Saturday, March 30, 2013

Michael Taylor for Nan Kempner

The Manhattan living room of
Nan and Thomas Kempner
as it appeared in the mid 1980s.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
California interior designer Michael Taylor, born Earnest Charles Taylor in 1927 and died in 1986, is remembered for his West Coast aesthetic using raw wood, boulders or split stone and nubby neutral fabrics.  But he first became well-known for his fresh, new interpetations of traditional European-influenced schemes that had been popularized by the likes of Syrie Maugham , Sister Parish, and Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen.



Another view of the Kempner living room.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
Nan and Thomas Kempner bought their Park Avenue, New York City, duplex apartment in 1956.  The story goes, as related in an article by Brooke Hayward in the May, 1987 issue of Architectural Digest, that Nan, having a troubled pregnancy and sent to relax in Palm Springs, ran into Michael Taylor the first day at the pool.  (Taylor had added to the decor begun by Frances Elkins for her parent's sophisticated house in San Francisco).  Sending for the floor plans, they worked out most of the decoration on paper in Taylor's San Francisco office.

The Banquette Room designed by Stephane Boudin
for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's home
at 24 boulevard Suchet, Paris.
Watercolor by Alexandre Serebriakoff, 1946.
 
'Comfort First' was the mandate, with Taylor designing deep. oversize seating by laying out the outlines on the floor with string and having them custom made;  they were so big they had to be hoisted through the window rather than brought up in the service elevator.  Inspired by banquettes designed by Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen for the Duchess of Windsor, the seating for the Kempners was covered in a fabric unusual for upholstery at the time, chamois-colored narrow-wale cotton corduroy.  A twelve-panel coromandel screen bought at a good price provides a rich contrast along with other bargain finds:  two Queen Anne mirrors, a pair of chests on stands, and a large Aubusson rug.  (The rug in the photo is a replacement due to wear).  The chimneypiece and over-mantle mirror were provided in the early 1970s by antiques dealer Norton Rosenbaum.

The Kempner dining room.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
The dining room features handpainted eighteenth-century Chinese silk panels that had come from the house of a family friend in San Francisco.  Porcelain birds of Meissen or Chinese Export from her mother's collection are displayed on simple block brackets almost filling the walls not covered with fabric.  An 18th century French needlepoint rug covers the floor.  There are no curtains at the apartment windows, only shutters or shades.

The Kempner library.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
In the library, the walls are covered with 95 coats of glaze to approximate Ming red lacquer, the process supervised by Michael Taylor until the desired effect was achieved.

The guest room of the Kempner apartment.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
In the guest room, Chinese wallpaper taken from Nan's mother's house provides an elegant backdrop for the twin beds that Taylor had made for the room.

Nan Kempner in the master bedroom
decorated by Michael Taylor.
Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.
The room to gain the most public attention, however, is Nan's dressing room/closet created from a bedroom.  Designed by Chessie Reyner of Mac II, shirred curtains of a floral cotton fabric conceal the clothing.  While the room is not a favorite of this writer, it may be viewed here on a post of the always interesting blog, Little Augury.  Nan Kempner remained in the apartment until her death in 2005.  More about the celebrated decorator may be found in the book by Stephen M. Salny MICHAEL TAYLOR: INTERIOR DESIGN.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Never Plain Jayne

The cottage is seen from the added porch
of the main house as furnished by Thomas Jayne.
Photo by Pieter Estershohn.
Decorator Thomas Jayne approached a project for a young couple with an 18th century house and adjacent 1920s cottage in Garrison, New York, like conserving a painting rather than restoring it.  Thomas saw the solution more in terms of "pulling together" rather than decorating as most would think of the term.

The interior of the one room cottage
with Morris chairs from Sarah Latham Kearns.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
 
"Every room has its own character, but we avoided the red room/blue room syndrome," Thomas was quoted in an article written by Suzanne Slesin that appeared in the June, 1997, issue of House & Garden magazine (when it was edited by Dominique Browning).


The living room.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
In the living room, the Clarence House 'Tree Peonies' linen fabric used for the Roman shades and accent cushions provided the color palette for the whole house.  "If something didn't look good with the fabric, it just didn't get into the house."

