Richard Heisenbottle Talks Historic Preservation at the Art Deco Museum

Richard Heisenbottle, president and founder of R.J. Heisenbottle Architects, visited the Art Deco Museum at the MDPL on Oct. 6 to discuss his firm’s work restoring some of Miami’s most iconic and historic properties, as part of our Art of Architecture fall lecture series.

Heisenbottle has over four decades of expertise in architecture and interior design, specializing in historic preservation.

Villa Serena
Postcard of Villa Serena, circa 1921 (source)

He has worked on prestigious properties like Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Deering Estate, and Villa Serena, a stunning village-style home located near Brickell. 

Built in 1913, the estate was once the winter home of politician William Jennings Bryan. It was restored by philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, who lived at the site until recently.

Other historic properties Heisenbottle has worked on include: the Colony Theater, Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Freedom Tower, City of Miami City Hall, and the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

Colony Theater

The Colony Theater, which closed in 1987, is one of the many historic properties Heisenbottle and his firm have worked on (from Barbara Baer Capitman archives)

So, what is the “art of architecture” to Heisenbottle?

As he puts it, it’s all about highlighting the craftsmanship and design behind these giant works of art, as in the case of the Deering Estate.

“There is probably no one who was a better champion for the art of architecture in Miami than Charles Deering,” said Heisenbottle during the lecture.

“I have had the great privilege of being able to work on the estate and probably have done more work on it than most anyone else.”

To learn more about how these historical sites were rebuilt and restored, check out the full lecture below:

And make sure to check out our upcoming events page for more lectures on art, architecture, design, at MDPL and beyond.

Join us at the upcoming lectures in the series:

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