West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach
—  City  —
West Palm Beach Skyline

Nickname(s): Orchid City, West Palm, WPB
Location in Palm Beach County and the state of Florida.
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits
Coordinates: 26°42′35″N 80°03′51″W / 26.70972°N 80.06417°W / 26.70972; -80.06417Coordinates: 26°42′35″N 80°03′51″W / 26.70972°N 80.06417°W / 26.70972; -80.06417
Country United States
State Florida
County Palm Beach
Incorporated November 5, 1894
 – Mayor Jeri Muoio (D)
 – City 58.2 sq mi (150.7 km2)
 – Land 55.1 sq mi (142.8 km2)
 – Water 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
Elevation 13 ft (6.4 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 99,919
 – Metro 5,413,212
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 33401-33422
Area code(s) 561
FIPS code 12-76600[1]
GNIS feature ID 0293097[2]
Website http://www.cityofwpb.com/

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,[3] the third most populous county in Florida with a 2010 population of 1,320,134. 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, which has a population of 5,564,635. The area is known as the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division, which covers the entire Palm Beach County area.[4] It is situated in the northernmost county of the South Florida metropolitan area.



West Palm Beach Demographics
2010 Census West Palm Beach Palm Beach County Florida
Total population 99,919 1,320,134 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +21.7% +16.7% +17.6%
Population density 1,807.1/sq mi 670.2/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 56.7% 73.5% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 41.6% 60.1% 57.9%
Black or African-American 32.5% 17.3% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 22.6% 19.0% 22.5%
Asian 2.3% 2.4% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.5% 0.5% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.7% 2.3% 2.5%
Some Other Race 5.2% 3.9% 3.6%

As of 2000, there were 34,769 households out of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.3% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.5% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city, in 2000, 21.3% of the population is under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $36,774, and the median income for a family was $42,074. Males had a median income of $30,221 versus $26,473 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,188. About 20.5% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.2% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over 95.

As of 2000, speakers of English as a first language accounted for 72.49% of all residents, while those who spoke Spanish made up 17.71%, French Creole 4.46%, French 1.27%, German 0.62%, and Italian 0.52% of the population.[5]

As of 2000, West Palm Beach had the 65th-highest percentage of Cuban residents in the US, with 5.29% of the populace (tied with Cooper City.)[6] It had the forty-third highest percentage of Haitian residents in the US, at 4.20% of the city's population (tied with Roosevelt, New York,)[6] and the fifty-sixth highest percentage of Guatemalan residents in the US, at 2.24% of its population.[7] There is a thriving Hispanic community just south of the Downtown area called Poinciana Park.[8]


Census Pop.
1920 8,659
1930 26,610 207.3%
1940 33,693 26.6%
1950 43,162 28.1%
1960 56,208 30.2%
1970 57,375 2.1%
1980 63,305 10.3%
1990 67,764 7.0%
2000 82,103 21.2%
2010 99,919 21.7%
West Palm Beach in the 1880s
West Palm Beach in the 1960s

The 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 (now Miami-Dade County).[9] 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.

Originally, Flagler intended for his Florida East Coast Railway to have its terminus in West Palm but after the area experienced a deep freeze, he chose to extend the railroad to Miami instead.

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 but crime continued to be a serious issue and by the early 1990s there were high vacancy rates downtown. 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.

Historic neighborhoods and communities

West Palm Beach skyline from the north
Clematis Street
Comeau Building, Clematis Street
Hibiscus Street, downtown
Flamingo Park Historic Marker

Bel Air Historic District - Developed from 1925 to 1935 as a neighborhood for tradesmen and real estate salesmen who helped develop Palm Beach County, some of Belair was originally a pineapple plantation owned by Richard Hone. Hones's frame vernacular house, built around 1895, still stands at 211 Plymouth Road. After Hone was murdered in 1902, his property was sold to George Currie, who created Currie Development Co. But before it was developed, the land was sold to William Ohlhaber, who raised coconut palms and ferns. Eventually, Ohlhaber platted the subdivision and sold off lots. The first house built in the subdivision was Ohlhaber's mission-style home at 205 Pilgrim. Ohlhaber's grandson said Ohlhaber bought the tract to provide dockage for his 90-foot (27 m) yacht, but the yacht ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico and never reached Lake Worth. In 1947 Hone's house was bought by Max Brombacher, Henry Flagler's chief engineer, and it remains in the Brombacher family today. Belair became West Palm Beach's fourth historic district in August 1993.

