Bazaar Trylon Tower
In 1960, developer Joseph Mass built a large, two-story open-air shopping center on US 1 in Riviera Beach: Bazaar International. Boasting fifty stores and restaurants, the center was to feature merchandise and cuisines from around the world.
As an attention grabber for the center, as well as a tourist attraction in its own right, an observation tower, The Bazaar Trylon Tower, was constructed. Designed by architect Alfred Browning Parker, the tower was 230 feet high, making it then Florida's tallest observation tower (a record shortly to be eclipsed by the opening of the 240 ft. Placid Tower the next year -- until an antenna mast was added to the Trylon's top) and led to it being advertised as "Florida's Tallest Tourist Attraction". The observation deck was reached by an innovative glass elevator and featured three high-powered telescopes. The Trylon Tower took its name from its three gigantic triangular supporting pillars, which were connected and stabilized by eighteen massive patterned panels attached between. A reflecting pool at the base of the tower completed the scene and led to the entrance of the shopping center.
Although initially popular, Bazaar International began to lose business as shoppers fled the older shopping centers in favor of the area's new, enclosed shopping malls, and as the surrounding area began to decline. Government offices and a veterans’ outpatient clinic began to replace the Bazaar's international shops. The entire area became more industrial and less retail oriented and the tower fell into disrepair, the elevator stopped working and the tower was closed. By the 1980's, cracks were appearing in the tower's exterior panels and it started to look like it might just collapse someday into its own reflecting pool.
In 1992 the Port of Palm Beach bought the complex and stabilized the tower's structure but did not reopen the observation deck. Finally, in 1998, the tower was demolished when an overpass was constructed there on US 1. The old Bazaar International shopping area lasted longer, doing duty as an office building, but it too was finally torn down. Today, speeding quickly through the port, a visitor would never guess that this now heavily industrial area once held anything to attract the tourist, or shopper, at all.
Note: the attractions profiled on this site are no longer in business.
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Postcard images from the author's collection.
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