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Home > Florida > Riviera Beach vicinity > U.S. Coast Guard Lake Worth Inlet Station, Peanut Island, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach County, FL



See 17 maps of this location


B&W Photos
BWPhotos 377910
HB334007
BWPhotos 377910


Item Title
BWPhotos 377910

Location
Peanut Island, Riviera Beach vicinity, FL

Find maps of Riviera Beach, FL


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS FL-390
Building/structure dates: 1931 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1937 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1952 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1961 subsequent work
Significance: The U.S. Coast Guard Lake Worth Inlet Station is architecturally significant as an intact and typical example of the Coast Guard's many lifeboat stations built or improved in the 1930s and 1940s. It is historically significant for its role in coastal defense and rescue activities during the early months of World War II, and for its involvement in the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Station is associated with three people whose work changed our Nation: General George W. Goethals, engineer; Admiral Russell Randolf Waesche, Commandant of the Coast Guard; and President John F. Kennedy. The Lake Worth Inlet Station exemplifies the Coast Guard's new and upgraded lifeboat stations built throughout the United States from about 1931 until about 1941. The network of lifeboat stations was part of Admiral Waesche's transformation of the Coast Guard into today's modern force. The new and upgraded lifeboat stations built in that decade used some combination of plans prepared for the "Standard Dwelling," "Standard Launchway," or "Standard Boathouse." This Stations' Dwelling and Boathouse, the two buildings dating from establishment of the Station, retain their architectural integrity. The early character of the site and surroundings is intact, and the Dwelling's cupola watch house still commands panoramic views of the surrounding waterways. The Station is built on a spoil island created by General Goethals as part of his last work, the enlargement of Lake Worth Inlet and the Port of Palm Beach. Goethals achieved renown as Chief Engineer for construction of the Panama Canal and the Holland Tunnel. The Station's strategic defensive importance was realized during World War II, with beach patrols and ocean search and rescue activities launched from this station. The station is closely associated with President John F. Kennedy and the tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961 and 1962. An abandoned fallout shelter is located on a contiguous parcel of property that was part of the Lake Worth Inlet Station for ten years. The parcel was permitted to the United States of America in 1961, and reverted to the Port of Palm Beach District in May 1971. The fallout shelter, built in secrecy by the Navy Seabees, was to serve as a command center for President John F. Kennedy, should there have been a nuclear attack while he was visiting his family's nearby Palm Beach home.

Subjects
War (World War II)
Lifeboat Stations
Search & Rescue Operations


Related Names
U.S. Coast Guard Civil Engineer's Office
Latham, P. Julian
Goethals, Gen. George W.
Waesche, Adm. Russell Randolf
Kennedy, Pres. John F.
Divoll, Leslie, Historian
Walker, C. J., Photographer


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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