1/14/2015

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN TO SPEAK AT PRESERVATION FOUNDATION IN PALM BEACH ON JANUARY 15TH


 



Architectural Historian David Watkin will lecture on Current Classical and Traditional Architecture in Britain and the USA’ on Thursday January 15 at 2 pm in the Rosenthal Lecture Room at the Foundation’s offices at 311 Peruvian Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida. The lecture is free to members and students; $20 for non-members.  Please call 561-832-0731 to reserve as seating is limited.

David Watkin is a British architectural historian, an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Professor Emeritus of History of Architecture in the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge. He has also taught at the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture.

Neoclassical architecture is Watkin's main research interest, particularly from the 18th century to the present day, and he has published widely on that topic. His book, Morality and Architecture: The Development of a Theme in Architectural History and Theory from the Gothic Revival to the Modern Movement in 1977, brought him wide international attention and was re-published in expanded form as Morality and Architecture Revisited in 2001.  Watkin challenges the prevailing interpretation of the language used to describe modernist architecture, which claims to be rational and truthful, reflecting the needs of the contemporary society.

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach is a private, non-profit, 1500 member organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic, architectural and cultural heritage of Palm Beach, Florida.

11/29/2014

LANDMARKS COMMISSIONER TO SPEAK ABOUT ARCHITECT ADDISON MIZNER AT HISTORICAL SOCIETY


The most singular name associated with this century’s Palm Beach history is that of architect Addison Mizner.  Immediate pictures come to mind upon mention of his name, of fabulous buildings he built in the area for the Palm Beach elite.  Mizner led a colorful personal life and became the prolific “go to man” for designing and decorating grand palaces in the 1920’s, some of which are visible as you drive along the famed coastline of Palm Beach and amidst its streets, though others have been torn down.


In keeping with their mission to collect, preserve and share the history of Palm Beach County, the non-profit Historical Society of Palm Beach County includes a program in their Distinguished Lecture Series about the world-famous, talented, colorful architect, whose influence over the appearance of Palm Beach was enormous, and continues to be imitated to this day.  



Members of the Historical Society (admitted for free) and non-members ($20 admission fee) are welcome at 7 pm on December 10th at The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 North Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.  Head to the 3rd Floor Courtroom inside the historic 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse where the Museum is housed.  You can stay afterwards for the reception and book signing.  Free parking is available directly across the street of the north side of the Courthouse.  Entry is at the southeast corner of 4th Street and Dixie, across from the WPB Fire Rescue Station, from 6 pm on.  For further information call 561-832-4164.



Author Richard Silvin, born in Switzerland, former health care corporate executive, began to write non-fiction books when he retired.  Silvin, who is a Landmarks Preservation Commission member, will give a lecture about “Villa Mizner, The House That Changed Palm Beach”, which was Mizner’s own house, and people of note in Palm Beach, in those times, mentioning others who lived in the house after Mizner passed away in 1933.  Other non-fiction books he wrote include, “Noblesse Oblige: The Duchess of Windsor as I Knew Her,” “I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools,” and “Walking the Rainbow.”



The Historical Society has archives with almost 2MM photographic images, maps, newspapers, journals, periodicals, architectural drawings and research files regarding events and people who shaped Palm Beach County.  They offer educational programs to schools about Palm Beach’s history which goes back 12,000 years.

10/19/2014

PALM BEACH DOUBLES NUMBER OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES IT COULD LANDMARK in 2014-2015

The Landmarks Preservation Commission safeguards the Town of Palm Beach’s historic and cultural resources through its landmarked structures and historic districts. 


In 1979, in order to preserve the Town of Palm Beach’s historic resources, a Historic Preservation Ordinance was adopted to study and protect Palm Beach’s most significant architectural achievements to ensure that Palm Beach’s heritage would not be lost for future generations.  The ordinance has been amended several times to clarify the purpose of the ordinance and its requirements.  Currently, there are 284 landmark properties, sites and vistas.

The Town Council has, in the past, budgeted for research by preservation consultants at $50,000, which allowed them to complete about 10 designation reports per season.  That figure has now risen to $100,000 to allow more reports to be done.

