We Must Respect The Past To Embrace The Future

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by Donna Lewis DONNA LEWIS Feb 2016 Also on Digital Edition

Growth is inevitable, especially in South Florida where our climate, job opportunities and retirement options draw hundreds of new residents every day, and have propelled us to pass New York as the nation's third largest state. Growth can be both a blessing and a curse. The challenge is finding a balance so that we protect the very essence of our local communities and the natural amenities residents cherish, while still progressing. While we need to be stewards of our environment, we also need to change and grow, as increased growth equals increased economic prosperity, demand for housing and jobs, along with improved medical, technical and commercial developments that allow us to compete with other economic big leaguers. In our feature about striking that balance, we delve into new developments already here and those on the horizon, and illuminate the task of smart growth.

You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. South Florida's distinct identity was built by several pioneering families, who have created the paradise we know and love. The East Coast of Florida was largely uninhabited until Henry Flagler's vision put us on the map and distinguished Palm Beach as the winter playground for the wealthy. Generations later, these famous founding families are still shaping The Palm Beaches and continue to provide a legacy we can be proud of. Learn about how household names such as Flagler, Carlin, Coniglio, Koch, DuBois and MacArthur shaped our area in “Famous Families of The Palm Beaches”.

No one is more famous for epitomizing The Palm Beaches than Lilly Pulitzer, whose playful prints and persona created not just an empire, but a state-of-mind. We've all heard the story of a young Lilly, who, to disguise the citrus juice stains on her clothing, started designing cotton dresses in wildly colorful patterns of fruits, vegetables, turtles and peacocks. These dresses would eventually become the beloved easy breezy resort wear staple of American women (and men) everywhere. Especially in Palm Beach, where the vacation mindset is year-round and where a Lilly became the quintessential “uniform,” indicative of our enviable coastal lifestyle. Our enduring connection to the iconic brand stems from the spirit of the reluctant fashion creator herself, who had a contagious fun-loving personality that lives on in her fashion, family and philanthropy. It just goes to show that the creativity and pioneering spirit of one individual can change history forever.


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