Awards & News

Herpel will be a featured lecturer in the Third Annual Adult Lecture Series

The Craftsman Behind the Architects

Download the complete January-February 2007 Edition of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach Newsletter

January, 2007: Foundation News - The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach is proud to present its third annual Adult Education Lectures, The Craftsmen behind the Architects. The three part series is an integral element in the foundation’s mission of enhancing community appreciation and understanding of the contribution of architecture to the unique Palm Beach environment.

The series starts with a discussion of architect Addison Mizner’s efforts to obtain high quality materials to construct private residences on the island. Naturally high quality materials were required to satisfy both the architect and clients’ refined sensibilities. Mizner purchased a local pottery operation
owned by Paris Singer for use in producing roof and decorative tiles. Thus Las Manos Potteries, the first department of what later became Mizner Industries, was formed in 1918. During the 1920s real estate boom, Mizner Industries also produced decorative pottery, wrought-iron work, furniture, cast
stone decorations, lighting fixtures and Quarry Key Stone. Finished products, including architectural details and ornamentation, were utilized by builders and architects throughout South Florida. The heritage of Mizner Industries reverberates to this day through successor organizations producing an array of architectural components of outstanding quality.

Dr. Donald Curl and Rick Herpel will present the first lectures of the series on February 21. Dr. Curl, an architectural historian of note, will explore the historical background, development and impact of Mizner Industries. Mr. Herpel of Herpel, Inc., a fourth generation West Palm Beach company that specializes in cast stone and columns, will share his expertise about tiles and cast stone. Examples of Herpel’s
work can be seen in Pan’s Garden, which is owned by the Preservation Foundation. The garden contains architectural elements including decorative brackets, capitals, corbels and cornice sections.

The March 7 lecture will explore the metal and woodworking arts. One of the highly skilled artisans of Les Métalliers Champenois will discuss the centuries old techniques of architectural metalwork used on landmark buildings and historic monuments. The French company is involved in significant projects throughout the United States and Europe and is noted for their restoration work on the Statue of Liberty and the Chateau de Versailles. Reich Metal Fabricators Inc., located on the grounds used by the original Mizner shops in West Palm Beach, specializes in ornamental iron work using the latest equipment and materials.

Also on the March 7 will be a discussion about woodworking led by a team of representatives from Porath Fine Cabinetry, Inc. The Preservation Foundation’s Robert M. Grace Library is an outstanding example of their superb woodworking skills. Constructed of oak, the English style library is complete with fireplace, pediments, and hand carved panels.

The series concludes on March 21 with a tour of Herpel Cast Stone, as well as site visits to other venues that exemplify the beauty of architectural detailing that only talented craftsmen can produce.

All events in the series are open to the public. They begin at 2:00 pm in the Rosenthal Lecture Room at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, 311 Peruvian Avenue. Reservations are required. For additional information and reservations call 832-0731.

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