Thursday, May 16th   |  Coral Gables, FL

Torre Companies undertook one of its most significant historic preservation projects with the restoration of the La Palma Hotel, a landmark designed by the renowned Coral Gables Architect, H. George Fink. Originally built in 1924 as the Cla-Reina Hotel, it holds a special place in the heart of Coral Gables as one of its earliest establishments. Recognized as a Historic Landmark by the City of Coral Gables and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, La Palma stands as a testament to the architectural heritage of the city, embodying the principles of its founders and shaping the identity of the City Beautiful. 

Spanning 27,000 square feet, this historic property underwent meticulous preservation and renovation efforts to bring it into the modern era while cherishing its original charm. Serving as the General Contractor, Torre Companies played a pivotal role not only in executing the renovation but also in contributing to the design process. Collaborating closely with owners Mark Schwarzberg and Jose Ortega of Maven Real Estate, our team dedicated itself to restoring and transforming the property while respecting its historically significant Mediterranean Revival style. 

The restoration journey involved extensive endeavors, including enhancing the building’s structural integrity while preserving its distinctive exterior façade, installing a new roof, reimagining and expanding the restaurant areas, and upgrading mechanical and electrical systems. The iconic “Cla-Reina” signage still graces the building’s front, while the restored “La Palma” neon lettering, faithfully reproduced from the original, once again illuminates the Coral Gables nightscape, serving as a beacon of the city’s rich history. 

Completed in 2023, La Palma now hosts a Michelin Guide-recognized restaurant and the esteemed design firm Calimia Interiors on its ground floor, with various businesses occupying the second floor. This transformation stands as a testament to the successful fusion of heritage preservation and contemporary functionality, breathing new life into a cherished historic landmark. For such efforts, we were honored to be recognized by the Dade Heritage Trust at its 2024 Annual Preservation Awards.  

Through projects like La Palma, Torre Companies exemplifies its commitment to preserving architectural legacies and enriching the fabric of our communities, embodying a humble dedication to excellence that speaks volumes. 

To read more on the history of La Palma, visit the Coral Gables Magazine

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