Delray Beach History & Culture
The town began as humbly as you could imagine in 1876 when a single tiny shack was built to shelter shipwrecked sailors. This house of refuge was called Orange Grove, situated among mysterious orange trees; no one knows who planted those citrus bearers, but it’s as if the spirit of Florida had always been there. Beach and railroad intersecting led to rapid expansion in the early 20th century, and a community of artists, writers, and poets helped sustain Delray through the Great Depression. Because the town never went bust, there are remarkably preserved buildings in Art Deco, Mission Revival, Colonial Revival, and bungalow styles — plus your typical Florida cottages. Delray is still strongly influenced by its arts community, with a thriving visual arts scene, live theater, a history museum, Japanese gardens, festivals, and concerts.