THE TAMPICO

3401.0 Sq. Ft., Exterior Dimension
3256.0 Sq. Ft., Living Space

Italian Renaissance Revival domestic architecture came into vogue in the 1880’s as a dramatic, classical-inspired architectural genre to contrast with the Gothic-inspired Queen Anne or Shingle styled Victorian houses. In the late 1800’s Americans were traveling abroad with more frequency, and the exposure to southern Europe’s architectural heritage created a demand for American domestic interpretations of the Italian style. Over the ensuing century, the blending of the more classic-styled Roman architecture of Italy with the indigenous styles of Spanish Colonial and Spanish Eclectic architecture in Florida, the Southwestern States and California created an American vernacular architectural genre that is referred to as Mediterranean.

The “Tampico” design came from an amalgamation of contemporary Mediterranean houses that I photographed on a trip to Florida some years ago and was designed for a narrow, ocean view lot. The body of the house is only 28 feet across, and with the wrap-around verandah and upper wrap-around balcony, the width is still only 36 feet.

You walk to the front door through a flagstone-paved Portico with thickened Roman arch portals. Upon entering, you notice that the terracotta-tiled Foyer runs the entire length of the house, allowing easy access to all the public areas. A rear entry, exiting from a covered porch, leads directly to the Kitchen and a large pantry and Laundry/Mudroom are conveniently located adjacent to the rear entry hallway.

To your right, you enter the Great Room through an arched, colonnaded portal into a room that has a coffered ceiling with inset, wood box beams. A stone and stucco corner fireplace orients a conversation group that can seat upwards to 10 people, and 3 pairs of French doors exit onto a flagstone-paved Verandah that wraps more that half way around the house.

The Dining Room can be entered through wide, colonnaded portals from either the Foyer or Great Room and is spacious enough to accommodate a 72-inch diameter dining table, seating 12. Double French doors leads outside to the Verandah. A back-lighted, coffered ceiling with brightness controls adds either lighting drama or ambiance to the space.

The Kitchen is designed with a cornucopia of cabinet storage, up and down, and with an abundance of counter top and island work space. A professional grade appliance package rounds out a well-appointed facility that will meet all food preparation needs for family and guests, alike. As an adjunct to the Kitchen, the ground floor of the rear turret creates an octagonal Eating Nook. The Eating Nook will comfortably seat eight and has a 225 degree view of the world, outside.

Terracotta-tiled floors are continuous from the Foyer and run throughout the Kitchen and Eating Nook.

An open, balustrade stairway takes you to an upper Seating Loft and entries to all the Bedrooms. Double French doors lead you to a tuck-away Library in the front tower. Seven radius-top windows create a dramatic architectural element for the Library which features floor-to-ceiling book cases surround an arched portal that opens onto the second floor balcony.

Bedrooms 2 and 3 share a Continental bath and have French doors that access the Upper Balcony.

The Maser Bedroom suite is designed to be an island of privacy away from the ocean of public life. A vestibule entry gives you access either to the Master Bath or the Sleeping Chamber. The Sleeping Chamber is designed for a king-sized bed, has built-in cabinetry for clothing storage, and double French doors to the Upper Balcony. Adjacent to the Sleeping Chamber is an octagonal sitting room created by the second floor of the rear turret with a fireplace and an octagonal, coffered ceiling. A 225 degree view from the Sitting Room allows for natural light to stream into the area, creating a solarium-like area. A private exit allows you access to the Upper Balcony.

The Master Bath has double sinks, a spa tub, over-sized shower, linen closets and a private water closet. Off the Master Bath is a large walk-in closet with windowed dressing bench and over 40 feet of double-tiered hang rod space.

Bill Garnett © 2004

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