The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will soon re-launch its popular Historic Trolley Tours in Downtown West Palm Beach. The tours, which take place aboard a signature bright-red trolley, entertain and educate guests about Downtown’s historical buildings and landmarks. The tours are scheduled to begin on Friday, January 8, 2010 and will run weekly on Fridays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., through April 2010.
The 45-minute ride through the Downtown area is crafted to appear to take place in 1945, as World War II was ending. The tour guide, local actress Tiffany Lewis, assumes the role of a woman who’s engaged to a serviceman returning home from the war. She takes patrons on a journey through the Clematis District and highlights its distinctive architectural styles. Her anecdotes range from the pioneering days of the early 1900s and the real estate boom of the 1920s to the continued revitalization that dominates today. Stops include the Cuillo Theatre; West Palm Beach's first “skyscraper,” the 10-story Comeau Building; the vernacular-style Harris Music Lofts, built in 1902; and the Downtown Waterfront, which is currently in transition to once again become a centerpiece of Downtown.
“It’s an exciting, engaging way for local residents and visitors to learn about the dynamic – and often surprising – history of Downtown West Palm Beach,” said Melissa Wohlust, executive director of the DDA.
The tour will also travel north to Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard as it makes a giant loop around the Downtown District, showcasing the history of some of the city’s most important landmarks, including the 1916 Courthouse located on South Dixie Highway that was recently restored to its original, neoclassical grandeur, and has become home to the area's first countywide history museum. Other highlights include the CityPlace-located Harriet Himmel Theater, which was previously a church; Providencia Park (which includes tales of rum runners from the Bahamas!); the Meyer Amphitheatre; Rosarian Academy, a private Catholic school; various historic churches including the Payne Chapel, Tabernacle Baptist, and St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church; and the West Palm Beach Fishing Club.
The tour is $5 for adults, and free for children 10 and under. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the DDA at 561-833-8873.
Downtown West Palm Beach Historic Trolley Tours, led by the Downtown Development Authority
January 8, 2010 – April 24, 2010
Every Friday at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.(except February 19 and March 26)
Every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (except February 20 and March 27)
Tours begin and end at the Richard & Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, located at the corner of North Dixie Hwy. and 3rd St.
$5 for adults; free for children 10 and under
Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the DDA at (561) 833-8873.