Boca Rococo: How Addison Mizner Invented Florida's Gold Coast

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Clarkson Potter, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 284 pages
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The rollicking tale of the artist, adventurer, and visionary whose innovative architecture transformed Palm Beach and whose dramatic rise and fall mirrors the larger-than-life excesses of the 1920s.

Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean-style mansions—with their stucco walls, tiled roofs, and Moorish accents—are much-admired Florida icons. InBoca Rococo, renowned author and biographer Caroline Seebohm introduces the flamboyant genius behind these pastel palaces.

Mizner was a leading San Francisco society figure in the 1890s, joined the Alaska Gold Rush, traveled to China, and made his way to an exploding turn-of-the-century New York. No formal training but huge natural talent established him as architect of the rich and famous. The getaways he designed made Palm Beach America’s most elegant resort—and fed his dream of developing a “Venice-on-the-Ocean” in nearby Boca Raton. Mizner’s plans ended with the collapse of Florida’s real estate boom. He died in 1933, broken and bankrupt.

Drawing on a huge cache of untapped materials—including measured plans and an unpublished autobiography—Seebohm restores Mizner to the pantheon of great architects and flamboyant Americans.

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About the author (2001)

Caroline Seebohm is the author of No Regrets: The Life of Marietta Tree and The Man Who Was Vogue: The Life and Times of Condé Nast as well as several illustrated books on art and architecture.

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