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Commission: Kings Road houses should be town landmarks

Posted On: 12-18-2015

By David Rogers

Daily News Staff Writer

Though Cielito Lindo didn’t make it out of the 1940s intact, its surviving sections are doing quite well oh so many years later.

In two unanimous votes Wednesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended that the Town Council designate 122 Kings Road and 123 Kings Road as town landmarks.

The 20-room home at 122 Kings Road was the entrance and tower for Cielito Lindo, the fabled 1927 Marion Sims Wyeth mansion built for Woolworth heiress Jessie Woolworth Donohue. The house at 123 Kings Road was originally a wing of the house and part of the home’s dining room.

To protect much of the 45,000-square-foot, 124-room mansion at a time when high-maintenance, palatial homes were being knocked down, architect Byron Simonson devised a plan to divide Cielito Lindo into five, still-sizable houses, according to preservation consultant Emily Stillings. Sacrificed in the deal was the 30-foot-by-50-foot living room; Kings Road runs through that space.

Commissioner Page Lee Hufty nominated the two homes for consideration in May.

“I just think is an exciting product of commission members actually going with our consultants and traveling road by road and seeing what has been done (landmarked) and what hasn’t been done. We went down Kings Road and we were all pretty stunned” that the homes weren’t town landmarks, Hufty said.

Robert and Carolyn Jackson own 123 Kings Road. Robert Jackson thanked Stillings and her consulting partner Janet Murphy for crafting a thorough designation report. The couple fully support designation, which is made by the Town Council.

“We don’t ever intend to tear it down, but I think it’s great that in the ’40s Cielito Lindo was not torn down and now by landmarking these two houses we can continue almost forever, keeping some of the greatest houses that were built in Palm Beach,” Robert Jackson said.

 

 

 

Source: David Rogers, December 18, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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