Central Park - Central Park is a collective name for several subdivisions north of Southern Boulevard. It originally was part of the Estates of South Palm Beach (which went from Wenonah Place to Pilgrim Road east of Dixie Highway). Like other West Palm Beach neighborhoods, the Estates of South Palm Beach boomed after Henry Flagler's descent on Palm Beach. In 1884, James W. Copp, a bachelor in the boating business, borrowed $367.20 from Valentine Jones to buy the land. The ownership of what is now known as Central Park changed hands many times before being developed. Around 1919, the tropical wilderness was transformed into an exclusive neighborhood with curbed roads, sidewalks and a pier (at the foot of what is now Southern Boulevard). The neighborhood became part of West Palm Beach in 1926, and was named a city historic district in December 1993. In 1999 the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

El Cid - Noted for its Mediterranean revival and mission-style homes, El Cid developed in the height of Florida's real estate boom. In the late 19th century, most of the land north of Sunset Road was pineapple fields, but the crop dwindled in the early 20th century. Pittsburgh socialite Jay Phipps subdivided the old pineapple fields in the 1920s. He named it El Cid, after the celebrated Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, who conquered Valencia in 1094. He was called "Cid", meaning "lord". El Cid became a city historic district in June 1993. In 1995 the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Flamingo Park - Originally a pineapple plantation, Flamingo Park was established by local contractors and developers, who saw the potential in this area—one of the highest coastal ridge sections from downtown West Palm Beach to Miami. Some ridge houses even had ocean views from upper floors. Houses cost about $10,000 to $18,000 in the boom era, and many buyers were owners of shops and businesses on fashionable Dixie Highway nearby. Recently, residents rallied to have stop signs installed throughout the neighborhood and have banded together to ward off commercial and industrial zoning. Property values are rising as residents renovate and restore Spanish-style houses. Most of the homes in the neighborhood, developed from 1921 to 1930, are mission style, but nearly every style is represented. There are many Mediterranean revival-style houses along the high ridge line. Only two buildings in the historic district are known to have been designed by architects: 701 Flamingo Drive designed by Harvey and Clarke, and the Armory Arts Center designed by William Manly King. The neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in January 1993 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Grandview Heights - One of the city's oldest neighborhoods still intact, Grandview Heights was built as an extension of Palm Beach Heights from around 1910 to 1925. Almost all of Palm Beach Heights and half of Grandview Heights was demolished in 1989 to make way for the proposed Downtown/Uptown project, which remains undeveloped. Grandview Heights originally attracted construction workers who helped build the luxury hotels, ministers and store owners. In recent years, residents rallied to stop random demolition of neighborhood homes. And they banded together to chase drug dealers and prostitutes from the neighborhood. New investors are helping bring back the neighborhood, which has one of the city's best collection of early craftsman-style bungalows, as well as some modest, Mediterranean revival-style homes. The neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in 1995 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Mango Promenade - Mango Promenade became a West Palm Beach historic district in 1995 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Lies just south of Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Northboro Park- An expansion of Old Northwood, Northboro Park was mostly custom houses for upper-middle-class professionals. Most of the houses are Mediterranean revival, mission and frame vernacular. Developed from 1923 to 1940, the neighborhood became the city's second historic district (November 1992) and the historic designation may soon expand north to 45th Street. The oldest building in the neighborhood is Northboro Elementary School at 36th Street and Spruce, built in 1925 by DaCamara and Chace. The demolition of Northboro Elementary School began in late 2009. The first home in Northboro Park is 418 36th St., built in 1923.

