The residence was sold two years after Smith's death in 1913 to Abraham S. Mussallem, an avid collector. He expanded the museum’s collection of rare and historic artifacts that came with the house. Mussallem was an expert in both oriental rugs and Egyptian relics. While at Zorayda, he came into possession of an Egyptian rug and mummified foot.
The rug, known as the Sacred Cat Rug, is made of cat hair and said to be the world's oldest rug at 2,400-years-old. The rug now hangs on a wall behind plexiglass on the second floor of the Museum.
In 1922, it opened as Zorayda Club, a nightclub and gambling casino which closed in 1925 when Florida outlawed gambling. In 1936, it was opened as a tourist attraction called the Zorayda Castle, exhibiting items fitting the architectural theme of the building.
The Villa Zorayda was closed for an extensive restoration from 2000-2008 but is now restored to its original splendor.