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PALM BEACH’S ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY

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Palm Beach’s architectural history is rich. You might not know this, but a lot of the Mediterranean Spanish Style houses in South Florida, particularly Palm Beach, were designed primarily by two men, Addison Mizner, a widely traveled American and a Swede named Maurice Fatio. Their styles, especially Addison Mizner’s one room deep approach to design gives Palm Beach its unique distinctive feeling. You could be in some Spanish castle from another country, while sitting in one of these estate’s living rooms. Mizner, who moved to Palm Beach for his health around 1918 believed in South Florida’s future—he even helped eventually found Boca Raton. He was also friends with Paris Singer, famous sewing machine heir and Palm Beach resident who encouraged him to primarily work in the area. Some notable Fatios and Mizners don their Spanish root names and have been lived in by the likes of rockstars, tycoons and even politicians. I have driven by all these wonderful estates with their sprawling tropical lawns and in many cases, well-manicured hedges, although, the occasional jungle house lawn appears hiding away as if a tiger might lurk there in the bushes. So, if you’re ever in South Florida, tour the homes there like me. Or pick up a book like Palm Beach Houses and take a journey through many of the famous architecturally inspired houses—some of them like The Everglades Club are visible right off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and others are businesses like The Brazilian Court Hotel and The First National Bank of Palm Beach that you can actually walk up to, others are homes with romantic names such as Villa Flora, La Guerida, La Bellucia, El Solano, The Warden House, Buenos Recuerdos,  Il Palmetto and Casa Eleda.

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