Northwest - West Palm Beach's first historic district to be included on the National Register of Historic Places (February 1992), the Northwest neighborhood was first settled in 1894, when the black community was moved from the Styx in Palm Beach to West Palm Beach. It also served as the city's segregated black community from 1929 to 1960 (along with Pleasant City). Northwest remains a predominantly black community but according to the city planning department, most middle- and upper-class blacks moved to other neighborhoods after desegregation. Tamarind and Rosemary Avenues were the commercial centers for blacks by 1915, but most commercial buildings have been demolished or remodeled so the architecture is no longer significant. There are still good examples of late 19th- and early 20th-century American bungalow/craftsman-style homes in this neighborhood, which also has mission, shotgun, Bahamian vernacular and American Foursquare styles. The Alice Frederick Mickens house, at 801 Fourth St., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mickens was a philanthropist and humanitarian who promoted education for black youth. Another notable house is the Gwen Cherry house at 625 Division Ave. Cherry, Florida's first black woman legislator and a resident of Miami, inherited the house from relative Mollie Holt, who built the house in 1926. Now it is the Palm Beach County Black Historical Society. The Northwest neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The next year the neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in 1993.

Old Northwood Historic District- Old Northwood was developed from 1920 to 1927—the height of the city's real estate boom. The Pinewood Development Co., platted and developed the area. Old Northwood became a neighborhood of what was considered extravagant Mediterranean revival, mission and frame vernacular houses, at $30,000 to $36,000. The buyers were professionals, entrepreneurs and tradesmen. Among them was Dunkle, who was mayor of West Palm Beach. There are houses here designed by notable architects John Volk (best known for his Palm Beach houses), William Manly King (who designed Palm Beach High School and the Armory Arts Center) and Henry Steven Harvey (whose Seaboard Railroad Passenger Station on Tamarind Avenue is listed in the National Register of Historic Places). The neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in 1991 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in June 1994.

Northwood Hills Historic District- On August 4, 2003, the City Commission designated the Northwood Hills neighborhood as the 13th Historic District in the City of West Palm Beach. Northwood Hills comprises the area from 29th Street on the South to 39th Court on the North. The east side of Windsor is the Western boundary, and Greenwood Avenue is the Eastern boundary. The Neighborhood Association has worked several years to achieve the distinction of historic designation. This is the first district to be designated since 1996. Northwood Hills has a number of Mission Revival houses, a significant collection of Post-World War II architecture, a unique street layout, and one of the highest elevations in the City. The Northwood Hills neighborhood has also elected to allow the establishment of Bed and Breakfast establishments within the neighborhood.

Prospect Park- Promoted as a high-end neighborhood patterned after the prominent Prospect Park district in Brooklyn, this area consisted of mostly smaller estates for prominent businesspeople and northern investors. The neighborhood has a high concentration of Mediterranean revival and Mission revival houses. It was developed from 1920 to 1935 and became a city historic district in November 1993.

West Northwood Historic District- Cashing in on the real estate boom, developers of West Northwood built speculative and custom houses for upper-middle-class professionals from 1925 to '27. Dominant architectural styles are Mediterranean revival and mission. Although the area was declining, that has reversed in recent years, as more investors buy and restore the houses. West Northwood became a city historic district in August 1993.

West Palm Beach Census Designated Places and Urbanized Area

[original research?]

An aerial view of Downtown West Palm Beach

The estimated 2008 population of West Palm Beach and the immediately adjacent Census Designated Places is 134,795.[10] Much of this urbanized area lies directly west of the city and includes the neighborhoods of Westgate, Belvedere Homes, Lakeside Green, Century Village, Schall Circle, Lake Belvedere Estates, Plantation Mobile Homes, and Golden Lakes. These neighborhoods are not technically within the boundaries of West Palm Beach, being located in unincorporated Palm Beach County. However, residents possess a "West Palm Beach" address and urban services, such as police, fire, parks, water and sewer, are provided by a combination of Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach in these areas. The City of West Palm Beach also provides water and sewer service to the Town of Palm Beach. The contiguous "urbanized" area, of which West Palm Beach is the core city, includes most of eastern Palm Beach County and has an estimated 2008 population of around 1,250,000.[11]

Key incorporated cities and their populations within the West Palm Beach urbanized area include:

