Across Palm Beach, glimpses of a time forgotten can be found. Palm Beach has become a museum of stunning art glass artifacts which can be seen in private homes and public spaces, throughout the island. Made synonymous with the Palm Beach aesthetic by famed architect, Addison Mizner, stained glass windows, entryways, ceiling domes and more can be seen in most of the island’s renowned historic homes, and hotels.
What makes these iconic pieces of art even more special is that no two are alike. Each piece of glass has been hand-cut and hand-built with the knowledge of this art form typically passed down from generation to generation. And homeowners have become nostalgic for the historic architecture and designs that have made the “Palm Beach look” so iconic. Now the “Mizner” art glass style is once again a highly sought-after commodity.
Family-owned and operated since 1976, McMow Art Glass has a passion for preservation and has worked on keeping this art form and its traditional techniques alive. McMow Art Glass’ preserved works can be found at the following locations:
Duck’s Nest: Assembled on site in Palm Beach after being transported on a barge by Henry Maddock circa 1891, Duck’s Nest sat unchanged until its recent 2021 historic restoration led by Tralongo & Taylor.
The Seagull Cottage: Historic Sea Gull Cottage, built in 1886, was known throughout the late 1880s and the 1890s as the “showplace along the shores” of Lake Worth. Built by R.R. McCormick, a Denver railroad and land developer, the house, a shingle-style cottage typical of Palm Beach’s earliest architecture, stood approximately 300 yards to the north of today’s Henry M. Flagler Museum.
St. Edwards Catholic Church: As Palm Beach became an ever more popular tourist destination in the 1920s it became evident that a Catholic church was needed to serve the needs of the many visitors and increasing number of permanent residents flocking to the town. Built in 1926, St. Edwards has become a historic icon in Palm Beach. Perhaps the most defining features of the church decoration are the magnificent stained-glass windows depicting the life of the Blessed Mother, the so-called “Marian” windows which McMow Art Glass restored as part of the renovation and hurricane hardening, working alongside Serraes construction to complete the restoration of several of the original gothic ecclesiastical stained-glass windows.
Private Tiffany Collection: McMow recently had the honor of a major restoration of two 120-year-old original Tiffany-stained glass windows for a private owner. The owner saved the Tiffany windows from possible destruction when the church building, where they were installed, was sold. We are thankful that the new owners understood the historic value of the Tiffany windows. The windows had been installed for most of their life exposed to the outside elements in harsh climates.
The Breakers Hotel: With more than a century of history, the iconic Breakers Hotel recently restored its one-of-a-kind stained-glass dome.
While the traditional aesthetic prevails in Palm Beach, a new “Palm Beach look” has also popped up. Modern glass applications are being requested and islanders have taken to overlooking luxury and diversity of glass to include in their interiors, combining the old and new seamlessly into one bespoke aesthetic.
The Historic Brazilian Court Hotel is a prime example. The hotel showcases a stunning stained-glass ceiling in its main ballroom with a traditional design inspired by the original glass adornments on the Titanic. In its newly renovated Brazilian Court Salon, the design team at McMow created contemporary glass walls to add design flare, and privacy to the chic interior of the space representing the perfect juxtaposition of the two design styles. McMow is well-versed in all aspects of custom art glass design and installation. McMow Art Glass clients have no boundaries for lifestyle designs. McMow delivers quality at every level of design and fabrication.