Project No. 23: Before & After Photos

As fans of Mid-Century Modern Architecture Janie & JP were thrilled to have the opportunity to tackle the Interior Design and restore this Fort Lauderdale home to a modernized version of its’ original glory. This design project was another for Restore 818 as another Designer Spec Home.

Originally designed by Architect Lester Avery in 1952, this home has maintained its original layout with additions added in 1994. Lester Avery stood among a handful of exceptional residential architects who made South Florida their home after World War II. Avery’s signature style residences were created as one-story ranches with angled, flat top roofs and merging wings.

Lester Avery was listed as the architect for 695 homes built by Gill Construction Company in the Progresso subdivision in the 1940’s. Just before building this home Lester Avery and Gill Construction collaborated on the 50 room Escape Hotel on Ft. Lauderdale beach, which opened New Year’s Eve 1949. It was the first on Fort Lauderdale beach to offer a swimming pool and to stay open year-round beyond the peak winter season.

Avery also went on to design Jackie Gleason’s home in Miami Beach, the Schubert Hotel and Panama Club in Fort Lauderdale. You can see below some of the original elevations by Avery from plans JP obtained from the City.

The original core of the home, though severely distressed, was intact. There were two thoughtless additions made to the house over the years and the property had become an illegal multifamily property at the time Restore 818 acquired the property. Then main house was being rented as a 2-bedroom, 1-bath. The two additions served as 1-bedroom, 1-bath apartments separated from the main house by block walls.    

As part of the new floor plan and Interior Design the structure was gutted to the block with many interior walls being relocated or completely removed to create the open-concept living area and home office. What was dark and confined in feel became bright, open and inviting.

In its’ newly designed and fully renovated form the home touts 3-bedrooms and 3-baths creatively designed by Janie to function as three separate suites in three wings of the home. In the master bath you’ll notice that Janie re-purposed a vintage dresser to create the one-of-a-kind vanity. 

* Note: Photos are with staging by Restore 818.

Original elevations drawn by Lester Avery in 1952.
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