- By Barbara Marshall Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Trump, cloistered in his private club in the town, hasn’t changed its quiet, horse-country flavor, said the writer.
“It isn’t faux cosmopolitan, like Trump Tower, or a poor man’s version of the Mediterranean, like Mar-a-Lago.”
Do ‘Mar-A-Lago’ and ‘poor’ belong in the same sentence?
I think I know what the writer meant. Bedminster seems authentic while Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago, in particular, are concocted pastiches of various Mediterranean architectural styles.
Well, it’s true. After World War I, widely traveled architect Addison Mizner looked around at the resort colony’s New England shingle-style cottages and Newport-appropriate Beaux Arts mansions and created a new style of stucco, red-tile-roofed mansions that would be forever known as “the Palm Beach look.”
One critic famously called Mizner’s work the “Bastard-Spanish-Moorish-Romanesque-Gothic-Renaissance-Bull-Market-Damn-the-Expense Style.”
As for Mar-a-Lago, although it was initially designed by the versatile, conventionally-trained Marion Sims Wyeth, owner Marjorie Merriweather Post wanted a bit more pizzazz.
The richest woman in the country hired Viennese theater architece Joseph Urban, who designed sets for Flo Ziegfeld, to gild her lily with a theatrical river of gold leaf, ancient Portuguese tiles, carved wood doors and fanciful wrought iron.
So, go ahead and call Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago beautiful fakes.
But using the word “poor” in association with anything in Palm Beach?