In the 1960s, South Florida experienced another great land boom, with developments pushing the Everglades and former farmlands increasingly westward. The population grew to almost 30,000 residents by 1970, continuing to increase well outside city limits to this day. In 1962, Boca Raton attracted the newest state university, Florida Atlantic, to the site of the old army airbase. IBM moved one of its computer facilities to Boca Raton in 1967, and in 1981, it was there the first IBM PC, or personal computer, was developed.Boca Raton, during the 1980s and 1990s, the city focused much of its attention on downtown redevelopment, and a number of important historical properties, such as Boca Raton’s original Town Hall and F.E.C. Railway Station were restored and opened to the public. Many fine cultural facilities, such as the Boca Raton Museum of Art, have grown up to meet the needs of the growing population.
Today the city of Boca Raton, in 1903 a farming village of eighteen people, is today home to 180,000 residents within city limits and another 120,000 in “West Boca.” It’s the core of the south Palm Beach County metropolitan community, offering beautiful parks and facilities, economic opportunities, and a unique quality of life that is the envy of its neighbors.After the war years, Boca Raton’s subtropical locale and beckoning business climate attracted the prestigious International Business Machines (IBM) and Florida Atlantic University; both set-up shop here in the mid-’60s. Other businesses with an eye to the future soon followed suit. Between 1965 and 1980, newcomers in pursuit of the good life tripled Boca Raton’s population. Today, Greater Boca Raton’s population is more than 180,000.
Lynn Johnsen AUTHOR