Open house celebrates one of Gables’s historic buildings

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Some 50 people attended an open house event, hosted by the City of Coral Gables, at the historic H. George Fink Office and Studio Building on Mar. 19.

Dona Spain, Historical Resources and Cultural Arts director, began the ceremony relating some background information on the building’s rich significance.

Acclaimed architect H. George Fink traveled to the Mediterranean In 1924 and brought back to Coral Gables ideas for new designs. The building located at 2506 Ponce de Leon reflects that influence. It was built by Fink in 1925 for a price of $35,000.

Spain said that at one point Fink was generating plans for 40 homes a month from his office. She also explained how the building changed hands over the years but how subsequent owners preserved the initial structure.

It was owned by the Fink family until 1933 when it was sold to the Kitchen family, then in the 1960s to the Dabbe family and then to the Pennecamp family. Now it has become City of Coral Gables property.

“When I first heard about it, my heart went pitter-pat,” said Elaine Fink Schumacher, H. George Fink’s granddaughter. “I am overwhelmed and so grateful to the city.”

After Spain’s introduction, Vice Mayor Frank C. Quesada offered a short welcome to the crowd.

“It was no small accomplishment to get this done,” he said about the acquisition of the building.

The city then welcomed representatives of the families of the previous owners. Among those at the Open House were Elaine Fink Schumacher, Colleen Kitchens, Zach Kitchens and Carly Kitchens, and Tom Pennecamp. Quesada presented them with beautiful keepsake medals.

Arva Moore Parks, the city’s historian, then talked for some time about Fink’s legacy and the Mediterranean Style. She described how the Mediterranean style kept to certain shades of color. She talked about how the founders of the city at one point stuck to their guns and refrained from selling the city’s holdings to people who would have it change although they stood to make the equivalent of a billion dollars.

Then, she talked about the beauty of the building.

“Creativity is pure Fink,” she said.


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