Our Fabulous Fountain

It might not be clear which film actually won the Best Picture Oscar, but we’re certain of this: The Addison Mizner Memorial Fountain has been named “Project of the Year” by the Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

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Photo: Palm Beach Daily News

“This is wonderful news for the residents of Palm Beach and a testament to the quality and importance of the work that was done to properly restore the beautiful Mizner Fountain for the next generation to enjoy,” said Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio.

Designed by renowned architect Addison Mizner, the 1929 double-bowl, cast-stone fountain had been scarred by corrosion from the tropical climate, coastal conditions, and scouring from the fountain’s normal water flow. The Town wanted to conserve as much of the original fountain as possible, especially the hippocamps – the four mythical horses of the sea. So the fountain was carefully disassembled and the pieces sent hither and yon for meticulous restoration.

So meticulous, it turns out, that it earned top honors in the Historic Restoration/Preservation category.

In short, our hippocamps rule.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

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Art in the Estate

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Photos courtesy of The Monacelli Press. Reprinted with permission.

It’s a balancing act, to be sure – marrying a stately Palm Beach mansion with edgy postwar art and sculpture. In his new book, The New Formal (The Monacelli Press, 240 pages, $60), interior designer James Aman shows us how it’s done.

Throughout the lush pages, Aman’s niche emerges. The scale of the homes, whether in Palm Beach, Manhattan, or the Hamptons, tends to be grand, the perfect canvas for art that ranges from the provocative to the (ever so slightly) alarming. Everything revolves around the owners’ collections, while the furnishings and surroundings retain warmth and elegance.

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Jim Aman and Emily Fisher Landau, who wrote the book’s introduction, at the Palm Beach launch.

Each chapter begins with a one-page essay about the design considerations, but beyond that, it’s a photo-rich storybook. Three Palm Beach residences feature prominently:

The Regency estate: Aman describes the home as “classic with an edge.” Spare but not stark, the décor is kept minimalist in order that each room can showcase one or two major pieces from the owners’ collection, which ranges from an imposing George I giltwood console to an explosive pink/coral/salmon/green wall hanging by Jorge Pardo.

The Breakers retreat: Low, streamlined furnishings maximize all the views in this space – the art and the ocean. At any point, the art arrangement includes about two dozen pieces, some of which are permanent fixtures and some that rotate at the owner’s desire. Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Frank Gehry, Willem de Kooning – it’s a who’s who.

Lake Worth adventure: This home is a little harder to pin down geographically. We presume it’s on Lake Worth, rather than in Lake Worth. The space is stately and serene; the art is electric and sexy. It’s at once a home and a gallery or, as the owner says, “a visual adventure as we move from room to room.” Aman designed the home as it was being built. “Our goal in virtually all cases was to tone things down,” he says, “to keep the color palette of the walls and furnishings quiet so the art could project in full glory.”


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Palm Beach Chic

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Photos reprinted with permission.

Palm Beach homes, Palm Beach gardens and Palm Beach life, written by a Palm Beach girl – someone with stories to share and the kind of access you only get when you’re a lifelong friend.

palm-beach-chic-coverThe book is Palm Beach Chic (The Vendome Press, 312 pages, $75), a gorgeous volume that’s witty, understated and urbane – much like Palm Beach itself.

Author Jennifer Ash Rudick moved to the island when she was 12, and gives us the insider-est possible perspective on the homes, their histories and their occupants. The book (graced with jaw-dropping photographs by Jessica Klewicki Glynn) celebrates the architects, interior designers and garden designers who’ve made each home perfect.

“Since its early days,” Rudick notes, “Palm Beach has been synonymous with awe-inspiring structures.” Awe-inspiring, yes, and anything but cookie-cutter. You think you know what a Palm Beach mansion looks like? Not possible. Whether a Regency estate, a Mid-Century Modern apartment, or a “surf shack” on Billionaire’s Row, the only standard is excellence.

Inside the description of each house is the description of the way life is lived in each house: “Days are spent en famille,” Rudick writes in the chapter about the Gumdrop House. “The mornings begin on the eastern loggia with coffee… tennis is at 11:30, followed by a buffet lunch on the western loggia at 1:30.” So very civilized.

And then there are the laugh-out-loud stories. Chronicling the massive renovation at Casa Amado: “A rustling in the entry hall turned out to be a fox the size of a German shepherd.” Moving into a vintage second-floor Worth Avenue flat: “Their belongings had to be hoisted through a window by crane. ‘We’re never leaving. We can’t!’ says the wife.”

Interior fabrics and furnishings are meticulously sourced. And the art… oh, the art.

These homes are showplaces, every one, without a hint of conspicuous consumption. Each chapter is a vignette in one grand Palm Beach story. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: Taste. Exquisite taste.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Palm Beach Visual Arts

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Cover photo courtesy of Pelican Publishing Co.

Palm Beach has long been home to those who seek after beautiful things – to create them, to cherish them and to collect them.

In her new book, local gallery owner and author Deborah Pollack weaves the story of Palm Beach’s history as told through 125 years of its artwork. Palm Beach Visual Arts (200 pages, Pelican Publishing Co., $34.95) wraps its narrative around every conceivable art form – painting, photography, jewelry, architecture, sculpture, ceramics, and fashion.

Produced in collaboration with the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the book introduces us to dozens of painters, photographers, sculptors and collectors. Its pages open with the earliest artists to work on the island, including George Wills Potter, who sketched island life for his real estate company brochures. We read the story of how Pan of Rohallion (still residing in Pan’s Garden) became one of the nation’s earliest pieces of public art. The book walks us through several eras and into the present day, where you’ll meet our own Sandra Thompson, longtime cover illustrator of the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide.

