Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin recently relocated his Citadel hedge fund to Miami, FL. Now, the New York Post reports that Griffin is in negotiations with the city of Miami to have a historical landmark relocated from his four-acre waterfront property: Villa Serena, the 109-year-old mansion that once belonged to famed statesman William Jennings Bryan.
Griffin paid a record $106 million for the four-acre Miami estate in September of this year, and Villa Serena is one of two homes on the property. Griffin bought the estate from Miami philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, who had been using the historic home as a guest house and for various social functions after spending a “significant amount” on renovating and updating the home (she also reportedly donated the proceeds to charity). In addition to its historical interest, the home is also an architectural treasure, as the official Historic Preservation Miami website describes it:
“Villa Serena is also a notable example of Mediterranean Revival architecture. Constructed of poured concrete, the home was built to last. Located on a site between Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Bay, the edifice takes full advantage of both the street and bay with facades on either side of almost equal prominence and architectural beauty. Built in true Spanish estate splendor, the home features architectural details hand-selected by the Bryans such as wrought iron detailing and decorated tiles imported from Cuba.”
Given its status as a historic landmark, Griffin doesn’t want to tear down the home, but instead relocate it brick by brick to another location where it can be visited by the public, according to Citadel spokesman Zia Ahmed:
“This is just an idea in the very early stages right now. Ken’s team is exploring potential options wherein the general public would for the first time be able to visit and see this historic home at a different location.”
But historians and preservationists in the area are concerned that a move could do irreparable damage to the structure of the home, which dates all the way back to 1913. Still, Griffin is reportedly looking into arranging a donation to the city of Miami, and hopefully the move can be arranged in such a way to minimize such potential damage.