8/15/2016

PRESERVATION AND RENOVATION REMAIN TOP GOALS IN PALM BEACH

PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION REMAIN TOP GOALS IN PALM BEACH



The Society of the Four Arts has an upcoming $12mm renovation of the King Library.  Designed by Maurice Fatio and opened in 1938, a new 2-story addition is planned for the north side of the building.  Former Palm Beach Architectural Commission Chairman Bob Vila, whose late in-laws the Library is named for, has advised on the design.



Architect Thomas Kirchoff has twice received the Preservation Foundation’s Robert I. Ballinger Award for a historically sensitive restoration and twice received its Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award for new architecture in keeping with the traditional style of Palm Beach. Four Arts has raised over $4mm and will kick off a $12MM capital campaign in November.

This week renovation plans will be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for informal review of this cherished historic building which serves as the town’s library.   The Town Council will soon review the plans for variances, a special exception and site plan review.  Very little has been done to update the building, though 2 additions were made in 1956 and 1979 on the north side.  If all is well, construction would begin in May and take about 18 months to complete.  The new two-story addition will be consistent with the height of the original building and will replace the two additions.

The new design solves moisture problem where some is seeping in, improve traffic flow, links the first and second floors and create offices and a staff work room.  Changes include:

·      ...new elevator and front entrance ramp
·       ...The rare book room will be moved to a more protected area with a better climate control system
·       ...New plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems will be installed
·       ... The cozy reading room on the first floor remains
·       ...On the second floor, the stage will be removed and the space redesigned to include a multipurpose event area and reading alcoves
·      ... Cypress beams that were part of the original design and are now covered by an acoustic tile ceiling will be exposed.
·      ... The main entrance door on the west side will be moved to the center of the porch and lined up with a window and French doors on the east to provide a view through to the gardens.
·       ...The murals will be conserved and Fatio-designed architectural details on the exterior restored. The addition will have similar but simpler exterior details.
·       ...The main entrance door on the west side will be moved to the center of the porch and lined up with a window and French doors on the east to provide a view through to the gardens.
·       ...The murals will be conserved and Fatio-designed architectural details on the exterior restored. The addition will have similar but simpler exterior details

“The goal is to restore the building, one that everybody loves, back to what it was and provide an addition that looks like it belongs,” said architect Kirchhoff.


front of 159 Australian

New Porte Cochere

Newly built master suite replaces former suite

in back, upstairs guest suite replaces former garage


Kirchoff recently completed a total redo of 159 Australian Avenue, a 1920’s era historical bungalow that was listed for $5.45MM and just sold.  Buyer, amount of sale, closing date to be announced.  This property won this year’s Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s Polly Earl Award for small-scale renovations.

Our Palm Beach is looking better and better!

4/29/2016

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND CONSERVATIVE RABBI COLLABORATE TO BUILD UNIQUE BETH SHOLOM SYNAGOGUE HOUSE OF WORSHIP


 

In response to Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen’s letter describing his vision for a simple, modern synagogue that could hold up to 1500 people, Frank Lloyd Write responded, “Dear Rabbi Cohen, I would like to talk to you concerning your project.”  Thus began a six year collaboration between the Rabbi and the world famous Architect that led to the beautiful sanctuary above in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.



Rabbi Cohen said in his request, cost would be $500,000, there would be no windows but the glass roof and rotunda would let in light.  Walls would have acoustic treatment.  Included would be classrooms, meeting rooms and storage rooms, all to be air-conditioned.  Sketches of his ideas were included.  Wright’s goal was to have congregants walk in and feel “as if they were resting in the hands of God.” The gentle slope of the horseshoe formation achieved the goal of seeing others around you no matter where you were seated rather than the backs of heads and profiles. On bright sunny days when a cloud passes overhead, the room darkens, at sunset the room turns gold, and when the sky is blue, you see blue.



This is the only synagogue that Wright ever designed.  Many of his textures, colors and geometric motifs such as triangles and hexagons are repeated thruout the structure, creating a powerful design unity.  Modern materials were used including concrete, steel and glass, finished with gold tones of bronze and desert sand, using Wrights signature red, and matte silver aluminum.




The building was dedicated on September 20, 1959, five months after Wright’s death.  Shortly thereafter both the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation singled out Beth Sholom Synagogue as one of the seventeen Wright buildings most worthy of preservation. Later an elevator was added, restrooms were upgraded and sidewalks were widened.  Visitors can watch a 20-minute documentary narrated by Leonard Nimoy and study exhibits.  Tours are suspended when events are held such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals.  No tours are given on Saturdays or Jewish holidays.  School continues thruout the year.  The vegetable garden grows food for the food pantry.

4/24/2016

TWO NEW PARTIAL HISTORIC HOME DESIGNATIONS PROPOSED IN PALM BEACH




The usual custom is for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate an entire structure for preservation and protection from demolition by current or future owners of a property, but some partial designations have been chosen in the past in Palm Beach.  

