Palm Beach County: On The Hunt for Historical Locations

July 6, 2017

If you frequent Palm Beach County's Riviera Beach, I'm sure you've cruised along Broadway. What broadway has to offer is historically important but currently in limbo. It is in the process of turning a drug and hooker hub into a destination for tourists. New marina's, coffee houses, small business locations and Palm Beach's Inlet. For some reason, this process seems to be taking a long time. 


Truthfully, I like Riviera Beach's current reputation. It gives PB county a personality. It brings me memories of my old job at a marina, a car crash, an old home, old friends, drugs and will forever remain a piece of my past. To see this area desperately trying to turn into a social location is tough. It always seems to fail. Buildings get knocked down and the lot will remain empty for years. What brings on this failure is the horrible crime and poverty that is overgrown. I can't drive on broadway without counting at least 2 prostitutes, seeing one drug deal or staring at the location where I crashed a truck. 


These odd thoughts mean a lot to me. They are part of who I am. And I am slowly watching historical places disappear. For example, The Spanish Courts used to sit at 1124 Broadway, Riviera Beach. For 77 years this small Spanish revival style motel/cottage was a vacation home for local and tourists. The location was perfect!


"In 1938, New Hampshire-ites Raymond and Ellen Gordon made a trip to what then was a small fishing village and bought the site. They built the stucco cottages, with red-tile roofs and wrought-iron gates and opened for business in 1939.Despite the still-ongoing Depression, and looming war clouds, the Gordons believed in the rental cottages, even at a big $14 a week. Society columns from the 1940s detail which Mr. and Mrs. would be snowbirding in the quaint setting. And World War II brought servicemen from nearby bases. But hurricanes also did their worst, and a 1968 fire charred half the place. The Courts survived."


But now they are gone forever. And for me an artist, I missed my opportunity to preserve its glory through a paint brush. But what is currently left is an eerie lot. 

 This picture is all that is left of the "Spanish Courts". A lone fountain and a Banyon tree (behind me). 


Even though this is all that is left, it is just the subject material I need to create a historical painting attempting to preserve what is left of Riviera Beach's history.


If there is any more YOU would like to add for me about this post, please do so! Also, if you have any stories or info about this location don't hesitate to reach out! 


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