Nestled in the heart of the Old Northwood Historic District, this 1920s charmer is one of five homes on 32nd Street designed by society architect John Volk.
Along with Addison Mizner, Marion Sims Wyeth, Howard Major, and Maurice Fatio, John L. Volk was among a group of architects known as the “Big Five” who defined Palm Beach style in the early 20th century. A native of Austria, Volk was commissioned to design more than 2,000 projects during his 60 years of practicing architecture in Palm Beach. Some of his significant commercial projects include the Royal Poinciana Plaza and Playhouse and the First National Bank on South County Road.
Built in 1926 and known as Villa Gloria, the 2,052-square-foot house at 511 32nd Street offers three bedrooms (including a large primary suite with a sitting room), two new bathrooms, a guesthouse/office, a large canopied patio (it’s just the spot to wait out a summer rain storm), and a one-car garage. And like many of the old homes in the historic district, this one has been completely renovated and modernized. The entire structure was reframed, and the home offers new plumbing and electrical systems, a brand-new roof, new air-conditioning units, and all new custom impact-glass doors and windows. Other new features include a whole-house generator, an updated and very stylish kitchen, and a water filtration system with reverse osmosis.
Yet its many original Old World architectural features remain — an enormous living room, a gated entry with twin pillars, 10-foot ceilings, oak hardwood flooring, arched windows and doorways, Pecky Cypress beams and accent moldings, and the original fireplace mantel. The lot is 75 feet wide, with plenty of room to add a pool or build out the guesthouse, and mature trees and shrubs offer loads of privacy.
And now Villa Gloria awaits its new owner, who will take it into its next century in the heart of tried-and-true yet hip and modern West Palm Beach.