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 for small-scale renovations.
Our Palm Beach is looking better and better!