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Ballinger Award honors Regents Park renovation

Posted On: 12-12-2015

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

Complex renovation projects are seldom easy — but the results often make up for the stress involved.

Or so Ambassador Mary M. Ourisman implied Friday afternoon as she and her husband, Mandell, accepted the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s 28th annual Robert I. Ballinger Award honoring major renovation projects at historical estates. Presented at The Breakers, the award recognized the 14-month renovation of the couple’s 1958 Palm Beach Regency-style residence — known as Pelican House — at 300 Regents Park Road.

“I am truly humbled and appreciative of this wonderful award,” she told the 200 guests at the foundation’s annual membership luncheon.

She then gave a nod to the design team that oversaw the project, noting in particular interior designer William R. Eubanks “who had the vision when I wanted to give up.”

The Ourismans’ luncheon table included Eubanks, interior designer D. Mitchell Brown and staff architect David J. Gengler, all of William R. Eubanks Interior Design. The project’s landscape designer was Keith Williams of Nievera Williams Design, and the contractors were Alan Chrzanowski and Brian Chrzanowski of B&A Design Builders Inc. Architect Thomas Kirchhoff of Kirchhoff & Associates Architects also played a role in the project.

Built in 1958, the Ourismans’ house is one of five in Regents Park, a subdivision just south of the Southern Boulevard traffic circle. Designed and constructed by the late developer Clarence Mack, the homes are clustered around an oval-shaped median.

In May, the town designated the neighborhood a historical district, citing its unified and cohesive architecture. Spearheaded by the Preservation Foundation, the designation was endorsed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Mack’s architectural style today is known as Palm Beach Regency — a blend of classical elements borrowed from the English Regency architecture of England. Self-trained as an architect, Mack aimed at simplicity, refinement and symmetry, foundation President Alexander C. Ives said during a presentation about the project. In the houses on Regents Park, Mack aimed at creating “a simple floor plan for modern living,” Ives said.

The Ourismans bought their house in 2012. A former ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mary Ourisman worked closely with the design team on every aspect of the project. She told the Daily News she wanted to honor Mack’s architectural legacy but bring the house into the 21st century, with a renewed focus on comfort and livability.

A focal point of the project was a new 1,000-square-foot open-air loggia on the west side, facing the Lake Worth Lagoon. It was designed to blend seamlessly with the original architecture.

Inside the residence, the designers reworked parts of the floor plan, maximized water views, expanded the master suite and repurposed rooms to provide a study for Mary Ourisman and a library for her husband.

Mashek award

Before the Ballinger Award presentation, Ewell Turnquist received the foundation’s John D. Mashek Jr. Volunteer of the Year award, newly named to honor the late chairman of the organization. Mashek, who held the position for 27 years, died Nov. 17.

Ewell assists the foundation with its library and archives.

Frank Chopin of the foundation’s executive committee opened the luncheon by acknowledging Mashek’s “passion” for the organization before introducing new chairwoman Pauline Pitt. She had served on the executive committee 14 years.

“There are indeed big shoes for me to step into,” Pitt said, adding that Mashek “left the foundation in good shape.”




Source: Darrell Hofheinz, December 12, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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