Hogarcito, “Little Hearth” at 17 Golfview Road, Palm Beach, was designed by architect Marion Sims Wyeth in 1921 for cereal heiress and Palm Beach socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post while she was married to financier Edward F. Hutton.
The 10,000 plus-total-square-foot Spanish Mediterranean house with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a bell tower encompasses two buildings: the main house and a second house, which are connected by an arcade.
Here’s a little of Hogarcito’s history according to historian Donald Curl. “It was the first house on Golfview,” Curl says. “Many of the other houses were built literally because Marjorie Merriweather Post wanted to populate the street with what she called, ‘young marrieds,’ which was how she saw herself. She would have been in her 30s at that time and was married to her second husband.
“Jesse Woolworth Donahue’s sister was one of the young marrieds, Mrs. McCann. Her husband was an attorney and they bought a little Wyeth house that he had done for Mrs. Post. Golfview was like a housing development, particularly on the north side, where Wyeth did a number of little houses. They were purchased very quickly and he added onto them over the years.”
Although impressive, Hogarcito was fairly simple and was never an enormous house, Curl says. “That is part of the reason Mrs. Post built Mar a Lago. She always claimed Hogarcito was not big enough. She had all these daughters coming home with their friends, and she needed something larger. She decided she wanted a knock-them-dead house.”
And hence, she built Mar a Lago.
However, Hogarcito’s “courtyard is marvelous, and the new pool adds to the whole thing,” Curl says. “The house has all these exterior galleries and the tower has a bell in it. Wyeth was very proud of Hogarcito. He thought it had a good design.”
Entry is by way of an impressive foyer with a Cuban tile and stone floor. Straight on to the south is the living room with herringbone wood floors. To one side, doors open to the terrace, and to the other, doors offer views of the garden. Through the living room is an enclosed loggia, where the walls are covered in trellis. From French doors there, a covered walkway leads to the separate two-floor master suite.
The loggia looks out to the terrace with its 17th century fountain, one of four fountains on the property.
To the west of the foyer is a salon with hardwood floors and French doors that lead to the courtyard. Farther west is the dining room, and then the kitchen. In this portion of the house are also the garage and staff quarters.
To the east of the foyer and up a few steps is the library with Cuban tile floors, pecky cypress ceiling and a fireplace.
On the second floor are three guest bedrooms ensuite and a master bedroom suite.
And then there’s the bell tower. When present owner Bruce Bent moved into the house 25 years ago, it was boarded up. “I opened it up, and to my surprise, there were bedrooms and a bathroom up there. I converted the space into a den,” he says.
“There are two terraces on the roof. They are very private, and it’s a neat spot.”