Town of Palm Beach News

“The Lodge” Not To Be Landmarked

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted against landmarking “The Lodge,” a 1936 North End house designed by noted society architect Maurice Fatio, after the owner objected, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News

Commissioners agreed with Christopher Kellogg, owner of the home at 475 N. County Road, that the house was unworthy of landmark status.

“Not everything Fatio did was fabulous,” alternate Commissioner Jacqueline Drake said. “It doesn’t seem to be all that extraordinary of a house.”

Kellogg convinced the board that the Colonial Revival house is not a notable example of Fatio’s work with the help of his attorney Jackie Miller and architect Jeff Smith.

“From an architectural perspective, there is nothing significant about the house,” Smith said. “It’s not comparable to any other Fatio work that been landmarked.”

Smith is a former chairman of both the landmarks board and the Architectural Commission. The architect dismissed “The Lodge” as “just a simple little colonial house.”

“The Lodge” Not To Be Landmarked

Chairman Ted Cooney was the only dissenter in Wednesday’s 6-1 decision recommending that the Town Council not landmark the house. Cooney dissented without comment.

The board chose not to take the advice of its landmark consultants, Janet Murphy and Emily Stillings, nor that of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, all of whom argued that the house is architecturally significant. 

“It is a good example of Fatio’s interpretation of the Colonial Revival style,” Stillings said.

Education director of the Preservation Foundation Aimee Sunny said the house is historically significant, and Stillings agreed. The house was built for Gurnee Munn, a member of one of Palm Beach’s prominent early families, and was originally part of the estate of Louwana, which is widely recognized as one the town’s great landmarked houses. 

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The house covers only 5 percent of the lot in a zoning district that allows 25 percent lot coverage and in an area where the surrounding houses are much larger, Smith said, and argued that landmarking the house would be taking away the owner’s development rights.

Commissioner Page Lee Hufty told Kellogg she was sorry that he had to “go to the expense and time” to mount a defense against landmarking his home. 

“It’s not a landmark,” Hufty said. “It’s totally without merit, sited terribly on the street, claustrophobic and overbearing when you drive by.”

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