The Vizcaya Village is a precious component of the National Historic Landmark estate, and renovation of this complex has been underway for several years. The Village consists of nearly a dozen buildings, from the East and West Gate Lodges on either side of South Miami Avenue to the Poultry Barn along Route 1.
State of Florida grants in combination with funding from the Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond have enabled Vizcaya to fully renovate and occupy several of the buildings. Thus far, professional services for these renovations have been provided principally by Richard J. Heisenbottle Architects and structural engineer Douglas Wood Associates.
The Village buildings were used for decades as offices for the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, of which Vizcaya was a part. Renovations from the mid-twentieth century coupled with deferred maintenance left all of the Village buildings in an extremely deteriorated and mostly uninhabitable state by the late 1990s.
In 2004, Vizcaya completed the renovation of the Village Garage and the adjacent Mechanic’s and Blacksmith’s Shops, at the same time repairing roofing throughout the Village complex. The Garage is a large room with dramatic ceiling height and distinctive wooden storage units around its perimeter. It functions as an assembly space for meetings and talks, and is available for rental.
Vizcaya next completed the challenging renovation of the West and East Gate Lodges in 2010 and 2011, respectively. These multi-story buildings with basements were in an extremely deteriorated state and required a complete overhaul, including major structural repairs; replacement of all plumbing, electrical and environmental systems; restoration of windows, doors and floors; and new hurricane protection systems.
They are now in superb condition, marking the gateway to both sides of Vizcaya’s property and accommodating museum staff so that the historic domestic staff quarters in the Main House may eventually be opened to the public.
Vizcaya’s 2005 master plan by LORD Cultural Resources, Inc., and Richard J. Heisenbottle Architects envisions the Vizcaya Village providing critically needed operational, exhibition and programmatic space and unprecedented opportunities for our visitors to learn about Vizcaya’s agricultural, technological and socio-cultural history. Additional funding is required to fulfill this vision. Our plans for this site also include a new Visitor Center on the current site of the Miami Science Museum.