During the past summer the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach,realizing house tours, group meetings and live lectures may have become events of the past, began reformatting the multidimensional appreciation of the Town’s historic architecture and transforming the experience onto 21st-century platforms — laptops, iPads, iPhones, and YouTube.
Voila! Landmarks Discovered, an online video production exploring the Town’s historic landmarks and influential architects, is hosted by Amanda Skier, the foundation’s executive director, and Katie Jacob, program director. Each episode focuses on a landmark, sharing the property’s history through a virtual tour and archival materials with commentary by design professionals, historians and preservationists. The format allows the Foundation to connect with a broader audience and create a more dynamic dialogue about architecture’s role shaping the community’s quality of life.
This new series features insightful interviews with architects, designers, building contractors, and craftsmen, revealing the practical challenges of rehabilitation projects along and pointing out aspects distinguishing the original from modern-day construction and materials.
Landmarks Discovered focuses on how utilizing special collections and archival research result in successful rehabilitation projects. Each episode takes viewers behind the scenes to learn how the architect’s original plans and historic photographs inform a project’s planning and design. By reviewing these primary sources, the series facilitates greater access to the Preservation Foundation’s archives.
Here are snaps I took during the Preservation Foundation’s filming of a recent episode and a look around-and-about historic architecture under reconstruction. Because it was the first sunny morning in what seemed like 40 days, I arrived a few minutes early to catch the sunlight
Friday – October 9, 2020 930 South Ocean Boulevard
Treanor & Fatio / Maurice Fatio-architect
In 1932 Maurice and Eleanor Fatio sold their house and furnishings at 930 South Ocean to New York “merchant prince” Franklin Simon whose Palm Beach store was at the northwest corner of Worth Avenue and Hibiscus. For the time being, the Fatios moved back as tenants to the Via del Mar house, the house Fatio sold before moving into 930 South Ocean.
Eventually, the Fatio family lived three blocks south of their Via Bellaria house on Algoma Road, named for the Wisconsin town, or perhaps, Algoma Boulevard in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where Mrs. Fatio’s family home, the Edgar P. Sawyer mansion is today the Oshkosh Public Museum. Within a few years, Simon died, and the family placed the house on the market amid the Great Depression.
The Preservation Foundation’s recent videos include features on Hogarcito and the Episcopal Church of Bethesda by-the-Sea, where I stopped Friday for a few snaps. The website also has produced episodes on Town Hall, 174 Via del Lago, two houses attributed to Belford Shoumate, and a house at 9 Golfview Road.
Hogarcito 17 Golfview Road
Marion Sims Wyeth, architect
Episcopal Church of Bethesda by-the-Sea Hiss & Weeks, architect.
Sewell C. Biggs House, 1955 Seabreeze Avenue, Delray Beach
Paul Rudolph, architect
Having somehow survived on Seabreeze Avenue the past 65 years with only unnerving additions, the work of one of the 20th-century’s most renowned Modernist architects is being “reimagined.” I happened by it on the way to my dentist in Delray. For more, Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation