The History of Palm Beach County Architecture

palm beach county architecture

When it comes to Palm Beach County architecture, the styles and designs vary greatly. Many of the most prominent buildings in Palm Beach County date back to what many call the Boom years, which lasted throughout the 1920s in the state of Florida. For anyone seeking a new home anywhere within the boundaries of Palm Beach County, know that you have many architectural options. Here are a few essential things to know about the history of the architecture around Palm Beach County.

Which Architects Helped Shape Palm Beach County?

Many architects made their mark around Palm Beach County, but two groups of designers stand out when looking at this part of Florida historically. First, the duo of Henry Harvey and Phillips Clarke. They were the design masterminds behind many of the architectural wonders lining Palm Beach County. They started adding buildings to the West Palm Beach streets back in 1921, and many of their structures still stand tall today. The other designer that made a mark during the boom years was William Manly King. He began designing significant buildings in 1926, the most famous of which, Hotel Monterey, houses state offices today.

What Styles of Buildings Are Most Common In Palm Beach County?

One of the most common styles of Palm Beach County architecture is mission revival. This technique brings in Spanish influence and often combines simple designs with Spanish colors and materials. A great example of this style is the Alfred J. Comeau house, designed by Harvey and Clarke. It sits at 701 Flamingo Drive. Another style of architecture in Palm Beach County is the Beaux-Arts style. This style often shows many heavy adornments and is considered majestic and theatrical. A prime example of this style of architecture is the American National Bank Building, also designed by Harvey and Clarke. This property sits at 114 S. Olive Avenue.

You will also see many buildings that fall under the streamline moderne style of architecture. The streamline moderne brings a modernistic look to a contemporary structure through the use of long lines and often nautical elements. One such example is Hatch’s Department Store, occupying 301-307 Clematis Street. This building is two connected buildings that tower three stories tall. The first building came in 1903, with the attached structure coming in 1915. It was further remodeled to what you see today in 1936. All of these buildings fall on the list of historic buildings and have extra protection.

Which Buildings Best Show Off Palm Beach County Architecture?

Many amazing buildings line the skyline of Palm Beach County. Many were built all throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Here are some you should check out, in no particular order.

Another outstanding mission revival building in West Palm Beach, located at 401 Fern Street, is the Ferndix Building. The Ferndix Building opened in 1925 to help accommodate visitors coming to the area for both commercial and tourism stemming from the Boom years. The first hotel started operating in 1880, but it did little to accommodate those looking to stay in West Palm Beach for work or full winter stays. That is where the Ferndix Building came into play.

An example of another style of Palm Beach County architecture is the Old West Palm Beach National Guard Armory. This building opened in 1939 and sits at 1703 South Lake Avenue. William Manly King designed it in the Art Deco style. This building served the National Guard and surrounding community until the early 1980s. It since reopened thanks to donations as an art center for Palm Beach County.

An Unusual Example of Palm Beach County Architecture

If you want to see some more unusual styles of architecture in Palm Beach County, you should look at the First Church of Christ, Scientist. The structure from 1926 sits at 809 South Flagler Drive, and it is a protected, historic building. The reason this building is so unusual is because of the architect. Back in the 1920s, segregation was in full swing. The man behind the design of this building, Julian Abele, was African-American. He helped design many essential buildings around the country, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Duke University. He worked as the creative mind behind architect Horace Trumbauer, out of Philadelphia. Julian Abele also designed many of the estates in the northern part of Palm Beach for the high-society Gilded Age families.

Agency Luxe Can Help You Find the Palm Beach County Architectural Style That Suits You Best

Are you on the lookout for a home in Palm Beach County with a unique look and feel? If so, then you are in luck. Palm Beach County has many architectural homes for sale that are sure to catch your attention. Whether you want a mission-style ranch or a streamlined and modern condo, Palm Beach County has the homes for sale to meet those needs. Come to Palm Beach County for yourself, and see what sets the architecture apart from the rest of the gorgeous state of Florida.

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