Monday, July 22, 2013

A Palm Beach Pink Love Story

Historical preservation is a passion of mine, so I was thrilled when I read this heartwarming story of "Bella Costa" a Mediterranean mansion built in 1925 by the legendary Addison Mizner, Palm Beach's most revered architect. Slated for the wrecking ball in 1999, the current owners literally saved this historically significant home.

In their Palm Beach house hunt, the owners, who have always had an appreciation for architecture, had been perusing the town demolition applications submissions, and this gorgeous house caught their eye.

“We saw that the Dunbar house had come up for demolition,” the husband told the Palm Beach Daily News. “We drove by to look at it, and we were dumbfounded that this house with its significance and architectural details was slated to be demolished.”

A Palm Beach builder had purchased the house with plans to demolish it, subdivide the oceanfront lot and build two spec houses.  The couple asked if they could save the home and move it, and fortunately the builder was happy to oblige. So they bought it, turned it 90 degrees and moved it dozens of yards to its current location.

111 Dunbar Road
The exterior paint today reflects Mizner’s original shade of pink, the color renovation crews uncovered after scraping through layers of paint. The owners, who say they saw their roles as stewards of a historic property, also tried to identify the home’s original interior colors.
After the home was moved, the owners restored it, and now they have decided to move on. The 9,862 square foot pink stucco home - a Mizner hallmark - is for sale Sotheby’s International Realty for $8.95M.
It is believed that the plasterwork in the dining room was replicated from photographs of the Alhambra that Mizner had taken during his travels in Spain. The terrazzo floor contains thin metal dividers that create a tiled effect.
The Tunisian tile floor in the entrance foyer is hundreds of years old, and black pure Belgian marble covers the foyer’s floor.
 Other historic features include the pecky-cypress beams in the entry and living room, hardwood floors, decorative tilework, wrought-iron detailing, arches, decorative columns, corbels, stone carvings and stone-carved mantelpieces. 
“I can’t help but feel the touch of Addison Mizner, as I walk the marble floors, or when I’m just sitting in the grand ballroom reading a book to my kids,” said the owner. 
To learn more about this architectural love affair and the history of Bella Costa, I highly recommend reading this wonderful article from the Palm Beach Daily News.  The real estate listing for this home can be found here.
Personally, I would love to see Palm Beach decorator Mimi McMakin get her hands on the decor... I can just imagine what Bella Costa would look like once she put her signature Palm Beach Chic, Old Florida stamp on this masterpiece!
Can't get enough Addison Mizner? Click here to see another Palm Beach mansion for sale... this one is oceanfront!


  1. A few years ago I went on a Palm Beach garden tour which included going through several Mizner houses. They were wonderful to tour and the Dunbar house looks beautiful - too bad it is a tad above the budget!

  2. Beautiful historical home. I used to live in Delray Beach and am very familiar with mizner architect. loved seeing the inside of this house!

  3. What a great story! I love when homes are saved from demo. We moved to our neighborhood in large part because of the lack of new construction and the conservation designation and restrictions. Sadly, the restrictions haven't been strong enough. A new and McMansionish house is going up down the street.

  4. I am so used to seeing pink exteriors in Florida. What character and charm this one has. I'm glad it won't be torn down. I can't imagine living in a home this large.

  5. It is all too often that we hear about developers buying beautiful old properties on beautiful pieces of land just to simply destroy them with McMansions, condos, and the like. I am glad that someone appreciated this home enough to save it and that this story had a somewhat happier ending! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Oh Be still my heart! I so wanted a pink house..... I did realize it would not fit into the existing architecture so in keeping with the integrity of the "hood" I settled for a coral door. This gem is fabulouso & so glad it survived. THX for sharing!!!

  7. A fantasy home for sure. The stuff dreams are made of!

  8. Thanks for sharing, this house is gorgeous. So glad to hear it was saved. I especially love the fireplace and mantel. Beautiful beyond words. I, too, love historical preservation...we bought a 1900 Victorian and it still has many original features.


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