South Florida Social Diary: Indian Summer @ Palm Beach & Miami

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Paige Rense Noland, right, editor emeritus of Architectural Digest, with Jennifer Pfaff Smith, Homes Editor at Luxe Interiors + Design magazine, peruse Paige’s new book Architectural Digest: Autobiography of a Magazine 1920-2010 at a recent reception hosted by Holly Hunt’s DCOTA showroom in Dania.

During this past week the only more astronomical phenomena than the area’s high 80s-low 90s temperatures were Palm Beach County’s annual property tax assessments that arrived in the mail, especially Palm Beachers. Those with tax bills in excess of $500,000 probably took time to reflect on the barrier island’s pivotal milestones that elevated everyone’s expectations and appraised values. It has been a decade since Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev’s reportedly paid $95 million for Maison d’ Amitie.

Six years have passed since Chicago’s Ken Griffin began spending more than $150 million to accommodate his own edition of Figulus. Or, from the current looks of it, what Baudelaire might have described in his poem “Landscape” as “plunged deep in the thrill.” Although, the Palm Beach residential market has resisted the $100 million level, Terry Allan Kramer has listed her immense oceanfront retreat overlooking Griffinlandia for $135 million. Last winter Sydell Miller’s acquisition at the Bristol-Palm Beach led to rumors her La Reverie estate would also soon be/if not already quietly on the market at comparable levels to the nearby Kramer homestead.

Palm Beach’s neverending assembly-line of spec houses not only drive the market higher but also has established design standards dictated by a draconian rule requiring new houses to be compatible with those located within 200-feet of it. Streets once lined with an eclectic mix of discernable Palm Beach facades and floor plans have given way to the curb appeal of corpulent formulated generics built by those who will never actually live in the houses they produced. Not to be left out, the Town of Palm Beach has begun construction on a revitalized Recreation Center.

With the sanctioned Palm Beach season soon to be underway, here is my annual hard hat look-around, pheew, and a pre-Art Basel jaunt to Miami, before catching up with Architectural Digest’s Paige Rense Noland at Charles Cohen’s DCOTA where she was signing her new book.

Palm Beach

The Society of the Four Arts’ new season brings staff changes, the launch of its seasonal programs, and the reopening of The King Library on December 13. The library’s original 1930s Treanor & Fatio-designed building, pictured above, has been augmented with a contextual addition, a handicap ramp, and an interior redesign.
When I stopped by The King Library this week, decorative artist Zenon Toczek was working on his 2018 reproduction of the original c. 1938 loggia mural designed by Albert Herter, highlighted in 2016 on The New York Social Diary’s feature Aristocratic Artist: Albert Herter at Palm Beach. Whether replacing sculptor August Godio’s original hippocampus fountain at Mizner Plaza & Memorial Park, recasting sculptor Leo Lentelli’s original entrance fountain at The Breakers, or renewing Bradley Park’s fountain sculpture, originally acquired from Omar Berberyan’s garden and donated by Amy Phipps Guest, Palm Beach excels in removing signs of aging while remaking the old to look new again.
Zenon Toczek stands in front of the loggia’s ART panel.
The panels are acrylic-on-canvas works in progress.
Contextual additions to historic building facades can often challenge the original’s structural and spatial identity and integrity.
At first, The Four Arts utilized the King Library space as an art gallery space adjacent to the Garden Club of Palm Beach’s ensemble of historic gardens.
Along with a new director, the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden has added a classroom in the garden as part of its ongoing education programs for area schools.
ANSG’s outdoor classroom-in-the-round is shaded by one of Ann Norton’s monumental sculptures and an array of palms. On November 17, the Ann Norton hosts the 2nd Annual Sculpture in Motion exhibition of extraordinary classic pre- and post-war automobiles.
The Foster + Partners designed $100+/- million Norton Art Museum located along South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach reopens February 2019.
As you may have noticed, the 25-story Bristol – Palm Beach condominium is under construction located at the foot of the Middle Bridge on South Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. Nonetheless, cliff dwellers have begun closing on their units, “curated to the highest standards,” while the hammers and the saws are still at work. Arthur & Vicki Loring settled on #1201 for $6.85 million. Donald Carter acquired #904 for $6.75 million. The Raymond Goldens snapped up #1801 for $10.4 million. Sydell Miller is reported to have a contract on the 24th floor.

November 1, 2018 – 11 a.m.
Editor-Author Paige Rense Noland @ DCOTA

First impressions. DCOTA, Building C, entrance. The Holly Hunt showroom was on the ground floor.
Building C, atrium. View east toward the entrance.
“We look forward to having Paige for a book signing in Miami during Art Basel/Design Miami,” said Vivienne Evans, store manager at Books & Books-Miami Beach.
The inimitable Paige Rense Noland back in Florida after a whirlwind NYC book promotion campaign.

