students in the cottages”. She left to teach in New York  and returned to find it sold. Several years later, she and new real estate broker husband Ray drove by and it was for sale again: they bought it and spent the first year creating a master plan for the property. Since 2000, the couple has put the plan into action and have made many renovations to the Coral Rock Village, bringing to life again its role as a source of entertainment, inspiration and environmental awareness.  

 

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