Official City of Coral Gables Press Release
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.