We have to take the bad with the good. The downtown Testa’s area will be a tough place to park for some time to come as the Frisbee group starts work on their forthcoming project. Build-out is projected to be four years, with construction starting this coming October, and concerned folks want that reduced to two years. It was pointed out the Neiman Marcus' new building went up in two years. New retail buildings will go up and condos, with an underground parking garage, and then life will be easier in the area, with new offerings, a favorite of many Palm Beachers.
Testa’s Restaurant opened in 1921 as a 13-seat soda fountain in the lobby of the old Garden Theater on Main Street, now Royal Poinciana Way and has grown and grown into a steady eaterie for Palm Beachers and visitors to the Island.
Parking and sidewalk access will present temporary problems. Other concerns are construction hours, lighting, security, pedestrian safety, traffic and other work-related issues. All agree it will be dusty and dirty for a while. Construction workers will park off the Island and be bused in.
Six buildings with retail on the ground floor will go up. The second floor will have homes and there will be gardens, vias and courtyards. A new restaurant is included and the underground parking garage.
Once completed everybody will be/should be happy.
One of the most recognized properties along the ocean in Palm Beach is this 1928 residence, nicknamed “the ham and cheese house.” The Society Architect was Maurice Fatio. It was the alternating horizontal bands of coral keystone and red brick on its facades that gave the property that nickname.
There are eight bedrooms and 16090 living sq ft.
The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s 2016 Ballinger Award for historically sensitive renovation was given to the property. Now The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has bestowed a 2017 Meritorious Award on the property. It was given landmark protection in 1979.
Homeowners Penny and Marion Hugh Antonini spent two years renovating and restoring. The Antoninis’ renovation preserved original Fatio elements such as elaborately carved stonework, beamed-and-coffered ceilings and Cuban-tile floors. The project also lightened up the interiors with a modern color scheme of cream paired with light pinks, blues and greens.
A new kitchen, manufactured to specifications in Italy, was shipped to Florida and assembled on site. The roof was replaced, impact-resistant windows installed, and work was done on the swimming pool and beachfront cabana, reached through a tunnel under the coastal road. The central courtyard around which the house was designed was completely reworked.
New glass was installed in the living room’s carved-stone arched windows. As a result of an installation system devised through trial and error, the glass seems to disappear entirely so that the arches resemble an open cloister framing views of the ocean.