Timeless. Gracious. Over-the-top. No matter how people describe Broadway producer Terry Allen Kramer’s Palm Beach home, words never seem to do it justice. Nicknamed La Follia and spanning more than 20,400 square feet in living space alone, the Italian Renaissance masterpiece has welcomed hundreds, if not thousands, of admirers since its unveiling in 1995, most of whom came to partake in the owner’s legendary soirees. They felt its majesty upon entering through the stately wrought-iron gate and remarked at its grandeur while appreciating the scenery both inside and out. Yet, nowadays, they primarily use one descriptive phrase when discussing the beautiful manse at 1295 South Ocean Blvd.: on the market.
Listed by Douglas Elliman Real Estate in November at $135 million, La Follia is truly unlike anything else around, according to the firm’s Realtor associate, Gary Pohrer, and its senior director of luxury sales, Ashley McIntosh. “The entire property is clad with coquina,” Pohrer explains. “It has gone through an aging process that makes it look patinaed from the outside, but in the entry foyer, you have two stories of coquina that looks like it was just installed.”
“My first impression was just how timeless it is,” McIntosh adds. “There’s just so much to look at—from the workmanship beginning in the library, all the way through to the living room. For the ceiling, they flew in an artist from Toronto who literally piped the plaster by hand. There’s not one seam in the ceiling. It’s incredible. Everything is stunning.”
The property’s main floor unveils one carefully curated scene after another, united by tricolored marble floors, custom millwork and 25-foot-tall ceilings. “Glass panels rise upward 14 feet out of the basement and fit into arches to enclose the loggias off the dining room, and the gentleman’s club room is cladded in knotty pine,” McIntosh explains. The grand living room is nearly 1,500 square feet in size and features stone moldings and an Italian-style coffered ceiling. Standing inside, guests can see both bodies of water since, as Pohrer asserts, La Follia is the only direct ocean-to-lake estate on Palm Beach, comprising 210 feet of direct water frontage.
To say Kramer thought of every detail is an understatement, according to Jeff Smith, the principal of Smith Architectural Group. “Terry was the first person to build what I like to call a Boom Era, 1920s-style house; at that time Palm Beach hadn’t seen a house of that scale,” says the architect. “She gave me a 2 ½-page typed list of everything, including the size of the custom-made Elkay stainless sink in the kitchen.” He also says his clients (Kramer’s late husband was investment banker Irwin Kramer), had a singular priority: “They entertain a lot. They have a lot of houseguests.” To that end, Smith envisioned the home in an H-shape, hugging a large swimming pool, spa, terrace and manicured gardens at its west end, where the private boat dock is found. He incorporated two en suite guest rooms and an arched colonnade with bronze fountains down each arm, and capped them with a cabana area on one side and a fitness center on the other. The master bedroom enjoys exclusive privacy, as it takes over the entire second floor and features his and hers dressing rooms with private ocean terraces, a sitting room and an office.
By design, Smith also ensured La Follia sits 23 feet above sea level, with a basement that contains a world unto itself. Along with all the mechanicals, a giant wine cellar, a five-car garage, a theater and laundry facilities, this floor also features six bedrooms and six full bathrooms for staff, along with a room exclusively designed to store party furniture. After all, a sumptuous house of this magnitude demands constant celebration—hopefully, soon, the stage will be set for a housewarming party of epic proportion. “I’ve been in hundreds of homes over the years,” McIntosh says, “This is, by far, the winner.”