Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay. . .


dob1Donna and I took a trip up to West Palm Beach this evening to return some movies to the new library. After visiting the library we walked down Clematis, and as we approached the east end we noticed something was different, you could see the water! The old library is almost completely torn down opening up the view towards the intracoastal. The removal of the old library is part of the Waterfront Commons project, a revitalization intended to link downtown with the waterfront. As you may know Micheal Singer is the principle designer of this project.

We decided to walk down to the new docks that were recently opened. I remembered seeing the docks in one of Michael Singer’s presentations to the Lake Worth City Commission and we were curious to see what they are like.

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I have spent a lifetime on boats and the water, as well as my entire career in the marine industry, so I have seen a lot of docks in my day. I have to say these docks are without doubt the most interesting I have ever come across and as far as public city docks go, they are far and away the best I have ever set foot on. Reaching far out into the intracoastal they are very wide, making for a comfortable solid feeling that will give confidence to non-boaters who want to stroll out and take in the views of the waterway and the city.

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From a boater’s viewpoint they are well designed and while they may not appeal to the Mega-yacht crowd due to the positioning of the pilings, they are well suited for boats from 16 feet up to the fifty to sixty foot range, in other words most of the boats you see using the intracoastal. In season I would expect them to be quite busy with boaters tying up to visit downtown West Palm Beach.

dob5But the docks have an appeal that makes them more than just a convenience for visiting boaters. All along their length are unique seating areas of different shapes that incorporate native vegetation such as mangroves and sea grasses. Lighting that wraps around the underside of the seats and benches adds to their looks.  They are a wonderful place to sit and look back at the city skyline. Further out on the center dock there is a sunken section that lets visitors observe local sea life up close.

dob10I am glad we visited at dusk so we were able to see the city lights come on and reflect in the calm waters of the waterway.

If the rest of the Waterfront Commons project is as well designed as the docks, West Palm Beach will have a great addition for its residents that will also draw visitors to the downtown district.

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