The dining room.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
Delft tiles were added to the facing of the fireplace in the dining room which is always candle-lit.  A set of 19th century Windsor chairs surround the table on a seagrass rug.


The flower room.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
All the flowers in the shots, it must be noted, are 'lady of the house' arrangements, as they are when the house is not being professionally photographed.  (The issue of flower arrangements created for photo shoots is a subject for a whole essay in the future for The Devoted Classicist).

The master bedroom.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.


A bathroom.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn.


A view into the sleeping porch.
Photo by Pieter Estershohn.
The whole range of Thomas Jayne's decorating talent is presented in the monograph of his work, AMERICAN DECORATION: A SENSE OF PLACE.  (See a previous post of The Devoted Classicist about the book here).  In celebration of the book's critical and popular success, one of Thomas' biggest fans, Stephanie Jones of the blog me & mrs jones, is hosting a book-signing reception at her delightful shop/studio in Memphis this Saturday afternoon, March 30, 2013, between the hours of 4 to 6.  All are invited to stop by and meet Thomas.




A General Note About Comments
The Devoted Classicist usually reads the posts of fellow Bloggers on his mobile phone and finds the verification process particularly troublesome, sometimes requiring two (or more) tries to duplicate the security code.  Since the comments are moderated, this process has been eliminated for those wanting to comment on this site in an effort to streamline the process of creating an informative and friendly conversation.  While those who leave a comment are a tiny fraction of the total who read The Devoted Classicist, the comments are a very welcome part of the whole process of Blogging.  The security software of Blogger prevents adding a link in the comments so that another reader cannot inadvertingly click on a site that will contain spyware or other dangerous viruses, but that does not stop Spammers from trying.  Efforts to promote these links have grown to more than twenty a day, and contain comments, for the most part, that make no sense at all, much less be pertinent to the subject of the essay.  Although there is a standard option given to submit Anonymous comments, it is the policy of The Devoted Classicist to prohibit these comments from being published;  it just adds to confusion for those who enjoy reading the comments (which can sometime be very, very interesting indeed).  So the security verification process will remain unactivated for the time being, but remember to choose an identity other than Anonymous.  And understand that comments with pleas such as "be sure to check out my site for my shop of underwater basketweaving" cannot be published.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mark Hampton at Home in Southampton

Mark Hampton on the awning-covered terrace
of his Southampton, Long Island home.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
The recent post about Lakeview House, Palm Beach mentioned that one of the former owners, Madame Balsan (Consuelo Vanderbilt) spent summers in Southampton, a village settled in 1640 on Long Island.  Her estate Gardenside (also known as Cara Mia) on Ox Pasture Road featured a circa 1900 shingled house and several outbuildings.  After Madame Balsan's death in 1964, the property was subdivided.
The main house of the estate Gardenside in Southampton.
LONG ISLAND'S PROMINENT FAMILIES
IN THE TOWN OF SOUTHAMPTON,
THEIR ESTATES, AND THEIR COUNTRY HOMES.
 
Although virtually all the estates have been subdivided, the streets west of Lake Agawan are still known as the Estate Area and a desirable place to own property.  (Since 9/11, the full-time population of the Hamptons has grown, especially for families with children).
An aerial view of part of Southampton,
with Lake Agawan in the center
and the Atlantic Ocean at the bottom right.
The red pin marks the main house of Gardenside
and the purple pin marks the former gardener's cottage.
Image:  Google Maps via MapQuest.
The year-around weekend get-away house that the interior designer Mark Hampton created for his own family started out as the estate gardener's cottage at Gardenside.  Hampton added a complimentary garden of his own after he tripled the size of the house and created an interior in his own distinctive style.  (In numerous interviews, he always insisted he did not have a signature style, but his interiors are unmistakably a reflection of his preferences).
A closer aerial view of the Gardenside estate
with the red pin indicating the original main house
and the purple pin the cottage expanded by Mark Hampton.
Image:  Google Maps via MapQuest.
Along with Mario Buatta and Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton was one of the best known 'name' decorators of the early 1990s.  At the time of the article written by Aileen 'Suzy' Mehle for the September, 1996, issue of Architectural Digest, Mark was riding high with international fame as decorator-of-choice to the rich and influential, not the least being Bush 41.  Mark decorated the Vice-President's residence at the Naval Observatory, their house in Houston, the Kennebunkport compound and Camp David in addition to the White House for Barbara and President George H.W. Bush.
The Mark Hampton Residence in Southampton
as it appeared in the September, 1996, issue of
Architectural Digest.  Photo by Durston Saylor.
In the article, Mark said, "Most of the things in the house Duane [his wife] and I bought over the years of travel long before we had the place."   The Hamptons bought the property around 1980.  Facing the entrance elevation (above), the original cottage is to the right and the addition to the left.

