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Goodbye, Grand Dame

After eight decades, a priceless memory of Old Riomar recedes into history,

More than 80 years after opening its doors, the elegant Mediterranean Revival-style building at 2225 Club Drive is awaiting the demolition squad, unless a preservationist steps in to relocate it. Built in 1929, the structure was designed as an upscale clubhouse for the Riomar Country Club, but became the original campus of Saint Edward's when the school was founded in 1965. When a second, 27-acre campus three miles to the south was completed in 1972, the old building became the home of the Lower School.

Looking for ways to consolidate costs, Saint Edward’s is now moving its 175 Lower School students to the main campus.  The school was hopeful that the building might be acquired by someone who wished to preserve it, but so far there are no takers. Present plans call for George Heaton, developer of the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, to develop the 5.31-acre plot as a small cul-de-sac named Old Oak Lane. Saint Edward’s Board of Trustees chairman Ron Edwards calls the plan part of a “debt-relief” strategy, while headmaster Michael Mersky points out that the new homes will retain the Riomar style of architecture that makes Club Drive one of Vero Beach’s most distinctive neighborhoods.

Read the entire article in the September-October 2010 issue