Kenneth C. Griffin Supports Phipps Ocean Park Restoration

The founder and CEO of Citadel and founder of Griffin Catalyst gifted a landmark $7 million gift for Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach's project

Kenneth C. Griffin
Kenneth C. Griffin

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach announced a landmark $7 million gift from Kenneth C. Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel and founder of Griffin Catalyst, to support the restoration of Phipps Ocean Park. The gift will increase the park’s accessibility and appeal as a public space and recreational facility with the restoration of natural ecosystems and the addition of new features, including the Kenneth C. Griffin Coastal Conservancy, which will serve as a cornerstone for environmental and cultural education in the region.

The $30 million restoration of the 20-acre Phipps Ocean Park is the Preservation Foundation’s most ambitious project to date. Phipps Ocean Park reflects the foundation’s commitment to changing Palm Beach’s landscape by increasing the prevalence of native plants on the island in an effort to reduce the use of pesticides and water, while supporting wildlife and creating more resilient coastlines.

Propelled by a desire to secure access to the beach in perpetuity, the Phipps Family donated 1,200 feet of ocean frontage for use as a public park in 1948. The park’s redesign by landscape architect Raymond Jungles honors the original vision, with a bold new master plan that articulates a vision in which sustainable plantings, unobstructed ocean views, and educational resources create an eco-park alive with promise and imagination.

Instilling an early love of nature and inspiring the next generation of stewards are key components of the project. The relocated and restored Little Red Schoolhouse takes center stage in the plan and is enhanced by architecture designed by Fairfax & Sammons that captures the heritage spirit of the place. Relocation of the 1886 schoolhouse will protect the landmark and ensure that the schoolchildren of Palm Beach County have continuous access to the Preservation Foundation’s living history program, which takes fourth graders back in time to receive an 1890s education for a day in a one-room wooden schoolhouse.

Standing adjacent to the schoolhouse, the forthcoming Coastal Restoration Center will function as a nursery and propagation facility for native plants that will support healthy beach dune ecosystems within the park and throughout the town, while providing hands-on learning experiences for children and adults alike. A bespoke playground by Danish designer Monstrum will complement the park’s native flora and teach about local wildlife through enormous play structures.

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach has collaborated closely with the Town of Palm Beach, which owns the park, to develop its plans for Phipps Ocean Park since the summer of 2020. The project is on track for a targeted start date of June 2024 and is expected to be completed in 15 months. Using the funds raised from the Preservation Foundation, this long-underutilized space will be restored into an extraordinary public landscape that fully realizes the Phipps family’s vision for their 1948 gift: a beautiful public beach and oceanfront park that celebrates the unique scenic quality of Palm Beach.

For more information about the project and the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, visit

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