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  • Writer's pictureHerlin

Who Invented the Palm Beach Style of Housing?


Palm Beach style housing is an architectural style that is synonymous with luxury, grandeur, and elegance. The houses in this style are characterized by their grand entrances, elaborate gardens, and attention to detail in design. Many people may wonder who invented the Palm Beach style of housing. In this article, we will delve into the history of this style and the individuals who played a significant role in its creation.


Palm Beach, Florida, is a small town located on an island that was incorporated in 1911. The town was established by Henry Morrison Flagler, a prominent American industrialist, and railroad magnate. Flagler was responsible for the construction of the Florida East Coast Railway, which connected Miami to Key West, making it easier for people to travel to and from Palm Beach.


Flagler's vision was to turn Palm Beach into a world-class resort destination for the wealthy and elite. He spared no expense in constructing grand hotels and mansions, which set the tone for the Palm Beach style of housing. The grandeur and luxury of the architecture were a reflection of the opulence and extravagance of the people who frequented Palm Beach.

In the early 1900s, Addison Mizner, an architect from California, moved to Palm Beach and began designing homes in the Palm Beach style. Mizner was inspired by the Spanish Colonial Revival and Mediterranean Revival styles, which he combined to create a unique architectural style that would later be known as the Mizner Style.


The Origins of Palm Beach Style Housing


Mizner's designs were characterized by their symmetry, attention to detail, and use of natural materials. He incorporated features such as courtyards, loggias, and decorative ironwork into his designs, which became hallmarks of the Palm Beach style. Mizner's designs were so popular that he went on to design many of the grand homes and estates in Palm Beach, cementing his place as one of the creators of the Palm Beach style.


Another architect who played a significant role in the development of the Palm Beach style was Maurice Fatio. Fatio was a Swiss-born architect who moved to Palm Beach in the 1920s. He was known for his elegant designs that combined the Mediterranean Revival and Georgian Revival styles. Fatio's designs were characterized by their grand entrances, symmetrical facades, and use of natural materials such as stucco, stone, and tile.


Fatio's designs were favored by many of the wealthy and influential people who lived in Palm Beach, including the Vanderbilts, DuPonts, and Pulitzers. Fatio went on to design some of the grandest homes and estates in Palm Beach, including Mar-a-Lago, the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, which is now owned by former President Donald Trump.

The Palm Beach style of housing continued to evolve over the years, with architects such as John Volk, Howard Major, and Marion Sims Wyeth making significant contributions to its development. The style has also influenced other architectural styles, such as the Florida Vernacular style and the British Colonial style.


In conclusion, the Palm Beach style of housing was created by a group of architects who were inspired by the natural beauty and opulence of Palm Beach. Addison Mizner and Maurice Fatio were two of the architects who played a significant role in its creation, but the style continued to evolve and influence other architectural styles over the years. Today, the Palm Beach style remains an iconic representation of luxury and elegance, and its influence can be seen in many homes and estates throughout the world.


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