For over 20 years Katherine McConvey has been clipping photographs of interior designs, assembling a book of ideas to draw from when the time was right to build the house she envisioned. But first, she had to find the right property. In early 2011 the CEO of Alloy Development discovered just what she was looking for: a double lot spanning 200 feet of oceanfront in the heart of Vero Beach.
When Carol Twyman talks about how she and her husband, Jeff, ended up building a home in John’s Island, the sparkle in her eyes says there’s more to the story than square footage, bricks and mortar. After years of short seasonal stays in their riverfront home near the Environmental Learning Center, the Twymans decided it was time to either renovate or relocate. Jeff was in the process of selling Greenline Foods, a produce company he founded 25 years ago, and looking forward to pursuing other interests. Carol was anticipating spending more time with family and tending to her garden.
Like many of our community’s residents, Gerry and Lorraine Taube of New Hampshire and New York originally resided in the North. When looking for a place to retire, they visited different areas of Florida, including Palm Beach Gardens, and ultimately decided they wanted to be on the East Coast. After visiting and attending their son’s wedding at Windsor, they fell in love with Vero Beach and decided on an extended stay.
Like others who have chosen to call Vero Beach home, the couple from Chicago discovered our community by chance. Seeking an escape from the Windy City’s endless winters, they had looked at a number of sunny southern spots but none felt quite right.
“The house is Pres,” exclaimed Suzan Phillips. She was speaking about Prescott LeBreton Gardner, the original owner of the stately Lowell house at 2300 Ocean Dr. with its unparalleled view of the ocean and the Riomar golf course. Suzan remembers Pres as a
Patti Connor says with a smile, “At heart, I’m a beach girl. I knew any house we bought or built in Vero Beach had to be close to the sea.”
It’s been fifteen years since Laura and Rick McDermott moved into the two-story house with breathtaking views of the Indian River.
“Small but mighty” is how Mori MacKenzie describes the two-story house she and Danny Tyler purchased two years ago.
Tucked behind a venerable live oak tree rumored to be 300 years old, a 1929 “Cleveland Cottage” sits on a quiet lane in Riomar.
One look was all it took for the couple from Maryland to know that the John’s Island home would suit their seasonal-stay needs perfectly.
With sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean one would think that’s why the couple from Florida’s west coast make it a point to spend as much time as possible in their new home.
Jim and Sue Lawson never considered owning a home in Florida. Simply put, their perception of the Sunshine State lifestyle didn’t fit with theirs. But when a good friend of Jim’s invited them to his John’s Island home the couple’s feelings began to change.
It only took one look for Hilary Mullarkey to know that the house framed by oak trees was what she wanted, a place where she and her three children could come together.
Just looking at the house from the street you would never know there is a “hidden room” above the garage.
Like many of us who have chosen to call Vero Beach home the couple from suburban Washington, D.C., had visited family and friends often enough to know that this was where they wanted to plant roots of their own.
Everything she envisioned it could become is now a reality and she’s not shy about expressing how she feels.
With views of the Indian River Lagoon visible from every room in the three-story house, the scene is ever-changing.
Peggotty Worthington Gilson, a resident of Windsor, evolved into an architect by a long and circuitous route. Her mother’s brother, John M. Johansen, was a member of the Harvard Five, a famous group of architects who studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard and designed modern houses in New Canaan, Conn., in the 1950s.
“We restored the beach house not just because we wanted to live next to the ocean, but also out of a sense of legacy,” says the owner of a 1940s beach cottage. He continues, “A large Mediterranean house had been approved for the site and it would be a shame to have lost a simple beach house and a small piece of Vero Beach history to a 21st-century monstrosity.”
One would be hard put to find a house on the barrier island that remotely resembles the aqua-colored one in Old Riomar. This rambling, multi-era “beach cottage” is perhaps best defined for what it has not: concrete block, drywall, irrigation and air conditioning. But most of what it does have is also distinctive, most notably the sash-weight windows and good heating.