  1. Boca Raton - 86,629
  2. Boynton Beach - 67,071
  3. Delray Beach - 64,095
  4. Wellington - 55,564
  5. Jupiter - 50,028
  6. Palm Beach Gardens - 48,944
  7. Lake Worth - 36,412
  8. Riviera Beach - 33,408
  9. Greenacres - 32,019
  10. Royal Palm Beach - 30,334
  11. Palm Springs - 14,512
  12. North Palm Beach - 12,562
  13. Palm Beach - 10,456
  14. Lantana - 10,389
  15. Lake Clarke Shores - 3,475
  16. Atlantis - 2,005
  17. Haverhill - 1,620
  18. Mangonia Park - 1,289
  19. Loxahatchee - 3,877


K-12 education

K-12 public education is administrated by the School District of Palm Beach County, which is the eleventh-largest school district in the United States by enrollment.[12] The district main office is located in unincorporated West Palm Beach.[13]

Bak Middle School of the Arts is a magnet middle school in West Palm Beach, just south of Mangonia Park, FloridaThe school's campus was formerly that of the Dreyfoos High School of the Arts. The first auditions took place in July 1997. The campus property of Bak Middle School of the Arts was also home to North Shore High School from 1965-1989. In 2007, the new campus was completed and the original buildings were demolished. The school accepts students from all over Palm Beach County. Students may audition for two out of five art areas: communications, dance, music (consisting of band, keyboard, strings, and vocal arts), theater, and visual arts.

Post-secondary education

The original Palm Beach Junior College building was recently restored and is being used by Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College - is the oldest community college in Florida, founded in 1933. The original building housing Palm Beach Community College is in West Palm Beach, adjacent to the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts (on the site of the old Palm Beach High School), and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been restored and is once again being used by the college. The College now has four campuses in the county, with the main campus located in neighboring Lake Worth.[14]

Palm Beach Atlantic University lies along the Intracoastal Waterway Lake Worth Lagoon

Palm Beach Atlantic University - is a four-year, private, university with approximately 3,200 students. The waterfront campus is located on seven blocks within the south end of downtown, and includes several historic structures converted to academic use. PBAU has recently added schools of nursing and of pharmacy.

Northwood University - is a four year private business college offering bachelor and graduate degrees. The campus is located in the northwest part of the city and has approximately 1,000 students. Northwood University is a sister school to a main campus in Michigan. The majority of the university's majors are concentrated toward careers in various facets of the automotive industry.

Florida Culinary Institute - Diploma and degree programs in Culinary Arts, Management, Nutrition; Food and Beverage Management; International Baking and Pastry; owned by the Lincoln Group of Schools.

Lincoln College of Technology - Founded 1982 in the Palm Beaches, the West Palm Beach campus of Lincoln College of Technology (formerly New England Institute of Technology.

South University - Proprietary college offering bachelor and associate degree programs in business studies.


The West Palm Beach Public Library serves the city.[15] The new city public library opened in April 2009 at 411 Clematis Street, replacing the 1950s building which stood at the end of the street. That area is being developed as Centennial Park. A library had occupied that spot as far back as the 1930s when the city opened it as a place to discourage people from drinking during prohibition.[citation needed]


Companies based in West Palm Beach include Florida Public Utilities, ION Media Networks, Ocwen, and The Palm Beach Post. Other major employers are Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Sikorsky Aircraft, General Dynamics, Cemex, and CSC. [16]

Arts and culture

The exterior of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Harriet Himmel Theater in CityPlace

Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – Built in 1992, the Kravis Center hosts performances of music, dance, opera and theatre.

Florida Stage – A professional theatre company in residence at the Kravis Center. (Out of business)

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 festival

SunFest - 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.[17]

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.


The historic Seaboard Air Line Station serves both Amtrak and Tri-Rail
The Water Taxi is means of transportation in West Palm Beach

Air: The city is served by Palm Beach International Airport, located in unincorporated Palm Beach County. The airport attracts people from all over the county as well as from the Treasure Coast and Space Coast counties to the north. In 2006 there were 6,824,789 passengers who passed through the gates of PBIA making it the 58th busiest airport in the nation.[18]

Highways: U.S. 1 passes though the city's downtown, commercial, and industrial districts. Interstate 95 bisects the city from north to south with multiple interchanges serving West Palm Beach, including an entrance to Palm Beach International Airport. Florida's Turnpike passes through West Palm Beach further west, connecting with the western suburbs of Royal Palm Beach and Wellington. State Road 80, running east-west, is a partial expressway, that runs from Interstate 95 to State Road 7.

