West Palm Beach, is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and is the most populous city in and county seat of Palm Beach County. The city is also the oldest incorporated municipality in South Florida. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010 the city had an estimated population of 99,919. The city is one of the principal cities in the South Florida metropolitan area.
West Palm Beach in the 1880s
West Palm Beach in the 1960sThe city was founded by Henry Flagler as a community to house the servants working in the two grand hotels on the neighboring island of Palm Beach, across Lake Worth. The original spelling was "Westpalmbeach", but it was feared that the 13-letter word would be an ominous omen for the fledgling community. On November 5, 1894, 78 people met at the "Calaboose" (the first jail and police station located at Clematis St. and Poinsettia, now Dixie Hwy.) and passed the motion to incorporate the Town of West Palm Beach in what was then Dade County. This made West Palm Beach the oldest incorporated municipality in the county and in South Florida. The town council quickly addressed the building codes and the tents and shanties were replaced by brick, brick veneer, and stone buildings. The city grew rapidly in the 1920s as part of the Florida land boom. Many of the city's landmark structures and preserved neighborhoods were constructed during this period.
In the 1960s, Palm Beach County's first enclosed shopping mall, the Palm Beach Mall, and an indoor arena were completed. These projects led to a brief revival for the city. Since the 1990s, developments such as CityPlace and the preservation and renovation of 1920s architecture in the nightlife hub of Clematis Street have seen a downtown resurgence in the entertainment and shopping district.
Arts and culture
Harriet Himmel Theater in CityPlaceRaymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – Built in 1992, the Kravis Center hosts performances of music, dance, opera and theatre.
Norton Museum of Art – is the largest art museum in Florida and also organises travelling exhibits. The permanent collection features 19th and 20th century European and American art, Chinese, contemporary art and photography.
The Carefree Theatre – Built in 1940, in the historic Flamingo Park district, it was variously an art house cinema and alternative music performance venue until severely damaged by Hurricane Wilma. Thevenue has re-opened at a renovated church located nearby and under a new name, The Theater.
Meyer Amphitheatre – An abandoned Holiday Inn, demolished in 1993 and transformed into an amphitheatre.
Palm Beach County Convention Center – A complex with 350,000 square feet (33,000 m2) of exhibit halls and meeting rooms in downtown West Palm Beach.
Festivals and shows
SunFest is Florida's largest waterfront music festivalSunFest - is an annual music, art, and waterfront festival in Florida, founded in 1982 to draw visitors to the area during the 'shoulder season', or April and May. SunFest has an annual attendance of more than 275,000 people. Artists who have performed include Carrie Underwood, John Mayer, Ray Charles, Ludacris, Nelly, Lenny Kravitz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Dylan, Kenny G, Earth Wind and Fire, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, MGMT, and The Wailers. SunFest is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Palm Beach International Film Festival
Palm Beach Boat Show
Winter Equestrian Festival – The largest and longest running horse show in the world (January-March) and a major fixture on the national and international sports and social event calendars.
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction – Classic car auction held every March in the South Florida Expo Center.
City festivals – Weekly events such as Clematis By Night on downtown Clematis Street, Moonfest, and a seasonal downtown Green Market held each winter on Saturdays.
Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park
Rapids Water Park
South Florida Science Museum
Lion Country Safari
International Polo Hall of Fame
National Croquet Center
Palm Beach Polo and Players Club
Trump International Golf Club
Notable area residents, past and present
Hank Aaron, former all-time home run king. A street is named for him.
Tori Amos, singer-songwriter
Otis Anderson former NFL New York Giants, Super Bowl MVP
Jeff Atwater, State Senator, Florida Legislature, Palm Beach County
Bob Barker, Entertainer/Gameshow Host
Dickey Betts, former Allman Brothers Band member.
Anquan Boldin, NFL player Baltimore Ravens and graduate of Pahokee High School in western Palm Beach County.
Jason Bonham, drummer and son of Led Zeppelin's legendary drummer John Bonham
Don Brewer, Grand Funk Railroad drummer
Jimmy Buffett, singer/entertainer
Diana Canova, actress
Chris Carrabba, singer/song writer from Dashboard Confessional
Anthony Carter, former NFL player
Glenn Close, actress
Bob Cousy, former NBA great and TV commentator
Marshall Criser, former president of the University of Florida.
Vic Damone, singer
Dale Dawson, former NFL player
Ted DiBiase Jr., pro wrestler
Celine Dion, singer
Heath Evans, Fullback for the New Orleans Saints and graduate of The Kings Academy
Kason Gabbard, MLB Pitcher with the Texas Rangers
Anthony Goldwire, former NBA player
Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver
Ken Green, PGA golfer
Deidre Hall, actress and graduate of Lake Worth High School in central Palm Beach County
George Hamilton, Actor, graduate of Palm Beach High School
Derek Harper, former NBA player for the Knicks and Mavericks
Alcee Hastings, U.S. Congressman
Ryan Hawblitzel, former Major League Baseball player
Devin Hester, NFL Player with the Chicago Bears
Jay Howard, British professional race car driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500
Hey Monday, alternative rock band
Alan Jackson, Country singer
Tommy Lee Jones, actor
Ron Klein, U.S. Congressman
Joey Kramer, Aerosmith drummer
Larry the Cable Guy, comedian
Rush Limbaugh, Radio talk show host
David McCampbell, American Naval Aviator during World War II
A.J. McLean, Backstreet Boy
Marta Fernandez Miranda de Batista, First Lady of Cuba (1952–1959)
Edgar Mitchell, astronaut who walked on the moon
Joe Namath, former NFL quarterback
Olivia Newton-John, actress, singer
Jim Palmer, baseball Hall of Famer
Barbara Pariente, former Chief Justice and current Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
James Patterson, author
Cassadee Pope rock singer
Jamieson Price, actor:movies,TV,stage, voice over for animation and commercials
Lilly Pulitzer, Fashion Designer
Judge Reinhold, actor
Burt Reynolds, actor, graduate of Palm Beach High School
Randi Rhodes, radio talk show host
Adrian Rogers, former president Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Catcher for the Boston Red Sox
Ron Sellers,former NFL Dallas Cowboys
Rod Stewart, singer
Vinny Sutherland, former NFL Player and graduate of Palm Beach Lakes High School
Fred Taylor, NFL Player New England Patriots and graduate of Pahokee High School in western Palm Beach County
Otis Thorpe, former NBA player for the Houston Rockets and Pistons
Tico Torres, Bon Jovi Drummer
Donald Trump, real estate mogul, TV host
Steve Walsh, former NFL quarterback
Robert Wexler, U.S. Congressman
Tenth Avenue North, a contemporary Christian rock band