Boca Raton, Florida

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City of Boca Raton
City
Boca Raton barrier island skyline, seen from the Boca Raton resort
Boca Raton barrier island skyline, seen from the Boca Raton resort
Official seal of City of Boca Raton
Seal
Nickname(s): A City for All Seasons
Location in Palm Beach County, Florida
Location in Palm Beach County, Florida
Coordinates: 26°22′7″N 80°6′0″W / 26.36861°N 80.10000°W / 26.36861; -80.10000Coordinates: 26°22′7″N 80°6′0″W / 26.36861°N 80.10000°W / 26.36861; -80.10000
Country  United States
State  Florida
County Palm Beach
Settled 1895
Incorporated (town) May 1925
Government
 • Type Commission-manager
 • Mayor Susan Whelchel (N)
Area
 • Total 75.4 km2 (29.1 sq mi)
 • Land 70.4 km2 (27.2 sq mi)
 • Water 5.0 km2 (1.9 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Total 89,407
 • Density 1,061.7/km2 (2,682.8/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 561
FIPS code 12-07300
GNIS feature ID 0279123[3]
Website www.ci.boca-raton.fl.us
Boca Raton Resort porte-cochere entrance

Boca Raton /ˈbkə rəˈtn/ is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, incorporated in May 1925. In the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,392; the 2013 population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau was 89,407. However, the majority of people with a Boca Raton postal address—about 200,000[4]—do not actually reside within Boca Raton's municipal boundaries. As a business center, the city's daytime population increases significantly.

In terms of both population and land area, Boca Raton is the largest city between West Palm Beach and Pompano Beach, Broward County.

History[edit]

In Spanish "Boca" means "mouth" and "Ratón" means "mouse" (not "rat" as is it is commonly mistranslated.) However, in nautical terms the word "Boca" refers to an inlet. The original name "Boca de Ratones" appeared on eighteenth century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly moved north to its current location on most maps and applied to the inland waterway from the closed inlet north for 8.5 miles (13.7 km), which was called the "Boca Ratones Lagoon". The word "ratones" appears in old Spanish maritime dictionaries referring to "rugged rocks or stony ground on the bottom of some ports and coastal outlets, where the cables rub against".[5] Therefore the abridged translation defining "Boca de Ratones" is "a shallow inlet of sharp-pointed rocks which scrapes a ship's cables".[6] The first settler was T. M. Rickards in 1895 who resided in a house made of driftwood on the east side of the East Coast Canal south of what is now the Palmetto Park Road bridge. He surveyed and sold land from the canal to beyond the railroad north of what is now Palmetto Park Road.[7]

Land boom[edit]

During the city's early history during the Florida land boom of the 1920s, Addison Mizner's Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn was built in 1926,[8] later renamed the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and is one of the only "5 star" hotels located in Florida. The 1969 addition of its "pink tower" hotel building is visible from miles away as a towering monument on the Intracoastal Waterway.

World War II[edit]

Japanese farmers of the Yamato Colony converted the land west of the city into pineapple plantations beginning in 1904. During World War II, much of their land was confiscated and used as the site of the Boca Raton Army Air Force Base, a major training facility for B-29 bomber crews and radar operators. Much of the airbase was later donated to Palm Beach County and later become the grounds of Florida Atlantic University, many of whose parking lots are former runways of the airbase; when viewed from above, the site's layout for its previous use as an airfield is plainly evident. Boca Raton Airport's runway 5/23 was once part of the original airbase, and is still active to this day.

The Japanese heritage of the Yamato Colony survives in the name of Yamato Road (NW 51st Street) just north of the airport and at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens northwest of the city. Army School Building #3 (T-604) of the Army Air Forces Base has survived as the office building for the Cynthia Gardens apartment complex on Northwest 4th Avenue.

Post-war[edit]

In the late 1960s, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) announced their intentions to open a manufacturing plant in the area. In 1965, well before the extension of I-95 into Southern Florida, IBM, working in secret with the Arvida corporation, quietly purchased several-hundred acres of real estate just west of the CSX rail line and northwest of Florida Atlantic University in University Park. Originally situated in unincorporated Palm Beach County, the site was controversially annexed into Boca Raton almost a year following its dedication in 1970.[9]

The Boca Corporate Center and Campus was originally one of IBM's research labs where the PC was created. It is located on Yamato Rd (NW 51st St), and stands next to the Boca Raton Tri-Rail Station.

