In 1980, a group of prominent citizens came together to create a charitable foundation, the Preservation Foundation, to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage and the unique scenic quality of the Town of Palm Beach. The first board members and officers of the Foundation were involved with the beginnings of the local preservation movement and the formation of the Landmarks Commission in 1979.
Ambassador Earl E.T. Smith [1903-1991], Mayor of the Town of Palm Beach from 1971 to 1977, became the first Chairman of the Preservation Foundation. He was highly visible throughout the town and deeply respected. The Town would not have achieved its present high standards and successes without his persistence and innumerable appearances before the Town Council to plead the cause for historic preservation on behalf of the Foundation.
The 2019 – 2020 season will comprise of events and exhibitions that highlight the leadership role the Foundation continues to serve in the community. A fall retrospective on the Foundation’s history and influence will open with the Founders’ Dinner at Club Colette, a celebratory evening about our founding chairman, Ambassador Earl E.T. Smith. Beginning in January, our lecture series will explore the impact of preservation in local communities, architectural theories that embrace preservation, the value of cultural landscapes, and the need for resilience through the second year of the Water Rising Series.