There are four criteria used to justify designating a property as a town landmark.  This season the Landmarks board will study seven properties

Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach Executive Director, Alexander Ives, asked the board to study the Clarence Mack-designed Regency-style homes in Regent Park, south of the Bath & Tennis Club, and Parc Monceau, in the south end.  The board is considering designating the two groups of houses as historic districts.  The designation season is from November through April and along with the list below two properties researched last season will be considered.  They are 177 Clarendon Avenue and 1545 North Ocean Way.

Noting that a landmarked home at 105 Clarendon Avenue had project managers who allowed sections of the home to be demolished without permission, the advisory board is considering policy changes that would better protect landmarked properties.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will review these properties this season:

A circa-1919 Mission-style building at 255 Royal Poinciana Way

A circa-1923 Neo-Classical style building at 211 Royal Poinciana Way

A 1927 John Volk-designed Mediterranean-Revival at 233 Clarke Ave.

A 1919 Dutch Colonial (architect unknown) at 133 Seaspray Ave.

A 1928 Tudor-style building designed by Clark J. Lawrence at 311 S. County Road

A 1934 Treanor and Fatio-designed British Colonial at 17 Middle Road,

A 1924 Mediterranean-Revival at 189 Bradley Place.



To check out the Landmark Manual go to http://townofpalmbeach.com/DocumentCenter/View/1010
It includes

  • Registers of Historic Places
  • Important dates in the Town’s History
  • Architectural History and Styles
  • Standards of Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration and Reconstruction

10/16/2014

LOCAL "TASTE HISTORY CULTURAL TOURS OF HISTORIC PALM BEACH" PROVIDES HISTORY, ART, CULTURE AND TRAVEL INFO


This multi-cultural culinary tour is for history buffs and foodies.  The Culture Trip, an international news agency cited this tour among their Florida’s 10 Best Food Festivals and Fiestas.   TripBuzz ranked this tour as #7 out of 118 nearby activities.  South Beach Wine and Food Festival and the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival recognize this tour.



Visit 3 to 4 restaurants for hearty food tastings and trips to historic districts, unique restaurants, historic buildings, art districts and art galleries.  



Areas toured include Northwood Village/West Palm Beach; Lake Worth and Lantana; Delray Beach and Boynton Beach and private tours can be arranged. These local tours are available year-round and go on, rain or shine.



These guide-narrated 4-hour tours are done by bus for 15-20 people.  In Delray Beach, it’s early history is described from its first Midwest founders, William Linton and David Swinton, to early landowners including Henry Flagler and William and Sara Gleason.



Some eating experiences are standing-only.  Dietary restrictions and substitutions cannot be provided.  Some eateries are cafes, restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, markets, food stands, an urban farm, historic buildings, cultural centers and art galleries.  See their facebook page for pix.




Tours are held on 2nd, 3rd and4th Saturdays at 11 a.m.  There is about 4-6 blocks of walking.  Tours travel through historic districts and neighborhoods.  Each tour varies its stops. 



Pre-payment of $40 per person is required; children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult, but you must call to verify that space is available.  After February 15, 2015, the new tour rate will be $45 per person for Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Lantana; $50 per person for West Palm Beach as bus rental and insurance fees have gone up. 



Tours board at Macy’s outside east entrance at the Boynton Beach Mall in Boynton Beach.  The tours are sponsored partly by Macy’s, famous for its culinary tools department, and discounts are given to trip participants.





10/13/2014

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LANDMARKED STATUE OF LIBERTY BECOMING A CONDO CONVERSION sez THE REAL DEAL


As a condo conversion, it would be hard to find the privacy, security and exclusivity plus the historic feeling and water views... and it is a landmark!

The article states that parking will be featured at the base of the statue along with high-end retail stores, a five star restaurants and maids quarters.  Affordable housing would be limited.  Applicants just have to pass the reasonable credit check.

See more including layout of condos and prices at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/10/12/what-if-
the-statue-of-liberty-was-condo-conversion/#sthash.SFI2GuqF.dpuf

(THIS IS A SATIRE BUT CLICK THE LINK TO SEE THE 

IDEAS FOR THE INTERIOR OF THE STATUE) 

10/03/2014

GREAT PLACES IN AMERICA NAMES WEST PALM BEACH’S HISTORIC CLEMATIS STREET IN TOP TEN BEST AMERICAN STREETS







Since the 1890’s, Clematis Street has been the commercial district for Palm Beach County.  Initial surveyors and engineers for Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railroad (1893) planned the area’s configuration.  Since 1990 it has been a two-way street.  The 500 block is listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1996.  A waterfront park and pavilion connects the waterfront to Clematis Street.  From the park you can walk the waterfront and admire the really big boats docked there. Since 2009, there is a new library and city hall complex.

