John L. Volk (10/15/1901 – 2/20/1984) is considered to be one of Palm Beach’s premier Society Architects. Responsible for some of Palm Beach’s most notable landmarks and homes, including the Royal Poinciana Plaza and Playhouse, the Beach Club, and in 1944 redesigning the Bath and Tennis Club. Volk is also responsible for homes for the rich and famous – such as Ford, Dodge, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, & DuPont. With 50 years and over 1,000 projects under his belt from Palm Beach to the Bahamas; he is considered to be the most prolific of the Palm Beach Society Architects.
Volk was quite versatile in designing homes in different styles to suit his customers. Georgian, British Colonial, he even designed the first Bermuda style Palm Beach home, “White Gables” for his family in 1936. Like Mizner, Fatio, and Wyeth – many of Volk’s early projects were in the Mediterranean Revival style; however – Volk was more reserved in his use of ornamentation.One important element to Volk was bringing the outside in. He liked to use many windows to showcase the gardens outside. Important rooms would be emphasized by scale and location within the floor plan. Also very important to Volk was graceful stairways. All of these elements help to make his wonderful Palm Beach homes still classically stylish today.