I would have liked to save the first Palm Beach Regency house to be featured on the Big Bubble for a perfect time capsule of that architectural style, a gracious flowering of subtropical neoclassicism that was extremely popular in Palm Beach in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. However, this unrestrained expression of… well… something… makes this house one not to miss.
Taxes on the wealthy were a lot higher in those days, so the houses of that era were smaller (by Palm Beach standards) than the gargantuan baronial estates of the 1920s and ’30s, and the equally massive homes of today. However, they were no less elegant, and a firm desire by the wealthy to hold on to grand historical styles combined with a flash of midcentury modernism, and adjusted for the subtropics gave those houses a very distinct and lovely look.
That’s Palm Beach Regency. A great example is the home of Clarence Mack, one of the look’s signature architects, which was built in 1959. Mack designed this place too. Despite the Mack association, however, this house is something extra. At one point it seems to have been attached to the neighboring Elephant Walk estate, another PB Regency classic. However, someone got to it in the ’80s apparently.
Located at 150 El Vedado Road, it’s on the market for $8.75M. Check out the formal living room, the Florida Room, and the dining room, which is covered top to bottom in trompe l’oeil. The library is a wash of rosy rouge red that you can’t really get out of your head. So, what do you think? Love it or loath it? Would you maybe tweak it a bit, leave it as-is, or rip out all that faux finish and start all over? Although most of the house is fabulously over-the-top, the kitchen and bedrooms are shockingly blah, so they would be a good place to start.