BOCA RATON COMMUNITIES
BOCA CLUB LIFE
Boca Raton has grown phenomenally in the last three decades, but it first went on the map in 1895. In that year, railroad magnate Henry Flagler decided to make the quiet farm community conveniently located between Miami and Palm Beach, a terminus for his new north to south railway line. By 1903 the area boasted five families; the following year when Japanese colonists arrived to farm pineapples at Yamato, the population
The small fruit and vegetable farming community continued to grow slowly, reaching a milestone in 1920 when a brick elementary school was built to replace the one room schoolhouse.
The incorporation of the town of Boca Raton in 1925 marked a new phase. Boca Raton was slated to become a vacation paradise in a 16,000 acre project, proposed by noted Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner, that would include a monumental Spanish-style hotel, a Venetian Lake with gondolas, cabaret and casino. On the first day of sale in 1925 over $2 million in lots was contracted. Six months later the entire project collapsed.
Ground had been broken for a hotel on the west side of Lake Boca Raton. The fabled Ritz Carlton Cloister Inn opened as the centerpiece of a planned international resort and became a magnet for the glitterati who flocked to it in droves. Mizner's original cloister is still there, today as part of the five-star Boca Raton Resort and Club.
Boca Raton continued to grow slowly, its profile raised by the presence of an army base during World War 11. In the 1950s Boca Raton's upscale image was set by the well-planned, lavishly landscaped, expensive subdivisions developed by Arthur Vining Davis. His Arvida Corp. had purchased the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in 1956.
In the 1960s, Boca Raton was still a small town with winding roads and a quaint village atmosphere when Florida Atlantic University and IBM arrived; the population began to explode as numerous other high-tech industries and corporate headquarters followed. Today Boca Raton has become headquarters for several large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens Information and Communication Networks, Database Technologies (DBT), Hiway Technologies, NCCI, Sensormatic and Sony Professional Products. The Blue Lake Corporate Center, is being redeveloped as a prestigious office park with 1.96 million square feet of office space in a tropical landscaped environment. Opportunities for higher education have grown to include campuses of Florida Atlantic University, Lynn University and Palm Beach Community College.