© Moris Moreno
Villa Serena was built in 1913 as the home of famous orator, former U.S. Secretary of State and three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. The house has the distinction of being one the first residential structures in the country built of poured reinforced concrete and one of the earliest examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture in Miami. RJHA provided complete architectural and engineering services for the exterior and interior restoration of the main house, guest house, landscaped grounds, seawall and dock. Windows were replaced with exact replications of the originals and impact-resistant glass was added, likewise the roof was replaced with reproductions of the original green Ludovici tiles. The original multi-colored Cuban floor tiles were restored wherever possible, or replaced with reproductions based on the original pattern and color schemes. All mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were completely replaced, including the installation of a new air conditioning system with minimal disruption to the building’s original fabric.