Villa des Cygnes – “House of Swans” – built in 1922, has been restored by Walter and Cathleen McFarlane Ross. The residence is stunning and significant. The view from across Lake Worth shows it’s prominent façade rising right from the water that laps at its foundation. Brick paved walkways and beautiful colorful tropical plantings abound. The formal living room features a fireplace with elaborately carved mantle and French-style chairs. Cathleen and her late husband, Norris McFarlane, bought the house in 1986 when it was in disrepair due to misguided renovations and neglect. There were 5 kitchens and 11 bathrooms. She hired Jeffrey W. Smith, AIA, who had studied Mizner’s work. Mizner was already acclaimed for his first Palm Beach commission, The Everglades Club’s building down the avenue, and then built this home and also the Venetian-style Casa de Leone, nearby. Catherine saw that walls were carefully taken down and fireplaces and skylights restored or replaced. Only one original Mizner room remains completely intact, a guest bathroom. During construction, a staircase that had been walled in during a previous renovation was discovered, and restored. The house has pecky-cypress paneling, Austrian paneling, French Doors, and many other Mizner-like features. History has been elegantly revived and magically transformed!

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