The Permuy House At 1544 Sopera Earns Historic Designation

Official City of Coral Gables Notice

The Permuy House located at 1544 Sopera Avenue earned landmark designation by the Historical Preservation Board of the City of Coral Gables. The house received the designation for its historic, architectural, and cultural significance to the City Beautiful. The home permitted in 1926 was once owned by Jesús and Marta Permuy and is a single-family Mediterranean Revival residence near the iconic Biltmore Hotel. It features original textured stucco exterior, a front porch bay with tiled floors, arched openings, a prominent and distinctive broad curved-top chimney, and grouped round vents.

“This designation honors the contributions of the Permuys who nurtured the careers of many Cuban artists and underscores our city’s commitment to historic preservation,” said Warren Adams, Historical Resources and Cultural Arts Director. “There are now more than 1,200 properties on the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places.”

After arriving from Cuba from where Jesús and Marta Permuy emigrated, Jesús advocated for the cause of democracy and human rights for the Cuban people under the Castro regime for several decades. He launched several humanitarian organizations and lobbied the United Nations while residing at the home. In addition to his humanitarian work, Jesús and Marta championed the artistic works of Cuban artists. With Marta as general manager, the couple founded one of the first commercial Cuban art galleries in the United States, the Permuy Gallery which was open from 1972 to 1977. After 1977, the Permuys regularly hosted Friday night salons and private exhibits from 1544 Sopera Avenue. To date, the home remains under ownership within the Permuy family, owned by Eugenio Permuy and Caroline Soret.

The home’s architect was Alfred F. Schimek and Alfred Browning Parker designed an addition. Other notable residents of the property include the Cooke family. Colonel Joseph R. Cooke Sr., a veteran of both World Wars, served as an aide of General George S. Patton and the president of the Pennsylvania Corporation of Coca-Cola.

The residence was featured as a key South Florida Cuban art locale in the book “Cuban American Art in Miami: Exile, Identity, and the Neo-Baroque” by art historian Dr. Lynette Bosch. Bosch found that “early art world would not have happened without Marta and Jesús Permuy,” and much of that world was closely connected to the home at 1544 Sopera Avenue.


4 thoughts on “The Permuy House At 1544 Sopera Earns Historic Designation

  1. Yes,I know the Permuy house. When we came from Cuba, in October 1960, my parents bought the house across the street, 1551 Sopera. The lady that lived at 1544 (now the Permuy house) was Mrs Clifford. She was a lovely lady, a great neighbor and a good friend to my mother. To our right lived Paquita, and to our left Silvia, whose daughter was always at our house playing with my younger brother. It was a great place to grow up with such wonderful neighbors. After Mrs Clifford died and the Permuys moved in, I was no longer living there but my mother was. She lived there until she died in 2009. The Permuys were the best neighbors and Mrs Permuy a good friend. When my mother died, Fr Permuy SJ was one of the celebrants at her funeral Mass. I am glad to hear that Eugenio is living there now.

  2. This is my grandmother’s house! So many special memories there…

    There were always artists visiting, often bringing paintings or even painting and sketching new works right there! And the events were so much fun, there would always be lively and funny stories shared of the crazy things that would happen in the art world over the years.

    Brings a big smile to my face to see this… Thank you to the City of Coral Gables and Gables Insider for sharing this beautiful story!

  3. I had the pleasure of knowing Marta and Jesus for many years including their fight in Cuba against
    the Castro Regime. I also attended many Friday nights private exhibits at this house.

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