LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION CONSIDERING ELEVEN PALM BEACH PROPERTIES FOR POTENTIAL DESIGNATION.
In 1979 the Palm Beach Town Council, in order to stop the loss of the town’s historic resources, adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance. This ordinance appointed a 7-member Landmarks Preservation Commission, 6 of whom must be town residents, to identify significant structures, check them against a set of criteria and choose the best examples as landmarks of the Town of Palm Beach. This Commission also determines historic districts and scenic areas.
Criteria for landmark designation includes properties associated with events of historic interest or lives of persons historically significant; outstanding example of architectural design, or significant work of a notable architect or master craftsman. The Committee also reviews changes and alterations to existing Landmark properties.
Currently there are 246 Landmarked properties, sites and vistas, and ten properties and one scenic vista are now being considered to receive the Landmark designation. Included are properties designed by Marion Simms Wyeth, John Volk, Treanor and Fatio and examples of a bungalow, Moorish Revival-style, Neoclassical style, Georgian Revival style, Mediterranean Revival and Mission style home.
There are some property tax advantages to being a Landmarked property.
Tea Houses with sparse furnishings are a newer addition to some homes.
Feng shui specialists are called upon to consult with about design principals or to conduct special ceremonies. Outdoor elements are brought within vision. Beautiful gardens with plantings and pebbles are featured. Antique doors are popular. Water features have become important, such as fountains and waterfalls. Homeowners want natural materials and light colored woods such as maple, bamboo and oak.
Asian influences prevail. Handmade sliding screens and tatami mats are included as well as koi ponds and bonsai trees.
Tea rooms are places for meditation and for snacks and dinners. During the Colonial period, private prayer spaces were included within homes, but in the 1960’s, communal worship became more popular.