December generally brings with it a celebration of architectural stewardship, as the Preservation Foundation of Palm Seashore presents its highest award to honor the historic preservation of a considerable estate or public house in city.
But as with so many traditions this calendar year, the coronavirus pandemic tossed a disruptive wrench into the nonprofit group’s plans to present its 32nd yearly Robert I. Ballinger Award.
Organizers canceled the once-a-year December awards luncheon at The Breakers, and now have postponed right up until March a rescheduled Jan. 14 by-invitation-only gathering at the landmarked residence that has earned this year’s honor.
And that would be Duck’s Nest, the second-oldest home in Palm Beach front and a reminder of Palm Beach’s pioneer times.
Developed in 1891 and expanded more than the many years on its North Conclude lakefront site, the home at 303 Maddock Way was recently restored and renovated by its entrepreneurs, Julie and Brian Simmons, a personal-equity professional.
The Simmonses presently owned a personalized home they designed next doorway, and their restoration challenge founded a visual url among their main home and Duck’s Nest, which they have repurposed as a guesthouse.
The shingle-design cottage has gabled roofs and a substantial entrance porch that was common of the island’s 1st homes. The home received its its name from the ducks that roosted on what was as soon as an comprehensive clean h2o marsh on the east facet of the home.
The Simmonses bought Duck’s Nest in the summer months of 2018 from the Maddock loved ones, which had owned it because it was built and for a lot of many years had leased it to tenants. The residence, in actuality, retains a Palm Beach front report as the oldest household structure to have been constantly owned by the exact same spouse and children.
The Simmonses’ acquire set an conclude to controversial strategies promoted by lawyer Paul “Jay” Maddock to make the deteriorated house a lot more marketable by demolishing all of the walls and replacing them with concrete block, alongside with other improvements.
“Duck’s Nest is a fantastic lesson in the value of patience when it will come to historic preservation. For a developing to be saved from demolition, it frequently normally takes waiting around for the correct proprietor, a individual who acknowledges its value, to arrive together,” stated Preservation Foundation Executive Director Amanda Skier.
>>FROM THE ARCHIVES: Owner proposes to demolish, replace historic ‘Duck’s Nest’
The Simmonses, Skier added, “have carried out an remarkable provider for the group by guaranteeing this irreplaceable piece of our earlier can be shared with long run generations. We are unbelievably lucky that they stepped forward to save Duck’s Nest.”
Explained by Skier as a “rehabilitation,” the undertaking associated reinforcing the home from the within out, so that historic supplies on the exterior could be preserved as substantially as doable. Authentic shingles and home windows ended up left intact, though lacking or deteriorated architectural features were replicated.
“The interior ground approach was somewhat modified to accommodate contemporary residing without sacrificing the intimate areas reflective of the time period of time,” Skier explained.
>>RELATED: Historic Duck’s Nest won’t be demolished immediately after all, lawyer claims
A new 42-foot-prolonged pool was built on the outdated house line among the two houses to assist unify the estate, architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects told the Landmarks Preservation Fee in 2018. The board wholeheartedly endorsed the undertaking.
“It’s definitely amazing,” Commissioner Kim Coleman explained of the pool style and design when it was presented to the landmarks board. “Everything the (house owners) have performed is just impeccable. We are lucky they swooped in and saved the working day,” Coleman explained at the time.
>>RELATED: Palm Seashore board applauds new vision for just one of town’s oldest households
The style and design crew also incorporated Seabreeze Constructing, SMI Landscape Architecture and inside designer Phoebe Howard.
The oldest element of Duck’s Nest includes components of two cabins that ended up transported from New York by barge and prepare in 1891 and assembled to kind 1 home on the Maddocks’ pioneer assets. The residence noticed many expansions around the many years — including additions by culture architects Marion Sims Wyeth and John L. Volk — until eventually the authentic construction comprised only about an eighth of the whole square footage, historians say.
The by-invitation-only awards presentation at the household is scheduled for March 25, Skier mentioned.