The Preservation Foundation

2013 Ballinger Award Given
Posted Date 12/13/2013

 

To listen to and watch the 2013 Ballinger Award presentation please click play above

 

2013 Robert I. Ballinger Award Given

The 2013 Ballinger Award for outstanding restoration and rehabilitation of historic architecture was presented at the Preservation Foundation’s annual membership luncheon held on Friday, December 13th, 2013.  This year, the Foundation awarded a South Ocean Boulevard property that architect John Volk designed in 1929.
 
Foundation Chairman John Mashek presented the Ballinger medal to Diana and E. Llwyd Ecclestone for the restoration of their property.  Accepting the award Diana Ecclestone said, “our home is something we love, and we’ve been very blessed. I couldn’t leave here without giving credit to my husband, Llwyd, he really did this for me.”
 
A presentation was given honoring the property by the Preservation Foundation’s Executive Director Alexander C. Ives highlighting the restoration and renovation work.  Over 175 images by professional photographers Stephen Leek and Kim Sargent detailed the architectural features.
 
The restoration and renovation team consisted of the owners, the architects Sophia Lagerholm and Jeff Smith of Smith Architectural Group, Inc., interior designer Scott Snyder and the landscape design firm of Morgan Wheelock Incorporated.
 
The team’s restoration and renovation highlighted five areas.  First, a second story infill addition to the East portion of the property was done to redo the master suite and expand it by just under 125 square feet. Then, a two-story redo of the North side of the property was done so as to expand two powder rooms on the first floor and a large closet on the second floor by just under 900 square feet.  Next, on the West side, a two-story addition allowed for a new kitchen on the first floor and revamped bedroom, beauty salon and office on the second floor. Fourth, a small extension of approximately 100 square feet was put on the South side.  Finally, the project created a second story infill addition on the West side of the courtyard of approximately 900 square feet.  All in all, the square footage of the residence was increased from just under 15,000 square feet to just over 18,000 square feet for an approximately 3,500 square foot total expansion.
 
Though its current owners now refer to it as Villa Artemis, the property was originally known as Beaumere.  In 1929, when the 28-year-old John Volk built the house, a string of hurricanes and the Great Depression had created a change in building styles and construction.  Volk’s great innovation under the financial constraints of the moment was to move from and adapt the popular Spanish architectural style into a more Italian one.  It was immediately recognized and influential.  It was just a slight departure, with cleaner and more restrained lines but no less impressive.  For what he called ‘a bargain price’ Volk had created an estate masterpiece.
 
It was built for Vincent Bendix, an inventor and manufacturer from Indiana who made his fortune by patenting a drive gear that in basic terms allowed for electric starters in cars. Bendix overextended himself financially so much that within six months of the house’s initial completion Bendix had sold it to the grandfather of one of the most famous American playwrights, vaudeville impresario Edward Franklin Albee. 
 
The Ballinger award was first presented by the Foundation in 1987 and honors the late Robert I. Ballinger Jr., former chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission. Struck by noted sculptor Edward Grove, the medal itself bears the likeness of a bust of Ballinger that was sculpted by Ballinger’s wife, Didi Ballinger, and, on the reverse, the name of the house being honored and its owners.

 

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 All images by Kim Sargent, except the first which is by Stephen Leek.

 

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach is a private, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic, architectural and cultural heritage of Palm Beach, Florida. As the community advocate for maintaining the outstanding quality of life in Palm Beach, the Foundation has created a community-wide perspective seeing the unique buildings of Palm Beach as integral to the Town’s character as well as its future. What once would have been only issues of growth have been reshaped as issues of quality of life. By combining history, inventiveness and ingenuity the Preservation Foundation has helped forge a contemporary Palm Beach informed by its achievements in architecture, culture and design, not dismissive of them.
 
Over 30 years, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach has given millions of dollars for the preservation and restoration of historic properties; worked advocating for over 275 landmark properties; recognized numerous architects, owners, and properties with awards; educated hundreds of thousands of children about the architectural, cultural and environmental legacy of Palm Beach; and saved thousands of archival documents in its library, among many other accomplishments.