The Preservation Foundation

In the Media

To commemorate the town’s centennial in 2011, The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach will take a look back this season at the imaginative first-generation architects whose work helped define Palm Beach.

The series “Architects on the Architects” will feature some of the island’s top architects of today giving their thoughts about Marion Sims Wyeth, Howard Major, Maurice Fatio, Addison Mizner, John Volk and Joseph Urban.

“Their architecture was forefront in creating the magnificent estates and mansions and the infrastructure of the Town of Palm Beach, including Worth Avenue” and many other important districts and neighborhoods, said Janice Owens, the foundation’s co-executive director.

The works of Mizner — known for designing Mediterranean Revival homes infused with romantic flourishes — and the others continue to influence the Palm Beach architects of today, said Alex Ives, Owens’ administrative counterpart .

“They learned from this first set of architects, made it t MORE...
In addition to the “Architects on the Architects” series, the Preservation Foundation will feature a number of lectures on architecture, historic preservation and culture throughout the season.

From 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 10, the foundation will present its annual Historic Properties Workshop, subtitled “Tracing the Fabric of Palm Beach — Architecture from the 1930s through 1950s.” Speakers will include Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Gene Pandula, preservation consultant Jane Day, City of West Palm Beach historic preservation planner Friederike Mittner, and architect William Waters.

At 2 p.m. Nov. 18, Joyce Jay Raymond will speak about preserving social and oral histories, and will sign her book, Casa Mia: A Florida Treasure.

At 2 p.m. Jan. 21, Mosette Broderick, director of the urban design program at New York University, is scheduled to discuss and sign copies of her book Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White — Art, Architecture, Scandal and Class in America’s Gilded MORE...
The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach has tapped two staff members to serve as co-executive directors of the 29-year-old organization.

John Mashek announced Wednesday that Janice Owens, a 17-year staff member who has served as the foundation’s education director, and Alex Ives, its public affairs director for three years, will handle day-to-day management of the organization. Both will report to Mashek, president of the foundation’s board of directors.

The foundation has not had an executive director since John Ripley resigned in November 2009.

While Mashek acknowledges the foundation will save money by not hiring another staff member to handle those responsibilities, he said that did not play a factor in the decision to have Owens and Ives serve as co-executive directors.

“I just felt this was just the right move for today because I realize that we have the strength inherent in our organization,” Mashek said. “If you are lucky enough to promote from within, it’s always MORE...
Alexander Ives, director of public affairs for the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, urged the council to support restoration of the deteriorating, 80-year-old fountain, which has a landmarked centerpiece near Town Hall.

But, in response to a question from Town Council President David Rosow, Ives said the foundation cannot commit any funds toward the project without bringing the issue before its board of directors. MORE...
Due to demand, the Preservation Foundation has scheduled a second film night for Monday, July 26, featuring episodes of Mad Men and Ric Burns’ New York documentary focused on the destruction of Penn Station.

The 6 p.m. screening, in the Rosenthal Lecture Room at Preservation Foundation offices, 311 Peruvian Ave., is free and open to the public, although seating is limited. Refreshments will be provided. To reserve seats, call 832-0731 or e-mail aives@palmbeachpreservation.org. MORE...
Orson Welles’ 1942 masterpiece The Magnificent Ambersons will screen at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Preservation Foundation’s Rosenthal Lecture Room, 311 Peruvian Ave.

Foundation Director of Public Affairs Alexander C. Ives will present a short introduction to the film.

The film tells the tale of a late 19th century American town’s most prosperous family destroyed by the march of industrialization to turn the town into a city and is based on Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel.

The event is free to all, and sodas, wine and snacks will be provided. For reservations, call 832-0731.

To see a clip of the film’s opening scenes, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg6emvCqvBE . MORE...
Architect Thomas Kirchhoff and decorator Mario Buatta won the Preservation Foundation’s Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award Thursday for their design of Windsong Too.

The guest pavilion is adjacent to Windsong, an estate-section property owned by Hilary and Wilbur Ross.

The award, presented annually since 2006, recognizes architects and designers of newly built structures on the island that reflect local architectural traditions.

It was given Thursday during a ceremony at the Preservation Foundation headquarters on Peruvian Avenue.

This is the second time Kirchhoff’s work has been acknowledged with a Schuler award. He also was the first recipient, for his design of the Dixon residence. MORE...
So when the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach noticed the town’s building department announced plans to post residential architectural plans on the town’s web site, it sounded an alarm.

The department has long posted building applications online. And in 2007 through part of 2009, when the department had an employee dedicated to the task, it placed architectural plans online when they were submitted with applications, according to assistant director Veronica Close. Most of the time, the large plans were not sent digitally with the application, she said.

The Preservation Foundation, learning that the department proposed putting all architectural submissions online, voiced its objections to the Town Council last week.

“I don’t think private homeowners should have to expose their home plans to the public,” said foundation president John Mashek. “I don’t think we want to show where our children’s bedrooms are. It should not be public information in our opinion. If we are tal MORE...
In a series of books, American Elizabeth Minchilli relates the life she shares in Italy with her husband, an Italian architect, and their two daughters. Her articles on a variety of topics Italiano have popped up in Architectural Digest, Food and Wine and Town & Country, among other magazines.

Living in a restored farmhouse in Umbria and a rooftop apartment near the Coliseum in Rome, Minchilli has become an expert on the little touches that make an Italian house a welcoming, authentic home.

