Sabrina Apartments Restoration

Location: Miami Beach, FL
Size: 20,650 SF
Services: General Contractor
Owner: Miami Beach Community Development Center
Architect: James A. Chastanet

Thornton restored the façade and renovated the interior of Sabrina Apartments within the Flamingo Park Local Historic District and the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District under the rigid restrictions of Miami Beach’s preservation board. The two-story Sabrina Apartments building was uninhabitable and in poor condition when the Miami Beach Community Development Corp. acquired it as a distressed property to convert it into affordable housing. They hired Thornton for the restoration work.

Together with the project’s architect, historical records were researched for old photographs in order to restore the building’s façade to its original Art Deco style. The 1930s structure’s interior was completely gutted and rebuilt, while details of the original exterior façade could not be disturbed. This even entailed mimicking railings, envelop accouterments, and other features that had disappeared through minor repairs over the years. New fire alarm, electrical, sprinkler, and HVAC systems were installed. Flooring was restored, structural wood members of load-bearing walls were replaced, and various sections of the structure were “hurricane-proofed.” Poor soil substrate had caused settlement cracks, so the structural integrity to the building’s foundation was also restored.

The entire exterior was resurfaced with stucco after hairline cracks were repaired with grout and epoxy to restore its structural integrity as well. Exterior windows were replaced with impact resistant windows.