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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rotunda

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another view of the rotunda

lobby

lobby

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

4 responses to “The Flagler Hotels part I

  1. Great posting. I had once lived in Florida for 7 years, and I have been to St. Augustine quite a few times. I am glad you picked this locale to capture your images, and I can tell you that Flager is quite the name in Miami….Flager was Miami…

    As the oldest city in America…it was the only place that I found the history I craved for.

    • passporttotheworld

      I have to agree with you. I’ve been to St. Augustine more than once and it is a beautiful city. My next couple of posts will also be about FL.

  2. i love the inside shots!

  3. u wrote a very good blog with amazing images.
    i wanna really visit there!

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