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Address: Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone Number:
+1 561-404-9787
Website
Description:

The History of Clematis Street & West Palm Beach

Henry Flagler

A history...

The History of Clematis Street & West Palm Beach

Henry Flagler

A history of the Clematis Street District or of West Palm Beach cannot be told without mentioning the name of Henry Flagler. Anyone who has been in Florida for even a short amount of time will recognize the name. It's all over Florida roads, bridges and beaches as well as countless other monuments and museums.

Flagler's Dream:

Palm Beach

Henry Flagler co-founded Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller and also built the Florida railroad from Jacksonville to Key West. He came to the West Palm Beach area in 1893. After being impressed with the natural beauty of the area, he sought to create the most famous resort in the world, Palm Beach. The resort would be conveniently accessible by his own railroad. He built two major hotels, The Breakers and the Royal Poinciana Hotel (later destroyed by a hurricane). He also built what is now West Palm Beach directly across Lake Worth for the service people who worked on the island and as a commercial district.

Clematis Street

Not only is it one of the trendiest places to be today, it also boasts a long and important history. Clematis Street began as the main thoroughfare of West Palm Beach in the early 20th century. It connected the train station on the west with the ferry to Palm Beach Island on the east.

Early 20th Century:

Storefronts logically multiplied and lined each way, as Clematis became the "Main Street" of West Palm Beach. The commuters of the day would traverse Clematis Street and frequent these shops before and after work, much like we do today. It's many older buildings display a fascinating journey through South Florida history.

Automobiles Change Everything

Eventually automobiles, bridges and highways replaced the train, ferry and buggies as the main means of transportation. While once the train station was the link to the outside world, visitors could now arrive via various routes. Okeechobee Boulevard would eventually become the main connection from route 95 over to Palm Beach and Clematis Street would lose its steady flow of passers-by. As the area progressed, suburban sprawl contributed to the growth of metropolitan West Palm Beach, yet the downtown business area remained.

The Downtown Development Authority

In 1967 the Downtown Development Authority was created to impact Downtown's economic conditions, formulate long-range plans for improving the appeal and accessibility of Downtown facilities, promoting their use, providing remedy to any deterioration of Downtown property values, and most importantly, retaining and attracting businesses to Clematis Street.

In short, the DDA works to retain and attract business and to protect the investments of its constituents. Largely due to the Downtown Development Authority Clematis Street is still considered the Main Street of West Palm Beach.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 564 reviews
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Dining

We had dinner at Rocco taco nice place. Food was good, service not great. Margaritas were wonderful .. made up for the service. We enjoyed walking around the area looking at shops... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
CoachFrank
,
Peabody, Massachusetts
via mobile
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564 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 519: English reviews
Peabody, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We had dinner at Rocco taco nice place. Food was good, service not great. Margaritas were wonderful .. made up for the service. We enjoyed walking around the area looking at shops and outstanding boats and automobiles

Helpful?
Thank CoachFrank
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Great opportunity to spend time with friends in a scenic area filled with activities and entertainment. Great food. Large selection of drinks.

Helpful?
Thank bzampetti
Montclair, NJ
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Loved how the park and street had fabulous white lights making our January evening exploration feel fun and festive. In late afternoon we had explored yacht basin and enjoyed a touristy but fun sunset catamaran ride so we could see area from water. Then a great early eve here. We enjoyed Lynora's as our restaurant choice--though there are many options.

Helpful?
Thank GigiMontclair_NJ
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Plenty going on here with many restaurants and bars. About 3 blocks opening onto a park. Not many stores, but great at night as all lit up and hopping.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
53 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Nice and vibey Street in downtown West Palm Beach. Fantastic restaurants and shops like Pioneer linens that is over a 100 years old. A must see

Helpful?
Thank Lood800
Boynton Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
283 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A long street of some shopping, lots of restaurants, some clubs, a lot of special events. It ends at the intercostal where the entertainment pavilion and splash pad are. There are regular Thursday night concerts, and many weekend events. People watching is outstanding. There is limited street parking, pay for lots. Some times free- the one near the Saturday am... More 

Helpful?
Thank redbook2
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A lot of very good restaurants I went to Bradley´s is the best place to visit. Excellent attention and the best food

Helpful?
Thank donalejo48
Boynton Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
154 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

In the old section of West Palm Beach on the north side of the more updated City Place is an east-west street called Clematis running east into the Intercoastal with a small park at the end of Clematis . Its merchants and restaurants unite to decorate and advertise their unique charms. At Christmas there is the "unique" Sandie tree" which... More 

Helpful?
Thank MaryEli666
cincinnati
Level Contributor
84 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Lots of bars and restaurants, the central park/forum is a hub for activities. Christmas had the giant sand tree, Saturday has a market, and a minute walk to the intracoastal waterway.

Helpful?
Thank Don B
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

So many great choices and interesting crowd, on the street dining and visions of old days past! A must see!

Helpful?
Thank glennr0ss

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