Royal History

The making of a Palm Beach icon

When John S. Phipps dreamt of The Royal Poinciana Plaza, he asked John Volk to “design for us a shopping plaza in any style you wish; however, it must endure for fifty years.” John Volk, architect to America’s royal families like the Vanderbilts, DuPonts, Fords and Pulitzers, made this dream a reality.

Upon first opening, The Royal Poinciana Plaza was bustling. F.A.O. Schwartz acted as an anchor tenant, as did Gucci, which opened their very first store outside of New York at the property. Children waited in lines for their Schrafft’s ice cream, and the community came together here for momentous events like the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Royal Poinciana Plaza acted as a center for art, culture and above all, community.

The Royal Poinciana Plaza stands today with the same charm and idyllic beauty that Volk envisioned more than half a century ago, as it continues to serve as a community destination where families make traditions and the people of Palm Beach come together. You can feel the thoughtful design and mid-century glamour in the curvature of the restored metalwork, the click of your heels on the checkered terrazzo, and the warmth of the Florida sun while you sit in a peaceful courtyard, and you can sense that The Royal has a long, bright future ahead.