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Landmarked villa sliced from 1924 mansion sells for nearly $7M

Posted On: 06-19-2015

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

 
An unusual slice of Palm Beach architectural history has changed hands for $6.975 million, courthouse records show. The landmarked house at 14 Golfview Road was once part of a larger mansion, La Caridad, which was built in 1924 and later subdivided into two villas.

Cornelia and Richard E. Thornburgh sold the four-bedroom house to Heidi and Thomas F. McWilliams, according to the deed recorded Wednesday. Both men are private-equity executives.

The Thornburghs bought the house for $4.32 million in 2010 during the recession and carried out improvements. On a lot measuring about a third-acre, the house has nearly 6,300 square feet of living space, inside and out.

Noted society architect Marion Sims Wyeth designed the original mansion on the north side of the street that runs between Worth Avenue and the Everglades Golf Course. Another prominent architect, Belford Shoumate, subdivided it in 1948 by taking out 10 feet of the foyer.

The other half, No. 16, still stands immediately west and was the longtime home of the Butler family, including the late Frank O. Butler II.

The town granted both houses landmark protection in the 1990s. Each villa features a roughcast stucco exterior, a barrel tile roof and wrought-iron ornamentation.

Brown Harris Stevens handled both sides of the sale. Agent Ed Curran had listed the house in May 2014 for $7.95 million, later dropping the price by $400,000. Agent Carole Hogan represented the buyers.

Thomas McWilliams is managing partner of Court Square, a private equity firm in New York City.

Richard Thornburgh is vice chairman of Corsair Capital, which has offices in New York and London.

Second floor ‘gutted’

The house has marble floors, detailed coffered and beamed ceilings, and a staircase with a wrought-iron banister that ascends to the master suite.

When the Thornburghs bought the house, it had been extensively renovated by previous owners Patti and Clark Graebner. But the Thornburghs embarked on their own renovations, concentrating on the second floor, Cornelia Thornburgh said last year in a Daily News article about the house.

“We gutted the two guest bedrooms, putting in new hardwood flooring and elevating the ceilings, which are now vaulted,” she said. “We also put in a new bathroom and refurbished the upstairs patio.”

They also had landscape architect Alan Stopek re-do the grounds and rework the pool area.

“What makes the house special to us is the pecky cypress loggia that faces the pool, which has a lovely fountain. We spend a lot of time out there. It’s tranquil and mesmerizing,” Cornelia Thornburgh told the newspaper.

Original owner

The neighborhood was originally developed by Paris Singer, who had already partnered with society architect Addison Mizner in developing the nearby Everglades Club.

La Caridad’s original owners were Florence and Clarence Geist, a wealthy Philadelphia utilities company owner. He is remembered in South Florida as having resurrected society architect Addison Mizner’s failed hotel in Boca Raton, reopening it in 1930 as the Boca Raton Club, today known as the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

La Caridad was one of several Palm Beach mansions from the Roaring ’20s to be subdivided in later years, as housing tastes and economic priorities changed. Among the most famous of those projects is Cielito Lindo, a sprawling ocean-to-lake estate that was carved into several houses when the living room was bisected by newly built Kings Road.

The Thornburghs have moved to a waterfront house they bought a year ago for a recorded $9 million at 550 Island Drive. Curran represented them in that deal, and agents Rosalind Clarke and Suzanne Frisbie of the Corcoran Group acted for the seller, real estate investor Ian M. Kean.

Two years ago, the Thornburghs made news when they sold a house in Darien, Conn., for $20.5 million, reported at the time to be the town’s highest-dollar sale ever.

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, June 19, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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