Palm Beach artists and art lovers have always lived passionate and interesting lives, and Pollack also explores their romances, relationships and heartbreaks. As charming as Palm Beach itself, the book perfectly captures the sense that the island’s history, people and art have been woven together since the first brushstroke.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

The New Formal

the-new-formalInterior designer James Aman’s portfolio is proof that traditional style doesn’t equal old school. “Early on I realized that my client base represented a new generation of collectors,” he writes in his new book The New Formal. “They respected classic traditions but savored the beauty and drama of cutting-edge art. Their vision of formal living replaced the Old Masters, heavy tapestries, and ornate furnishings of previous generations with contemporary, often provocative works of art that inspire and delight in brighter, more open spaces.” This is an aesthetic all of us can embrace.
Architectural Digest

On Thursday (Feb. 16), The Palm Beach Book Store welcomes designer Jim Aman to a reception and signing for his book, The New Formal. The volume celebrates the cutting-edge version of “formal” that Aman has brought to interiors from New York City to the Hamptons – and closer to home, a Palm Beach Regency and an oceanfront apartment in The Breakers.

Aman’s designs create serene but sumptuous settings for his clients’ collections. His goal is to integrate contemporary, often provocative works of art into spaces that inspire and delight the collectors and complement the way they live. Aman steers well clear of bare-bones, minimalist boxes; the landmarked homes are luxuriously personal and welcoming spaces.

Thursday’s event runs from 5:30-7 p.m. at the The Palm Beach Book Store, 215 Royal Poinciana Way. Please RSVP via email, or telephone (561) 659-6700.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Palm Beach Palaces

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Photo courtesy of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach

Have you toured Regents Park?

We thought not. This Friday afternoon, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach will conduct its annual walking tour; this year’s destination is the private Regents Park Historic District. The tour, a benefit of membership, begins with a lecture at the foundation’s office at 311 Peruvian Avenue. Afterward, a trolley will convey participants the 4 miles to Regents Park Road, just south of the Palm Beach Bath & Tennis Club.

The first subdivision on the island, Regents Park was designed, built and landscaped by architect Clarence Mack. His vision was to create a neighborhood enclave with a distinct architectural style inspired by 19th century Regency England. Think classical Greek and Roman architecture, clean lines, symmetrical facades, columns, arched windows.

Mack himself moved into 400 Regents Park Road after its completion in 1961, and lived there until 1981; he passed away one year later.

For more information or to make reservations, please call (561) 832-0731.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Which Way to the Beach?

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You’re in town and (of course) you want to go to the beach. But unless you’re parked right near the clock tower and can walk right across Ocean Boulevard and out onto the sand, how are you going to find the nearest legal beach access point?

It’s a problem, especially in the North End. Last fall, Palm Beach real estate attorney Guy Rabideau created a solution. His firm’s website is home to an innovative Beach Access locator tool. Enter any address on the island, and the tool returns the closest legal access point, whether public or private. Most of the oceanfront gates are privately owned, but some allow public use and Rabideau’s nifty online tool lets you know which ones.

The search tool took more than a year to complete and test. “To my knowledge, nobody has ever attempted something like this,” Rabideau told The Shiny Sheet. “There are so many ambiguities out there regarding beach access.”

The search tool is also a valuable resource for potential home buyers, who unfortunately can’t presume that properties near the beach have easy access to the beach.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Risk? Not Here.

ARCH_NEWLOGO_MI_4CHome prices in Florida are not only stable, but a major national indicator reports only a 3 percent risk of decline, 1 percentage point ahead of the national average as reported in the Winter 2017 Arch MI Risk Index.

This is promising news for Florida real estate investors (if not so great for the renters and Millennials who will be hardest hit as housing becomes less affordable). That’s not really an issue here on the island of Palm Beach, where real property is so often not just “home” but part of the owner’s portfolio.

The Arch MI report predicts more demand than supply, continuing a trend in recent years both nationwide and here in Palm Beach. With low volatility and an annual home price increase of 9.6 percent in the third quarter of 2016, Florida is among the country’s leaders in home price gains, and the strongest performer in the Southeast.

As of this writing, our publisher (the Palm Beach Board of Realtors) has 119 new listings for 2017, and many of these are advertised in the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide. Browse here.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

The Wall on Worth

img_2198What do you do when you want to provide a chic public garden near some of the toniest, richest, and most thoroughly developed commercial real estate in the world?

You go up, of course.

The vertical garden (on the west facade of Saks Fifth Avenue) is a quarter-million-dollar installation that’s part of the Worth Avenue revitalization project. Nearly 11,000 plants were incorporated into the Living Wall – mondo grass; xanadu philodendron; Asiatic jasmine; silver sawtooth palmetto; altermanthera; muehlenbeckia axillaris; philodendron “Burle Marx;” dusty miller; zebrina pendula; coontie; and zoysia grass.

It sure looks to us like every single one of those plants is thriving. We snapped this photo not long ago, when we were on our way to the Esplanade for a cup of coffee. Beautiful, yes?

See more photos and read more about the wall here.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

North Pole: Location, Location, Location

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Here at the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide, we’re all about property. Usually it’s property with palm trees and sea breezes. But we thought we’d make a special seasonal exception and share with you the listing for… Santa’s House at the North Pole.

p_c_outside_024It’s a cozy three-bedroom, two-bath home with sleigh parking and stables for eight resident reindeer. (A separate stall is available for a guest, presumably one with a red nose.) The 1822 home is built from old-growth timber logged on site. Among the appointments of the gourmet kitchen is a bespoke oven with 12 different cookie settings.

More from the property description: “Tiptoe down the hall to Santa’s quiet study. An impressive writing desk is flanked by the same sewing table Santa used to make the original teddy bear. Substantial built-in shelving stores toy prototypes.”

The property’s estimated value? At $656,957, a steal compared to buying here on the island.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.