About This Place
Palm Beach Gardens is a city in Palm Beach County in the U.S. state of Florida. The city is in the center of a rapidly-developing area north of West Palm Beach in the northern part of the county and the South Florida metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census[update], the population was 48,452. The city has relatively strict zoning laws and also a number of gated communities.
The city has a total area of 55.3 square miles (143.3 km2). 55.1 square miles (142.7 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km2) of it (0.45%) is water.
Prior to development, the land that became Palm Beach Gardens was primarily cattle ranches and pine forests, as well as swampland further west. In 1959, wealthy landowner and insurance magnate John D. MacArthur announced plans to develop 4,000 acres (16 km2) and build homes for 55,000 people. He chose the name Palm Beach Gardens after his initial choice, Palm Beach City, was denied by the Florida Legislature, because of the similarity of the name to the nearby Palm Beach. MacArthur planned to build a "garden city" so he altered the name slightly. The city was incorporated as a "paper town" (meaning that it existed only on paper) in 1959. The 1960 Census recorded that the city officially had a population of one, apparently a squatter whom MacArthur had allowed to stay on his property.