Secrets of Palm Beach, the Hermetic and Luxurious Island of America’s Rich Retire | Living Icon design


Streets lined with palm trees, tropical cacti, tropical plants, wide highways lined with luxury cars, trendy shops, large white apartment buildings overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, private homes, clubs with golf and tennis courts, outdoor dining rooms, and kidney-shaped swimming pools. For any reader, this could be the public image of a Hollywood movie, and yet this is called a posh island Palm Beach, He is more conservative.

This corner of South Florida One of the highest income per capita It is one of the favorite retirement places for US billionaires, in addition to being one of the places with more white people: 95% of its population of 9,000, compared to Latins who make up 4, 6%, Asians who make up 1.5% and Americans. Africans who account for 0.7%, according to US Census Bureau data. “This island has always been a billionaire with endless money. Most of its residents live off the inheritance of their wealthy families,” he explains to ICON Design Lawrence LemireA resident of Palm Beach, historian and writer specializing in American politics and society.

This privileged and tight spot, an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Miami, has never been a tourist, or not until recently, Leamer says with curiosity that in the past year more young millionaires have visited it. Peak season in Palm Beach has always been winter, celebrities like Yoko Ono or Estee Lauder or politicians like Donald Trump have winter lodges in this place, like Mar-a-Lago, the so-called “Southern White House” that Trump got in 1985, and this is now his permanent residence.

The gated community of Mar-a-Lago, in the Spanish-Arab style, with salmon-colored walls, tiled ceilings, and lounges decorated in a varied eclectic style, was designed by New York architect Marion Sims Wyeth in the 1970s for socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir to General Corporation Foods. This residence is designed to be a resting place for bosses, so privacy and comfort are valued here. Donald Trump never leaves this place or the golf course, never goes to dinner at anyone’s house or visits any restaurant, he is always in his mansion … as if he said, “I am the king of Palm Beach.” He does not travel abroad and that is why he is not affected The fact that there are inhabitants, as in the whole country, either hate it or love it, ”says Leamer, who is also the author of Mar Agou: Inside the gates of power in Donald Trump’s presidential palace.

“Palm Beach is an exclusive and totally elite residential area with mansions that have been around since the beginning of the twentieth century. This place is empty in the summer because it is very hot, in addition to that, the culture of air conditioning and not going out for a walk is deeply rooted there, so life is very individual, closely related Creating a microclimate in your home, a garden and, on her part, Belinda Tatu, the Spanish architect who founded the studio, explains. Urban ecosystem, And the winner of the 2017 Public Spaces Redesign Competition in West Palm Beach, a city directly across the island and in the same county.

“The urban space in Palm Beach has a different meaning than other contexts. It is not like in many places in Spain, where public spaces are active. There is most of the time you leave by car, and there is not much room to walk because the sidewalks are shrinking to a minimum. People have bubbles protecting themselves. The car is the first bubble, then there is the shopping center, the palace… ”, says Tatu.

Even the concept of the beach differs from the idea of ​​these paradise places. “In other parts of the world there are parks, and the beach is connected to public spaces, but that is not the case here. On the street that runs along the coast, you cannot park anywhere, so the palaces are practically guaranteed that no one can approach them. The privacy of Palm Beach is very much appreciated. The palaces are like a kind of island within an island, and each has its own history, “Tatu describes.

Addison Mizner, an American architect specializing in the Spanish and Mediterranean revival style, is one of the professionals who designed most of the mansions in Palm Beach. He was also responsible for interior and landscape design. Its engineering tried to mimic past eras, and to create a local historical culture that still exists, “Tatu explains.

Mizner arrived in Palm Beach in 1918 and began working with fellow islander Paris Singer and heir to the famous Singer sewing machines. The two began designing the Everglades Club, a venue originally designed as a hospital and shelter for soldiers returning from World War I. However, it soon became an exclusive social club that is still active. Mizner’s architectural heritage in South Florida is very important: his imprint was also seen in Boca Raton, a city a few miles from Miami where he lived and founded his real estate agency Mizner Development Corporation.

There are also some references in literature and cinema that reflect the wealthy lifestyle of its residents. Irene LauderThe granddaughter of Estée Lauder, founder of the luxury cosmetics company that bears her name, published the book in 2019 Palm BeachHe is a kind of tour guide mixed with tales from his childhood on the island.

“When we got off the plane, my grandparents were always the first to see them when we got to Palm Beach. Grandma Este in white pants, Pucci sweatshirt and straw hat, Grandpa Joseph in a blue shirt and jacket. My sister and I immediately ran into his arms. That’s how it started. They take us home and go straight to the kitchen where Estee offers each of us a cup of fresh orange juice in her pretty blue glass jars, ”says Irene.

In this book, Irene displays pictures of her luxurious home accompanied by some quotes from famous fashion designers and celebrities. “Tennis, swimming, lunch, golf, drinks, dinner. The patio, fishing, drinks, dinner, etc.” is how British photographer, tailor and designer Cecil Beaton describes his time on the island. In the palace of the heir to the empire of Estée Lauder, you can appreciate the elegant decor Palm Beach: Bamboo furniture, bright prints, French and Spanish inspired furniture, pastel-colored walls and an abundance of leaves and tropical plants.

In the movie The Palm Beach story (1942)Directed by Preston Sturgis, it also reflects the hyperbolic lifestyle of the residents of this region. The feature film depicts the daily life of a woman in financial trouble who decides to leave her husband and travel to Palm Beach to marry a billionaire. In the documentary Geoffrey Epstein: Dirty RichAnd the From Netflix, which shows police investigations of financial tycoon and fellow Donald Trump implicated in sexual crimes, you can also see pictures of the homes and streets of Palm Beach, where Epstein had a residence just over a kilometer from Mar-a-Lake.

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