This past week the Commission has nominated only part of the front structures, the facades of two homes, for landmark protection, a “compromise,” so that any future changes and additions are compatible with the most noteworthy features of the property. 






The Commissioners recommended that the Town Council designate the front entrance at Pelican Manor  at 125 Seagrape Circle and the majority approved, but two of the Commissioners voted against the recommendation, “not impressed by its design.”  The front entrance features wood-paneled double doors with a substantial stone surround, a full-height portico and balanced use of windows and doors. This home is a Neoclassical style designed by Wyeth, Kind and Johnson.  




The front façade of 200 El Brillo Way was unanimously recommended by the Commission.  The 1929 Mediterranean Revival style home is house is built in a U-shaped design by architect Marion Sims Wyeth.



Past partial designations include the gate and perimeter wall south of the gate in front of the former Kennedy estate at 1095 North Ocean Boulevard where many recent renovations and restorations have been made by the current owners.  The home is a 1923 Mediterranean Revival design by Addison Mizner and renovated in 1933 by  Maurice Fatio.  Market value is $59.55mm according to list of most taxed estates in the Palm Beach Post) built in 1975.




The west side of the Breakers Hotel, is another partial designations.  These valuable features are hereby protected from demolition.  Actions like these keep Palm Beach Island “true-to-form” and preserve and protect the historical vision that Palm Beach is, honoring the talented architects and landscapers of the past and of today.

4/19/2016

COME ONE, COME ALL: LESLIE HINDMAN TO AUCTION ITEMS JUNE 14TH FROM KLUGE ESTATE FROM $500 UP AND UP AND UP



“Giving back” is well represented by the late billionaire John Kluge’s generosity.  Four acres with two houses and three other buildings held a lot of “goodies” including  furniture, decorative accessories and other objects symbolic of “the good life.”  The property has been on the market for five years with all the furniture remaining inside. 150’ of oceanfront land is included.

Kluge Estate Guest House by Addison Mizner


Palm  Beach’s 89 Middle Road just sold for $39MM, with receipts for property, furniture et al slated for scholarships at Columbia University, Kluge’s alma mater.  In time to come the buyer will decide what to do with this outstanding property.



Leslie Hindman received about 400 items to appraise, catalog and put up for sale, June 9-13, allowing remote bidding.



Christie’s will auction some of the furnishings, silver and porcelain in New York City December 2nd and 3rd, about 100 lots of treasures.  Kluge’s extensive fine art collection generated about $12MM at a Christie’s auction a few years ago. Periods represented include “newer and still chic items” alongside the antiques. 


  
Models of sailing ships and a billiards table are included.  Kluge loved lavishly landscaped gardens and outdoor furniture and decorative items used on the grounds will be included, some of it bamboo furniture.  Other fabulous auctions handled by Hindman’s company included items from the Kennedy and Lilly Pulitzer estates, the historic Manalapan home, Casa Alva and similar expansive and well-decorated estates.

4/10/2016

LAST HOUSE WANTED BY AUGUSTA NATIONAL SAYS “NO!” TO BUY OFFERS


Since about 2001, Augusta National Golf Club, dubbed the most powerful golf club on earth, has spent about $40MM to entice locals to sell their properties and thereby bought up much of the land bordering their exclusive grounds.  BUT there is one holdout on the northwest corner of the club owned by a couple who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  The area is a free parking lot, Gate 6A, now bulldozed, that was once a fully lived in neighborhood, where kids happily played in the streets.  The house in question at 1112 Stanley Road is in the middle of Gate 6-A.



Augusta National was designed by Bobby Jones and others and opened for play in 1933, with the Masters starting there the following year.  In Golf Digest’s 2009 list of 100 greatest courses, Augusta National ranked #1. In Golfweek Magazine’s 2011 list of best classic courses for course architecture in the US, it was ranked #10.  The first female members were admitted in 2012, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore.  In 1990, African Americans were admitted to this exclusive membership.  There are 10 cabins on the property, one built exclusively for member President Dwight D. Eisenhower after his election, according to secret service specifications.  Famous golfers Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were also members.  Others include Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Roger Goodell, Sam Nunn, T. Boone Pickens, Jr, Jack Welsh and many other CEOs of top companies.  Membership numbers about 300 and is by invitation only.  Members and tournament winners receive a distinctive green sports coat.

    


Club officials stop by regularly with offers, but the residents don’t want to go.  They raised their family in this 1900 sq ft 3-bedroom house, with everyone coming back for the holidays, which Zillow values at $355,126.  Initial sellers got about $250,000 for their homes.  Built in 1959, on the cusp of being a historic home, it remains the “piece de resistance”.  Their grandson has become a professional, Scott Brown, age 32.  He is a PGA Tour member, not yet making the Masters.  Their brother sold his home, on two acres, and two other homes he owned, for a cool $3.6MM.  The residents owned another property across the street that they sold to the club for $1.2MM.   A nearby holdout wound up settling for $960,000, for a very similar house.



