Worth Avenue

WorthAve_feature_CourtesyWorthAveAssoc_2011.jpg
Palm Beach, FL
United States
Worth Avenue

Landscape Information

Named in 1913 for General William Jenkins Worth, this shopping avenue was among the first areas developed in Palm Beach. In 1918 architects Addison Mizner and Paris E. Singer introduced the Mediterranean style to the region with their design for the Everglades Club at Worth Avenue’s western end.  In 1924 Mizner altered the primarily residential avenue when he designed a three-story mixed-use complex with shopping on the ground floor and residences and offices above. In 1938 area merchants created the Worth Avenue Association to promote advancements. Through the 1940s, the avenue developed to include arcaded shops, intimate courtyards linked by pedestrian “Vias,” and landscape features such as tiled fountains, sculpture, and shaded benches beneath rhythmically spaced coconut palms. Two adjacent streets, Via Mizner and Via Parigi, extend from Worth Avenue and expand the concept of a European-influenced pedestrian village.  In 1991 the Town of Palm Beach commissioned the planning firm Adley Brisson Engman to develop design guidelines to protect and enhance the Avenue’s unique character.

Following a period of slow decline, Worth Avenue was rehabilitated in 2010 by architects Bridges, Marsh & Associates and landscape architects Sanchez & Maddux. Piazzas, pools, and sidewalks made of crushed shells reference the architectural history of Palm Beach while linked courtyards create protected, open-air civic spaces.  A pair of fifteen-foot-tall stone pillars capped with ornamental lights announces the avenue’s eastern end where it meets the perpendicular Ocean Boulevard. A marble clock tower and archway frame the vista to the expansive Atlantic Ocean just beyond.