Joe Zumpano’s love for the Florida Keys stems from his childhood. He used to spend treasured days fishing and exploring the winding, turquoise waterways with his mother, Rose. So, when a string of islands located a few miles north of Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo came up for sale in 2013, the renowned Coral Gables attorney jumped at the chance to buy the archipelago. He named the developed center island, Rose Key, after his beloved mom.
The island chain and its nearby waters boast a storied past, including monumental events like Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Biscayne Bay and of the long-running Cuban exodus. Zumpano, a history buff, devised a novel idea to convey Rose Key’s history: He commissioned South Florida artist Noel Rosado to create a one-of-a-kind, stained-glass table that chronicles major local events, from 700 B.C. to today, on five intricate panels.
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“When I thought about a way to share the story, for me, sharing means gathering friends and family around a table to have a meal together,” Zumpano said about the 30-seat table that’s shaped like a C. “It stands for my mother’s last name, Canto, but the shape also allows people to sit on both sides, so it feels like an arm’s embrace. It’s like a welcoming hug, and that’s how I want people to feel on Rose Key.”
Joe Zumpano’s Stained-Glass Table: By the Numbers
Cost of table: $30,000.
Days to complete it: 500.
Colors used: 107.
Humans depicted: 21.
Boat trips to deliver table: 16.
Drinks spilled on it (so far): 2.
Hurricanes survived (so far): 1.
Size matters: According to the artist, it’s the largest stained-glass table in the world.
Florida-ready: Built to be weather-proof and spill-resistant.
Nice digs: It’s housed in a wedding pavilion tucked behind Rose Key’s three homes and a coral-rock swimming pool.
Historic property: Rose Key is a former CIA safe-house and training area. Miami Vice filmed there in the ’80s.