Rail: Tri-Rail commuter rail system serves the city from a historical station located on the west side of Tamarind Avenue, just east of I-95. Tri-Rail provides commuter rides north to Mangonia Park and south to Miami. Amtrak has daily trains arriving and departing to points north. CSX Transportation and the Florida East Coast Railway also serve the city.

Trolley: There is a free downtown trolley that provides transportation around downtown including Clematis, City Place and Waterfront districts of the city.

Bus: Greyhound Lines operates scheduled intercity bus service out of the train station on the west side of Tamarind Avenue. Palm Tran, the Palm Beach County municipal bus service, operates scheduled service throughout the city and the suburban areas of Palm Beach County.

Port: The Port of Palm Beach is located on the northern edge of the city limits. It is the fourth busiest container port in Florida and the 18th busiest in the continental United States. In addition to intermodal capacity, the Port is a major modal point for the shipment of various goods[18] as well as being the home to several small passenger cruise lines.[19]

Water Taxi: As a waterfront city there is specific need for water transportation between points in the city and surrounding areas. Waterway transportation is available to and from the downtown Clematis Street District, Sailfish Marina Resort, waterfront attractions, Peanut Island and special events.


West Palm Beach does not host any professional sports teams, but the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League play at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise to the south. Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins, the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association all play in nearby Miami-Dade County. In the past West Palm Beach has hosted various professional teams such as Arena Football, minor league hockey and baseball as well as semi-pro football.

Spring Training Baseball – The Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals conduct spring training in suburban West Palm Beach in the town of Jupiter, Florida at Roger Dean Stadium. In the past West Palm Beach hosted the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos at the former Municipal Stadium and the Philadelphia Athletics at old Connie Mack Field.

Collegiate AthleticsPalm Beach Atlantic University competes in NCAA Division II basketball, baseball and soccer. PBAU has recently purchased a large tract of land just west of downtown where there will be built a multi-use athletic stadium.[20] Indoor athletics play their home games at the Greene Complex which is an on campus arena. Florida Atlantic University's athletic programs are played in neighboring Boca Raton. FAU competes in the highest level of NCAA athletics including football, basketball, baseball, softball and tennis. Northwood University competes at the NAIA level, where their basketball coach Rollie Massimino, has given the athletic program national exposure.

Professional Golf – PGA National Resort & Spa in suburban Palm Beach Gardens hosts the PGA Tour Honda Classic.

Polo and Equestrian – Palm Beach Polo and Country Club counts 7 polo fields among its world-class facilities and many high-goal games are played in the area. The equestrian events at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center are the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival, the Global Dressage Festival and over 40 weeks a year of equestrian competitions, hosted in Wellington.

Croquet – The National Croquet Center has 12 full sized croquet lawns, making it the largest dedicated croquet facility in the world. It hosts several national championships and in May 2009 will host the World Championship when representatives of up to 25 countries will be competing for the Wimbledon Cup.

BMX Racing – Okeeheelee park contains one of the most celebrated BMX race tracks in the state of Florida. Insured by USA BMX, the Okeeheelee track is host to State Qualifiers and National Races, it is also home to several National Champions.

Shopping areas/districts

Palm Beach Mall – an enclosed mall with JC Penney and a couple of other stores. The mall recently closed, however several stores remain open. Update: Slated to become an outlet mall in the near future.

CityPlace – Opened in 2000 where single family homes and dilapidated apartments once stood. There is a multi-plex movie theater, IMAX Theater, several night clubs (comedy, dance), restaurants, clothing and home-decor retail outlets and multi-story town houses and apartments.

Clematis Street – is West Palm Beach's historic shopping venue, now home to Clematis by Night, an outdoor event held on the street with live music and food.

