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According to the Miami Herald, a vintage 1937 ranch home in Coral Gables is the subject of legal questions about the city's policy of attaching a historic designation to any structure over 50 years old. The home was designed by noted Miami architect Russell Pancoast and according to the city preservation office, the home bridges the gap between art deco and modern architecture. The home's owner, Lourdes Valls’ was planning to tear the house down until they learned of the ordinance. “It came from left field,” said Desiree Valls, the owner's daughter.

The family requested the review in September in preparation for filing for a demolition permit. No permit to tear the house down can be issued while the decision on designation is pending.

Millions of ranch homes were built across America starting in the 1930s. Some cities have begun designating notable examples as historic to preserve the architectural legacy of the day.

The Pancoast house is believed to be the first such rambler to come up for landmark consideration in the Gables. The city is best known as a bulwark of Mediterranean architecture but hundreds if not thousands of ranch homes were built in the Gables after the Great Depression and World War II.

Lourdes Valls, a member of the family that runs the Versailles and La Carreta restaurant empire, purchased the house for $875,000 in 2018, Miami-Dade County records show.

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