Construction of IBM's main complex began in earnest in 1967, and the mammoth manufacturing and office complex was dedicated in March 1970. The campus was designed with self-sufficiency in mind, and to that end sported its own electrical substation, water pumping station, and rail-spur. Among other noteworthy IT accomplishments, such as the mass production of the System/360 and development of the Series/1 mainframe computers, IBM's main complex was the birthplace of the IBM PC, which later evolved into the IBM Personal System/2, developed in nearby Delray Beach. Starting in 1987, IBM relocated their manufacturing for what became the IBM PC division to Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, and converted the cavernous manufacturing facilities into offices and laboratories, later producing products such as the OS/2 operating system and VoiceType Dictation, later known as ViaVoice voice-recognition software.

IBM maintained its facilities in the South Florida area until 1996, when the facility was closed and sold to Blue Lake Real Estate, who in turn sold it to T-REX Management Consortium. Today, T-REX has revitalized the facility and its surrounding real estate into a business/research park.

What used to be IBM's Building 051, an annex separated from the former main IBM campus by Spanish River Boulevard was donated to the Palm Beach County School District and converted into Don Estridge High Tech Middle School. It is named after Don Estridge, whose team was responsible for developing the IBM PC. IBM later returned in July 2001 opening the current software development laboratory at Beacon Square off Congress Avenue.

It is noteworthy that still left standing inside the old IBM complex is the office and conference table where Bill Gates signed his historic deal to supply IBM with the Microsoft MS-DOS operating system for its personal computer line.

In the 1980s, because of an explosion of development to the west of the historical center of the city, some eastern areas began to decay, including the downtown corridor. For instance, the old Boca Raton Mall, a shopping mall in the downtown area was beginning to experience higher vacancy, and occupancy by marginal tenants, due to the opening of Town Center at Boca Raton west of the city in 1980.

Mizner Park is a downtown attraction in Boca Raton's financial district. It is the northernmost part of Boca's downtown area, and home to 'Mizner Park Amphitheater'.

In 1991, the new downtown outdoor shopping and dining center, Mizner Park, was completed over the site of the old Boca Raton Mall. It has since become a cultural center for the southern Palm Beach County. Featuring a landscaped central park between the two main roads (collectively called Plaza Real) with stores only on the outside of the roads, Mizner Park resembles a Mediterranean suburban "town center" with a more contemporary look. It features many restaurants and is home to the Boca Raton Museum of Art which moved to the new facility in 2001."Boca Raton Museum of Art".  In 2002, a new amphitheater was built replacing a smaller one, providing a large-capacity outdoor venue where concerts and other performances are held.[10]

Mizner Park has significantly aided downtown revitalization. Many new eight to ten story mixed-use buildings have been constructed, are currently under construction or are proposed for the downtown area. The surrounding areas to the downtown have benefited from the downtown redevelopment.

The National Cartoon Museum (formally the International Museum of Cartoon Art) built a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) facility on the southwest edge of Mizner Park in 1996. Open for six years, the museum relocated to its original home in New York City in 2002. Building renovations for public uses, including the local public TV station, and private uses, such as a locally owned and operated bookstore were completed in 2008. In addition to the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Association's theater and space, the building is home to the Schmidt Family Foundation.

As development continued to focus to the west of the city in the 1980s and 1990s, the mall area, Town Center at Boca Raton, became the geographic center of what is referred to as Boca Raton, though this mall was not annexed into the city until 2004. The area referred to as Boca Raton, including the unincorporated area west of the city (and discussed below), is now almost entirely built out.

In 1999, the Simon Property Group bought Town Center at Boca Raton and redeveloped it. Nordstrom was added as the anchor department store for the new wing. Neiman Marcus is the newest department store tenant as of 2006. In-late 2006, Simon began the construction stage of an outdoor lifestyle center near the new wing. Town Center Mall has become a tourist attraction and the largest indoor mall in Palm Beach County.

Boca Raton has a strict development code, including the size and types of commercial buildings, building signs and advertisements which may be erected within the city limits. No outdoor car dealerships are allowed in the municipality, according to the city zoning code. Additionally, no billboards are permitted in the city. The only billboard was grandfathered in during a recent annexation. Corporations such as McDonald's have subdued their Golden Arches due to the code. The unincorporated areas still contain restaurants with the classic arches, but the heights of the signs have also been reduced. Many buildings in the area have Mediterranean and Spanish architectural themes, initially inspired in the area by Addison Mizner. The strict development code has resulted in several major thoroughfares without large signs or advertisements in the traveler's view; significant landscaping is in its place.

