Summer’s over, but the buying frenzy has just begun

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As my grandmother always said, “After July 4th, summer’s over!” September will be here before you know it, but will we be going back to work and to school? Nobody knows for sure, but one thing we’re all hearing is that we will see a second wave of Covid hitting New York this fall and winter. As one would expect, our friends at all the real estate companies in Palm Beach are busier than ever with requests for second homes and seasonal rentals.

One of the more interesting homes available on the island right now is the beautiful oceanfront Bermuda style house located at 1021 North Ocean.

After the great influence of architect Addison Mizner which NYSD’s Augustus Mayhew wrote about last week, an appreciation for the Tropical or British Colonial style followed, and a new generation of architects including Howard Major, Marion Sims Wyeth and John L. Volk emerged. As Volk explained in an article for Architectural Digest in 1972, “When the market crashed and the Depression followed, there wasn’t a client in sight who wanted to build the elaborate Spanish house. So I began designing British Colonial houses that could be built for forty-five cents a square foot. The Spanish mansions with their wrought iron ceilings, grillwork and stained glass, cost about two dollars per square foot.”

Originally built in 1949, and rebuilt in 2001 by renowned Palm Beach architect Jeffery W. Smith, this enchanting seaside Bermuda on the North End of the island is currently listed for $34 million.

Some of its wonderful architectural details include this Chippendale railing which punctuates the stair foyer, and an open beamed ceiling in the oceanfront living room …

One hundred feet of direct ocean with pool …


Limed cypress paneled library and bar …

Oceanfront family room …

Formal dining room …

Separate kitchen …

The master and guest suites all have gorgeous ocean views making it the perfect Palm Beach home for casual living and traditional entertaining.

For inquiries, contact Jim McCann at Christie’s Premiere Estate Properties: (561) 307-1525

A stone pineapple, the traditional symbol of hospitality, sits atop the entrance gate.

Meanwhile, it’s getting hot down here and our beach walks are getting earlier and earlier. It’s high season for the sea turtles. So, during our 7 a.m. beach walk this morning we stopped to chat with one of the experts who monitors the turtles and hatchlings from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Sea turtles nest on our beaches, forage for food in our estuaries, and all too often wash-up dead on our shoreline. The dedicated staff of the FWC studies and helps protect them as much as possible. In fact, all sea turtles found in Florida are protected under state statutes.

Courtesy of Martha O’Brien Lamphere

To protect endangered sea turtles which nest on local beaches and the hatchlings which come from those nests, the Town of Palm Beach issued an ordinance requiring all oceanfront property owners to ensure that their lights are not visible from the beach anytime from March 1st through October 31st. Artificial light confuses the sea turtles hatchlings causing them to veer off course from their intended destination directly to the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that the resulting disorientation of sea turtle hatchlings from artificial  lighting sources is a major cause in the decline of sea turtle populations worldwide.

The Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) coordinates nesting beach survey programs around the state. And, the Florida Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network is responsible for gathering data on stranded or dead sea turtles. Debilitated turtles are rescued and transported to rehabilitation facilities such as the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach.

Courtesy of Martha O’Brien Lamphere

Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution are only some of the things sea turtles must fight against to stay alive. Researchers at FWRI are studying these threats and finding ways to help the population survive.

“On the Avenue” is an expression I am reticent to use, as my late father-in-law John Ledes, editor and publisher of BeautyFashion & Cosmetic World magazines, and our friend Judy Price, founder of Avenue magazine (now owned by Charles Cohen), once saw themselves in a law suit over the use of the name. I believe they settled, but either way they were using the expression in regards to Madison Avenue, of course, and we use it here to refer to Worth Avenue. Nonetheless, we had a grand time “sipping and shopping” al fresco at the invitation of fashion designer Ala von Auersperg (who was in Newport), and jewelry designer Whitney Baldwin. The event was hosted by Trish Carroll who served rosé in the courtyard of Via Mario outside of Ala’s boutique.

Whitney Baldwin Cameron-Hayes and her unique designs created from treasures found in silver vaults, antiques shops and jewelry boxes all over the world.

Whitney grew up in an attractive and artistic family surrounded by horses and nature in beautiful Chester County, PA. A former model who studied art history in Paris, she became an antique dealer under the initial guidance of Scott Snyder and embarked on a career as an interior decorator working in New York, Southampton and Palm Beach. She has since transitioned and focused her talented eye on crafting an unique jewelry collection using rare treasures discovered all over the world. “Every single piece has its own unique character unto its own,” she says.

Hannah Bressler Jaques wearing a dress designed by Ala von Auersperg and Melissa Hornung wearing a pendant from Whitney Baldwin Designs.
Ala von Auersperg lined fabric masks were available for purchase.

Now married to a Brit called Jonathan Cameron-Hayes, Whitney resides in Wellington with her many pets including three Australian Shepherds, three Bob Tail cats, two rescues, and many species of wild ducks and birds that she feeds on her property at the exclusive Palm Beach Polo Club. This is also the location of her studio which can be visited by appointment only.

Whitney takes two weeks each summer, however, to hit the antiques shows exploring the stalls and arcades of Portobello Road, Hungerford and other corners of the English Countryside searching for brass buttons with eagle and lion crests, sterling silver striker boxes, and double Albert watch fob chains, rare pendants — some of which belonged to royals dating back to 1819. Ancient rosettes that once graced the bridles of the royal coach horses are then attached to horn shed and worn as a cuff bracelet or hung from a triple leather cord fastened with gold clasps that bring forth some of the most rare finds that have become her trademark. The latest interesting demand is the baroque south sea pearl collection. Everything is hand selected, curated and of her own design. Each is a statement piece that defines one’s own personal monogram. It’s a blend of unconventional tradition with old world sentiment and a story and lineage of its own.

Whitney Schott wearing a sterling silver strike box necklace by Whitney Baldwin Designs, and a vintage Elsa Peretti sterling silver bone cuff bracelet, circa 1970, that she purchased from WBD.

The jewelry is a creative outlet like the palatial gardens that surround her and she personally tends herself. She is as meticulous as curating her jewelry line as she is her garden, pulling every weed and able to name every plant species which she calls “her children.” Her connection to spirituality is translated through all of her life’s works and presence. A constant reminder that above all things and all beings, including those unseen, are truly the most precious of things.

As we head into the week ahead, we are struck by the fact that Florida reported a record 15,300 new cases of Coronavirus today. Still the Town of Palm Beach is only reporting 61 confirmed cases and 3 deaths. It will be interesting to see if this number changes dramatically this week or if our protocols continue to work. With all the material wealth here, it is worth noting how our health has become the most valuable thing. Wellness is the new luxury.

Next week, the WWD Wellness Summit, Eau Palm Beach and Tammy Fender at La Clara.

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