The Coastal Star


Born beautiful, Gulf Stream’s grand old lady gets a face-lift

As manager of the Gulf Stream Golf Club, Kevin M. Bauer has become adept at politely saying no to brides-to-be who dream of holding their wedding receptions at the clubhouse. Those kinds of requests come often and anyone who drives by the gorgeous seaside property at 2401 N. Ocean Blvd. can understand why they do. What lady wouldn’t want to be photographed gliding, in all her bridal finery, down one of the twin oval stairways that grace the west side of the clubhouse?

Bauer informs the brides that the club is private, and in order to have a wedding on the grounds you need to be a member. Currently, about 300 people hold that privilege.

The Gulf Stream Golf Club was born beautiful. When the clubhouse opened in 1924, Architectural Forum magazine called it “the most attractive Mediterranean design in America†and the Palm Beach Daily News described it as “the acme of beauty.â€

Designed by Addison Mizner, who also drew up the plans for Everglades Club and the Cloisters (now the Boca Raton Resort), the structure was given the graceful lines of Spanish-Italian architecture.

Like any lady in her 86th year, the clubhouse requires primping and preening from time to time, and sometimes a bit more. That’s what’s happening this summer.

As the third part of a four-phase renovation, new hurricane-resistant windows are being installed on the clubhouse’s west side. They replace windows that had a 1950s storefront look with ones mimicking the original design, with arched fanlights. The terrace is being resurfaced as well, and all of the work is in keeping with the original Mizner design.

The first phase of renovations began three years ago, when a patio was built on the south side, overlooking the ocean. Windows on the east side of the clubhouse were replaced during phase two.

The final phase, which likely will be done next year, will involve replacing windows on the south side of the building. The architect and contractor is William Wietsma. All the work is completed during summer months, while the club is closed.

By Mary Thurwachter for The Coastal Star / August 5, 2010