Snapshot: The Tea Room, Vizcaya, 2017

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Snapshot: The Tea Room, Vizcaya, 2017

by Anastasia Samoylova
Southern Cultures, Vol. 27, No. 1: Human/Nature

Miami, Florida

The Tea Room is part of my FloodZone project, which looks at the subtle traces and signs of what is happening to the southern United States as it comes to terms with rising sea levels. The photograph was taken in Miami’s Vizcaya Gardens on Biscayne Bay after heavy rain. The tide is high and waves are lapping at the marble stonework. Like many historic buildings of architectural value in Miami, the estate is struggling to keep up maintenance in the face of increasingly frequent flooding due to climate change. The Vizcaya Museum is a national landmark, but the protections offered by this status can only do so much. Waters regularly breach Vizcaya’s ornate harbor and tea room. Built a century ago to conjure up the fantasy of classical antiquity, they are slowly surrendering to the sea.