Cecil Hayes and Dan Forer.
DCOTA, atrium.
Charles Schmidt and Paige Rense.
DCOTA, atrium.
Paige Rense and Kimberly Perazzo, general manager Holly Hunt Florida.
One of Paige’s Florida rooms.
Holly Hunt showroom, DCOTA.


Sylvester Cancer Center, University of Miami / Miller School of Medicine, courtyard. In October, I reached a 10-year milestone checkup with my surgeon Dr. David Arnold, director of SCC’s Head & Neck Clinic.
As Art Basel and Design Miami buffs prep for the annual global aesthetic convergence, the City of Miami Beach has freshly painted street stripes and planted numerous new street signs around the Convention Center.
“Actually, he runs a gambling operation out of Panama,” was one of the few English-spoken sentences I recently heard on Lincoln Road, once a welcome outpost from Ocean Drive’s midway. With chicken stroganoff seen on several menus, Cyrillic accents were evident.
Situated in Miami’s Design District, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) shares much of the same architectural appeal as the nearby Perez Museum of Art.
ICA, entrance lobby.
ICA, Mendelson Gallery.
George Segal’s sculpture Three Figures and Four Benches (1979) is installed in ICA’s garden.
Across the street from ICA, the parking garage was clearly designed for a particular audience.
The parking garage’s north and east elevation.

Little Moscow at Sunny Isles Beach

During the past decade, Little Moscow, aka Sunny Isles Beach, has become a seasonal and year-round oceanfront destination for Russia’s cosmopolitan classes and haute bourgeoisie, sharing beach cabanas with Argentinians and Venezuelans. Positioned strategically between the upscale Aventura Mall and the sumptuous Bal Harbour Shops, and only a short drive to Gulfstream Race Track, Moscow’s swells were attracted early on by the ensemble of Trump signature oceanfront buildings promising a grande elite lifestyle. As the Russian population grew into a more diverse enclave, their presence stretched across the bay onto mainland Hallandale and Hollywood. Having never explored this area of Greater Miami, I spent a recent morning experiencing Little Moscow, especially captivated by Matryoshka’s gourmet market. Captioned in Cyrillic and English, shelves are stocked with Moskva’s very best, leaving exiles not wanting for anything from life on the Volga or the Neva.

Across the bay, much of Little Moscow is situated on the Sunny Isles Beach barrier island extending from about 163rd to 192nd Street. The photograph was taken on the 163rd Street bridge looking northeast across Duffy’s bayside pool in Hallandale to the buildings lining the oceanfront located around 185th Street/Collins Avenue.
Little Moscow.
Hola Beluga! Matryoshka’s offers a variety of delicacies.
L to R.: Residences by Armani/Casa, under construction. Cesar Pelli, architect.; Chateau Beach, 17475 Collins Avenue.
Old Samovar restaurant, 18220 Collins Avenue.
Le tout Moscow comes to Miami!
Little Moscow’ features an ensemble of Trump signature/branded buildings, described as “the gold standard.”
I believe this is known as the Trump Grande, made up of several towers opened a decade ago with more than 800 units. The initial Latin and South American presence is now shared with a Russian standing.
“Florida’s Riviera.
Kalinka Café.
Matryoshka Market, a wonderland for every gourmand.
Bird’s Milk Cake. Lost in translation, perhaps?
L to R.: Another tower being prepped for construction with a Karl Lagerfeld-designed lobby.; The view profile south of Acqualina on Collins Avenue.
Matryoshka Market. Pumpkin seeds. Shelves lined with pumpkin seeds.
Hallandale billboard. No need to rush back for a check-up at one of Moscow’s clinics.
Souz – Russian Books.

Hard Hat Palm Beach: Under Construction

Entertainer Jon Bon Jovi has reportedly joined the Palm Beach colony with plans for a new mansion overlooking one of Midtown’s beaches. A few blocks north, Vladimir Stolyarenko, described as a “one-time prominent Russian banker,” is believed to be behind the LLC that paid the Tommy Hilfigers $35 million for their beachfront cottage.
On South Ocean Boulevard, a prominent Midcentury Modern house was demolished last week.
On El Brillo, this once charming villa awaits further embellishments.
Along the Royal Poinciana Way thruway, towering cranes and a caravan of concrete trucks at The Breakers-Frisbie joint venture have been a main attraction as the underground parking garage is engineered.
North End, building permits posted.
North End landscape, preparing to uplift the new house’s foundation.
Palm Beach’s most exclusive areas accommodate numerous street-side portable toilets.
In the works along Sanford Avenue.
However much “Must we be modern?” is an often heard Palm Beach cant, a new residence going up in the North End.
Palm Beach has rigorous architectural approval standards.

Viewpoints: The Photography of Augustus Mayhew
Jennifer Garrigues – 308 Peruvian Avenue – Palm Beach
November 20, 2018 – December 15, 2018
Reception: November 20, 2018 / 6 pm – 8 pm

Como II, 2015. Villa Monastero, Varenna.

Photography by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Palm Beach-A Greater Grandeur

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