A panoramic view of Boca Raton

Politics[edit]

The City of Boca Raton has a Council-Manager form of government.[11]

The Mayor of Boca Raton has been chosen through a direct election since 1978.[12] The offices of the city council and the mayor, currently Mayor Susan Haynie,[13] are nonpartisan. The previous mayor was Susan Whelchel. As of February 2013, Democrat Lois Frankel and Democrat Ted Deutch both represent parts of the city in the United States Congress.

Geography[edit]

Boca Raton, seen from the International Space Station.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 sq mi (75.4 km2), of which 27.2 sq mi (70.4 km2) of this is land and 1.9 sq mi (5.0 km2) of it (6.63%) is water. Boca Raton is a 'principal city' (as defined by the Census Bureau) of the Miami metropolitan area. Like most South Florida cities, Boca Raton has a water table that does not permit building basements, but there are several high points in the city, such as 4th Avenue which is aptly named "High Street". The highest point in this area is the guard shack at Camino Gardens, which is 24 ft (7.3 m) above sea level. The Boca Raton Hotel's Beach Club rests at 23 ft (7.0 m) above sea level.[14]

Several small tunnels run under roads in Boca, but the roads are built up several feet at these locations, or are located on dunes. Several of these tunnels are under State Road A1A at Spanish River Park, from the west side of the road where parking is available to beachgoers, to the east side of the road, which is where the beach is located. A1A is already higher than the surrounding land here due to sand dunes formed by erosion and other natural features.[14]

Climate[edit]

Boca Raton's climate barely qualifies as a Tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), as its driest month (December) averages 62.5mm of precipitation, narrowly meeting the minimum standard of 60mm in the driest month needed to qualify for that designation.

Climate data for Boca Raton, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31)
94
(34)
92
(33)
94
(34)
98
(37)
98
(37)
99
(37)
98
(37)
98
(37)
98
(37)
91
(33)
89
(32)
99
(37)
Average high °F (°C) 76
(24)
77
(25)
81
(27)
82
(28)
86
(30)
89
(32)
90
(32)
90
(32)
89
(32)
86
(30)
81
(27)
78
(26)
83.8
(28.8)
Daily mean °F (°C) 67
(19)
68
(20)
71
(22)
74
(23)
79
(26)
82
(28)
83
(28)
83
(28)
82
(28)
79
(26)
74
(23)
70
(21)
84
(29)
Average low °F (°C) 57
(14)
59
(15)
63
(17)
66
(19)
71
(22)
75
(24)
75
(24)
76
(24)
75
(24)
72
(22)
66
(19)
60
(16)
67
(19)
Record low °F (°C) 28
(−2)
31
(−1)
32
(0)
40
(4)
54
(12)
60
(16)
64
(18)
66
(19)
61
(16)
47
(8)
35
(2)
30
(−1)
28
(−2)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.78
(70.6)
2.76
(70.1)
3.00
(76.2)
3.40
(86.4)
5.73
(145.5)
7.31
(185.7)
5.94
(150.9)
6.91
(175.5)
7.01
(178.1)
5.73
(145.5)
4.24
(107.7)
2.46
(62.5)
57.27
(1,454.7)
Source: The Weather Channel[15]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 447
1940 723 61.7%
1950 992 37.2%
1960 6,961 601.7%
1970 29,538 324.3%
1980 49,477 67.5%
1990 61,492 24.3%
2000 74,764 21.6%
2010 84,392 12.9%
Est. 2013 89,407 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
2013 Estimate[17]
Boca Raton Demographics
2010 Census Boca Raton Palm Beach County Florida
Total population 84,392 1,320,134 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +12.9% +16.7% +17.6%
Population density 2,877.2/sq mi 670.2/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 88.5% 73.5% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 79.1% 60.1% 57.9%
Black or African-American 5.2% 17.3% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 11.9% 19.0% 22.5%
Asian 2.4% 2.4% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.5% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 1.6% 2.3% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.0% 3.9% 3.6%

As of 2010, there were 44,539 households, out of which 17.4% were vacant. As of 2000, 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.81.

