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Government Buildings

As its population increased, Palm Beach County regularly outgrew the space used for its official business. Until the 1980s, the seat of the county government was primarily at Dixie Highway and 3rd Street, West Palm Beach; the original 1916 Courthouse and a sister building added to the east in 1927 had been combined with an addition wrapped around both in 1969. Even so, about 500 employees were scattered in eight county offices by 1984, when they were consolidated in the 12-story, 290,000-square-foot County Governmental Center to the east, at a cost of $16.7 million. In 1995 a new courthouse complex with twin 11-story towers opened west of the original one, between Quadrille Boulevard and Dixie Highway.

Many individual and collective efforts were made to save the historic 1916 building hidden within the 1969 exterior, until in 2002 the Board of County Commissioners committed to return it to its original neoclassical grandeur. In March 2008, the restored 1916 Courthouse opened at a final cost of over $18 million. The building now provides office space for county government and for the nonprofit Historical Society of Palm Beach County, including the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, which the society manages.

Nearby, at Dixie Highway and Clematis Street, the City of West Palm Beach built a $154 million City Center in 2009. Since the former city hall opened at Banyan and South Olive Avenue in 1979, the city government had grown from 1,000 employees to 1,700. City Center is also home to the city's public library, which formerly occupied valuable waterfront property at Flagler Drive and Clematis Street.


 

 

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