2021 Robert I. Ballinger Awarded to Golfview Road
For the first time, the 2021 Ballinger Award recognized a historic streetscape through the presentation of the award to the Landmarked homeowners on Golfview Road. This unique residential street was developed by Marion Sims Wyeth and E.F. Hutton in the early 1920s. Over the years the street has retained its unique identity through the dedication of its homeowners. The development and continued stewardship of Golfview Road truly exemplifies Palm Beach’s architectural heritage.
A neighborhood for the “right kind of young marrieds” was the motivation behind the Golf View Road Development company. Designed in 1921 by Marion Sims Wyeth, Marjorie Merriweather Post and Edward Francis Hutton’s home Hogarcito stands at the terminus of the private street. Wanting to further develop the street, Hutton enlisted Wyeth to create a series of speculative homes located on every other lot. Wyeth became the architect and developer with funding from Hutton, who chose to remain a silent partner.
Because the homes were developed speculatively, Wyeth had full creative control of the design process. Utilizing the Mediterranean Revival style, Wyeth embarked on creating a new neighborhood in Palm Beach according to his ideal vision. The result was a cohesively designed street of five houses on the north side of Golfview Road completed within two years. Dr. Jane S. Day reminds us in the recently published Wyeth monograph that “Golfview Road is today one of the most beautiful streets in Palm Beach...the streetscape is Wyeth’s vision.”
In 1924, Clarence Geist commissioned Wyeth to build opposite of Hogarcito. The Spanish Baroque style home known as La Claridad provides a dramatic foil to Hogarcito’s Spanish Revival simplicity. The most ornate house on the street, La Claridad showcases Wyeth’s authentic hand when applying the historic Spanish architectural details to the home. La Claridad was split in half by architect Belford Shoumate in 1948. Both single-family homes have recently been restored with respect to their historic legacy.
The renaissance of Golfview Road began through the recent restorations of many of Wyeth’s original designs. Today, six of Wyeth’s original designs are Landmarked by the Town of Palm Beach. Continuing the legacy of good design on Golfview Road, other prominent Palm Beach architects such as Clark Lawrence and Maurice Fatio contributed to the streetscape.