In 2000, the city's age distribution was as follows: 18.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $67,531, and the median income for a family was $92,057. Males had a median income of $52,287 versus $33,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $45,628. About 4.1% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

According to Forbes, Boca Raton has three of the ten most expensive gated communities in the U.S. The Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club holds the #1 spot, The Sanctuary takes #6, and Le Lac takes the #8 spot.[18]

As of 2000, English was the only language spoken at home by 79.9% of the population, while Spanish was spoken by 9.3%, French by 1.5%, Portuguese by 1.5%, French Creole by 1.3%, and Italian by 1.1% of the population. There is a substantial Jewish population in Boca Raton, and a small percentage of them add to the linguistic variety, with 0.36% of Boca Raton residents speaking Hebrew and 0.27% of the population speaking Yiddish at home.[19]

Culture and attractions[edit]

Boca Raton is known for its affluent social community and high income demographic. Boca Raton was the site of two now vanished amusement parks, Africa U.S.A. (1953–1961) and Ancient America (1953–1959). Africa U.S.A. was a wild animal park in which tourists rode a "Jeep Safari Train" through the park. There were no fences separating the animals from the tourists on the "Jeep Safari Train".[20] It is now the Camino Gardens subdivision one mile (1.6 km) west of the Boca Raton Hotel. A red wooden bridge and remnants from the Watusi Geyser and Zambezi Falls, a 30 foot waterfall,[21] from Africa USA can still be seen at the entrance to Camino Gardens. In the 1970s, peacocks could still be found in the subdivision, having escaped from the attraction. Ancient America was built surrounding a real Native American burial mound. Today, the mound is still visible within the Boca Marina & Yacht Club neighborhood on U.S. 1 near Yamato Road.[22]

Boca Raton is home to the Wick Theatre & Costume Museum. The Caldwell Theatre Company, which closed in 2012, was the longest-running professional theater in South Florida, celebrating its 34th season in the recently[when?] inaugurated Count de Hoernle Theatre on South Federal Highway.[23]

Boca Raton has beaches along its eastern shore, notably Red Reef Park[24] and South Inlet Park,[25] where snorkeling from the shore can bring a visitor to a living reef without the expense of renting a boat.[26][27] Nearby is Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, an Environmental Education Center. Founded in 1984, Gumbo Limbo is a cooperative project of the City of Boca Raton, Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and Friends of Gumbo Limbo.[28] In addition to the sea tanks, butterfly garden and boardwalk trail through the hammocks complete with an observation tower, Gumbo Limbo also houses a research facility run by FAU where students study sea turtles, sharks, sea grass and other marine-related subjects.

Organized crime[edit]

In 2007 it was reported that there were nine known gangs operating in Boca Raton.[29]

Boca Raton has a connection to the Mafia. Although not known for violent crime, it is a popular hangout for many suspected Mafia members. According to a number of US Federal indictments, as of June 2004, the Gambino family continues to operate in Boca Raton. The television show, The Sopranos, featured the city in its plot ("Boca" and "...To Save Us All From Satan's Power"), and Mafia Wife author Lynda Milito resides in Boca Raton. Joey Merlino, the reputed head of the Philadelphia Crime family, also resides in northern Boca Raton.[30][31][32][33]

Economy[edit]

Office Depot, a supplier of office products and services, has its global headquarters on a 28-acre campus in the city.[34] The GEO Group, a company that operates prisons, also has its headquarters in Boca Raton based out of One Park Place.[35] Media companies American Media and FriendFinder Networks, hotel company Luxury Resorts, consumer products company Jarden and e-retailers Vitacost plus BMI Gaming are also based in Boca Raton. The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, anchored by healthcare software company Modernizing Medicine, supports an environment where companies engaged in the research and development of new and innovative products can thrive. The Research Park is home to high tech, high wage companies and support organizations as well as the Technology Business Incubator and the New World Angels (a structured angel investor group) and the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (a clearing house for Florida’s technology transfer offices) and other publicly funded research institutes.

Previously W. R. Grace and Company had its headquarters in unincorporated Palm Beach County, near Boca Raton.[36][37]

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[38] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Florida Atlantic University 2,706
2 Office Depot (corporate headquarters) 2,250
3 Boca Raton Regional Hospital 2,250
4 Boca Raton Resort 1,800
5 City of Boca Raton 1,279
6 National Council on Compensation Insurance 800
7 The Continental Group 750
8 Tyco International 700
9 IBM 600
10 Applied Card Systems 550
11 Bluegreen Corporation 401

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Public education is provided and managed by The School District of Palm Beach County. Boca Raton is also home to several notable private and religious schools.

