I do often fantasize about owning a tropical villa, and with so many design opportunities popping up for me in Florida, it’s hard not to want to think of a home there for myself!
I’ve loved Palm Beach Regency style homes for some time—like Maurice Fatio’s “Villa Today” and the houses designed by Clarence Mack—consequently in my Palm Beach and Miami exploration, it seemed natural that I should begin by visiting the fabulous “French City Village” in Coral Gables designed by legendary architect Mott B. Schmidt.
Built in 1925, “French City Village” became part of George Merrick’s master plan for the development of Coral Gables. Merrick’s stylistically integrated community brought together a really superb selection of architects. Marion Syms Wyeth created the Dutch South African Village, which is terribly chic and rather perfect for Southern Florida, but I have to say I’m more drawn to Schmidt’s Neo-Classical small-villa-like houses, executed in a somewhat 18th century French style with walled courtyards and gardens.
It should be evident by the images I’m including here that many of these estates are in need of rescue (which of course brings out the romantic in me!).
I am looking forward to seeing how these thoughts unfold as I continue to explore other enclaves that might be perfect for indulging my tropical villa fantasies. In the meantime I am having so much fun with all of this and I hope you are too.