Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Flagler Hotels part II

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Alcazar Hotel

While the Ponce de Leon Hotel’s target market was the super rich, Flagler also sought to caputre market share of the merely rich. So he built the Alcazar Hotel, a smaller, “less lavish” hotel across King Street from the Ponce de Leon. This hotel also opened in 1888. Although it cost about half of what the Ponce de Leon cost, the Alcazar was a very impressive hotel nonetheless.

Ponce de Leon酒店的顧客是非福則貴的大富翁,但是Flagler 也想做普通有錢人的生意。於是他在 Ponce de Leon 酒店對面建了 Alcazar 酒店。Alcazar 酒店比 Ponce de Leon 酒店小。材料,裝飾,和家私也沒有 Ponce de Leon 那麽豪華。修建這間酒店用的錢比 Ponce de Leon 酒店便宜一半。但是普通人來講,這酒店也是非常非常美麗和豪華。也讓我們旅客大開眼界。這酒店1888 年開業。

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The Alcazar Hotel was designed by Carrere and Hastings, the same architects who designed the Ponce de Leon and later the US Senate office building. The Alcazar’s highlight was its indoor swimming pool. It was 120ft by 50ft and the bottom sloped from 3ft to 12ft. It was the world’s largest swimming pool at the time. Wonder if they treated the water like we do with chlorine and chemicals. You can still see this pool today, and when I saw it in the basement of the Alcazar, I would not have known it once was a pool if I had not read about it beforehand. It is now a café with a seating area that is lined with antique shops along the walls of the pool.

Alcazar 酒店的建築師也是設計 Ponce de Leon 酒店的 Carrere and Hastings。他們設計了這幾間酒店出了名以後也設計了美國議員辦公大樓。Alcazar 酒店的特別之處是它的室内游泳池。 游泳池 120尺長,50尺寬,深度 3-12尺。當時是世界上最大的室内游泳池。不知道以前會不會用化學物質來清除毒菌。現在這個游泳池還在酒店的地窖。但是已被改爲古董商場和咖啡廳。我到這個古董商場參觀都不知道以前是游泳池啊!

Welcome home to the hotel

Welcome home to the hotel

Back then the hotel also had a steam room, massage parlor, gymnasium, and sulfur baths. The open courtyard was used for businesses. There was a casino, not a gambling casino, but an entertainment center. In 1894 the cost was $3.50/room. Originally intended as an overflow hotel for the Ponce de Leon, The Alcazar soon became the more popular hotel. Flagler’s good friend Thomas Edison who supplied the electric lights and steam heat to both hotels preferred to stay here over the Ponce de Leon.

Alcazar 酒店還有蒸汽房,按摩室,健身室,和硫磺浴。院子用來做生意。顧客喜歡酒店的娛樂場所和比較休閒的氣氛。Flagler本來的計劃是 Ponce de Leon 酒店住滿的時候, 顧客就可以到 Alcazar 酒店住。但Alcazar 酒店快就比 Ponce de Leon 酒店多受歡迎。Flagler 的好朋友 愛迪生就是喜歡在這裏住。他在這兩間酒店安裝電燈和暖氣。那時候,電燈發明了沒有多久。而佛州暖天氣比較多,中央暖氣也是罕見的。1894年,Alcazar 酒店每一晚的酒店費是 $3.50。那時候是很貴的。

lobby of Lightner Museum

lobby of Lightner Museum

detail of column

detail of column

The hotel closed in 1932 and was purchased by Chicago publisher Otto Lightner in 1946 to house his collection of American Victorian antiques. Today the Alcazar Hotel is owned by the city and houses the Lightner Museum and the St. Augustine City Hall. The Lightner Museum is housed in the former spa and Turkish baths and 3 story ballroom of the hotel.

1932年酒店關門了。 芝加哥出版人Otto Lightner 買了這間酒店來收藏他的美國維多利亞時代古董, 建立了 Lightner 博物館。 後來 Lightner 把他的博物館捐了給市政府。 現在 Alcazar 酒店是 Lightner 博物館和 St. Augustine 市政府大樓。Lightner 博物館就是在以前的水療室,土耳其浴室,和三層高的舞廳裏。



koi pond in courtyard

koi pond in courtyard

another view of the koi pond

another view of the koi pond

The grounds and courtyard are really beautiful. There is a lot of landscaping. There is a koi pond under the arched stone bridge in the courtyard. The lobby is set up in the American Victorian style and has antiques from that period. The Alcazar is a very impressive building and definitely worth a visit.

Alcazar 酒店的園子很漂亮。很多花草樹木。有鯉魚池和石橋。有高高的棕櫚樹。美國維多利亞色的大廳有19世紀的古董。Alcazar 酒店會讓你大開眼界,值得一看。

If you go/ 旅行質料:

Address/ 地址:75 King St, St. Augustine FL 32084

Tickets/ 門票:$10, free to wander courtyard, lobby, outside, and antique mall/ 免費參觀院子,大堂,外面, 和古董商場。

Hours/ 開放時間:9am-5pm daily


The Flagler Hotels part I

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Ponce de Leon Hotel

Flagler College is located in St. Augustine, FL. It is a small liberal arts college of about 2000 students. I didn’t visit to see if I wanted to attend this school; I visited to see the history behind the college.