As of 2007, Boca Raton is served by four public high schools. Within the city's limits, Boca Raton Community High School serves the eastern part of the city. Spanish River Community High School serves the west-central part of the city limits and parts of unincorporated Boca Raton. Olympic Heights Community High School serves the western unincorporated areas. Finally, West Boca Raton Community High School serves the far-west unincorporated areas. Spanish River, Olympic Heights, and West Boca Raton also serve students from Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.[39]

The area is served by five public middle schools:

The area is served by twelve public elementary schools:

  • Addison Mizner Elementary (Founded in 1968. It is named after Addison Mizner.)
  • Boca Raton Elementary
  • Calusa Elementary
  • Coral Sunset Elementary
  • Del Prado Elementary
  • Hammock Pointe Elementary
  • J.C. Mitchell Elementary
  • Sandpiper Shores Elementary
  • Sunrise Park Elementary
  • Verde Elementary
  • Waters Edge Elementary
  • Whispering Pines Elementary

Two alternatives to the Palm Beach County Public Schools in Boca Raton are the K-8 Alexander D. Henderson University School (ADHUS) and FAU High School (FAUHS). Both are located on the Florida Atlantic University campus and are organized as a unique and separate school district; they are not part of the Palm Beach County School System. Henderson School is recognized as Florida Atlantic University School District #72, under the College of Education’s administrative oversight.

University schools in Florida are authorized to provide instruction for grades K-12 and university students, support university research efforts, and test educational reforms for Florida schools. Both ADHUS and FAUHS are public schools and thus do not charge tuition. Both are open to children who reside in Palm Beach County or Broward County. ADHUS admission is by lottery, while FAUHS admission is determined by academic ability. Student characteristics of gender, race, family income and student ability are used to match the student population profile to that of the state.[40]

FAU High School is unique in that it is a dual-enrollment program that involves itself primarily in collegiate classes. Students in ninth grade take advanced classes at the ADHUS sister campus, while students in higher grades attend only collegiate classes on Florida Atlantic University's campus, earning dual credit for both high school and college. A student who has successfully completed all four years at FAU High School will graduate having completed three years of university study on a college campus.[41]

Private schools[edit]

Pope John Paul II High School is a Catholic school located in Boca Raton near Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University.
  • Hillel Day School of Boca Raton
  • Boca Raton Christian School
  • Pine Crest School, based in Fort Lauderdale, has a campus in Boca Raton. The Boca Raton campus, originally Boca Raton Academy, was absorbed by Pine Crest in 1987.
  • Saint Jude Catholic School and Parish is an Elementary and Middle School founded in 1985. The Parish also has a Preschool founded in 1995.
  • Saint Andrew's School
  • Pope John Paul II High School
  • Grandview Preparatory School is an independent college preparatory, nonsectarian, coeducational day school founded in 1997. Student enrollment is offered for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.[42]
  • Donna Klein Jewish Academy
  • Boca Prep International School[43]
  • Saint Joan of Arc Catholic School and Church
  • Weinbaum Yeshiva High School
  • Summit Private School, a Montessori school[44]
  • Spanish River Christian
  • Saint Paul Lutheran School
  • Advent Lutheran School
  • Torah Academy of Boca Raton
  • Claremont Montessori School
  • American Heritage School

Higher education[edit]

In recognition of the rapid growth of Boca Raton's universities, in particular Florida Atlantic University, the city of Boca Raton has recently been referred to as a "burgeoning college town." [45]

Libraries[edit]

The Boca Raton Public Library serves city of Boca Raton residents. A second municipal library building on Spanish River Boulevard west of I-95 was opened in January 2008.

The Glades Road Branch Library and the West Boca Branch Library serve Boca Raton residents who live outside the city limits. The West Boca Branch opened on February 20, 2009. It is located on State Road 7 just north of Yamato Road. The Glades Road Branch Library, formerly known as the Southwest County Regional Library, is located on 95th Street and Glades Road, between Lyons Road and State Road 7. It closed for renovations in early 2009 and reopened as the Glades Road Branch Library on May 29, 2010. County library card holders may use any of the sixteen branches in the Palm Beach County Library System and have access to many databases and downloadable e-books and audio books.

