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Original Congress Ave. A Short Road

The Jan. 3 column on local history questions that have stumped us prompted some phone calls — but they provided only a little illumination.
Reader Orin Bennett, 88, of suburban West Palm Beach, who’s lived in the area since the Fourth of July, 1924, could not pin down the origin of Congress Avenue. But he did say that the road has been there since the 1930s, which would negate the theory that it was named during World War II. Bennett said he recalled the original Congress Avenue being just a few blocks long. “It was just a little short road, not very significant,” he said.
And David Eckis of Lantana recently noticed a spot near the Palace Skating Rink at Lantana Road, where it appears Old Congress once went through and continued to the Palm Beach County Park Airport.
Meanwhile, I’m still looking for help on the stories behind Lantana’s Mayfield, Euclid and Prospect streets; the stone duck in Lake Worth; Ritta and Torry islands; the streets in Westgate; June’s Ice Cream in Lake Worth; and Lillian Road, Steiner Road, Phillips Point, Lake Wyman and Seminole-Pratt
Whitney Road. And here’s one more:
Q: In Boca, running between Federal Highway and Dixie Highway north of Yamato, there is a series of streets whose names are identical to British cities, in alphabetical order. The only ones that come to mind now are
Coventry and Manchester. What is the story behind this?
– Kevin Warner,
Delray Beach
A: Sue Gillis, archivist at the Boca Raton Historical Society, and Donald Curl, retired Florida Atlantic University professor and local historian, believe the original developers of the area simply went with a British theme.
Readers: We still need your help on these!

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg February 28, 2007 at 3:17 pm.

2 comments

2 Replies

  1. Richard Jul 17th 2009

    Reply to David Eckis post. In the 50`s Congress ran south from Southern Blvd to a block south of Forest Hill Blvd. at a small canal. No bridge then. Then from there Congress ran south, south of Lake Worth road, past PBJC built in 55 to a canal before where JFK Hospital is now. Beyond that was a cattle farm. Which became the Town of Atlantis today. John Prince Park was just a muddy place in the woods. PBC Fair was held just south of PBJC for one or two years before moving to the present fairgrounds. At Congress and Gun Club Rd, was a place where the Air Force Base, PBIA, had bunkers they stored bombs in. At Congress just south of Southern Blvd on the east side were barracks for the Air Force.

  2. Richard Jul 17th 2009

    Congress Ave, also ran from Belvedere Rd, at the dog track, north to maybe Westgate Ave or on to Okeechobee Blvd.. It had a big bend in it in those days just north of the dog track.


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