MIAMI – The historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and there is an urgent call to save the local landmark.
The history, the Italian-inspired architecture and the unique waterfront backdrop of Vizcaya is now in jeopardy.
That is according to the CEO of the national landmark.
"We will have lost several million dollars this year and next as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and we really need your help," said Vizcaya CEO and Executive Director Joel Hoffman.
Several years ago, Vizcaya was allotted some $50 million to complete a series of renovations across the property.
By all accounts, things were going well until the pandemic hit earlier this year.
Crowd restrictions meant no pricy weddings, elaborate photoshoots or rentals for special events.
Those are some of the main way the facility is funded.
Operators say if things don’t change soon, the doors could close for good on the 104-year-old South Florida treasure.
“This is something that cannot happen,” said Vizcaya board member Charles Gibson. “We need your help.”
And while Vizcaya has reopened its museum with paid admissions, the facility has started an online funding campaign to seek donors big and small.
“Since reopening Vizcaya to the public in May, our visitation has been way down from prior years,” Hoffman said.
It’s called the Vizcaya COVID Recovery Fund aimed at raising at least $1 million, they say to help save 100 years of history.