At 2 p.m. on Friday, Minchilli will talk about her latest book, Italian Rustic, at The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach office, 311 Peruvian Ave. MORE...
The Preservation Foundation has been front and center for decades. We have raised and donated millions of dollars to assist the town with numerous projects, to build parks and to educate young and old about the town's history and architecture. You may not agree with everything we stand for or everything we have done. I do not. It is not possible, however, to question our motives or our openness. If the Sterling Group wants to debate the merits of its proposal, we will do so at any time and in any forum. The personal attacks need to stop; they are not a part of the lifestyle of this community. If the redevelopment plan cannot stand on its merits, it should fail.

L. Frank Chopin is a trustee of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. MORE...
The leader of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach says a newly released survey about condo construction at the Royal Poinciana Plaza should give town leaders plenty of food for thought.

The Clinton Group, a communications firm, reports that of the Palm Beach residents who participated in the Preservation Foundation-sponsored survey, taken Feb. 4 though Feb. 8, 63.8 percent said they oppose condos at the plaza while 18.5 percent said they support that scenario.

On Wednesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to conduct a formal hearing of Sterling Palm Beach's redevelopment plan for the plaza, which proposes the construction of four condominiums on the 12-acre site.

Using a random-dial system to contact Palm Beach residents throughout town, the survey asked: "Are you for or against the construction of new condominiums at the Royal Poinciana Plaza?"

John Mashek, chairman of the Preservation Foundation, said its leaders knew how its members felt. "But in MORE...
Karakul and Held's efforts to restore the vintage home resulted in recognition by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach with the 2009 Ballinger Award.

The award has been presented since 1987 to owners of renovated or restored properties considered to be outstanding examples of the preservation of the history and traditions of Palm Beach architecture.

"When you walk into this house, you get a wonderful sense of the past, even though it has been thoroughly and thoughtfully updated," said John Mashek, Preservation Foundation chairman, who heads the selection commitee for the Ballinger Award.

"One cannot tell that the addition is not original to the house, it is done so well," Mashek said. MORE...
Marty Hylton, an assistant professor of interior design at the University of Florida, is aware that the impressions some have of modern-style architecture can work against efforts to preserve worthy examples.

"People don't get all warm and fuzzy about them. They call them factory-like and industrial," Hylton explained Wednesday at a Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach workshop on mid-century modernism. MORE...
The Preservation Foundation will be presenting this year’s ‘Historic Properties Workshop’ on Nov. 4, 2009. The fourth in as many years, this year the focus is Mid-Century Modernism and Green Preservation. It is open to the public and free to all. MORE...
The Royal Poinciana Way area needs to be energized. Make no mistake; the Preservation Foundation does not propose fossilizing the area. The present desire of some Town Council members for a quick fix must not force our zoning commissioners to make sweeping changes that put at risk the happy union of good sense and good taste that has always been the hallmark of the best in Palm Beach. We can rely on the Architectural Commission for good taste, and we want to rely on the Planning and Zoning commissioners to exercise good sense. MORE...
Seizing on two topical subjects, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach will present a Historic Properties workshop on Modern architecture and green preservation, from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 4. at its offices, 311 Peruvian Ave.

Though Modern architecture is not widely seen in Palm Beach, it is part of a wide range of styles represented here, according to Janice Owens, education director for the Preservation Foundation.

"If you think about the buildings we've lost in town, this is a way to educate the public," Owens said.

In 2001, the Town Council declined to designate as a landmark the 1973 John Volk-designed Modern-style house called La Ronda. The house, at 444 N. Lake Way, was later demolished.

The 1960 Modern-style house at 144 Wells Road, designed by Alfred Browning Parker, was demolished last summer. MORE...
The 1929 Addison Mizner-designed mansion in danger — with its colossal towers, two-story grand hall, dramatic arches and turret — is situated not in Palm Beach, but near Bryn Mawr, Pa. There, the predominant architectural styles include Tudor Revival and Colonial. MORE...
Making good on a pledge to help pay for the exterior restoration of Town Hall, part of an $11 million renovation, the Preservation Foundation has initiated a fundraising campaign. MORE...
John Mashek, president of the board of directors of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, said he regards the plan as a work in progress.

"The Preservation Foundation continues to feel the whole property should be landmarked and that we should let the landmarks commission work with the developer on the changes they want," he said. "That's the process."

But he said that doesn't mean the Playhouse should remain intact.

"We are not about the usage of historic buildings," he said. "We are about saving the architecture itself." MORE...
Preservation Foundation presents exhibit of Ray Gindroz drawings MORE...
Palm Beach halts development of Royal Poinciana Way area during corridor study. Council halts site-plan reviews, zoning variances due to study, but waivers can be requested. MORE...
I am proud to have been appointed to the steering committee of the Royal Poinciana Visioning Study, and I believe that stability for the plaza is what we need, not input from planners. MORE...
Sea Gull Cottage: 'Showplace Along the Shores.' Coalition launches ambitious project to revitalize Palm Beach's oldest house near Royal Poinciana Chapel. MORE...
Consultant: Expect Royal Poinciana Area Planning Study charrette to be intense. MORE...
Panel to help planning council with Royal Poinciana Way study. MORE...
Gala organizers give their all for charity. MORE...
Mock board meeting offers real preservation lessons. Officials from across the region learn proper procedures for boards overseeing the fates of historic properties. MORE...