Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, Old Bags Luncheon at The Breakers, and connection with Gary Lawrance, author of ‘Houses of the Hamptons’

Our book, Villa Mizner: the house that changed Palm Beach, was on the bestseller list at Main Street News in Palm Beach for the 5th time this week within three months. At a $75 retail price that is an amazing track record and reflects the interest and excitement about the book.

Preparations are underway for the big lecture at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach for next week, February 26 at 2 PM. René and I will visit the Foundation this Wednesday to make sure all equipment works well, and the presentation will go off without a hitch. Tickets are still available for non-members at $20. Contact the Preservation Foundation for more information: 561.832.0731.

The Rotary Club Presentation has not been rescheduled yet as of now.

Last week February 10th René addressed an annual meeting of high level bankers and hedge fund managers from all over the country, who were staying at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, where René will be giving a presentation at the end of March. This high profile event was held in around Via Mizner, and Rene did a short presentation on the history of the Vias and the Villa. The evening ended with an outstanding dinner at Renato’s .

Gary_s bookYesterday, Monday February 15, we met with Gary Lawrance. This gentleman found us on Facebook and he contacted us because he is working on his new book, which is about mansion in Palm Beach. This book will be a continuation of his passion for architecture of the gilded age, which was the focus of his last book Houses of The Hamptons-1880-1930 (Architecture of Leisure). Mr. Lawrance is a very interesting man, and we took him on a tour of some Palm Beach classic homes, including Villa des Cygnes and Villa Mizner, to help the research for his book.


We are also working up to a wonderful event on March 5th. This is the Old Bags Luncheon  to be held at The Breakers. This is a yearly charity event of which all the proceeds go to the Center of Family Services of Palm Beach County. René has donated 275 books to the event, and in coordination with Janet Levy, the honorary co-chair of the Old Bags Luncheon, and the Center of Family Services 550 copies of Villa Mizner will be given away that morning to the attending guests. The guest speaker at this year’s event is Dame Joan Collins, actress and author.


CFSThe Center for Family Services has many programs, of which I will highlight several in the coming weeks. The first one I got in contact with was the Pat Reeves Village . Because I had to meet a gentleman there to help me transfer the 550 books from our storage to the Center’s main offices, I got to meet several people who work at Pat Reeves. Pat Reeves Village is an emergency shelter for homeless families with dependent children. Families in the shelter are part of a structured, supportive program that includes crisis counseling provided by The Center. Pat Reeves Village provides temporary emergency shelter in area motels for homeless families, and for people at imminent risk of homelessness, this program provides food vouchers, assistance with rent, mortgage and utilities. More to follow next week…

RAt the breakersené with his book at The Breakers book store. The book is selling well around Palm Beach and via

Blog written by Robert Versteeg MSW, associate for Silvin Books LLC