Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Boca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton is located at 26°22'7" North, 80°6'0" West (26.368699, -80.100077). Boca Raton is the southernmost town in Palm Beach County. It is on the East coast between Delray Beach to the north and Deerfield Beach, in Broward County, to the south.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 74,764 people, 31,848 households, and 20,000 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,061.7/km² (2,749.8/mi²). There are 37,547 housing units at an average density of 533.2/km² (1,381.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 90.75% White, 3.76% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.99% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.39% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. 8.51% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 31,848 households out of which 24.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% are married couples living together, 7.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% are non-families. 29.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.26 and the average family size is 2.81.
In the city the population is spread out with 18.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 43 years. For every 100 females there are 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $60,248, and the median income for a family is $77,861. Males have a median income of $52,287 versus $33,347 for females. The per capita income for the city is $45,628. 6.7% of the population and 4.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.0% of those under the age of 18 and 4.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
According to MessageLabs, (an email security vendor), Boca Raton is the "spam capital of the world", being the source of a surprisingly high fraction of all spam generated worldwide. According to the Miami Herald, the town has a long history of involvement in confidence tricks, and Richard Breeden (former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman) once called the town "the only coastal town in Florida where there are more sharks on land than in the water." In the keynote address to a computer security conference on 8 June, 2004, Bruce Sterling described the town as the "Capone-Chicago of cyber fraud." According to a number of US Federal indictments, as at June, 2004 the Gambino family continues to operate in Boca Raton.
On 22 July 2004, Boca Raton resident Scott Levine was charged with the largest computer crime indictment in United States history. Federal prosecutors allege that Levine unlawfully accessed databases of consumer data aggregator Acxiom to steal detailed personal information about millions of persons. Several on-line sources claim that Levine is an associate of Eddy Marin , a pornographer and convicted cocaine dealer who runs one of the largest Boca Raton spam outfits. The indictment against Levine also includes money laundering charges. 
Boca Raton was also the site of the first anthrax attack in the United States when two employees at the American Media Corporation building in Boca Raton became ill. Bob Stevens, photo editor of the Sun newspaper, died of inhalation anthrax while Ernesto Blanco, a 73-year old mail room employee, recovered. The American Media Corporation relocated and their building was abandoned and behind a chain-link fence for 3 years until in summer 2004 it became the last building in the United States to be decontaminated of anthrax spores using chlorine dioxide gas. See Timeline of the 2001 anthrax attacks in Florida.
The name "Boca Raton" predates the city, and was given to the cove where the city stands by Spanish settlers. "Boca Raton" literally translates from Spanish as "mouth of the mouse", but was an idiom meaning "pirate's cove".
The town's early history was as the site of Addison Mizner's Boca Raton Hotel, its most prominent building. The "pink hotel" today is visible from miles away as a towering building on the Intracoastal Waterway. The Pearl City neighborhood of Boca Raton was established to originally house the service personnel for the hotel. Japanese farmers converted the land west of the city into pineapple plantations about 1905. During World War II much of their land was confiscated and used as the site of a major training facility for B-29 bomber crews. The airbase was later donated to become the grounds of Florida Atlantic University, many of whose parking lots are former runways of the airbase.
In 1934, Pine Crest School, one of the top 10 schools in the nation, was founded in Ft. Lauderdale. At a later date, a campus was brought to Boca Raton. It was originally named Boca Academy. Many things, including the bell tower and gym, are still left from the good 'ol days.
In the 1970s Boca Raton became home to a special subdivision of IBM which was responsible in 1981 for designing the first IBM PC. IBM relocated their manufacturing facilities for the PC to North Carolina and eventually closed down and sold their Blue Lake facility to other tenants.
Boca Raton became famous for passing a town ordinance banning the further develoment of multi-family housing within the city limits and for special zoning that limits the size and types of commercial buildings and advertisement signs which may be erected within the city limits. There are no traditional car dealerships in Boca Raton because of these limits on roadside use, but a luxury car dealer did showcase a few cars inside a roadside building having glass walls. Corporations such as McDonalds had to redesign their classic "golden arches" restaurant to conform to Boca Raton's sign zoning restrictions. The effects can be seen in the city in which a number of buildings were constructed with classic Addison Mizner architecture and in the subdued roadside advertising.
In the 1990s a new downtown shopping center, Mizner Park, was built which has become a cultural center for the city. Featuring a landscaped central park between two cobblestone paved roads with stores only on the outside of the roads, Mizner Park resembles a turn-of-the-century town more than a shopping center. It features many fine restaurants and is home to the Boca Raton Museum of Art . In 2002 an amphitheater was built, providing a large-capacity outdoor venue. Movies are shown for free every Saturday at the Amphitheater.
- Boca Raton official website
- Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
- Boca Raton Museum of Art
- MessageLabs website
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