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Preservation and Conservation

  • Preservation and Conservation

In order to preserve the structural integrity of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, restoration of the Entrance and Enclosed Loggia as well as the basement have been completed; the restoration the East Loggia, pool and Casino are currently in progress. We expect the work to proceed through May 2016. The restoration may affect your visit or event planning. While restoration sometimes comes with inconveniences, we will do our best to keep Vizcaya attractive for our visitors and clients. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The project includes the restoration of the structural columns and archways in the East Loggia as well as the replacement of the existing storefront glass system with a new impact resistant system. The restoration is taking care of mayor structural issues in the East Loggia, pool and Casino related to the safety of our visitors and staff while ensuring good stewardship.

Events are taking place while the restoration is in progress. In order to ensure that the vision screens (concealing the construction) are attractive for our events, Vizcaya has incorporated professional photographs of the interior and exterior facade of the building. There will be access between the interior and exterior through the Entrance and Enclosed Loggias. For more information on facility rentals, please contact Adrienne Kaiser at adrienne.kaiser@vizcaya.org or 305-860-8448.

At Vizcaya we are constantly active in the preservation and conservation of this unique and fragile estate and its extremely varied collections. These collections include archival material and historic photographs, textiles, sculptures, paintings and furniture, monumental architectural elements and a living collection of historic plants, some of which date back to James Deering’s day. Though James Deering used high-quality materials and construction techniques at Vizcaya, the estate is nearly a century old and for many years funding was not available for maintenance and capital projects.

Thanks to a $50 million allocation for Vizcaya through the Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond in combination with robust fundraising, the past several years have provided unprecedented opportunities for preservation and conservation.

The estate’s subtropical location on Biscayne Bay is deeply relevant to Vizcaya’s beauty and significance. This location, however, also exposes Vizcaya’s historic artifacts to saline and damp conditions and the periodic devastation of hurricanes, the first of which occurred in 1926, just a year after James Deering’s death.

With every preservation and conservation project, we first conduct archival and field research to understand how things were made and how they looked in Deering’s day. Vizcaya’s designers wanted Vizcaya to look old as soon as it was built, so we don’t strive to make things look pristine or new.

We also perform conditions assessment and materials analysis to document prior treatments and determine what approach might be best. And on each of these projects we collaborate with architects, conservators and scholars with the appropriate skills, training and experience.

The links below provide information on recent and current projects that play a critical role in saving Vizcaya.

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