In 1894, Palm Beach leaped to world prominence as a winter playground with the completion of Henry Morrison Flaglers Royal Poinciana Hotel. In 1920s Palm Beachs extravagant lifestyle reached its height, and grand sprawling Mediterranean-style mansions abounded. By the 1980s, financial prosperity and an economic boom, which was accompanied by an onslaught of redevelopment, threatened Palm Beachs world famous architectural heritage.
Palm Beach details the meticulous restorations of more than twenty great houses and public buildings on the American Riviera. These houses were restored from 1988 to the present, and each house has won the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beachs coveted Ballinger Award. The cycle of building and restoration chronicled here encompasses one of Americas enduring architectural landscapes, as well as the dynamics of its social history.
Public and private structures designed by some of the style-setting early architects are depicted, including works of Addison Mizner, Joseph Urban, and Maurice Fatio, as well as those of anonymous designers, whose feats of imagination rivaled the most celebrated professionals. The photography has been taken to respectfully document the superb restorations of these houses, many of which have never before been published.