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This week in history: Groundbreaking for the Town House Hotel

July 27, 1959 marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the “ultra-modern” Town House Hotel on Flagler Drive. The 1913 Hotel Salt Air (below in 1925) was torn down to accommodate the new hotel on the site now occupied by the Meyer Amphitheatre.

The Town House opened with a big splash. The caption on the photo below that ran on page 2 of the Oct. 9, 1960 Palm Beach Post-Times: “Obliging a photographer as she relaxed with a drink at the patio-pool area of the city’s new $3 million Town House Hotel is curvaceous Mary Taylor, who served as hostess during opening day ceremonies on Wednesday. Her beauty and attractive figure (36-23-34) undoubtedly gained the new hotel nationwide attention as this picture was flashed across America over UPI Telephoto from The Palm Beach Post-Times’ transmitting station.”

Click on any of the images below to browse the Oct. 9, 1960, special section in The Palm Beach Post-Times.

But the momentum was not to be sustained. The hotel’s mortgage holder foreclosed on the Town House in 1964. It became the Holiday Inn Town House under new ownership in 1965, and operated as a Holiday Inn until 1984, when it became Palm Beach County’s first kosher hotel and residence, the Palm Beach Residence Inn. That venture lasted only about a year. The building was sold to developers in 1986, became entangled in foreclosures and bankruptcy proceedings, and was eventually handed to government regulators. West Palm Beach officials spent six years trying to tear it down, and finally succeeded with a New Year’s Eve implosion in 1993.

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Posted in Flashback blog and Our history in photos July 23, 2012 at 6:00 am.

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