A proposed Mediterranean-style house designed by one of the newest members of the Architectural Commission won the board’s unanimous approval at its most recent meeting.
The house’s architect, Commissioner Thomas Kirchhoff, recused himself from the discussion of the project at 147 Dunbar Road, citing a conflict of interest. He also didn’t participate in the votes to approve the architecture and recommend that the Town Council approve two code variances needed to build the North End house.
The house will be built on property that for many years was home to Palm Beach businesswoman, art collector and Worth Avenue landlord Jane Holzer. Holzer — a former model who acquired the nickname “Baby Jane” Holzer when she starred in avant-garde films made in the 1960s by the late Andy Warhol — has moved across town to an oceanview house in the Estate Section.
Holzer was one of two trustees who, in February, sold, for a recorded $7.55 million, the 1950s-era house built by her late parents on a half-acre lot in the lake block of Dunbar Road. The buyer was Susan G. Pappas, who is married to businessman Christopher Pappas. The Pappases already owned a homesteaded house on Everglades Island.
The design of the Pappases’ new home was presented to the board for the first time at its June 23 meeting by architect Betsy Rossin, an architect with Kirchhoff & Associates in Jupiter.
The four-bedroom house would have 8,033 square feet of living space, inside and out. With one- and two-story elements and an asymmetrical facade, it was designed with signature details of the Mediterranean style, including a creamy stucco exterior, cast-stone detailing and a barrel-tile roof. The front door would be recessed into an archway with a surround covered in light blue tile to complement the color of the window trim.
Brian Vertesch of SMI Landscape Architecture presented the landscape plan.
Alternate Commissioner Katherine Catlin, who stepped in to vote on the project, was taken by the “simplicity” of the home’s design. “I like the whimsy, I like the colors, I like the design,” she said.
But the size of the house maxes out the property’s building envelope, she said, and the structure could be scaled down.
Rossin responded that because of the way the architecture was designed, it would not “feel large” when viewed from the street.
Vice Chairman John David Corey said he was charmed by the house and had no problem with the variance requests, which were related to the sloped topography of the land.
In the February sale of the property, the Pappases were represented by broker Linda Olsson of Linda R. Olsson Inc. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate had the listing.
Kirchhoff attended his first meeting of the Architectural Commission in March. The Town Council appointed him to fill the vacant seat reserved for an architect following the departure of former Vice Chairman Robert N. Garrison, whose term expired.
The June meeting marked the first time members of Architectural Commission had met in person since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down public gatherings at Town Hall.
Commissioners last month were required to attend in person in order to cast votes. But the meeting also had a virtual component on the Zoom platform — the same system through which the board had conducted its business since the late spring of last year.
Darrell Hofheinz writes about real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes news items about Palm Beach real estate for this column. Email [email protected], call 820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz.