Tuesday 8 May 2012 - Filed under Palm Beach
Actor George Hamilton’s condo, #1504 at 400 N Flagler Drive in the Waterview Towers, comprises two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,797 square feet of interior space. And, for him, it’s the perfect size and in the perfect location.
Bigger is not always better, he says. “I owned Douglas Fairbanks’ and Charlie Chaplin’s homes.”
At one time, Grayhall, a 22,000-square-foot home built in 1909, had been rented by Fairbanks and Chaplin’s 1922-era home comprises 11,000-square feet.
“One house had 39 rooms. If I lost my wallet, it took three days to find it,” he says.
In recent years, he prefers smaller, simpler and less complicated. His other pieds a terre include a condo in the Wilshire Corridor and a hotel suite in Manhattan. The streamlined condo has been called “tony,” he says. “What does that mean? It’s beige-on-beige with chocolate accents and animal skins – a very Art Deco thing.”
And he’s got slipcovers to throw over the hotel furniture. Each is stocked and set up for easy living, as is his West Palm Beach condo.
“I like the unpredictability of my life. Everyplace I‘ve lived has had a sense of freedom,” he says. “I don’t want to fix things and I don’t want to have things. I’ve made ease for my life. You have to, if you’re a bachelor.”
And now his life is especially hectic. He’s on the road playing Georges in La Cage aux Folles, with (at the time of this writing), 19 cities down and 48 more to go by December 2012.
Also, he’s thinking about what his fiancé, Dr. Barbara Sturm, may want in the way of a home, so his condo is offered for sale through Fite Shavell for $925,000, furnished.
“You may not be thinking about it, but the lady you are going with – she’s thinking about it. Every woman wants her own family. I don’t know why my fiancé wants another child, but women think about that. It’s that whole theory that you are only as healthy as you produce and your sexual vitality is measured by that. And it makes a lot of sense that nature is formed that way. With women, ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it,’ and, for men, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose them.”
So, he says, where a single-family home may not make sense to him, “if I was married, and if that’s what she wanted …”
… he hopes she might choose Palm Beach, a house in the north end, perhaps, but it’s up to her. “I’d consider that, as long as she’s content there. But she looks at Palm Beach as it is. I look at it as it was. When another person is involved, you have to consider what would make her happy.”
In 2008, he bought his West Palm Beach unit to be close to his son, George Thomas, while he was in school at St Ann’s (he’s now at Admiral Farragut Academy).
“I was at a luncheon sitting next to Ivana the day before her wedding and the guy next to me said he lived right across in West Palm Beach.
“My mother said if you lived two blocks from the ocean, you might as well be in Georgia. I laughed.
“But I took a look at a unit in the Waterview Towers, and I thought it had the best view I had ever seen – a view of Palm Beach, The Breakers, the Intracoastal and the ocean, and I thought, that’s interesting. And I was always coming and going and it was ten minutes from the airport. It made sense to me, so I moved in.”
He completely redid the apartment. “I asked Allene Simmons, who has just passed away, for something very Italian modern. She had helped me with other homes.
“It’s a big mistake in any resort to use very heavy decoration. It gets to be a sense of responsibility and I wanted to keep it light with the exterior coming into the interior. The color of the walls is like that of a slightly overcast day.
“It took a year to do and was an enormous undertaking. (With condos) there were rules you have to live by and I thought I was planning the Great Escape, removing one handful of dirt a day.”
The living room is furnished simply with a modern white sofa, upholstered armchair and a deco-style console.
The dining room, with a glass and metal table, is separated from the kitchen by a bar with pull up seating.
Covering the floor are glass tiles. “I didn’t want marble,” he says.
In the kitchen, “I started to realize that all the modern conveniences I like were German or Italian – the coffee maker, the washer an dryer – They’ve put together some interesting stuff. My refrigerator has an area for cooling wine as well,” he adds.
The master bedroom, with an upholstered bed in cocoa with white linens, has glass doors that open to a balcony and offer views of West Palm Beach. The master bathroom has custom tile, a shower with multiple showerheads, an oversized soaking tub and double vanities.
No matter where his next move will be, he’ll always return to Palm Beach, he says. “All my family memories are there. I told somebody recently that while sunbathing on the beach, I woke up and I thought I was 17 years old because things haven’t changed.”
For information, call Doreta Barrett at (561) 632-2621.
2012-05-08 » Christine