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El Cid Historic District: A Gem of West Palm Beach

If you’re visiting West Palm Beach, you won’t want to miss the charming and historic El Cid neighborhood. Located just south of downtown, this upscale community is a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural heritage. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the El Cid Historic District and what makes it such a special place. Next blog post!

What is the El Cid Historic District?

The El Cid Historic District is a residential neighborhood located in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The district encompasses an area of approximately 281 acres and includes over 280 buildings, most of which were constructed between 1919 and 1939.

History of El Cid

El Cid was developed in the early 20th century by a group of prominent businessmen who wanted to create a residential neighborhood that would rival the exclusive communities of Palm Beach. They hired John L. Volk, a prominent architect of the time, to design the neighborhood. The result was a collection of Mediterranean Revival and Mission-style homes that were popular in the 1920s.

The name “El Cid” comes from the Spanish epic poem “El Cantar de Mio Cid” which tells the story of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, a medieval Spanish knight. The developers chose the name to evoke a sense of history and romance.

Architecture of El Cid

The architecture of El Cid is one of its most notable features. The neighborhood features a mix of Mediterranean Revival and Mission-style homes, as well as Art Deco and Colonial Revival styles. The homes are characterized by their stucco walls, red-tile roofs, and ornamental details such as wrought-iron balconies and arched doorways.

Many of the homes in El Cid were designed by John L. Volk, who was known for his elegant and timeless designs. Volk’s work is still visible throughout the neighborhood, and his influence can be seen in the many homes that have been built in a similar style over the years.

Attractions in El Cid

El Cid is not just a beautiful residential neighborhood – it also has several attractions that are worth visiting. One of the most popular is the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, which features over 100 works by the artist. The gardens themselves are also a work of art, with lush vegetation and winding paths that lead to hidden corners and peaceful retreats.

Another popular attraction in El Cid is the Palm Beach Zoo, which is located on the western edge of the neighborhood. The zoo is home to over 500 animals, including tigers, bears, and monkeys, as well as a botanical garden and a carousel.

Living in El Cid

El Cid is a highly sought-after neighborhood for those who want to live in a historic and upscale community. The neighborhood is home to a mix of families, retirees, and professionals, and is known for its friendly and tight-knit community.

Residents of El Cid enjoy easy access to downtown West Palm Beach, as well as the many shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions in the area. The neighborhood is also close to several parks and beaches, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.

Preservation Efforts

Preserving the historic integrity of El Cid is an important part of the community’s identity. The El Cid Historic District Association works tirelessly to ensure that the neighborhood’s homes and buildings are maintained and restored to their original beauty. The association also organizes community events and educational programs to promote the neighborhood’s history and culture. Click for more!


The El Cid Historic District is a must-see destination for anyone visiting West Palm Beach. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant community, El Cid is truly a gem of West Palm Beach. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply want to experience the beauty of one of Florida’s most charming neighborhoods, El Cid is sure to delight.

So if you’re planning a trip to West Palm Beach, be sure to add El Cid to your itinerary. Take a stroll down the quiet, tree-lined streets, marvel at the beautiful homes, and soak up the neighborhood’s unique charm and character. You won’t be disappointed.


  • What is the best time of year to visit El Cid?

El Cid is a beautiful neighborhood year-round, but the best time to visit is during the winter months when the weather is mild and comfortable.

  • Are there any guided tours of El Cid available?

Yes, there are several companies that offer guided tours of El Cid. These tours provide a unique perspective on the history and architecture of the neighborhood.

  • Can visitors tour the inside of any of the historic homes in El Cid?

Unfortunately, most of the homes in El Cid are private residences and are not open to the public. However, visitors can still appreciate the beautiful architecture and exterior details of the homes from the street.

  • Is El Cid a safe neighborhood?

Yes, El Cid is a very safe neighborhood. It has a low crime rate and a strong community watch program.

  • Are there any restaurants or cafes in El Cid?

While there are no restaurants or cafes located within the neighborhood, there are plenty of options nearby in downtown West Palm Beach.

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