Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Magical Transformation or Illusion of Grandeur: The Development of Downtown West Palm Beach, 1985-2015
by Fine, Jeffrey G., M.A., Florida Atlantic University, 2017, 89; 10610504
Abstract (Summary)

From 1985 to 2015, local politicians like Kenneth G. Spillias, Jan Winters, and Nancy M. Graham reshaped downtown West Palm Beach. They promised to eliminate urban blight, and turned a crime-ridden area of the city into an upper-middle class entertainment zone frequented by wealthy pleasure-seekers from throughout Palm Beach County.

However, much of this transformation was an illusion. These politicians eliminated local taxpayers from the decision-making process by circumventing their votes, but subsequently taxed them to pay for the improvements. Furthermore, blight was not eliminated downtown, merely relocated to areas surrounding the entertainment zone. This resulted in ongoing tension between the mostly white patrons and business owners in the redeveloped area, and the primarily black residents in the dilapidated neighborhoods surrounding this development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rose, Mark H.
Commitee: Bennett, Evan P., Shannon, Kelly
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Modern history, Urban planning
Keywords: City place, Downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County convention center, Palm Beach County courthouse, Urban blight
Publication Number: 10610504
ISBN: 978-1-369-84936-3
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