A Brief History of Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Palm Beach Gardens, also known as PBG, is a community located on Florida’s South East, Atlantic Coastline. The city is just miles north of Miami and is considered to be apart of the greater Miami metropolitan area. PBG’s founding is relatively recent and the concept for the city is based on the “gardens” aspect of its name.
John D. MacArthur founded PBG in 1959. The wealthy insurance magnate wanted to develop a new community in Palm Beach County that would house 55,000 people and would cover 4,000 acres. MacArthur hoped to call the initial development, Palm Beach City. Unfortunately for MacArthur, the name was denied and he had to look to plan b. In thinking about the city, he realized that one of the driving designs was the concept of gardens. He used this concept and named the community Palm Beach Gardens. MacArthur’s dream was to create a community where the American dream was alive and well. He wanted PBG to be a place where families would come to raise their children. He also wanted to capitalize on the metropolitan area to make sure that everyone was able to make a decent earning.
MacArthur took a hand’s on approach in the development of the community out of the empty Florida farmland. His idea was to create a city that was full of flowers and other foliage. He wanted to capitalize on the existing waterways, the beautiful rolling hills, and the mature trees. MacArthur loved nature. He had a special affinity for trees. Therefore, during the construction of PBG, he gave special instructions to go around the oldest trees to ensure their survival into the community. MacArthur didn’t mind the extra cost that this added. He knew that beauty and nature were worth it.
Mr. MacArthur was also a man who believed in diversity of faith. Therefore, some of the first buildings to be erected in PBG were houses of worship. He wanted to make sure that people of diverse faiths and beliefs could find a home in PBG. That legacy lives on today. PBG is still home to many churches of all faiths and beliefs.
Five years after development began, Palm Beach was beginning to take shape. The city population was growing and MacArthur was happy with the industry and recreation that he saw. Through contacts, MacArthur had found out that the Professional Golfer’s Association was looking for a new headquarters. MacArthur thought that the budding community would be the perfect fit. MacArthur lobbied and donated money in order to attract the association. His efforts paid off and the city became home to PGA and some of its golf tournaments. This put Palm Beach Gardens on the map.
In 1999, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation sold its remaining share of the community. The deal involved an agreement with the purchasers and the city council to maintain the founding vision of PBG. The “garden city” philosophy has endured and the young city remains a desirable place to raise a family and live out the American dream today.