An architectural gem has just been destroyed in Coral Gables. See before and after photos

Backhoe bulldozers begin demolishing the iconic “Sea Aerie” house designed and built by the famous Miami architect in 1963. Alfred Browning Parker In Coral Gables – the demolition came despite pleas from the Parker family and preservationists and architects across the country.

A new owner — Felix Sorkin, founder of General Technologies outside Houston — paid $36 million for a house widely viewed as a modernist masterpiece, but he had plans to build a new home on the site. The demolition was made possible by a controversial 2022 state law that prohibits local authorities from blocking the demolition of single-family homes in designated high-risk flood zones if they are not previously protected as historic or architectural landmarks.

Read more: Texas mogul destroys Coral Gables home, considered an architectural masterpiece

“I know there are a lot of people who are heartbroken over this,” said the late architect’s daughter, Leprecia Kendrick Parker, who lived in the house when she was a young girl. “It’s tragic.”

The loss of the house also comes a week before a new documentary about Parker’s work, picked up by PBS, will premiere in Gainesville, where the architect studied and taught at the University of Florida. The Gables Estates house was featured in the film.

Here’s what the home site looked like before and after heavy equipment began destroying the home overlooking Biscayne Bay.

A view taken by noted architectural photographer Ezra Stoller of architect Alfred Browning Parker's 1963 Miami waterfront home in Coral Gables shortly after its construction, showing the raised pool deck with the main house behind it.  Photography by Ezra Stoller via ESTO

A view taken by noted architectural photographer Ezra Stoller of architect Alfred Browning Parker’s 1963 Miami waterfront home in Coral Gables shortly after its construction, showing the raised pool deck with the main house behind it. Photography by Ezra Stoller via ESTO

An aerial view of the 1963 Gables Estates home located at 140 Arvida Parkway, is shown Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Coral Gables, Florida, a month before demolition begins.  Mathias J. OCNER/mocner@miamiherald.com

An aerial view of the 1963 Gables Estates home located at 140 Arvida Parkway, is shown Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Coral Gables, Florida, a month before demolition begins. Mathias J. OCNER/mocner@miamiherald.com

Another drone photo shows the partially destroyed Coral Gables home, which was widely viewed as a modernist masterpiece.  Pedro Portal/pportal@miamiherald.com

Another drone photo shows the partially destroyed Coral Gables home, which was widely viewed as a modernist masterpiece. Pedro Portal/pportal@miamiherald.com

This photo shows the current view of the partially empty lot of the Coral Gables home that architect Alfred Browning Parker designed for his family in 1963. The new owner has decided to demolish it on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Pedro Portal/pportal @miamiherald.com

This photo shows the current view of the partially empty lot of the Coral Gables home that architect Alfred Browning Parker designed for his family in 1963. The new owner has decided to demolish it on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Pedro Portal/pportal @miamiherald.com

There are pieces of limestone, concrete and brick at the entrance to this Coral Gables home.  Andres Vigliucci/Miami Herald

There are pieces of limestone, concrete and brick at the entrance to this Coral Gables home. Andres Vigliucci/Miami Herald

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