"The design is based on old-fashioned
cottage architecture," Mark Hampton
said of his Southampton home.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
The entrance stair hall, in the new part of the house, is always bright with a skylight and spotted chocolate carpet with a strawberry motif.  Part of the collection of framed antique architectural renderings decorate the walls.  "Our interest in architectural models, engravings and drawings had an immense effect on how the final collection of odds and ends turned out."


Dark brown walls give a sense of architecture
to the living room in the addition to the cottage.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
In the living room, the new bookcase cabinet along with antique pieces are prototypes of models that later were manufactured for the Mark Hampton line of furniture for Hickory Chair.

The living room opens to a terrace
covered by canvas in the summer.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
The white slipcovers in the living room are removed in the winter to return the upholstered chairs and sofas to chintz.  The sisal rugs remain year around.

Plates from VITRUVIUS BRITANNICUS flank
the Georgian Revival chimneypiece.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
"And although we needed a palette that would be peaceful and cool in the summer, it had to be cozy during the winter weekends, when we have fires burning all day long."

"A cream room with blue-and-white ceramics
is a classic recipe," said Mark Hampton
in describing his dining room in Southampton.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
In the Dining Room, a round table can seat up to eight, and a second table can be added to seat eight more.  The walls are painted with trompe l'oeil panelling and decorated with blue & white early 19th century Staffordshire platters and plates.

The walls of the master bedroom
are a pale lettuce green to compliment
the Colefax & Fowler chintz.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
"The master bedroom is a kind of melange of pieces we're both crazy about -- French chairs, English chairs, a Gothic bookcase, and antique Gothic stove, a painted George III bed and a walnut desk from Indiana that I've sat at for forty-five years, writing and drawing since I was a child. . .The bed is always dressed entirely in white except for the antique American quilt we pull over ourselves in the winter."
The garden designed with landscape architect
Bruce Kelly.  Mark Hampton designed the bench
with the tall slat back.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
"When we were remodeling and adding on to the cottage," Mark is quoted in the article, "we had the good fortune of working with the late Bruce Kelly, a landscape architect who helped us create the English-style perennial garden.  It cheered us up to have beautiful old fruit trees and herbaceous beds bordered by box hedges when we had to tear down a glorious greenhouse on the property to make room for the swimming pool."
The house from the approach.
The garage, right, was converted to become the poolhouse.
Photo by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
At both of the architectural firms this writer worked for prior to his tenure at Parish-Hadley, there was an association with landscape architect Bruce Kelly;  we worked on a couple of projects together that were never realized.  Bruce was best known for the design of the tribute to John Lennon, Strawberry Fields in Central Park.  Bruce died of AIDS in January, 1993, at age 44.

From
The Devoted Classicist Library
Mark Hampton died in July, 1998, at age 58.  Duane, who had been involved in the marketing and promotional aspect of the business, wrote a beautifully produced book titled MARK HAMPTON: AN AMERICAN DECORATOR that documents a wide survey of her late husband's work; she sometimes lectures on the subject.  Daughter Alexa had been groomed to take over Mark Hampton LLC  and became president and head designer after her father's death;  she has achieved success in her own name and also has a book ALEXA HAMPTON: THE LANGUAGE OF INTERIOR DESIGN.  Also following in her father's footsteps (Mark had studied theatre in college), daughter Kate is the actress Kate Hampton.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mongiardino for Princess Firyal, London

A proposal for the two long walls of the grand salon
of the London house of Princess Firyal of Jordan from
ROOMSCAPES
The genius of decorator Renzo Mongiardino, 1916 to 1998, was rooted in his early architectural and theatrical design experiences, creating fantastic thematic interiors, often from only a shell.  An example of his interpretation of an Orientalist theme was carried out for the London house of Princess Firyal of Jordan.  The house in the fashionable Belgravia section had been cleared of most detailing by the previous owner.  It is comprised of two houses from the first half of the nineteenth century joined by a high-ceilinged hall that was formerly a stable but converted to a ballroom with high oeil-de-boeuf windows and balconies at each end. 

