By David M. Shribman
WDRB Contributor from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PALM BEACH, Florida -- With its iconic paintings created by 75 Italian artisans three-quarters of a century ago, four oceanfront pools, nine restaurants, 10 tennis courts, 11 boutiques, 25 luxury beach bungalows, 36 holes of golf, a half-mile of private beach and 2,000 employees, the Breakers, here on an ocean bluff on Florida's coast, stands as a robust symbol of many things:
The vision and creativity of a classic American entrepreneur. The affluence and excess of an international leisure class. The aspirations of a striving American middle class. And the growth of a remarkable American peninsula once regarded as a hopeless backwater overrun by mosquitoes and mobsters, cracker cowboys and crackpot real-estate swindlers.