Flagler College 位於美國最古舊的城市,佛州的 St. Augustine. 這個 Liberal Arts 大學有兩百個學生。我去參觀這大學不是看看自己喜不喜歡在這裏讀書,而是參觀這大學的歷史。

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Flagler College was once a posh resort for the rich and famous looking to escape the cold, harsh northern winters. It was known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel and was built by Henry Flagler in 1888. With this luxurious resort hotel, Flagler imagined transforming the ancient city of St. Augustine into the American Rivera. Later he realized that St. Augustine was still a little too cold to be a winter resort, and moved his base further south to Palm Beach. At any rate, his hotels in St. Augustine are beautiful architectural masterpieces very worthy of a visit. The Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College), Alcazar Hotel (now St. Augustine City Hall and the Lightner Museum), and Cordova Hotel (now Casa Monica Hotel) are his only 3 hotels that have survived the Great Depression.

Flagler College 以前是Ponce de Leon酒店,一間豪華度假酒店。是美國北方人的避寒度假酒店。以前交通不方便,而佛州沒有怎樣開發, 所以有錢買長途火車票到佛州和住入這個酒店都是非福則貴的人。Henry Flagler 希望憑這酒店就可以把St. Augustine 改成一個度假勝地。後來 Flagler 才知道 St. Augustine 還是太冷,便把他的總部搬到Palm Beach. 但是他在 St. Augustine 的酒店是值得一看的建築精品。 Flagler 在佛州建了很多酒店,只剩下三間:Ponce de Leon 酒店(現在 Flagler College), Alcazar 酒店 (現在市政府大樓和 Lightner 博物館), 和 Cordova 酒店 (現在Casa Monica 酒店)。

The water tower is 150 ft and holds 8000 gallons of water

The water tower is 150 ft and holds 8000 gallons of water

front entrance and courtyard

front entrance and courtyard

Flagler College (Ponce de Leon Hotel) took 2 years to build at a cost of $2.5 million in 1888 dollars. The hotel was expansive. The grounds were 6 acres and the building was 4.5 acres. It stretched for 350ft on King St. and 450 ft on Cordova St. It was the first major poured concrete building in the US. Considering that resort hotels of the day charged between $2.50-$6 a night for a room, that is a hefty cost to recoup. Additionally, the hotel, like other hotels of the day was only open from January to April/May, which is the tourist season in Florida. It was closed in the summer due to the heat and lack of air conditioning. According to the original design, bathrooms were down the hall. It wasn’t until they opened for business that they started converting rooms to be bathrooms inside the suites.

Flagler College (Ponce de Leon Hotel) 用了兩年時間和 2.5百萬才建成。在1888年,這是很大的數字。這酒店很大,地有6 英畝,酒店佔地4.5 英畝。一邊350英尺,另外一邊450 英尺。是美國第一個大型水泥建築物。當時的酒店房租市價每天 $2.50-$6,什麽時候才賺回成本啊?這酒店只是一月到四五月開門,單機天氣太熱,沒有冷氣就不開門。以前衛生間在走廊裏,開張了以後,才開始把衛生間建在房子裏面。

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front view on King St.

The hotel was built in the Spanish Renaissance Revival style and designed by Carrere and Hastings, who also designed the NY Public Library. The themes of the hotel are Spanish heritage and Greek and Roman mythology.  Louis Comfort Tiffany (Tiffany Lamps) was the interior designer. He designed the stained glass windows, mosaics, and terra cotta reliefs. The stained glass windows in the dining hall are absolutely beautiful. George W. Maynard who painted the ceilings of the Library of Congress and Metropolitan Opera House in New York was commissioned to paint the murals in the rotunda and dining hall. The rotunda in the entrance hall is a sight to see. The murals on it are gilt with 24K gold leaf and shines in a warm golden glow. Flagler’s good friend Thomas Edison powered the building with steam heat and electric lights, making it one of the very first buildings in the USA to have electricity. Many famous guest stayed at this hotel, including presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland, writer Mark Twain and baseball star Babe Ruth.

酒店是西班牙式的。很多著名設計師幫Flagler 設計外表内貌。這些設計師也設計過美國又名建築物,如賣國國立圖書館,等等。飯堂的彩色玻璃窗口實蒂凡尼燈的 Louis Comfort Tiffany 設計的。飯堂的彩色玻璃窗口和酒店大門内的大堂的藝術很精致。大堂的壁畫 用金漆油的。 Flagler 的好朋友 愛迪生 給這酒店steam heat 和電燈。很多名人住過這酒店, 包括幾個美國總統,作家馬克吐溫, 和棒球星 Babe Ruth。

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another view of the rotunda



Henry Flagler was a partner with John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil and a railroad tycoon. He built a railroad down the east coast of Florida, which eventually stretched down the entire coast to Key West. He built hotels along the railroad to encourage people to come visit Florida. Amongst them were the Royal Poinciana Hotel and the Breakers Hotel Complex in Palm Beach and the Royal Palm Hotel in Miami. This way both transportation and tourism dollars would end up in his pocket. The hotels and railroad were instrumental in developing Florida’s cities, and even now, Florida is a vacation hotspot due to its warm weather.

