Above, the principals opening the discussion of "Palm Beach Society through the Years," hosted by the Coudert Institute.
We were delighted to have the principals from New York Social Diary, David Patrick Columbia and Jeffery Hirsch, join us for a luncheon. Below is an exceprt of their story, available in full here: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/social-diary/2018/palm-beach-society-through-the-years
The “Institute” is something that was started by our hostess Dale Coudert (coo-dare), a girl from Chicago who became a native New Yorker where she was one of the founders of The Woman’s Bank, as well as conducting a very successful career in Commercial Real Estate (her first big commission was the sale of the then General Motors Building).
In the 1990s Dale relocated to Palm Beach and joined Dr. Steven Rose, a retired dentist and sculptor, at the acclaimed Addison Mizner estate, Villa dei Fiori. The house was designed in 1921 for Orator Woodward Jr. whose father invented Jello, the formula of which he purchased from a neighbor in his hometown of Leroy in northern New York for $450 – a tidy sum in the year 1899.
Mr. Woodward’s almost instant financial success was cut short when he died at age 49 in 1906. His wife Cora Woodward took over the family company, and was eventually succeeded by her son Ernest. The company was eventually sold to Marjorie Meriweather Post’s General Foods. Orator Jr.was known as the playboy in the family. That is affirmed by his early interest in Palm Beach which was originally conceived by Henry Flagler for men such as playboys who were rich...It was a great pleasure for me to be a guest in this early Mizner house that is Dale Coudert’s residence. Even more interesting is that most of the house has basically not undergone any changes since it was built, still containing its original flooring, windows, lighting fixtures, and even furniture which Mizner brought back from Spain and France, including many items from the 17th and 18th century. Because it remains unchanged architecturally, it reflects Mizner's strong, creative, and almost child-like fancy for what a great house should be, often in great detail.