An early conceptual study for the grand salon.
from the Mongiadino monograph
ROOMSCAPES
According to an article in the May, 1987, issue of Architectural Digest, Mongiardino told the princess, "You're a beautiful Oriental woman, why not an Oriental house?  It's right for England.  It's in the culture.  It's Brighton!"


Two different schemes for the four walls
of the grand salon by Renzo Mongiardino
for Princess Firyal of Jordan's London home.
ROOMSCAPES
Mongiardino developed two schemes for the grand salon.  Both schemes divided the walls into three sections, but the interpretations varied with the scheme in the first four drawings in the series shown above being more neo-classical.  Exhibiting three large eighteenth-century French tapestries against a background of vivid red-pink damask, this scheme was not selected to be realized.  The chosen scheme, shown in the bottom four drawings in the series, has lengths of silk printed in gold with different oriental motifs like celebratory banners.  The proposal shows these flags of variegated violet alternating with coral, malachite green with ivory, and topaz with blue, but only a deep dusty rose for the banners was used in the room as realized.  The round windows, with two false windows added at each end when the balconies were closed off, are anchored with a decorated band.  The wainscot is dark slate blue overlaid with a damask motif in ochre and silver-gray taken from a painting by Gentile Bellini.  Above the wainscot, stretched silk is hand printed with a trellis grid containing pale green medallions.
The grand salon as photographed
by Derry Moore. appearing in the
May, 1987, Architectural Digest.
Both the location of the entrance stairs and the fireplace varied from the drawings in the version realized.  Thickly quilted slipcovers of cap form cover all the seating in the Derry Moore photo that appeared in the 1987 magazine. 


The grand salon as photographed
by Walter Russo for the 1993
Mongiardino mongraph
ROOMSCAPES
 
A paisley print fabric with the appearance of antique shawls covers all the seating in the grand salon as shown in the book ROOMSCAPES, THE DECORATIVE ARCHITECTURE OF RENZO MONGIARDINO published in 1993.
The small salon as photographed
by Derry Moore, appearing in
Architectural Digest, May, 1987.
"The small salon was draped with bold striped silks to create a military tent," Mongiardino explained in the article.  A window effect is expressed by an 1886 panoramic painting of Jerusalem.

The hall as photographed
by Derry Moore, appearing in
Architectural Digest, May, 1987.
Entrance to the grand salon is made from a hall with the openings glazed in mirror.  The lower walls are covered in 19th century Chinese Export silk and the upper walls are stencilled in an intricate Orientalist pattern.  The wall lights, designed by Mongiardino, have a marbleized finish.

The dining room as photographed
by Derry Moore, appearing in
Architectural Digest, May, 1987.
The wall covering in the dining room is hung rather than fixed as upholstery.  Rich green velvet is embroidered and appliqued with gold, hanging tapestry-like from a marbleized cornice.  An 18th century marble chimneypiece with pietre dure insets gives an architectural presence while 18th century famille rose porcelain and a fanciful Venetian glass chandelier provide additional color.  Exotic whimsy is provided by a set of gilded wicker chairs.

The sitting room
as photographed by Derry Moore, appearing in
Architectural Digest, May 1987.
The focus of the sitting room is a gilt-bronze chimneypiece designed by Mongiardino, flanked by a pair of English chairs, circa 1685.  The painting is "An Intercepted Correspondence, Cairo" by J.F. Lewis.  Bookcases are painted with a red tortoiseshell finish against upholstered walls of silk velvet with appliqued paisley motifs.
A tempietto in the garden.
Photo by Derry Moore appearing in
Architectural Digest, May 1987.
Born Leirjal Firyal Irshaid in Jerusalem in 1945, she was married to Prince Muhammad bin Talal, the younger brother of the late King Hussein of Jordan, from 1964 to 1978 with the marriage ending in divorce.  Keeping the title of Princess Firyal, she became the companion of the billionaire Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos from the late 1970s until his death in 1996.  In a 2009 dispute with the sons of her companion Lionel Pincus (now deceased) involving the combined apartments they shared in the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, it was alleged that there was a history of her having rich boyfriends paying for her lavishly decorated residences.  Not only did Niarchos pay for the London house, it was reported, but also her apartment in Paris, decorated by Geoffrey Bennison (see the post on The Blue Remembered Hills blog).  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of various cultural organizations, Princess Firyal serves as Jordan's Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, a diplomatic envoy appointment she received in 2007.
Princess Firyal
at the 2008 Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame Induction.
Image:  contactmusic.com
 
