Palm Beach, Florida: An Ode to Italian Renaissance Architecture

Home to Florida's own Billionaire’s Row (South Ocean Boulevard), Palm Beach is located just east of West Palm Beach between the Intracoastal Waterways and Atlantic Ocean. Its founder, Henry M. Flagler created what became Palm Beach. In fact, Henry Flagler created South Florida into the ultimate vacation destination with his name stretching as far down as Miami.


Henry Flagler's Former Home, Now the Flagler Museum

The island's architectural style is heavily Meditteranean, creating a tropical, European vibe. This is mainly due to the talents of Addison Mizner, an architect whom Flagler hired to help design the island. Mizner left an impeccable impression on all architects of Palm Beach with his Mediterranean revival style, invoking the artful design of the Italian Renaissance. Among the architectural motifs in Mizner's projects on the island are:


● Rectangular floor plans ● Red roofs and red tiles ● Lavish gardens with ornaments ● Arched windows ● Balconies that are made of wrought iron


Subsequent architects like John Volk, Marion Sims Wyeth, Maurice Fatio, and Belford Shoumate respected Mizner’s take on the island while putting their own spin on architectural idealism around the island, thereby continuing the trend.

Here are some of our favorite examples:


Mar-a-Lago: 1100 South Ocean Boulevard (Joseph Urban) – The property's name means “sea-to-lake” in Spanish.


The name is a reference the fact that the resort extends the entire width of Palm Beach.


162 Peruvian Ave (Belford Shoumate) – Listed by Ashley Copeland, the building's design showcases an Italian style with a touch of Greek influence.


The result is a design scheme that transports you to the shores of the Mediterranean. See More





177 Clarke Avenue – With red tiles surrounding the exterior of the house, Gregory Weadock’s listing features classic Renaissance-inspired design.


The large property includes a pool and impeccably manicured landscaping. See More



Worth Avenue – Known for its luxury boutiques, many of the buildings on Worth Avenue were created by Mizner himself, including the one that houses our Brown Harris Stevens Palm Beach offices.

The avenue is also home to some of the area's top dining destinations.




The Breakers Hotel — One of the first historical landmarks of Palm Beach Island. Still in the heirs of the Flagler family, the hotel is a standing example of their legacy.

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