Locals and visitors are drawn to the street with festivals, annual events and concerts.  Catch the trolley that connects CityPlace, train and bus stations, Palm Beach Atlantic University and downtown West Palm Beach.  Some call it, “Main Street,” and “the entertainment center of West Palm Beach”, a living room, where people relax, have fun, shop, dine and do business.  There are antique shops to browse, colorful boutiques to find that one-of-a-kind item, nightclubs, a movie plex and some upscale stores and restaurants nearby. Have a drink and dine at Bradleys across from the Intracoastal Waterway and enjoy crowd watching.  Architecture is authentic and eclectic, evolving over the last century, including every era and style. 

Historic buildings abound with shops and restaurants on the ground floors of historic buildings.  On higher floors you can find startups, small tech companies, and artists.  Residents’ non –traditional work schedules activate and energize the street, often in the later hours. Some retailers have been there for 100 years.  Drop in to Segway Tours, “the best way to see the area”, and voted # 1 by Trip Advisor of 24 West Palm Beach Activities.  Rent a self-balancing “Personal Transporter,” a motorized “scooter” that changes direction by leaning that way.  Modern dance clubs and health food emporiums are included.  “Clematis by Night” offers a fountain-side concert series, food art and children’s activities.  .  After browsing an art gallery, sit outside and have coffee or wine and cheese.  “SunFest,” the annual boat show and “Corvettes on Clematis” are well attended events with the area drawing about 80,000 visitors a week.

Nearby places to enjoy are The Kravis Center where top stars perform, the Convention Center with art, antiques and jewelry shows, and lots of interesting street browsing.  The area encompasses 5 blocks from Flagler Drive to Rosemary Avenue.

Next time you are looking to have fun, head over to Clematis Street!

9/28/2014

FOUR ARTS HAS NEW COLORFUL NATURE MURALS IN GUBELMANN AUDITORIUM



A 1930's building originally designed by Addison Mizner as The Embassy Club now houses the Four Arts Society, which includes the fabulous Gubelmann Auditorium.


Electrifying red colors that echo the Auditorium’s dominant color, and a newly exposed row of arches, add an illusion of looking through arched windows at a Florida sunset, according to the Palm Beach Daily News (“Shiny Sheet”). The previous “plain” look was said to be drab.  Budget surplus was used for these improvements.  The Auditorium seats 700 and features state-of-the-art electronics to ensure that the sound of a symphony playing in the Gubelmann Auditorium can be heard with great detail – even for those with severe hearing loss.

Included in the new arched murals are Florida-local birds and plants such as ibis, roseate spoonbill, hibiscus, magnolia, sea grape, palms and pines.  Mixed acrylic paint and casein were used to produce surface resonance for improved acoustics.

Presentations in the auditorium and within the complex include concerts, art exhibits, films, lecture series, library series, events in the botanical and sculpture gardens, classes on painting and art, and other cultural offerings.  There is a popular Children’s Library.  The Campus on the Lake offers cultural education lectures, workshops, classes and field trips exploring art, music, literature, drama and the art of living well.

The original 1930’s building was the Addison Mizner-designed Embassy Club. 

For more information: http://www.fourarts.org/
 

9/27/2014

99 YEAR OLD TAMPA ESTATE GOES TO AUCTION












IMAGINE… owning a 3.5 acre estate overlooking Clearwater Bay in Tampa that is 23,919 sq ft, has 10 bedrooms, 15 full and 9 half bathrooms, 2 swimming pools, regulation size tennis and basketball courts, a gazebo, private dock and historic bell tower, and 500-year old oak trees!


Included are lavish crystal chandeliers and a former carriage house that is now a 5-car air conditioned garage with a hydraulic car life for extra parking.


It could become a family complex, small boutique hotel, organization’s retreat, or fabulous private home.  Century Oaks is the name of the estate.