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

Highways[edit]

  • State Road A1A is a north-south road lying between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • U.S. Highway 1, locally known as "Federal Highway", is a north-south highway passing through the city’s downtown, commercial, and industrial districts in the eastern part of the city.
  • U.S. Highway 441, also popularly known as State Road 7, is a north-south highway passing through commercial and residential districts west of the city limits.
  • Interstate 95 bisects the city from north to south with four interchanges serving Boca Raton.
  • Florida's Turnpike is a north-south highway passing through unincorporated Boca Raton, forming part of the city limits in the north, with one interchange at Glades Road.
  • State Road 808 (Glades Road) is an east-west road between US 441 and US 1.
  • Other major east-west roads include Palmetto Park Road and Yamato Road.
  • Other major north-south roads include Military Trail and Powerline Road.

Rail[edit]

Bus[edit]

PalmTran provides local bus service in the area.[46]

Water[edit]

Long before any settlers arrived, the original 1870 government survey of the area[47] showed that just west of and parallel to the Atlantic Ocean's coastal dune was the "Boca Ratones Lagoon", which extended south for nine miles (14.5 km) measured from just north of the present location of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. Along the southern half of the lagoon were three wide areas each called a "Lake", which are now named (north to south) Lake Rogers, Lake Wyman, and Lake Boca Raton. At the southeast end of the lagoon was a short protrusion toward the south which would become the Boca Raton Inlet after a sandbar at its mouth was removed. The lagoon and lakes were part of a half-mile (0.8 km) wide swamp, west of which was scrub land a mile (1.6 km) wide (part of the Atlantic coastal ridge) where the Florida East Coast Railway (1896) and Dixie Highway (1923) were built. To the west of the scrub was a half mile or wider swamp within which flowed north to south the "Prong of Hillsborough River", which is now the El Rio Canal. It now forms the eastern border of Florida Atlantic University and the Old Floresta neighborhood. The prong entered the "Hillsborough River" at the present eastern end of the straight portion of the Hillsboro Canal (dredged 1911–14), which is the southern city limits. The river flowed southeast in several channels along the western edge of the present Deerfield Island, formerly called Capone Island (named for Al Capone who owned it during the 1930s), which did not become an island until the Royal Palm Canal was dredged along its northern edge in 1961.[48][49] Flowing south from the lagoon to the river along the eastern edge of the 'island' was a "Small boat Pass into Hillsboro' River", also called the Little Hillsboro. The river continued due south about four and a half miles (7.2 km) just inland of the coastal dune until it emptied into the Atlantic Ocean at the "Hillsborough Bar", now the Hillsboro Inlet.

The lagoon was dredged in 1894–95 to form part of the Florida East Coast Canal from Jacksonville to Biscayne Bay with a minimum depth of 5 feet (1.5 m) and a minimum width of 50 feet (15.2 m).[50] After 1895, the lagoon and canal were sometimes called the Spanish River. Between 1930 and 1935 the canal was improved to 8×100 feet (2.4×30.5 m) by the federal government and renamed the Intracoastal Waterway. It was improved again between 1960 and 1965 to 10×125 feet (3×38.1 m).[51] All three versions were subject to shoaling which reduced their depths below the specified minimum. Forming part of the northern city limits is the C-15 canal, connecting the El Rio Canal to the Intracoastal Waterway.

Notable people[edit]

Greater Boca Raton[edit]

Main article: West Boca Raton

A majority of postal Boca Raton lies outside of the actual city limits. This large unincorporated area to the west of the city limits is included in the Boca Raton mailing address and local telephone calling area. There are many large planned developments in the area, including gated communities, and a number of golf courses. This is a result in the later start of development in these areas, and the availability of large tracts of land. Many of these affluent communities are large enough to be designated as census-designated places, including Boca Del Mar and Boca Pointe, geographically in Central Boca Raton, with Avalon at Boca Raton, Boca Falls, Boca Winds, Cimarron, Hamptons at Boca Raton, Mission Bay, Loggers' Run, The Polo Club Boca Raton, Sandalfoot Cove, and Whisper Walk as West Boca Raton.

On November 2, 2004, the voters of the Via Verde Association, Waterside, Deerhurst Association (Boca South), Marina Del Mar Association, Rio Del Mar Association (both originally Boca Del Mar communities), and Heatherwood of Boca Raton Condominium Association approved annexation into the Boca Raton city limits, increasing the city land area to 29.6 square miles (77 km2).

