Downtown History

LagoonFest - Image

LagoonFest – Lake Worth Lagoon, Then & Now

By Tim Frater / October 29, 2014

On Saturday, November 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., folks in downtown West Palm Beach can attend and celebrate LagoonFest. Held in conjunction with the Green Market, LagoonFest is “a community celebration to showcase the many ‘faces’ of Lake Worth Lagoon and to highlight the lagoon’s connection to our lives.” Lake Worth Lagoon, which…

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The Stanley – a History of Theater in Downtown WPB

By Tim Frater / August 26, 2014

If roaming the sidewalks along Clematis is part of your daily or weekly routine, odds are that you’ve paid a visit to Center City Pharmacy at 416 Clematis Street. If you’ve been there, you know it as a full service pharmacy, wrapped by a nicely appointed convenience store that carries various snacks and drinks, perfect…

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It All Started with a Plumber

By Tim Frater / July 31, 2014

Looking across the landscape of downtown West Palm Beach today, it’s hard to imagine that this entire area was once purely vacant land.  And not all that long ago, historically speaking. Henry Flagler was responsible for much of our start when he rolled into town in the early 1890’s, scouting out a route for his…

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A ‘Ray of Sunshine’ on the 4th of July

By Tim Frater / July 2, 2014

As we rapidly approach another Independence Day celebration, folks are lining up at grocery and beverage stores to load up on beer, burgers, brats, and whatever else might surround a (hopefully sun-drenched) barbecue. It’s safe to assume that we can expect an especially festive celebration this year, with the 4th falling on a Friday, and…

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Get Your Baby Grand at Philpitt’s

By Tim Frater / June 27, 2014

Back in the day, if you were in the market for a piano, odds are you were going to pay a visit to Ernest Philpitt to check out his selection. In fact, Ernest would not only sell you a piano – or a sax, or a Jew’s-harp, or most any other instrument – he’d sell…

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Before Pioneer There Was Edmar’s on Clematis Ave.

By Tim Frater / May 25, 2014

Folks who know anything about the history of Clematis Street and the downtown West Palm Beach area know that Pioneer Linens has been around for a very long time. Pioneer moved to Clematis Street – then called Clematis Avenue – in 1931, having already established itself as a successful enterprise elsewhere in town. The store…

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Marvelous Night for a Sun Dance

By Tim Frater / April 30, 2014

Anyone who knows anything about downtown West Palm Beach knows that SunFest is our signature annual event.  Headliner bands on massive stages, floating barges, and even a fancy new app for your phone.  But SunFest started with much humbler beginnings… The origins of SunFest in West Palm Beach date way back to the end of…

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Fisticuffs in Downtown WPB

By Tim Frater / April 16, 2014

It was a fine day in sport on September 2, 1929. The Chicago Cubs were closing in on a pennant, Bobby Jones set out to defend his title at Pebble Beach, and the American Legion Arena was opening on Clematis Street. That’s right. A brand new boxing arena in the 400 block of Clematis, right…

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dollar day image

If I had a dollar . . .

By Tim Frater / April 9, 2014

Clematis Street today, the main artery of Downtown West Palm Beach, is thriving. But between bottle service at Monarchy and $32 margarita pitchers at Rocco’s Tacos, it’s an easy place to drop some cash. It wasn’t, however, always that way… Once upon a time, much could be had on Clematis Street for no more than…

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