The 2016 Ballinger Award for outstanding restoration and rehabilitation of a historic property was presented at the Preservation Foundation’s annual membership luncheon held on Friday, December 9th, 2016. This year, the Foundation awarded Casa Marius, commonly referred to as the “ham-and-cheese” house. Architect Maurice Fatio designed the Italian Romanesque-style property in 1928.
Foundation Chair Pauline Pitt presented the Ballinger medal to Penny and Marion Antonini for the restoration of their property.
A presentation honoring the property was given by the Foundation’s Executive Director Amanda H. Skier highlighting the restoration and rehabilitation work. Over 200 images by professional photographer Stephen Leek detailed the architectural features. Skier said, “As one of the most iconic structures in town, it is truly an honor to recognize the Antonini’s meticulous restoration. Their work exhibits a delicate balance, one that is difficult to achieve, between deference to a master work and incorporation of necessities that complement modern living. During the project, years of dirt and mold were removed from the quarried key stone façade allowing the natural beauty and intricate detailing to be fully appreciated once again. For the arched windows in the living room, frames of impact-resistant glass were hidden behind the original carved stone columns allowing for an unobstructed view of the ocean. The redesign of the courtyard relocated a reconstruction of the original fountain allowing for the addition of an open lawn, modern linear pool, and a rivulet garden.”
The restoration and renovation team consisted of the owners, the architects of Smith Architectural Group, interior designer Susan Zises Green, landscape designers of Nievera Williams Landscape Architecture, and contractor Jeff Wildes of Wildes Builders.
The Ballinger award was first presented by the Foundation in 1987 and honors the late Robert I. Ballinger Jr., former chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission. Struck by noted sculptor Edward Grove, the medal itself bears the likeness of a bust of Ballinger that was sculpted by Ballinger’s wife, Didi Ballinger, and, on the reverse, the name of the house being honored and its owners.