MONGIARDINO a new book by Laure Verchere
Devoted Readers will be interested to know that a new book about Renzo Mongiardino by Laure Verchere titled MONGIARDINO has just been released by the art & lifestyle publisher Assouline.  It may be purchased at a substantial discount from the published price here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lakeview House, Palm Beach

Lakeview House, Palm Beach, Florida.
Photo:  Cleveland Public Library.
The Devoted Classicist has been enthralled with a twentieth century neo-classical residence known as Lakeview House in Palm Beach since reading about it in the 1961 book 100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America as a youngster.  In the early 1990s, working on a John Tackett Design project nearby, he discovered it at 319 El Vedado Way, shuttered for the summer but still as it appeared in the book from outward appearances.  Hearing rumors early last year that it had been razed led to a search that found it still standing, but being offered for sale as a "tear down" for $5.5 million.

Lakeview House, 319 El Vedado Way,
as it appeared in real estate listings.
Image:  Corcoran.
Despite what appeared to be evidence to the contrary, various real estate sources described it as hopelessly out-dated and in unretrievably poor condition.  The offering to "custom build your dream home on one of Palm Beach's most beautiful estate area streets" was alarming. 

Google Map showing the location of
Lakeview House, Palm Beach, Florida.
Granted, Lakeview House is not the over-scaled pile of a smack-down interpretation of opulence so popular with so many of today's mansion seekers, but is it really completely undesirable?  As in all real estate transactions, it only takes one person to want it.  Lakeview House was bought in February, 2012, for $5.2 million by Virginia Mortara, widow of Michael Mortara who was a senior partner at Goldman Sachs.  Thankfully, instead of being razed, it is currently being restored.
Lakeview House under restoration, February, 2013.
Photo by John J. Tackett for The Devoted Classicist blog.
The house has an illustrious history.  According to Palm Beach historian Augustus Mayhew who wrote an article about the house for New York Social Diary, architect Clarence Mack described his own style in Palm Beach as "Tropical Empire."  Cleveland born Mack, who moved to Florida in 1935, typically lived in each of his houses before selling them;  that is thought to be the case for Lakeview House, built in 1936 according to sources.

The principal (south) facade of Lakeview House.
Dated January, 1940.
Town of Palm Beach Building Records.
Image via Augustus Mayhew for  New York Social Diary.
In addition to being architecturally significant, Lakeview House has had a history of interesting owners.  Clarence Mack sold the house to John Wendell Anderson and his wife who made it their winter home starting in the 1942-43 season.  Anderson was a Detroit attorney who organized Ford Motor Company and held a large financial interest.  Anderson was also a former consul-general in Montreal, but it was the Ford connection that really built his wealth. 

A self-portrait by Channing Hare.
Image:  Liros Gallery.
After Anderson's death, the house was sold to Channing Hare, a portrait artist well known in the social circles of the day.  A member of both the exclusive B & T (Bath and Tennis Club) and the Everglades Club, Hare was married but separated from his wife.  Referred to as 'Uncle Bunny' by his adopted son Stephen "Stevie" Hopkins Hensel Hare, he also owned a large villa, "Son Julio" in Majorca (possibly now the hotel Son Julia?).  In 1952, Hare moved to an apartment on Worth Avenue and sold the house to Audrey Emery.

Princess Anna and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch.
via forum.alexanderpalace.org.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Anna Audrey Emery was the youngest daughter of a real estate millionaire who became Princess Anna after her 1926 marriage to H.I.H. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch, the grandson of Emperor Czar Alexander III.  After divorcing in 1937, she married Prince Dimitri Djordjadze.  That marriage ended in divorce as well, and she was known as Mrs. Audrey Emery.  References mention that interiors of Lakeview House were featured in the January, 1953, issue of Town & Country magazine, but no digital images have been found.  The two images in the book 100 MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOMS IN AMERICA by noted photograper Jerome Zerbe date from the Emery occupancy, however.

