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Historic Architecture in Palm Beach


Yes, I am a sucker for historic architecture.  I’m certain I must have been an architect in a previous life.  The soul of a home or building is in the details.  Um yes, this is exactly why the McMansions lack personality, they have no soul.Maurice Fatio, 1928

Palm Beach offers a unique enclave of historic architecture built in the earlier half of the last century.  Click here, for map of an easy walking tour.  Some of the most sought after architects; Maurice Fatio, Joseph Urban, Marion S. Wyeth, John Volk, Carrere & Hastings, and Howard Major left their imprint for us to enjoy.

Look at moldings, trim details, tile work, front door and scale of each in relation to room size or importance.  Notice where one’s eye is drawn.  All have an obvious front entrance, unlike many of today’s homes where they are hidden or downright indistinguishable.  Sorry, but if the front door doesn’t make a statement there is no reason to enter.  A quick view of the outside does not give away the room layout on the inside, like so many of today’s homes.  There is interest and mystery which stirs one to enter.Hoppin and Cohn, 1919 Marion S. Wyeth, 1920 – additions by Addison Mizner, 1927

Historic architecture speaks volumes about the original patron of a home.  Back in the day when one went on their first “grand tour” upon reaching adulthood, possibly a second on a honeymoon and finally the most significant when embarking on the building of a home.  Once an architect was engaged the patron and architect would tour European specimens to catalog (imagine life without a digital camera) buildings and architectural details for later use.Volk and Maass, 1928 Carrere & Hastings, 1901 Marion S. Wyeth, 1920’s Mar-A-Largo by Joseph Urban and Marion S. Wyeth, 1924-27, my earlier post has more on Mar-A-Lago including interior details.

I am a firm believer one must study and understand the past in order to create for the future.  Historic architecture offers anyone an astounding education in scale, balance, proportion and purposeful design.  These homes are magnetic in their originality and designs.Lisa sig

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