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Listerine heiress’ Twin Banyans estate fetches $7.28M, deed says

Posted On: 05-14-2012

By Darrell Hofheinz 

Updated: 7:14 p.m. Monday, May 14, 2012

Posted: 6:36 p.m. Monday, May 14, 2012


Twin Banyans -- the landmarked estate completed in 1936 for the late Listerine heiress Sue Whitmore at 241 El Vedado Road -- has sold for a recorded $7.28 million to a Boston couple with longtime family ties to Palm Beach, according to the warranty deed filed Friday with the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Businessman Peter W. Doelger and his wife, Yoon, purchased the five-bedroom house in a private sale from Dana E. Landry and William “Bill” F.X. Moody, Washington, D.C., real estate professionals who have bought and sold a number of homes in Palm Beach.

Agent Carlie Seymour of Brown Harris Stevens represented the Doelgers, with agent Kim Raich of Sotheby’s International Realty acting on behalf of Landry and Moody in the sale of the two-story home.

Designed by noted society architect John Volk in the Neo-classical Revival style, Twin Banyans underwent a top-to-bottom restoration in 2003.

The deed was recorded Friday; the property had not been advertised for sale in the Multiple Listing Services for the island. Seymour said she was familiar with the property and approached Raich, who had represented Landry and Moody in other deals.

The Doelgers were the only would-be buyers to tour the house, Moody said Friday.

“It was (sold after) a one-time showing,” he said.

Peter Doelger knew the neighborhood because his parents, the late Margaret and William E. P. Doelger, had for years owned El Castillo, a landmarked house at nearby 126 El Bravo Way, according to property records. They sold the house in 1974, records show, and it is today the home of Ken Karakul and James Held, who restored it.

Peter and Yoon Doelger, meanwhile, have been regular visitors to Palm Beach and owned a West Palm Beach condominium that they sold in 2002, according to property records.

‘Around the corner’

Landry and Moody had paid a recorded $8.2 million for the 7,100-square-foot house in September 2008, about three months before the recession first began to tighten its grip on the Palm Beach real estate market. They bought the house after selling a lakefront vacation home they owned just around the corner at 1 Pelican Lane to Wilbur Ross Jr. and his wife, Hilary, in June 2008, for a recorded $13.2 million.

But Moody said Friday that he and Landry had always wanted to return to the lakefront. They realized that goal in May 2011, when they paid a recorded $8.6 million for a renovated Volk-designed house at 3 Pelican Lane.

Moody said he and Landry enjoyed Twin Banyans, which has a floor plan well-suited to entertaining.

“We love the house. The only reason we sold it is that we bought the house around the corner,” Moody said. “I’ll drive by it every time I go home now.”

Moody and Landry redecorated the El Vedado house while they renovated their new home on Pelican Lane, Moody said. They also offered the property for lease.

Landry is a founding partner of Washington Fine Properties in Washington, D.C., and has been the real estate agency’s principal broker since 2000, according to the company’s website. With the title of executive vice president, Moody is a real estate agent there, specializing in luxury property listings.

Among the Palm Beach County homes and condominiums they have bought was a house at 260 Dunbar Road, which they sold for a recorded $4.9 million in December 2010 to Benjamin and Elizabeth Gordon.

Two-year restoration

Designated a town landmark in 1992, Twin Banyans stands on property three streets south of the Everglades Golf Course. The house Volk designed for Whitmore and her husband, Harold, features a central two-story wing flanked by one-story wings on the east and west sides. The front of Twin Banyans has a temple-style alcove with a pediment above four Ionic columns.

Sue Whitmore — the society grande dame who for more than 20 years served as chairwoman of the International Red Cross Ball — lived on El Vedado before she established her home on the west end of Worth Avenue. There, she amassed several properties that earned the neighborhood the nickname “Sue City” in the 1950s.

Michael M. Kelly, who bought Twin Banyans for $2.65 million in 1999, spent two years restoring it, adding hurricane-resistant windows, hand-crafted built-in units and English cabinetry by Clive Christian, according to previous sales listings.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, May 14, 2012, Palm Beach Daily News



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