North Palm Beach Florida
In 1954 for $5.5 million John D. MacArthur bought 2,600 acres (11 km2) of land in northern Palm Beach County that had been owned originally by Harry Seymour Kelsey and later by Sir Harry Oakes. The land included most of today’s North Palm Beach as well as Lake Park, Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach Shores. MacArthur then began developing what is now North Palm Beach, which sat on former mangrove swamps and farm land. The area was punctuated only by Monet Road and Johnson Dairy Road to the north and south and US 1 and Prosperity Farms Road to the east and west.
Full-scale development and incorporation as a village occurred nearly simultaneously in 1956, with extensive dredging creating waterfront cul-de-sacs, and the development of a new east-west artery, Lighthouse Drive, connecting Old Dixie Highway and the newly aligned US 1. US 1 was widened and became the main office and civic corridor. Sir Harry Oakes’ castle-like home on US 1 became the clubhouse for the North Palm Beach Country Club, which is located on the village island surrounded by the Inter-coastal Waterway reached by three bridges Lighthouse Drive bridge to the West, the Earmon River bridge to the south, and the Parker drawbridge to the north.
In 1958-1959, North Palm Beach elected Walter E. Thomas, Jr. as its first Mayor. Walter and his wife Jackie and four children (Ted, Larry, Jim, and Pam) were the 55th family to move into the Village, arriving in 1957.
Lake Park West Road was also extended from Old Dixie Highway to US 1 and was renamed Northlake Boulevard, becoming the village’s main commercial corridor. The Twin City Mall, an enclosed shopping center, opened in 1970 at the corner of Northlake Boulevard and US 1 as Palm Beach County’s second enclosed shopping mall. This Mall built onto the previous grocery store/strip mall completed in 1959. The mall contained a Sears, Jeffersons and GC Murphy’s department stores, as well as the locally popular Karmelcorn and Orange Bowl eateries. The mall also sported one of the few movie theaters in the vicinity. The enclosed mall was demolished in the mid-1990s and has gradually been replaced by a mid-sized strip mall anchored by Publix.
In 2006, village resident Jack Nicklaus redesigned the village’s golf course and it reopened in late 2006.