Henry Flagler 是和 約翰 洛克菲勒 合作做標準石油公司,也是鐵路大王。他在佛州東岸建了一條達到佛羅里達群島的鐵路。他在鐵路沿綫建了豪華酒店來增進佛州旅遊業。他在Palm Beach 和邁阿米都建了度假酒店。來這裏旅遊的人,坐的是他的火車,住的是他的酒店。 Flagler 可以稱爲佛州東岸旅遊的獨市商業家。他的酒店和鐵路開發了佛州的城市。現在佛州都是美國聞名的度假勝地。每年好多國内外遊客都來這裏享受美麗的天氣,海灘,和景點。

side view

side view

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back lawn

front entrance and courtyard

front entrance and courtyard

If you go to St. Augustine visiting Flagler College is a definite do. Even if you are not an architecture buff it will really wow you. Just taking a look at the detail outside and admiring the beauty of the building is enough to impress anyone. And for the students attending college there, it does not get any better than going to school in a posh resort hotel!

如果你到 St. Augustine 的話,一定要到 Flagler College 參觀。這豪華壯麗酒店會給你大開眼界。真是值得一看。在這裏讀書的學生可以說是在豪華酒店念書。

If you go/ 旅行質料:

Address/ 地址:74 King St, St. Augustine FL 32084

Tickets/ 門票:$7 for guided tour of inside/ 裏面參觀, free to wander courtyard, lobby, and outside/ 免費參觀園子,大堂,和外面。

Hours/ 開放時間:10am-3pm

Imperial Archives 皇史宬

Imperial Archives 1

皇史宬是明清兩朝的皇家檔案館。 是皇帝用來存放實錄, 聖訓,和歷史紀錄的地方。這裏還存放了玉牒(皇帝家譜),將軍印章, 和《永樂大典》副本,《大清會典》這兩本書。皇史宬始建於嘉靖十三年(1534年)。整個工程兩年才完成。

The imperial archives of the Ming and Qing dynasties is located on a side street very close to the Forbidden City where the emperor and his family lived. It was where important imperial records, edicts and announcements, and histories were kept. The archives was built in 1534 during the Ming emperor Jia-Jing’s reign and took 2 years to complete.

皇史宬的建築物全部都是用石而砌成的。 殿内大廳無梁無柱。就算傳統上該用木的地方如門窗,梁坊,和斗拱都是用仿木石料建的。南北兩牆每邊 6.4 米 (21尺) 厚,東西兩牆每邊 3.45 米 (11.3 尺) 厚。地面築了 1.42 米 (4.7 尺) 高的石台。建築物裏面放了150 餘個外包銅皮雕龍的樟木櫃, 叫金櫃。這些金櫃是用來收藏皇家檔案的。

The archives was carefully constructed for long term storage of important documents. Unlike most buildings of the time that were made of wood, the imperial archives was constructed entirely of stone. Even the doors, windows, columns, and brackets were made of stone. The north and south walls are each 6.4 meters (21 feet) thick and the east and west walls are each 3.45 meters (11.3 feet) thick. The main building is situated on a 1.42 meters (4.7 feet) high platform constructed from stone. Inside there were 150+ wooden chests that were covered with a thick layer of bronze and painted with gold. They were called “gold chests”. Dragons were carved onto it to represent the emperor. The craftsmanship was first rate. Inside these gold chests was where the imperial records, histories, and genealogies were kept. There was also a copy of the Yong Le Encyclopedia and Compendium of Qing Laws, as well as some jade chops of some generals.

Gold Vaults

建築物和裝具有防火,防潮,防蟲,和防霉 的作用,冬暖夏涼,溫度穩定。這樣精心設計的建築物可以保證珍貴的檔案和物品不會受損壞。

Due to the high quality construction materials and techniques, the archives prevented fire, dampness, insects, and mold. The temperature was stable inside and it was warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

我到這裏參觀的時候兩配殿已成爲畫廊.正殿沒有開門, 但可以望進去看見三個 “金櫃”。 看見這宏偉的建築和漂亮的金櫃,可以感覺到皇家的威嚴。

When I went to the imperial archives the main building was closed but you could peer inside and see 3 of the gold chests. The other two buildings in the complex are now art galleries. Just standing in the courtyard and taking in the sights, it is easy to imagine the grandeur of the days of the emperors.

Imperial Archives 6
Art Gallery minor building

Imperial Archives 12

旅遊資料/ If you go:
門票/ Admission: 免費/ free
地址/ Address: 北京市东城区南池子大街 136 號 (近菖蒲河公園 和 紫禁城)