An evening view of Lakeview House.
Note the uplights in the urns on tall plinths.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe from
100 MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOMS IN AMERICA
The grand salon during the occupancy
of Audrey Emery.
Photo by Jerome Zerbe from
100 MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOMS IN AMERICA
Audrey Emery's son from her first marriage, Prince Paul Romanoff-Ilyinsky, a.k.a. Paul Ilyinsky, was Mayor of Palm Beach for three terms.
A 1956 news clipping.
Via Augustus Mayhew for NYSD.
In 1956, Lakeview House was sold to Col. and Madame Jacques Balsan.  Jacques Balsan was a pioneer of flying and heir to a fortune in his family's textile manufacturing business which supplied the French army with uniforms from the time of Napoleon onward.  He is best known in this country, however, as the second husband of Consuelo Vanderbilt, whom he married immediately after her divorce from the Duke of Marlborough (of Blenheim Palace) in 1921.  (Later, the marriage to the Duke was arranged to be annulled).  Downsizing from their famous Maurice Fatio-designed house Casa Alva in Manalapan (listed for sale in 2007 for $23 million and finally sold a few months ago for $6.8 million), Jacques Balsan died in November of 1956.  But his wife was known as Madame Balsan for the rest of her life.

A portrait of Madame Balsan
by Channing Hare, 1956.
NYSD.
Madame Balsan, the only daughter of William K. and Alva Vanderbilt (later Belmont), used the home as a seasonal winter retreat.  In summers, she moved, along with some of ther favorite furnishings to Southampton, Long Island.

Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
in the grand salon of Lakeview House.
Life Magazine August 4, 1964.
The Balsan grand salon famously held two pairs of lacquer cabinets on stands, one pair in red and the other in black.  Horst's color photos of the Balsan interiors were featured in an earlier post of one of this writer's favorite blogs, The Downeast Dilettante.  After Madame Balsan's death in 1964, her grandson Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill inherited the house and contents;  the furnishings were sent to auction (with photos of the rooms appearing in Augustus Mayhew's article in NYSD) and the house was bought by Alice Warfield Tyne Earthman, previously of Nashville.

The late Alice Tyne.
Alice Tyne married her brother-in-law Girard Polk Brownlow in the grand salon of Lakeview House in 1967.  In 1971, she divorced Brownlow and married Cutler Godfrey.  In 1972, Lakeview House was leased to Kitty Miller, daughter of Jules Bach and widow of Broadway producer Gilbert Miller.
The cover of Celia Lipton Farris' autobiography
MY THREE LIVES.
Victor and Celia Farris were the next owners of the house.  Married since 1956, he was known as the inventor of the paper milk carton according to popular legend, and she was a Scot-born singer/actress.  The Farrises were frequent hosts to parties in Lakeview House, often honoring foreign nobility and Hollywood stars.  Their lifestyle was recorded in the 1977 British documentary Whicker's World. 

Mary Duncan Sanford (left) with Celia Farris
photographed in the grand salon of Lakeview House.
Photo via NYSD.
After her husband's death in 1985, Celia Lipton Farris focused on philanthropy and was named Dame Grace of the Venerable Order of Saint John (of Jerusalem).  After her death in March, 2011, Lakeview House was listed for sale by Corcoran Group Real Estate.

Lakeview House as seen from the street, 2011.
Corcoran.
The rear of Lakeview House, 2011.
Corcoran


The pool pavillion of Lakeview House, 2011.
Corcoran.
The swimming pool of Lakeview House
and the view towards the Lake Worth Lagoon, 2011.
Photos taken by Augustus Mayhew in 2012 may be seen in an April, 2012, article written for NYSD here.  With 2012 being a very busy year for filings of Palm Beach County demolition permits to make way for new mega-mansions, thanks is given for the preservation of Lakeview House.
The new owner of Lakeview House
Virginia "Gina" Mortara.
Palm Beach Shiny Sheet.
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