The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 1, 1997 · Page 69
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 69

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, December 1, 1997
Page 69
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Page 69 article text (OCR)

THE PALM BEACH POST DECEMBER 1, 1997 23 Worth Avenue: A STREET PAVED WITH HISTORY 7-- " i follow," Addison Mizner's brother Wilson once said. Famed architect Addison Mizner first designed a convalescent center for World War 1 veterans at the west end of this shopping street The center, which became a hallmark of the Mizner style, couldn't attract enough recuperating Palm Beach's answer to the upscale shopping streets of Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue was once simply called the "Avenue" by Palm Beachers and the "Mink Mile" by others. But history buffs will know Worth Avenue was named for Col. VLn .. .. soldiers. So owner Pans Singer turned it into a private resort, the now nationally famous Everglades Club. Club members hosted an annual circus night in the 1940s, with a parade of animals and circus acts marching down Worth Avenue. William Jenkins Worth (right), the commander who led the victory in the Second Seminole War. Directors SHERMAN ZENTStaff Photographer The grave sites of Mizner's monkey, Johnnie Brown (left), and Laddie, a dog owned by Rose Sachs. of the Palm Beach Improvement Co., a land owner, selected his name for the street in 1913. B Via Mizner, the town's first shop ping arcade on Worth Avenue, was designed in 1924 by architect Mizner. It's a town landmark, so any changes are sure to attract the attention of the status-quo keepers. Take for example what happened following a 1993 renovation. Pink bougainvillea was planted mistakenly where a purple flowering version of the plant once adorned the walls. Of course, the pink vines had to be ripped out and replaced by the purple variety. Via Mizner also is a pet graveyard of sorts. It's the final resting ground for Mizner's pet monkey, Johnnie Brown. Laddie, a dog owned by the landlord Rose Sachs, also is buried in the Via. "AW- V" WW J . ' 1 X. ; : Rose Sachs Geft) was known as the queen of Worth Avenue, as she lorded over her holdings for 40 years in a penthouse apartment above Via Mizner. At one time, she and her husband owned about 20 percent of the properties lining Worth Avenue. mi 3 '4 v Alligator Joe with a pet sea cow in 1 905. PALM BEACH HISTORICAL SOCIETY Addison Mizner with his monkey. Kassatly's Linen and Lingerie Shop is the oldest store on Worth Avenue. Sam Kassatly, a traveling linen and lingerie salesman from New Jersey, first saw Palm Beach in 1922 and supposedly yelled, "This is God's country." He stayed to found the business now operated by his sons at 250 Worth Ave. SOURCES: Palm Beach Post archives, Palm Beach Daily News archives, Palm Beach Facts & Fancies, Caprices & Curiosities '-f The Esplanade shopping plaza was the first project for developer Murray Goodman in the Palm Beach area. His company used a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce equipped with a bulldozer blade to break ground for the project. The first stores opened in late 1979. The Dog Bar, a semi-circular water trough in front of 318 Worth Ave., was designed by architect John L Volk in memory of his giant schnauzer, Hans. The chi-chi street first attracted tourists with real alligators, not purses. At the western end of the street, now home to the Everglades Club, sat Alligator Joe's. Although the reptiles were frequently seen in lakefront residents' yards, people still flocked to see the occasional alligator wrestling match. "Get the big snobs and the little snobs will Tiny shops nestled in cozy side streets add interest to avenue Beach Orchids is decorated named for Bice restaurant. By Angie Francalancia Together the vias hold some of Worth Avenue's most interesting shops. They're tiny. Many are independent businesses. Stroll around sculpture, sit by fountains and enjoy the icing of the Avenue. B Via Parigi is filled with designer and antique shops, including Galeria of Sculpture, David Marks Interiors, Vivi's stationery and John Surovek Gallery. Via Mizner, which actually has about four entrances, is home to Renato's RestanramV jjpwotf Erre, Piccolo Mondo, Ronni's Gallery and Barzina gift shop. B Via Roma, a condominium project of retail owners, is home to Petit Trianon antiques, The Meissen Shop antiques and Mar-iko jewelry. B Via Demario holds more than 14 diminutive shops, including Parisorbet, the Avenue's ice cream stop. B Via Bice takes a visitor inside the Worth Arcade, a 1925 structure whosfjjDtrjor'js, -ppyi Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Shops on Worth Avenue actually didn't start on Worth Avenue. The first retail space is said to have started within the confines of Via Mizner, the eclectic collection of nooks and crannies that architect Addison Mizner designed below his apartment and studio. : Soon it was followed by Via Parigi, the western-most of the side streets.' - - with colorful orchids from the proprietor's store. B Via Flora, the eastern-most via, connects through open .,. wrought iron gates with Vialiie Lela and Via Gucci, providing a garden of small shops behind the larger ones fronting Worth Avenue. Find Elizabeth Wood's children's clothing shop, Claire Murray's needlework rugs and Casa Corbo Spanish ceramics. ',' ' ' '. ,' '', .' ; Vm B Via Encantada, nestled between Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel stores, is home to Hampton's Tobacco, the Avenue's only smoke shop. B Via Gucci is an outdoor gallery with fine wood and chandeliers, almost as elegant as the store for which it's called. ' B Via de Lela, home to the smallest shop on Worth Avenue,

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