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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens,
East and West Gate Lodges

Miami, FL

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was built between 1913 and 1916 as one of the country's finest private residences, inspired by the Italian villas along the Mediterranean coast. Recently designated as a National Historic Landmark, the museum and gardens are now open to the public as a visitor's attraction. The complex includes a group of service outbuildings designed to resemble an Italian farm village. Service buildings originally included a Garage, Dairy Building, Mule Stable, Chicken Coop, Blacksmith Shop, East and West Gate Lodges and Staff Residence. RJHA, previously commissioned to restore the Garage and Blacksmith Shop buildings of the Village, was again commissioned for the restoration of the East and West Gate Lodge buildings, destroyed by flooding during Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and subsequently gutted to remove all damaged materials.

The East and West Gate Lodge buildings were fully restored to be used as administrative offices. All new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems were installed. Floors, windows and shutters were replaced to match their original appearance. Balconies, decks and metal railings were restored. Exterior stucco was patched and repaired, while original color schemes were reproduced based on chemical paint analysis. Wooden interior stairs and balustrades were also restored. The original entrance courtyard was resurfaced and re-landscaped and the original wooden entrance gate and historic lanterns were brought back to their original appearance.

These once utilitarian structures have been brought back to functional use, at the same time that their original architectural beauty has been returned to harmonize with the rest of this major historic complex and tourist attraction.

 

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