Three-home compound proves more than the sum of its parts
When it comes to living life in a grand Palm Beach mansion, Peter and Leni May have been there, done that.
In the 1980s, the couple renovated a 1926 house designed by noted society architect Marion Sims Wyeth at 1410 S. Ocean Blvd. on what is today known as Billionaires Row.
“It was a large house that we made larger,” said Peter May, who co-founded Trian Partners with fellow resident Nelson Peltz.
At the time, the Mediterranean-style house seemed a good fit for the Mays. The renovation of Casa Sud not only brought more light and air into the house, but also allowed May to delve into his deep love of architecture and, in particular, the town’s historic Spanish- and Italian-style residences.
“Architecture is my hobby,” he said.
The Mays expanded the property with a lakefront home across the street. But after a while, as May tells it, the estate’s sheer size as a vacation home offered them less and less appeal. The couple sold the oceanfront half in 1994 and the lakefront house several years later.
Fast forward a decade, and the Mays chose for their island home a Bradley Place townhouse in Villa Plati, which they bought in 2012. The scale of the townhome suited the couple — especially Leni, but Peter liked it, too.
Yet, his eye kept drifting one street over to a vacant lakefront lot measuring a third of an acre at 320 Dunbar Road.
“The scale was such that by
The living room’s beamed ceiling is finely detailed, a nod to ceilings found in historic Mediterranean-style houses in Palm Beach.