Antique Row – a shopping district on the south side of the city along Dixie Highway. Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Art & Antiques, and House Beautiful have all heralded Antique Row as one of the east coast's premier antique districts, considered the "antique design center" of Florida.[21]

Notable buildings

West Palm Beach skyline from Interstate 95
Tallest buildings
Name Stories Height
Trump Plaza 32 331 ft (101 m)
Tower 1515(demolished) 32 321 ft (98 m)
Palm Beach House 28 278 ft (85 m)
Placido Mar 30 278 ft (85 m)
Esperante 20 278 ft (85 m)
Northbridge Centre 25 272 ft (91 m)
One Clear Lake Center 20 270 ft (90 m)
Waterview Tower 25 250 ft (76 m)
Phillips Point 20 225 ft (68 m)


I-95/PBIA Interchange, Downtown WPB in background


The Palm Beach Post: is the 57th highest daily circulation in the country, according to the 2007 BurrellesLuce survey, and is the city's sole daily newspaper. It serves Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, the area north of Palm Beach County that includes Martin and St. Lucie Counties.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: is based in Fort Lauderdale and covers portions of Southern Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach Daily News: sister publication of the Palm Beach Post serving the town of Palm Beach, it covers events and social affairs of the celebrities and wealthy residents of Palm Beach. Frequently extends coverage to events taking place in West Palm Beach.

New Times Broward-Palm Beach is an alternative weekly publication serving West Palm Beach along with Fort Lauderdale.

West Palm Beach is ranked as the 46th largest radio market in the country by Arbitron.

West Palm Beach is ranked as the 38th largest television market in the country by Nielsen Media Research. The market is served by stations affiliated with major American networks including:
WPTV-TV/5 (NBC), WPEC/12(CBS), WTCN-CA/15(MYTV), WPBF/25 (ABC), WFLX/29 (FOX), WTVX/34 (CW), WXEL-TV/42 (PBS), WWHB/48 (Ind.), WFGC/61 (Ind.), WPXP/67 (ION)

The areas official Telemundo affiliate is WSCV in Miami, and WLTV is the areas Univision affiliate, also in Miami. In addition to those, many Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market TV and radio stations are also available and viewed in West Palm Beach.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, this city has a total area of 58.2 square miles (151 km2). 55.1 square miles (143 km2) of it is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) of it (5.26%) is water.

Due to vast areas of swampland immediately to the west of the city's downtown, growth occurred to the north and south in a linear fashion. Until the 1960s, the city was no more than several blocks wide but over 100 blocks in length. Large scale development finally occurred to the west of the city with improved access and drainage in the 1960s. However, the city boundaries were not expanded much with the exception of the "Water Catchment Area", an uninhabited area in the northwest part of the city that serves as a reservoir for the city drinking supply.


West Palm Beach, has a Tropical monsoon climate with mean temperatures each month above 64.4°F (18°C).[22][23]

Summer (wet season) of May through October are hot, humid and wet with average high temperatures of 86 - 90°F (30 - 32°C) and lows of 70 - 75°F (21 - 24°C). During this period, more than half of the summer days bring afternoon thunderstorms and seabreezes that cool the air for the rest of the day.[24]

Winter (dry season) of November through April are warm and mostly dry with average high temperatures of 75 - 82°F (24 - 27°C) and lows of 57 - 66°F (14 - 19°C). However, the city experiences occasional cold fronts during this period, bringing high temperatures in the 50s and 60s (10 - 16°C) and lows in the 40s and 50s (4 - 10°C) lasting only for few days.[24] During a severe and prolonged cold snap in January 2010, the city recorded 12 consecutive days of low temperatures between 32° and 45° (0°-6°C) and nine of the twelve days below 40° (4°C) with several mornings at or near freezing.[25]

Annual average precipitation is 63 in (1560 mm), making it the fourth wettest city in the country after Mobile, Pensacola and New Orleans.[26] Most of the precipitation occurs during the wet season of May through October, mainly as short-lived heavy afternoon thunderstorms. Occasionally, stalled cold fronts in the fall and spring can also lead to heavy and prolonged rainfall. West Palm Beach has an average of 133 wet days and 234 sunshine days annually. The hurricane season is officially from June 1 through November 30, with the peak months being August, September and October. The city has received direct or near direct hits from hurricanes in 1928, 1947, 1949, 1964, 1965, 1979, 1992, 1999, 2004, and 2005.[24]

