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Philadelphia in Palm Beach, Part I

Social History
We are taking today off to continue to optimize the back end of the new site. In the meantime, please enjoy Part 1 of Augustus Mayhew’s series on Philadelphian Ellen Glendinning (first published on these pages in 2011), who kept an extensive diary where she recorded and photographed the life around her family and friends; a chronological scrapboo... READ MORE
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The Gilded Cage: Tragedy at Palm Beach

Social History
“Men who club women and drag them by their hair,” were simply “clumsy, old-fashioned and unchic,” declared society referee Igor Cassini in his August 1949 syndicated column Cavemen in the Blue Book. Reflecting on the post-WW II era’s tolerance for domestic assault, the article’s perspective on “slaphappy lovebirds” and “the little... READ MORE
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The Coconuts! A Palm Beach Party History: 1920-2018

Social History
“There is to be a Tropical Ball given by a group of young men styling themselves The Cocoanuts at the Country Club tonight …” — The Palm Beach Post, February 18, 1920, page seven. On December 31, 1991 at The Breakers Golf Club several Coconuts offered conflicting timelines when a local reporter asked them to […]... READ MORE
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Higher Ground: Tall Timbers revives Livingstons’ Florida plantation

Social History
In 1958 prominent New York architect-turned-naturalist Henry L. Beadel repurposed his 2,400-acre Tall Timbers hunting plantation into an ecological preserve to conduct conservation studies on the estate’s vegetation and wildlife. Sixty years later, Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is Florida and Georgia’s largest regional la... READ MORE
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Palm Beach Social History: Casa Apava: Architectural Flashback

Social History
With past and present presidential links garnering much of the Palm Beach limelight, it may be fitting to recount the work of the youngest son of President James Garfield, architect Abram Garfield, who designed Casa Apava. Although today it is best known for its Billionaire’s Row location, impressive measurements and astronomical price, the seclu... READ MORE
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Romanesque Revival: Addison Mizner’s Riverside Baptist Church

Social History
Addison Mizner’s influential style continues to shape Palm Beach and Boca Raton’s architectural ambiance. And yet, what some consider Mizner’s magnum opus, his only religious building, remains far-removed from this protective limelight. One of 16 churches and more than 2,000 contributing buildings comprising Jacksonville’s Riverside Histori... READ MORE
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Nikola Tesla: A SoHo story

Social History
Now here’s a different sort of SoHo story. Tesla. Not the car company. Not the heavy metal band. The inventor Nikola Tesla. Back in the 1880’s and ‘90s when SoHo was descending from its prosperous heights, a young man from a village in Croatia, in his mid-20s, had three laboratories located in the SoHo: one […]... READ MORE
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JOHN RINGLING NORTH – CIRCUS KING

Social History
John Ringling North was a combination of Circus King, showmanship, brassy flamboyance, huckster salesman and perennial Playboy, and was a good enough show to compete with the acts and spectacles he produced under the Big Top for the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey combined shows. Against all the odds, he brought the family circus into […]... READ MORE
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Palm Beach Social Diary: Uncommon Lives

Social History
Uncommon Lives: David & Gertrude! Emily! Charles! Gertie! George & LaLa! Palm Beach’s seasonal social cha-cha-cha may be drawing to a close but apparently islanders will still need to adjust their calendar and logistics for the comings-and-goings of POTUS45, especially those living within the perimeter termed “the zone.” L... READ MORE
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Architectural Illusion: Villa Giardino at Palm Beach

Social History
Architectural Illusion: Villa Giardino at Palm Beach During the early 1930s Ohan Berberyan moved his Spanish Art Galleries shop from Worth Avenue to Peruvian Avenue where he recreated a Venetian Gothic showroom with formal Italian gardens to house his palatial Aubusson tapestries, Savonnerie carpets and ancient artifacts. At the time, Peruvian Aven... READ MORE
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This was Then: Malcom Forbes’ 70th, Part II

Social History
Photographs by Mary Hilliard Malcolm Forbes was the most celebrated magazine publisher of his day although there were others far richer and with larger media empires. Forbes was famous for his lifestyle, which was viewed as a kind of flashy irreverence. He appeared to be the ultimate WASP who could “get down” with the best […]... READ MORE
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This was Then: Malcolm Forbes’ 70th Birthday, Part I

Social History
Malcolm Forbes is a name that only vaguely, if that, resonates with anyone under fifty today. Yet when he died 27 years ago at the age of 70, he was one of the most famous personalities in America as a result of his flashy talent for his great publishing success as well as other business […]... READ MORE