The City of West Palm Beach, known as West Palm, boasts sunny palm-lined streets, scenic water views, quaint shopping districts, and historic neighborhoods. It is a city of year-round outdoor celebrations, many featured along the waterfront.
West Palm is the oldest incorporated municipality in South Florida (November 5, 1894) and is the county seat for Palm Beach County. It was founded by Henry Flagler as a community to house the staff working in the two grand hotels on the neighboring island of Palm Beach, across Lake Worth.
The City radiates extraordinary natural beauty in its environmentally sensitive lands to the west and its urban waterfront to the east running six miles along Flagler Drive. Its position on the Intra-coastal Waterway, across from the island of Palm Beach, provides the added benefit of cool ocean breezes all year long.
West Palm Beach has a long history of connection to the water and in 2009 the city completed its downtown waterfront revitalization project. The entire downtown waterfront, from Banyan Boulevard to Lakeview Avenue was reconfigured and beautified. The City’s mile-long downtown waterfront park runs parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway and includes a new visitor center, new public docks, flexible performance space, outdoor dining and nightly light shows. The City’s waterfront is home to well over 100 events annually including SunFest, Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival, which takes place annually in May.
There are many wonderful neighborhoods in West Palm, each with their own history and unique character.
El Cid– Noted for its Mediterranean revival and mission-style homes, El Cid developed in the height of Florida’s real estate boom. Pittsburgh socialite Jay Phipps subdivided the old pineapple fields north of Sunset Road in the 1920s. He named it El Cid, after the celebrated Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, who conquered Valencia in 1094. El Cid became a city historic district in June 1993. In 1995 the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The district is bounded by Flamingo Drive, South Flagler Drive, Dyer Road and South Dixie Highway. It contains 281 historic buildings.
Flamingo Park– Originally a pineapple plantation, Flamingo Park was established from 1921 to 1930 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. Most of the homes in the neighborhood are Spanish Mission or Mediterranean style,, but nearly every style is represented. There are many Mediterranean revival-style houses along the high ridge line. The neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in January 1993 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. The district is bounded by Park Place, Parker Avenue, Belvedere Road, and Florida Avenue. It contains 458 historic buildings.
Old Northwood– Old Northwood was developed from 1920 to 1927—the height of the city’s real estate boom. Old Northwood became a neighborhood of what was considered extravagant Mediterranean revival, mission and frame vernacular houses. 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. The district is bounded by Broadway,North Dixie Highway and 26th and 35th Streets. It contains 320 historic buildings.
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.
South of Southern– Referred to as SoSo, this Intracoastal neighborhood features direct waterfront homes with spectacular views of Palm Beach and downtown West Palm. Developed primarily in the 1950’s this area has recently experienced a tremendous amount of new construction utilizing diverse architectural styles. This diversity has lured families from all over the world and has become a very important part of the West Palm magical lifestyle.