The Special Story of West Palm Beach
In the 1800s, most of this land was devoted to the growing of vegetables and tropical fruits, especially pineapples. The area today owes a lot to the legendary talents of Henry Flagler, who in 1870 was a co-founder of Standard Oil. As his career with Standard Oil drew to a close late in that century, Flagler turned his attention, fortune and vision to Florida, where he built the famous Florida East Coast Railway together with luxury hotels at each train station, where northern residents would vacation during the winter after riding down to Florida on Flagler's trains! He also founded the towns of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. The difference was that Palm Beach was designed as a leisure destination for the very wealthy. Flagler built West Palm Beach as a convenient place to live for those who worked in the hotels and residences of Palm Beach.
By the 1920s, West Palm Beach had taken on a flair and flavor of its own, as its residents - mostly contractors, developers, real estate salesman, shop owners, craftsmen and artisans - set about building some of the most distinctive mission and Mediterranean revival homes, and craftsman-style bungalows that you will find anywhere. Today, these homes are scooped up by those interested in protecting and preserving this era of Florida's history, some as investors, others to live in and be part of the local history.
City Life in West Palm Beach
A downtown renaissance begun in the 1990s has revitalized West Palm Beach. New entertainment and retail options in the form of City Place and the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts completed in 1992 now anchor the Clematis district. Here you'll find trendy boutiques, fine dining, fashionable watering holes and nightclubs, if that is your pleasure. During the week look for free outdoor concerts and events held on the bustling waterfront such as charity runs, arts festivals, dance parties and every Saturday, the GreenMarket. Along beautiful Flagler Drive, the waterfront sports three new public docks (free for non-commercial vessels) where you can also walk, lunch, or people-watch. The waterfront also hosts boat shows, live performances, civic ceremonies, community picnics, and many bicycle riders throughout the year. Don't miss Antique Row, one of the best of this type of district on the U.S. east coast. And the collections and shows of the Norton Museum of Art are a must see any time of year. The Norton also offers traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and enrichment events for children and adults.
For younger residents, there are numerous school choices. Public schools are all part of the Palm Beach County school system, and there are several private school options as well. When it's time to get out of town, West Palm Beach is also a transportation hub, with Palm Beach International Airport right in town, and both the Tri-Rail commuter line and Amtrak trains operating from city stations. A free downtown trolley transports residents and visitors between Clematis, CityPlace and the waterfront districts, so there's no excuse not to go from here to there.
Is owning West Palm Beach real estate for you? Our experts at Frankel Realty Group will be glad to show you the best there is, from houses for rent or for sale, to vacation rentals in West Palm Beach for seasonal visitors. Call us to see if West Palm Beach homes are in your future.