Old Dixie Seafood is a popular local seafood market and deli famous for their Marlin dip and stone crab claws

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  2. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup – Search By City". United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Boca Raton Historical Society: Boca Raton's History
  5. ^ The Spanish Maritime Dictionary of 1831
  6. ^ Boca De Ratones: An Etymological Reassessment(Ruiz and Cobia, Feb. 14, 2012)
  7. ^ Boca Raton Historical Society, Spanish River Papers, 1.1 (January 1973).
  8. ^ Curl, Donald W. and John P. Johnson. Boca Raton; A Pictorial History. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company, 1990. p. 52
  9. ^ Janie Gold, "Archer calls on Boca Raton to de-annex University Park", The Palm Beach Post, July 12, 1972, C1–C2.
  10. ^ http://www.miznerparkamp.com/
  11. ^ City of Boca raton website
  12. ^ Perez, Luis F. (2008-02-12). "Boca may have next mayor by today". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  13. ^ "City of Boca Raton - City Government". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Google Earth
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  16. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Most Expensive Gated Communities In America 2004". Forbes. 
  19. ^ Data Center Results
  20. ^ Virtual Tour of Arica U.S.A.. Retrieved August 27, 2006.
  21. ^ "Camino Gardens". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  22. ^ Ancient America: one of Florida's lost tourist attractions. lostparks.com. Retrieved August 27, 2006.
  23. ^ Caldwell Theatre Company
  24. ^ Red Reef Park
  25. ^ South Inlet Park
  26. ^ "Red Reef Park". Sink, Florida, Sink!. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  27. ^ "South Inlet Park". Sink, Florida, Sink!. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  28. ^ "Gumbo Limbo". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "Where South Florida gangs are working", The Palm Beach Post.
  30. ^ Brown, Julie K.. (2012-09-29) Joseph Merlino: The mobster next door - Florida. MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  31. ^ Boca Raton, Florida - Mafia Wife Interview with Lynda Milita | Boca Raton
  32. ^ cbs4.com - Married To The Mob: Mafia Wife To Sue HBO
  33. ^ Lynda Milito from HarperCollins Publishers
  34. ^ Office Depot Press Release.
  35. ^ "Contact Us." GEO Group. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
  36. ^ "Grace Announces Relocation To Columbia, Maryland." W. R. Grace and Company. Retrieved on June 29, 2011. "The restructuring will entail a relocation of approximately 40 people, including senior management, from Grace's Boca Raton, Florida office to its Columbia, Maryland site. A few positions will be relocated to another Grace office in Cambridge, Massachusetts." and "Following the relocation, Grace will close its headquarters office at 1750 Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton, which currently employs approximately 130 people."
  37. ^ "Boca Raton city, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 29, 2011.
  38. ^ "City of Boca Raton 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". p. 213. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  39. ^ School District of Palm Beach County - High School Boundary Maps - Accessed December 17, 2007
  40. ^ FAU - A.D. Henderson University School
  41. ^ http://fauhigh.fau.edu/aboutus/
  42. ^ "Grandview Preparatory School". 
  43. ^ "Boca Prep International School". 
  44. ^ "Summit Private School". 
  45. ^ Boca Raton: A burgeoning college town prepares for change - Sun Sentinel. Articles.sun-sentinel.com (1992-12-27). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  46. ^ http://www.pbcgov.com/palmtran/maps_schedules/
  47. ^ Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records Florida, Townships 46–48, Range 43
  48. ^ The Mysterious "Capone Island": Deerfield Island Park PDF (597KB)
  49. ^ Deerfield Island - Spanish River Papers PDF (2.47MB)
  50. ^ A history of Florida's East Coast Canal: The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Jacksonville to Miami PDF (3.8 MB)
  51. ^ Aubrey Parkman, History of the waterways of the Atlantic coast of the United States, National Waterways Study, 1983, p.87.
  52. ^ Tuckwood, Jan (2011-06-13). "Queen of the 'Quackers' turned world on with her sparkle". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  53. ^ "Are Hurricanes Swamping Spammers?". 2004-09-15. 
  54. ^ "ATP World Tour profile: Guillaume Raoux". Retrieved 2012-03-14. 

External links[edit]