When the exquisitely wealthy businesswoman and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht listed her magnificent and massive Miami estate for sale in January, spectacularly priced at $150 million, it was a news item significant enough to command splashy spreads on the covers of the Miami Herald and the Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section. To put it mildly, it was a major, major news item, not just because it could set a new record for the most expensive residential sale in South Florida, but because of the size, prominence, and history of the property itself.
Spread over four acres at 3031 Brickell Avenue, in a picturesque and extremely central Miami location, the estate comprises a modern main house in a Mediterranean Revival style and the historic home of famed orator and statesman William Jennings Bryan. Perched on Miami’s natural oolitic limestone bluff, the bayfront property has extensive rolling lawns with spectacular vistas to the southeast, a large swimming pool, and a lighted north-south facing tennis court. The Bryan house, called Villa Serena, has been extensively restored and is known to be used by Ms. Arsht as a guest house, while the main home, which has been named Indian Spring, was built for gracious entertaining on a grand scale.
Indian Spring has a Grand Salon, formal living room, formal dining room, garden room, five bedrooms, and an additional two bedrooms in an adjacent guest wing with its own entrance. The home was designed by architect Jose Gelabert-Navia, a former dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. Indian Spring is entered via a large courtyard. The neighboring rotunda contains a monumental grand staircase that leads to an octagonal tower room, with views in every direction. A large office and home gym sit above the huge, six-car garage.
Inside Indian Spring:
Built for William Jennings Bryan in 1913, Villa Serena was designed by one of the most preeminent and prolific architects of early Miami history, August Geiger. The house was meticulously restored in 2012, its 99th year, by Ms. Arsht while also incorporating it into the estate. Villa Serena is also built around a central courtyard, which was a necessary feature in an era before air conditioning. A huge bayfront living room spans the full width of the house, while upstairs is a deluxe primary suite that spans the majority of the second floor, accompanied by two additional bedrooms. Villa Serena contains its own carriage house with a three-car garage downstairs and two more bedrooms upstairs.