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.

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