Sotheby’s International Realty
12 October 2016
In 1930, Philadelphia industrialist Joseph Widener commissioned celebrated architect Maurice Fatio to design and construct an impressive estate situated on 5.46± acres stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Worth.
Today Il Palmetto remains unparalleled in its beloved resort community. In 1999, a successful entrepreneur purchased the estate and embarked on an extensive restoration to modernize the property while maintaining its timeless architecture and quintessential Palm Beach allure.
Il Palmetto now includes a majestic main residence, a serene beach house, a waterfront boathouse, manicured lawns, two swimming pools, a sculpture courtyard and a six-car garage.
Fatio was famed for creating luxurious, harmonious Palm Beach homes with iconic Mediterranean architecture, and Il Palmetto’s palazzo-style residence is no exception.
The pièce de résistance is the 50-ft. living room with shield-decorated coffered ceilings with medallion details, carvings, painting and gold leaf as well as a handsome marble mantel and glass doors framing sunset views over Lake Worth.
Equally resplendent, the formal dining room with a 16th Century carved ceiling, an oversized fireplace and walnut floors in a stately herringbone pattern accommodates the most elegant of dinner parties in the Palm Beach tradition.
In a convenient configuration, a nearby hall leads to an impeccably appointed superior chef’s kitchen boasting granite countertops, three islands, a cypress ceiling, Venetian plaster walls, and charming rustic reclaimed stone floors from a French farmhouse.
Furthering the options for entertainment and recreation are a media room with a descending screen and projector as well as acoustically insulated walls and a walnut-clad billiards room that includes a bar with marble countertops and a marble-framed fireplace.
Replete with eye-catching decorative detail, the exquisite “Moroccan room” offers additional space for indoor-outdoor entertaining.
There are 10 bedrooms, 14 full baths and 11 half baths. In both the master and the guest wings, an airy, light-filled stairway with an eye-catching decorative wrought-iron rail links the main and second levels of the home, providing elegant, graceful access to the restful private quarters.
The grounds are a lush enclave of greenery and color punctuated by elegant formality, with towering palms, stately specimen trees, emerald lawn, water features, coquina walkways and a koi pond.
At the main residence, an inner courtyard surrounded by a lovely loggia gives way to a stunning swimming pool tiled in a blue Greek key mosaic.
The early-21st-century renovation added a museum quality temperature-controlled wine cellar with a capacity for more than 20,000 bottles, and a second cellar that accommodates another 1,000 crates.
A wonderful direct oceanfront two-bedroom beach house with an infinity-edge pool, and a lakefront boathouse with two state-of-the-art motorized launches, an elevator, and a two-bedroom guest apartment on the upper level were also added. Nearly every room boasts striking details and views of the water.
Decades after Maurice Fatio designed his impressive Il Palmetto, the estate remains a peerless enclave in its beloved resort community, a timeless world unto its own. A thoughtful renewal boasting extraordinary attention to detail have ensured that this historic estate will carry on as a Palm Beach classic for years to come.
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