Season 22: West Palm Beach, Florida
1925 Mediterranean Revival
This project premiered on PBS
January 27, 2001
Eight half-hour episodes; Programs #2019-2026
Destination: West Palm Beach! With the allure of coastal breezes, warm Florida sand, political intrigue, and 16 historical districts, how could we refuse? A community with a revitalized downtown and considerable residential renovation, West Palm Beach, Florida, serves as the backdrop to the This Old House project house-a small Mediterranean Revival bungalow. Built in the 1920s, new homeowner Rob Thompson envisions turning it, and the two-story garage/apartment behind it, into a compound for living and working.
Work begins in earnest on Rob Thompson's 1925 Mediterranean Revival-style home in West Palm Beach, Florida. General contractors Harley Edgell and John Kern begin to assess how much termite and water damage is lurking behind the stucco, while architect Roger Janssen explains his vision, via a model, of the proposed redesign. Host Steve Thomas tours Flamingo Park, the historic neighborhood where Rob's house is located.
As hurricanes are a serious threat to houses in Southern Florida, precautions are taken to help the buildings survive the storms. Hurricane resistant replacement windows arrive at the West Palm Beach project house, the shatterproof glass does away with need for clumsy storm shutters. Our team visits one of this century's most ambitious and complex construction project-NASA's International Space Station-at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Steve receives an exclusive tour of the Space Station's components while Norm learns about the specific job performed by various space tools. Finally they visit the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which will haul this equipment 240 miles into space.
Host Steve Thomas checks in with homeowner Rob Thompson as renovation work continues on the West Palm Beach project house. While the new lap pool is installed behind the house, progress continues with the kitchen expansion. Our master carpenter finds the transformation of the former garage into a workshop for Rob well underway.
The transformation process continues at the West Palm Beach project house, and now it's decision time. General contractors Harley Edgell and John Kern press homeowner Rob Thompson about his decisions for cabinets, appliances, tile, countertops, and bath fixtures so that the materials can be ordered and arrive without breaking the workflow, which could cause delays.
Host Steve Thomas learns more about West Palm Beach's story from former mayor Nancy Graham as they tour City Place, a new shopping and residential block. The new development has been credited with inspiring West Palm Beach's renaissance. Back at the project, Steve Thomas watches the new cabinetry being installed as the kitchen renovation nears completion. Our master carpenter checks in with general contractors Harley Edgell and John Kern who are busy converting the garage into a workshop. Finally, the landscaping begins in earnest with the installation of the new patio featuring a new type of paver.
With just a few weeks left to go until the project house in West Palm Beach is completed, our team surveys the progress. Steve oversees the installation of granite countertops in the new kitchen, while our master carpenter checks on the pergola that will separate the driveway from the pool. Later, Steve meets with landscape architect Jeff Blakely to discuss the new state-of-the-art, subsurface drip irrigation system and checks out the landscape's new plantings.
It's the finale of This Old House's West Palm Beach project. Our team checks on the remaining details including the finished landscape, the new, professional grade kitchen appliances, and the interior design work being done by none other than our homeowner, Rob Thompson.