“Less is More” is a maxim not commonly associated with today’s Palm Beach where William Blake’s “The road of excess leads to the palace of … ” might be more apropos. Nonetheless, Moderne, Mid-Century Modern and Modern architectural styles, known for their form follows function credo, could be found on North End streets, Midtown apartments, Worth Avenue buildings and South Ocean Boulevard hi-rises from the 1930s until the 1980s.
Although never garnering the curb appeal of stucco-and-barrel tile Spanish and Italian villas, Caribbean and Bermuda imports, or the spectrum of contextual spec houses, these sleek sculpted buildings ranged from the sublime Villa Today on Via Bellaria, described in 1938 as “The most original house in Palm Beach” to the International-styled 400 Building by Edward Durell Stone, a world-class building by one of the 20th-century’s most influential architects. Too often, these buildings are overlooked, if not minimized, when establishing the town’s architectural standards.
Here are some highlights and postcards from the past.
Worth Avenue: Moderne & Modern
Modern Regency: Palm Beach Regency/Gottfried Regency
Hi-Rise Palm Beach
South Lake Drive
This ensemble of lakefront Modern buildings, among the most noticeable of the 15 residential buildings Howard Chilton designed in Midtown, established Chilton at the forefront of Mid-Century Modern design.
Modern & Contemporary