Friday, January 30, 2015

Lakeview House, Palm Beach

This week I stumbled upon an amazing home located in the Estate Section of Palm Beach. The legendary property is known as Lakeview House, and it was designed and built by high-society architect Clarence Mack in 1940. Mack created an architectural genre that is popularly known as "Palm Beach Regency" or "Tropical Empire." The self-taught architect, who was inspired by late Georgian and classical French style, built two Palm Beach enclaves in the late 1950s and early 1960s - aptly named Regent's Park and Parc Monceau, which are currently under review as possible designation as historical districts.

Lakeview House has been home to an impressive list of occupants, including Dame Celia Lipton Farris who lived there for more than three decades until her passing in 2011. The 12,406 square-foot manse was then listed for sale, and described as "structurally unsound" and promoted to potential buyers as a "perfect [place] to build your dream home." Fortunately, the current owner saved Lakeview House from the wrecking ball, promising to restore the house to its original splendor. And today, that promise has been fulfilled! Architectural renovations were handled by Smith & Moore, and Gil Walsh fashioned a sensitive restoration and decoration that acknowledged the home's luminous past while making it current for today's lifestyle. Let's take a look at the restoration, as featured by Dering Hall and photographed by Kim Sargent.

The architecture firm of Smith & Moore reworked the house’s approach by adding an entrance that opens directly onto the main floor. The exterior paint color, originally white, was changed to a soft yellow, allowing the architectural details to reveal themselves in subtle highlight.

For the expansive living room, Walsh favored a traditional scheme. Herringbone floors provide an engaging rhythm while plaid silk taffeta draperies add softness and color. The oversized chandelier anchors the room and is both dramatic and functional. Fretwork chairs counterbalance the formality.

Walsh makes exquisite drapery the centerpiece of the dining room, giving it plenty of breathing room via simple walls and bare floors. Plaid taffeta fabric from the living room makes an encore appearance on the dining chairs.

The kitchen mixes traditional form with the functionality of today.

Scalamandre’s iconic prancing zebras wallpaper enlivens the first floor powder room.

The combination of crystal chandeliers, zebra hides, and tiger print ottomans provide visual interest to the long upstairs hallway.

The master bedroom.

A British Colonial bed dominates a guest room. A quartet of parrot prints provide color and height to the overall composition.

A British Colonial bed dominates a guest room. A quartet of parrot prints provide color and height to the overall composition.

The soaring pool house is a true indoor/outdoor space to be enjoyed by day or night.

The pool and pool house were given a complete makeover. The stone surround and integrated water feature are deceptively simple yet precise. Zoysia grass channels bring a softness to the hardscape.

To see pictures of Lakeview House before its recent renovation and to learn more about its history, prior inhabitants, and architect Clarence Mack, you can read this wonderful article by Augustus Mayhew for New York Social Diary. There is also a fantastic post at The Devoted Classicist.  While the home still maintains a traditional feel, it is significantly less formal than it was originally. As realtor Liza Pulitzer (daughter of the late Lilly Pulitzer) told the Palm Beach Daily News, "When Mack, and later, Robert Gottfried were building Regency-style houses, buyers wanted a more formal look. Today buyers are replacing high-gloss floors with flat-finish stone and eschewing heavy drapes and large chandeliers in favor of cleaner lines."

If you are interested in purchasing your very own Clarence Mack Palm Beach Regency, you are in luck because his former home, located at 400 Regent Park on the lakefront with stunning Intracoastal views, just happens to be for sale!

Also for sale is 500 Regent Park, built by Mack in 1959. 

And there is a pending sale at 695 S. County Road, which was built by Mack in 1953 and renovated in an Art Deco style. 


  1. It would have been such a shame if this home had been torn down. Beautiful favorite is the powder room.

  2. Wow...such a gorgeous home! The other ones aren't too bad either! :)

    I would live in a shack in Florida - any place warmer than here! xoxo

  3. What a wonderful home - great kitchen and the pool and poorhouse…fabulous!!

  4. It is a glorious house and I am so glad it was not razed. Thank-you for the mention.

  5. Nice post. I like your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    flats at korattur


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