Official Statement and Call to Action regarding The Harriett Himmel Theater


After considerable research and debate, the Downtown Neighborhood Association has issued an official position statement and call to action with regards to the future of The Harriett Himmel Theater:

“The West Palm Beach Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) enthusiastically embraces the vision recently communicated by the owner of the Harriett Himmel Theater (The Harriett), The Related Companies, that the “iconic structure should remain a focal point”, and also share the owner’s commitment “to respect the architectural significance of the building and once again make it a vibrant community destination.”  Downtown is fortunate to have such committed property owners. The DNA eagerly anticipates collaborating with The Related Companies to preserve the building's legacy and restore it as a vibrant destination for generations to come.

After recent announcements by the owner of The Harriett to carry out extensive alterations to the building and the West Palm Beach Historic Preservation Board’s recent nomination of the same to be historically designated, the DNA conducted a community-wide survey to gauge the public sentiment on the subject.  The results show overwhelming support to pursue historic designation for The Harriett to protect the iconic structure for future generations. Therefore, the DNA respectively urges the City Administration to adhere to Chapter 94, Section 94-48 of the Zoning and Land Development Code, requiring that any changes to the building be approved by the Historic Preservation Board while the building is still under consideration for historic designation.  To minimize delays and costs for the owner to redevelop the property, we urge the City to expeditiously complete the required historic designation report for the Preservation Board’s review to determine whether the building fulfills historic designation requirements.  If determined that The Harriett is not eligible for designation, then the DNA urges the City Administration to uphold the current applicable zoning law, Resolution No. 90-23, which already includes a special provision for The Harriett. The  law stipulates that “The main hall of the historic church, now known as the Himmel Theater, shall be rehabilitated according to the Secretary of Interior Standards and include a cultural use.”

CALL TO ACTION!:  The DNA encourages maximum public participation at the next City Commission Meeting this coming Tuesday, 5/28, 5pm, 401 Clematis St, during public comments.  We urge you to voice your views during the meeting to ensure that The Commission and The City Administration understand public sentiment regarding the iconic Harriett Himmel Theater.  As indicated in the official position statement of the DNA, residents should encourage the West Palm Beach City Administration to complete the required historic designation report for the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) to review as soon as possible.  

OTHER NOTES:  Public Comments are at the end of the agenda and are limited to 3 minutes each. If you want to speak, fill out a card when you arrive and submit it to the clerk. Should residents be unable to attend Tuesday night's Commission Meeting, please voice your opinion to the commissioners and the mayor about this topic via email before next Tuesday’s meeting.  You can also do both!   We have included email addresses below.   Remember to email commissioners separately due to Florida Sunshine Laws.  Commissioners may not discuss issues outside of city commission chambers which may be voted on in the future.  A group email can be misconstrued as discussion, so it would be less likely to invoke a response.

Mayor Keith James, (561) 822-1400  | [email protected]

City Commissioner Christina Lambert, 561-822-1390  | [email protected]

City Commissioner Cathleen Ward, 561-822-1393 |

City Commissioner Shalonda Warren, 561-822-1390 | [email protected]

City Commissioner Christy Fox, 561-822-1390 |

City Commissioner Joseph Peduzzi, 561-822-1390 | [email protected]


Kind regards,

Your Downtown Neighborhood Association

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