Do know how Palm Beach’s Sloan's Curve got its name?

Do know how Palm Beach’s Sloan's Curve got its name?

  • Eliot Kleinberg
  • 02/21/23

Do know how Palm Beach’s Sloan's Curve got its name?


Eliot Kleinberg

Source: The Palm Beach Post



Readers: Last fall we got an inquiry from former Palm Beach Post colleague Niels Heimeriks. He wanted to know how Palm Beach’s Sloan's Curve got its name.

It was none other than "Mr. General Motors," Alfred P. Sloan, who was head of the auto giant from 1923 to 1956, and would be named one of Life magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

In 1941, Sloan paid $152,500 — more than $2.6 million in today's dollars — for a Caribbean-style home just north of the curve, at 1960 S. Ocean Blvd. Built in 1935, it had been designed by famed architect Maurice Fatio.

Former Post editor and columnist Bill McGoun, in a 1988 column, recalled being a 10-year-old during the 1947 hurricane, the first test of the dike built after the catastrophic 1928 storm.

McGoun wrote the 1947 storm washed out huge stretches of the Palm Beach coast road, now State Road A1A. The state decided not to rebuild it and instead filled in part of the Intracoastal Waterway on the west side of Palm Beach, thus creating what's now Sloan's Curve. Sloan's estate was just north of where the road curved.

In November 1959, the Palm Beach County Commission asked about straightening out Sloan's Curve. The job itself was only about $10,000. But, a Palm Beach Post article said, "astonishment was voiced" when the commissioners learned that obtaining the right-of-way would cost as much as $179,000 (about $1.5 million in today's dollars). Commissioners "pulled themselves together," the article said, and voted to go on record that it wasn't worth the expense.

Sloan died at 90 in February 1966. He was said to be worth $400 million and his Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which helped education and science research, was worth $300 million. In today's dollars that would be about 3.2 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.

Sloan's home would be demolished in 1988 and replaced by a nine-bedroom, 17-bath, seven-fireplace manse that encompassed a staggering 35,000 square feet and sat on a 2.3-acre lot that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal.

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