As part of a campaign to restore its historic 1920’s art deco building to its original splendor, Chabad-Lubavitch of South Dade in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Fla., is hoping for a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

According to a report in The Miami Herald, the congregation is making its case before the city’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board, which must grant a nomination for the building’s inclusion among the nation’s most valuable historic assets. Should it be nominated, the property’s application would face a review by the Florida Historical Commission before being forwarded to Washington, D.C.

On its Web site, Miami’s historic preservation body notes that the Chabad House’s octagonal main building was designed by the architectural firm of Kiehnel & Elliot. The building was inspired by frequent presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, a noted populist orator and theologian who owned an estate at the location and later sat on the structure’s governing board.

During World War II, the property served as a hospital.

The Chabad House was founded in 1989 by Rabbi Yakov and Gutal Fellig, and moved into its current building in 1996. Carie Penabad, an architect on the renovation project, told the Herald that the plan to build two additional one-story buildings near the front of the property and a ritual bath in the back would likely cost $2.5 million.

“What we’re doing is removing the additions that were built in the 1960s,” she said, “and re-orchestrating the site to further highlight the most important building, the main structure.” …