Reserve price is $8.5MM, which means any offers below that figure can be considered by the seller, but the highest offer above that figure means an automatic sale.  On the market for $18.5MM, it was not sold.


9/25/2014

1925 WYETH MEDITERRANEAN HOUSE FOR SALE IN PALM BEACH


PHIPPS PLAZA 3-story landmarked Mediterranean style home that can be single family, or have rental units and owner still live there.  Right now there are 3 long term renters in units.  One block to ocean.  fireplaces, high pecky cypress ceilings, frog fountain, courtyard with park view, master upstairs, no HOA.  Located in center of town, walk to shop, dine et al. 

LOCATION!   LOCATION!   LOCATION!

9/20/2014

FORMERLY LANDMARKED HOME BEING DEMOLISED, WILL BE REBUILT



 
 

 
 
 
Rare indeed is the allowance of demolition of a landmarked home.  Vita Serena was designed by Marion Sims Wyeth in 1926, but the house, at 105 Clarendon Avenue, Palm Beach had numerous problems such as decaying wood frame walls, termite infestation and extensive water damage.  Preservation was out of the question. The house was landmarked in 1990. For three decades it was the home of Jean Flagler Matthews, granddaughter of Henry F Flagler.  During the 1960’s, King Saud of Saudi Arabia leased the estate for several weeks.

A replica is being constructed by architect Harold Smith and structural engineer Albert Gargiulo, who said, “We are trying to work within the constraints of the decaying structure, and he recommends using reinforced interior masonry resting on a new foundation.  The contractor is John Rossi.  A stop-work order was issued by the town according to the September 5, 2014 issue of the Palm Beach Daily News and on September 19th the paper reported that demolition was approved. 

The house sits on 2.2 acres with 143’ of oceanfront.  Interiors included old world detailing, cornices, moldings, arches, pecky cypress, 12’ ceilings.  There is a private tunnel to the beach, a 60’ pool, tennis court, oceanfront cabana, 5-car garage and whole house generator.  There was a finished basement and 680 ft of parking, fireplace and garden.   Public records show the house was sold in August 2013 for $86,699  while the Palm Beach Daily News reported on that day that the house sold for $10+MM and included an adjacent 4-bedroom guest house on South County Road.  The property is on a curve on South County and sale totaled $17.4MM.

The Palm Beach Town Council voted in January 2012 not to designate a Mediterranean Revival-style house at 100 El Bravo Way, a Landmark.  A 2000 sq ft addition to the 1922 home by Marion Sims Wyeth had altered the building’s form to such an extent that it no longer met the landmark criteria.  The work included a second floor added to the north portion of the house, saying  “this is a different house.  It doesn’t serve as a representative specimen of Wyeth.”

9/19/2014

NYC TOWNHOUSE BUILT FOR DOUGLAS ELLIMAN 1909 WAS SOLD

 
 
Upper East Side Neo-Federal townhouse built in 1909 for Douglas Elliman at 177 E 71st St just sold for $14.8MM.  It is 6 stories high.

Architect was S.E. Gage.  It was built two years before Elliman opened his real estate agency.
Twenty feet wide, there are 8 bedrooms, 6700 sq ft and has a gym, movie theatre, roof deck and garden and six fireplaces.   There are 6 full and 3 half bathrooms.

8/10/2014

1964 HISTORIC BEACH HOUSE FOR SALE OR RENT RIGHT NOW!

Life is a beach!
  
Buy ($6MM), or rent ($25,000 annually, $45,000 seasonally)
Quintessential beach house
3 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths and private guest bath and bedroom
   
 
25’x19’ living room. Open floor plan with many windows providing light in major rooms.  East exposure boasts sweeping ocean and beach views from all major rooms.  Private direct beachfront gazebo and sunning deck, with stairs to wide sandy beach and ocean in Esplanade Estates, near desirable quiet north end of Palm Beach Island.
3828 living sq ft. 
 
Private pool, 2 car garage, circular and long driveway

21’x13’ eat-in-kitchen
21'x16' master bedroom - DIRECT OCEAN VIEW and bath
 
Possibility of purchasing adjacent property
to have a family compound or built to suit

 Come and see this wonderful getaway...
make it your major property!