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West Palm Beach, Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits
|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)|
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 a bad omen for the new 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). 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 old neighborhoods were built during this period.
In the 1960s, Palm Beach County's first enclosed shopping mall, the Palm Beach Mall, and an indoor arena were completed. They led to a short revival for the city, but crime continued to be a serious problem and by the early 1990s there were not many people living or working in downtown. Since the 1990s, developments such as CityPlace and renovation of 1920s architecture on Clematis Street have brought people back to downtown for the entertainment and shopping district.
Notable area residents, past and present
- Hank Aaron, former all-time home run king. A street is named for him
- Tori Amos, singer-songwriter
- Bob Barker, Entertainer/Gameshow Host
- Jason Bonham, drummer and son of Led Zeppelin's legendary drummer John Bonham
- Glenn Close, actress
- Celine Dion, singer
- Jeff Gordon, NASCAR driver
- Devin Hester, NFL Player with the Chicago Bears
- Hey Monday, alternative rock band
- Alan Jackson, Country singer
- Tommy Lee Jones, actor
- Rush Limbaugh, Radio talk show host
- Joe Namath, former NFL quarterback
- Olivia Newton-John, actress, singer
- Lilly Pulitzer, Fashion Designer
- Burt Reynolds, Actor, graduate of Palm Beach High School
- Adrian Rogers, former president Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church
- Rod Stewart, singer
- Donald Trump, real estate mogul, TV host
- Serena Williams, former No.1 ranked Tennis Champion
- Venus Williams, former No.1 ranked Tennis Champion
- Tiger Woods, Professional Golfer on the PGA Tour
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- United States Census
- "Historic Gallery". The City of West Palm Beach. http://www.cityofwpb.com/history/history.htm. Retrieved 2010-11-28.