Carrollton Unveils Plaque Honoring its Past

Isabel Singletary
Carrollton Head Master Olen Kalkus and distinguished guests unveiled a marker commemorating the rich historical and architectural legacy of El Jardin. Built in 1918 by Pittsburgh industrialist John Bindley and designed by renowned architect Richard Kiehnel, the estate at 3747 Main Highway is considered one of the oldest and best-preserved examples of Mediterranean architecture in South Florida.
 
The addition of a historical marker, located near the entrance gate on Carrollton’s Barat campus, is part of school’s ongoing commitment to preserve, protect and share the historic property with the greater Miami community. Throughout the past year Carrollton hosted a number of open house tours and lectures in honor of El Jardin’s centennial anniversary.
 
 “With the recent renovations on the Barat campus it is now possible to once again see the beautiful El Jardin estate from Main Highway,” said Olen Kalkus, headmaster of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. “We hope the addition of the marker will help increase public awareness and appreciation of this historic and architectural gem in the midst of Coconut Grove.”
 
The Society of the Sacred Heart purchased El Jardin in 1961, and it became home to an all-girls, independent, Catholic school. As stewards of the historic property, Carrollton has long been committed to preserving and protecting the estate for future generations.  El Jardin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974.
 
The new marker is part of the Florida Historical Marker Program, which recognizes historic resources, persons and events that are significant in the areas of architecture, archaeology, Florida history and traditional culture. Through the state program, El Jardin is linked to a number of nearby historic properties along Main Highway, including the Coconut Grove Playhouse, also designed by Richard Kiehnel.
 
El Jardin: The Gilded Age on Biscayne Bay, a book detailing the history and architectural significance of the estate, will be released in the Fall.
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"For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society."
-Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat