Addison Mizner (1872-1933)
Adison Mizner was born in Benicia, California. As a young man, he lived in Central America and Spain which would shape his architectural vocabulary years later. After apprenticing with San Francisco architect Willis Polk, he went on to prospect for gold in the Yukon, and eventually made his way to New York. There, he began to develop relationships with clients who commissioned country houses on Long Island. After the onset of World War I and health issues, he was invited to Palm Beach by Paris Singer—a pivotal point in his story. He completed his first major project, the Everglades Club in 1919 which set the tone for Mizner’s residential commissions that followed soon after for clients such as the Cosdens and the Phipps. Casa de Leoni, Via Mizner, and the Warden house are a few of his important extant works in Palm Beach. Mizner’s architectural style, known as Mizner Mediterranean Revival shaped the image of Palm Beach and left a lasting impact on the built environment.
Collection: The collected papers on Addison Mizner comprise 22 linear feet and include diaries, letters, handwritten manuscripts, rare books, and scrapbooks. A significant part of this collection is correspondence toward the end of Mizner’s life in 1933 and business records pertaining to his estate. The majority of the collection was generously donated by a relative of Madena Galloway Nelrich, Mizner’s personal assistant. Due to the fragile nature of this collection, a finding aid is available upon request for qualified research requests.