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Couple rejuvenates a landmark

Posted On: 11-29-2013

By Christine Davis

Special to the Daily News

A house at 4 Golfview Road is in as fine shape today — and better, in some cases — as it was when it was built at the dawn of the Roaring ’20s.

Granted landmark protection by the town 16 years ago, the home has all the accoutrements one might expect to find in a Mediterranean-style house designed in 1922 by noted society architect Marion Sims Wyeth: a stucco façade, a barrel-tile roof, touches of wrought iron, pecky-cypress ceilings, Cuban tile floors. It even has a three-story, polygonal tower.

The house occupies Lot No. 4 of a development pioneered in the early 1920s and facing the Everglades Club’s golf course across the road. The Golf View Development Co. supposedly was financed by Edward F. Hutton, who was then married to Marjorie Merriweather Post. In 1921, the Huttons constructed their first Palm Beach home, Hogarcito, on the other side of the street from No. 4 at the west end of the block. That was several years before they built Mar-a-Lago.

In addition to Hutton’s involvement, the Golfview Road project was a partnership between builder Harry Raymond Corwin and Wyeth, who designed the original houses on the street.

In more recent years, another Marion has added his own touches to 4 Golfview Road. Marion Hugh Antonini with his wife, Penelope, bought the house seven years ago and undertook a renovation and addition so complete that even Wyeth might be impressed.

They have since turned their attention to another historic home. At the beginning of the summer, the Antoninis bought Casa Eleda, South Ocean Boulevard’s iconic “ham-and-cheese” house, so called because of its horizontal banding designed by architect Maurice Fatio.

Accordingly, the Antoninis have listed their home on Golfview — with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two half-baths and 4,480 square feet of living space, inside and out — with the Corcoran Group. Agents Jim McCann and Alison Newton have priced it with its furnishings at $12.995 million.

“When we first saw the house, it was unloved,” Penelope recalled.

But they saw its potential and assembled a renovation team that included architect Jeffery Smith of Smith Architectural Group, landscape designer Mario Nievera of Nievera Williams Design and contractor Jeff Wildes of Wildes Builders.

“We used the same objectives as Wyeth,” explained Marion Antonini. “We wanted to bring the house back and to utilize every space available from a living and entertainment standpoint. The structure was very solid, and we knew we could build on it.

“The way Mario designed the gardens encourages you to sit and dine outside. With many outdoor seating areas, the eye is guided out to the gardens. ”

A walled courtyard contains the front yard, embraced by house’s main wing, which runs north and south, and a second wing that runs east and west. The wings meet in a L. Sheltered in the courtyard is a Nievera-designed lap pool that also serves as a reflecting pool with fountains.

Amid tropical landscaping to the west of the house are seating areas with outdoor furniture by Janus et Cie. At the back of the house, a patio has a fireplace, an area for grilling and an outdoor shower near by the back gate, which is convenient for rinsing off after a trip from the beach, about a block away.

At the crux of the L on the east side of the house, the front door opens onto the foyer, a circular space featuring an alcove for sculpture. To the south are the living room and the library, a large space with French doors leading to the outdoor areas. The floor is covered in reclaimed antique-oak planks.

Details here include walls finished in Venetian plaster, crown molding and a fireplace with an antique stone mantel. Casement windows are found here and throughout the house.

The dining room, just east of the foyer, has stenciled walls, the pattern reversed on the tailored draperies. Cuban tile covers the floors, and French doors open onto the pool as well as a dining pavilion. The doors have side panels of glass. But one set of panels was hidden under plaster when the project began, Penelope said.

“I was going to add them, but when we began to open up the wall, we were surprised to find that they were already there,” she said.

With a breakfast area and butler’s pantry, the island kitchen features marble backsplashes and countertops. Professional-grade appliances are integrated into the custom cabinetry.

Behind the foyer, the stair hall’s staircase has a railing of wrought iron, and the treads are tiled and framed in wood. The home also has a commercial-quality elevator.

Bathrooms on the second floor are all outfitted with Waterworks fixtures, including the one in the master suite over the main wing. Its bedroom has French doors and a Juliet-style balcony overlooking the pool, patios and gardens.

With its own dressing room, the suite includes a gym and sitting room added by the Antoninis above the garage. Accessed by the elevator, this area can be used separately from the suite by closing off the rooms. The gym, by the way, has wainscoting paneling repurposed from the home’s original wood floors.

Like the master suite, the other bedroom on the second floor has a distinctive beamed-and-pitched ceiling made of pecky cypress. Another guest suite is on the third floor in the stair tower.

Furnishings throughout the house include 18th- and 19th-century antiques mixed with custom pieces. The draperies were custom-made by Paul S. Maybau, and floor coverings are by Stark.

In the backyard is a guest cottage with a French-tile floor and an open-beamed pitched roof. Glass doors access one of the patios, giving guests the same sort of indoor-outdoor experience that so attracted the Antoninis to the property.

“We loved all the vegetation around the house,” Penelope said. “We knew we wanted to open the home up and let the outside in.”

Source: Christine Davis, November 29, 2013, Palm Beach Daily News

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/lifestyles/rejuvenating-a-landmark/nb6Q7/

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