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Fatio-designed ‘ham-and-cheese’ house wins Ballinger Award

Posted On: 12-10-2016

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach didn’t serve ham-and-cheese sandwiches at Friday’s presentation of the 29th annual Robert I. Ballinger Award.

But they might have been apt menu items for the luncheon, which lauded a recent renovation that refreshed and preserved the famous “ham-and-cheese” house designed in 1928 by society architect Maurice Fatio.

For years, locals have called the landmarked seaside mansion by the sandwich-inspired nickname because of its alternating horizontal exterior bands of red brick and coral key stone.

Homeowners Penny and Marion Hugh Antonini accepted the award during the foundation’s annual membership luncheon at The Breakers. The award honors historically sensitive renovation and restoration projects at major estates.

The Antoninis embarked on their two-year project shortly after they bought their oceanfront house at 920 S. Ocean Blvd. in 2013. Their design team included architect Jeffery Smith of Smith Architectural Group; landscape architect Mario Nievera of Nievera Williams Landscape Architecture, decorator Susan Zises Green of Susan Zises Green Interior Design and Decoration and contractor Jeff Wildes of Wildes Builders.

During a presentation illustrated with photos of the Italian Romanesque-style house, foundation Executive Director Amanda Skier focused on Fatio’s “talent for balance and proportion.” She also noted the Antoninis’ desire to repurpose items from their previous residences, “allowing for a continuum of memories.”

The project included installing a new kitchen; putting in new windows and glass doors; replacing the roof, swimming pool and beachfront cabana; and reworking the central courtyard around which the floor plan revolves.

“As a result of the courtyard design, almost every room connects to the outdoors,” Skier said.

In addition, the renovation lightened up the interiors of the eight-bedroom house while preserving original elements such as elaborately carved stonework, beamed-and-coffered ceilings and Cuban-tile floors.

Originally named Casa Eleda, the homeowners have rechristened the house Casa Marius, an Italian version of Marion Antonini’s first name. Granted landmark protection in 1979, the house has 16,090 square feet, not including the cabana, basement and tunnel to beach under South Ocean Boulevard.

Also during the luncheon, Chairwoman Pauline Pitt presented the foundation’s volunteer of the year award to Rick Herpel, who runs his sixth-generation family business, Herpel Inc. The West Palm Beach company manufactures cast-stone architectural elements and offers restoration services.

Among his contributions, Pitt said, Herpel has donated materials and architectural drawings to the foundation and served as a guest speaker at the group’s lecture series.

 

 

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, December 10, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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