When the Masters is played at Augusta, the area fills up with cars, the rest of the year it is very quiet there.  Fans will stop by and greet the residents, complementing their landscaping and asking for gardening tips.

2/27/2016

MIZNER HOME BUILT IN 1928, WAS PART OF HUGE ESTATE, NOW ON THE MARKET FOR $16,950,000




This property is a historical gem, destined for a lucky new owner who appreciates the architecture, tile work, fixtures, arches, brick walls and Bermuda roof.   The property includes very special renovations galore in keeping with the Mizner style. 

 


With 5 bedrooms, 8 baths and about 6357 living sq ft, 12 Lagomar Road in Palm Beach won the 2012 Ballinger Award given by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. 



Admire the grand living room and terrace, sweeping ICW views from arched-entry terrace, media room, elevator, impact glass, gym, pool and charming outdoor spaces.  A boardwalk leads a short way to the beach and Atlantic Ocean. 



Cielito Lindo, in the estate section of Palm Beach, was subdivided in the 1950’s, and Mizner’s original paneled dining room is preserved and is now the living room.



This is a “historical trophy house” in a lush, luxurious area, surrounded by homes that are also luxurious.





Listing Broker is Christian Angle Real Estate and if you are interested in buying and want your own representation, call Marilyn Jacobs, 561-302-3388 or email marilynfjacobs@gmail.com.


2/25/2016

CULTURAL EVENTS, TONS OF SHOPPING FROM EXPENSIVE TO CHEAP, ART & ANTIQUES, HISTORIC HOMES, ELITE RESTAURANTS TO DINERS, WATERFRONT (ICW) VIEWS, MUSEUMS, BIG BOATS GALORE, SYMPHONIES & SHOWS, BEST BROWSING MOST ANYWHERE… NEAR POLO PONY GAMES, NEAR WORTH AVENUE… Something for everyone!




Seeking interesting artifacts for your historic home?  March 5th… mark your calendar and save the date for the annual Antique Row chic street party with entertainment, food and shopping. 

  


Browse to find that one exquisite 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th C. antique, decorative art piece, vintage or moderne furnishing, lighting and accessory, deco, work of art and much more. 

  


From 6 to 9 pm, head over to Southern Blvd east (I-95 exit 68), left on South Dixie north) and you are there!  Browse and buy from over 40 interesting high quality antique stores, specialty shoppes, antique galleries and dine in award-winning restaurants.

 


Antique Row is heralded by Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Art and Antiques and House Beautiful as one of the east coast’s premier antique shopping districts.  Conde Nast Traveler chose Antique Row as 4th best shopping in the US.  You will be alongside decorators, avid collectors, antique dealers

 


Look thru the Directory, reserve for a fine dinner, breakfast or lunch.

 


Come and join one of West Palm Beach’s premier evening events.  See you there! 

2/18/2016

"BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME," especially to Paradise!

LAKE WORTH’S HISTORIC GULFSTREAM HOTEL PROJECT APPROVED



Hudson Holdings can now proceed with their $60MM restoration plan.

Built in the 1920’s, the revival is expected to bring more tourism to the area.  Located near the west end of the Lake Worth Bridge, with walkable shoppes, art galleries, restaurants and antique shops to browse, it may become a mecca for out of towners.  The intracoastal waterway “is right there,” with benches to relax on while watching the boats go by, and the municipal golf course is along the ICW.  Plans include an 87-room hotel with a downstairs restaurant, and  a 2-story parking garage with at least 145 spaces.  Also planned are a champagne room and a rooftop skybar.

The restoration will create 300 jobs and is projected to be finished in 15 months.




Note that in Delray Beach and West Palm Beach investors and developers have plans to update and upgrade those areas with new residential complexes, and new residential buildings have gone up in Boca Raton, and some are in mid-construction.  While these plans bring new jobs, they can also bring congestion to these areas, so these objections are being considered too.  About 1000 people a day move to Florida, and perhaps in a few years, with the new construction in Palm Beach county, more will come.


This historic property, with its new look, will be a mecca for those looking to buy in the area, a great stopping-off place.

1/21/2016

FIVE HISTORIC HOMES BURN DOWN IN WEST PALM BEACH

 
 
 
 
 
Five West Palm Beach historic homes said to be built in the early 1900’s burned down this week.  Cause of fire could not be determined because the property in which the fire started burned to the ground and left no clues.  Home was leveled.  The structure was dug down to the dirt, finding nothing to investigate.
 
 

 
Local Architects and Historians went by the properties the following day and were upset that these historic homes are now lost.  Preservation of homes built in this period is a major interest of many in the area.  A project was intended to restore the area and create a place where residents could reconnect with their history.  It will be interesting to learn what will be done in due time. It was referred to as “important ground… important land.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
One home had a 27 year old sleeping inside and a WPB police office broke in to get the man out.  Four of the five homes were abandoned.  Location is near Division and 4th Street.