County cites port for Peanut Island code violations

The historic island is home to a bomb shelter built in 1961 for President John F. Kennedy

Feb.February 28, 2016 03:15 PM

JFK bunker on Peanut Island. (Credit: Peter W. Cross for

UPDATED: March 3, 2016 2:40 p.m.: Palm Beach County cited the Port of Palm Beach for building code violations at historic Peanut Island, where a bomb shelter was built for President John F. Kennedy.

The port has leased the six-acre island since 1992 to the Palm Beach Maritime Museum.

The island, located just east of Riviera Beach, has three main buildings: the bomb shelter built in 1961 for President Kennedy, a former Coast Guard station built in 1936 and the boathouse for the station.

The Palm Beach Maritime Museum opens the Peanut Island facilities for public tours Thursday through Sunday.

The county cited the port for fire code violations and failure to obtain multiple permits including  a change-of-use permit.

Port attorney Gregory Picken told the Palm Beach Post that “the Port will need to deal with the violations through enforcement of the lease provisions with the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, Inc.”

Anthony Miller, owner of a company that manages the museum, told the Post that “we take safety very seriously, and we have a perfect record of 20 years without one injury on that property.”

Picken said the Palm Beach Maritime Foundation had filed for bankruptcy so “the port may be limited in what can be done at this point.”

About a year ago, engineering firm CHSM Hill reported to the Port of Palm Beach Commission that an inspection of Peanut Island facilities revealed problems including loose railings, termite damage and mold damage. [Palm Beach Post ] — Mike Seemuth

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Maritime Business was in bankruptcy. It is the Palm Beach Maritime Foundation that filed for bankruptcy.


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