In this affluent city of about 94,000 residents (per July 2019), you'll hear a lot about the influences of architect Addison Mizner. Two men you won't hear much about are Capt. Thomas Moore Rickards Sr. and Clarence Geist, although the city owes both men nearly as much as it does Mizner.
Rickards, the city's first settler, gave Boca Raton its name – after the section of the city's inlet known in the early part of this century as Lake Boca Raton, or “mouth of the rat” in Spanish. And Geist, who bought the famous Boca Raton Resort & Club from Mizner in 1929, gave the city its signature color when he painted the hotel pink to mimic the perfect sunset. The Boca Resort & Club is still a key landmark, its bright pink 26-story tower rising high above the southern end of the city.
A little further north sits Mizner Park, the city's formerly controversial downtown centerpiece, that was developed with a multi-million dollar bond issue. The salmon-colored pedestrian mall, conceived as a cultural and retail park to spur downtown development, has lots of high-end shopping, the International Museum of Cartoon Art and the city amphitheater, home to many free concerts. Taxes have gone down for eight straight years and the city's water and sewer rates are still among the lowest in the region.
Boca is known for its parks. In fact, a special taxing district that stretches outside the city limits to western Boca Raton levies an assessment to acquire and improve parkland. The newest is the Hillsboro El Rio Park, a 14-acre waterfront site along El Rio Canal with an estimated opening at the end of 2019 (Phase 2, south side).
The city's crime rate is low, but increasing traffic is becoming a gripe among the residents, as more condominiums and apartments are being built, while Boca Raton Municipal Airport (KBCT, GA only) is also becoming busier.