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 89 90 94 99 96 98 101 98 97 95 91 90
Norm High °F 75.1 76.3 79.2 82.1 85.9 88.5 90.1 90.1 88.7 85 80.4 76.4
Norm Low °F 57.3 58.2 61.9 65.4 70.5 73.8 75 75.4 74.7 71.2 65.8 60.1
Rec Low °F 27 32 30 43 51 61 66 65 66 46 36 28
Precip (in) 3.75 2.55 3.68 3.57 5.39 7.58 5.97 6.65 8.1 5.46 5.55 3.14
Source: USTravelWeather.com

Sister cities

West Palm Beach has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable area residents, past and present


Political Corruption - Former City Commissioner Jim Exline was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for not reporting to the IRS a $50,000 payment from a developer and then funneling it through a jewelry store.[29] County Commissioner of Palm Beach County, Tony Masilotti, pled guilty to Federal charges stemming from corrupt land deals.[30]

Crime - According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) statistics, West Palm Beach is experiencing a steep drop in major crimes. In the past decade, crime has dropped more in West Palm Beach than in any other major city (approximately 100,000 residents or more) in the state of Florida. In 1993, West Palm Beach was featured in a 60 Minutes segment on urban decay. At the time, 80% of downtown properties were vacant. Since then, the city has done much to improve its image, at least in the physical sense. Occupancy is high, and housing prices have risen rapidly. FLDE stats show that the total crime rate per 100,000 residents has dropped by more than 50% since 2000, from 13,880 that year to 6,571 in 2008. In 2008 alone, there was a 17.9% drop in crime. Annual crime rates are always more than three times the national average. However, as of 2006, the city's crime average has been gradually decreasing while robbery was up 17 percent.[31] West Palm Beach's northern neighbor, Riviera Beach, has an even higher violent crime rate.[32]

The following are the crime rates, per 100,000 people, for West Palm Beach as of 2005.[33]

Crime West Palm Beach National Average
Homicide 22.6 6.9
Forcible Rape 72.82 32.2
Robbery 541.6 195.4
Aggravated Assault 615.4 340.1
Burglary 1646.2 814.5
Larceny Theft 4728.4 2734.7
Vehicle Theft 991.8 526.5

2000 Election - West Palm Beach was the focal point of a controversy regarding voting irregularities that some claim may have affected the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, 2000.

Dunbar Village - In 2007, a resident was gang-raped by Jakaris Taylor[34] and a group of 3 other teenagers in one of the City's public housing developments, Dunbar Village Housing Projects, with her son forced to participate, drawing national outrage.[35]



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  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Selected Population Profile: West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Florida Metropolitan Division, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area". U.S. Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IPTable?_bm=y&-context=ip&-reg=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201:001;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201PR:001;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201T:001;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201TPR:001&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201PR&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201T&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201TPR&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-tree_id=307&-geo_id=31400US3310048424&-search_results=01000US&-format=&-_lang=en. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
  5. ^ "MLA Data Center Results of West Palm Beach, Florida". Modern Language Association. http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=12&county_id=&mode=place&zip=&place_id=76600&cty_id=&ll=&a=&ea=&order=r. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  6. ^ a b "Ancestry Map of Haitian Communities". Epodunk.com. http://www.epodunk.com/ancestry/Haitian.html. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Ancestry Map of Guatemalan Communities". Epodunk.com. http://www.epodunk.com/ancestry/Guatemalan.html. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
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  20. ^ "University Finalizes Local Land Deal". Palm Beach Atlantic University. 2009-02-13. http://www.pba.edu/media/news-releases/athletic-campus.cfm. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  21. ^ "Florida Antiques Shopping Design Center". Antique Row West Palm Beach. http://www.westpalmbeachantiques.com/. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
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  28. ^ "About the Tzahar Project". edugal.org/. http://www.edugal.org.il/zahar/english/about.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
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  30. ^ Musgrave, Jane (2011-03-09). "Masilotti loses battle to have conviction overturned". Sun Sentinel. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/pb-masilotti-appeal-fails-20110309,0,5059023.story. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
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External links

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