Tag Archives: Florida

Tampa Bay Hotel

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While Henry Flagler was the railroad tycoon of the east coast of Florida, Henry Plant was the railroad tycoon of Florida’s west coast. Plant was born in Branford, CT and got his experience working on a steamboat that traveled from New Haven to New York. After the Civil War, the railroads of the South were in ruins. Plant saw opportunity in this and bought the Southern railroads at foreclosure sales. He used these as a base for his railroad and steamboat empire. Tampa became the terminus of his Southern Florida railroad and home port for steamships to Havana, Cuba.

Henry Flagler 是佛州東岸的鐵路大亨; Henry Plant 是佛州西岸的鐵路大亨。Plant 出生於美國康州。他在輪船上工作。南北戰爭後,南方的鐵路全都被破壞了。Plant 把握這個機會來用廉價買了南方的鐵路,把這些鐵路作爲自己交通和運輸生意的基礎。Tampa (坦帕) 成爲佛州南方鐵路的總站。也成爲往古巴哈瓦那的輪船港口。

Plant built the massive Tampa Bay Hotel in Tampa to accommodate his winter guests. It took 3 years to build. This hotel was the premier hotel of his 8 hotels on his rail line. Like Flagler, both transportation and accommodation dollars went into his pocket. The Tampa Bay Hotel itself covered 6 acres and ¼ mile long. It cost over $2.5 million to build and the price per room ranged from $5-$15/ night. For that price, amenities included use of an elevator (first in FL and still in use today), electric lights, telephones, and private bathrooms with a full sized tub. The average price for a room in Tampa at that time was $1.25-$2/ night, and average amenities were much less. The hotel was a poured concrete steel reinforced building in the Moorish style. This is starting to sound a lot like the Ponce de Leon Hotel. The grounds of the hotel were 150 acres and included 21 buildings, a golf course, bowling alley, racetrack, casino, and indoor heated pool.

Plant 在 Tampa 用了三年來建豪華的 Tampa Bay 酒店。在他鐵路的八間酒店之中,這是最大最輝煌的。他像Flagler 一樣,火車和酒店生意都有。Tampa Bay 酒店佔地六英畝, ¼ 英里長。在1888年,需要 $2.5 百萬來修建,但房租祇收 $5-15/ 一晚,要多久才能收回成本呢?那時候,這個價格都算是貴的,但是設施都是最先進的, 比如 電梯 (佛州第一部,今天還用), 電燈,電話,和室内衛生間和浴室。當時,Tampa 普通酒店的價錢是 $1.25-$2 一晚,也沒有這麽多設施 。酒店是西班牙色的水泥鋼鐵建築物。酒店的院子有150 英畝,包括21 間樓房,高爾伕球場,保齡球場,賽馬場,賭城,和室内游泳池。

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The hotel was in business from 1891-1930. Many celebs stayed here including Clara Barton, Stephen crane, the Prince of Wales and Queen of the UK. The US used the hotel as a base during the Spanish-American War and Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders also stayed here during this time. Babe Ruth signed his 1st baseball contract here and is rumored to have hit his longest home run at the old Tampa Fairgrounds stadium on the hotel grounds.

The hotel closed in 1930 and the Tampa Bay Junior College moved into the hotel in 1933, using its suites as classrooms. The college expanded and became the University of Tampa, which is what it is today. The southeast wing of the hotel is the Henry B. Plant Museum, which preserves the history of the former Tampa Bay Hotel.

這酒店從1891 年到1930年營業。很多名人來這裡度假,包括英國皇室。美國和西班牙打仗時,這裡曾做過兵營。將軍住在酒店,士兵營地在外面。1930 年,Tampa Bay 酒店關門。1933 年,Tampa Bay Junior College 搬進去。後來 Tampa Bay Junior College 擴展成爲現在的Tampa 大學。酒店現在是大學的 Plant Hall,西南部是舊酒店的博物館。

fountain commemorating Plant's achievements in transportation, oldest public art in the city of Tampa

fountain commemorating Plant's achievements in transportation, oldest public art in the city of Tampa

What I like most about this museum is it has tons and tons of furniture and artifacts from the Tampa Bay Hotel. Plant and his wife purchased the furnishings for the hotel on shopping trips to Europe and had it shipped across the Atlantic to the hotel. There are detailed descriptions that tell you about the antiques and the history of the hotel. The antiques are lavish and ornate works of art that are richly detailed as characteristic of the gilded age. Exhibit rooms include the Grand Hall, writing and reading room, garden room which has lawn furniture and sculptures, women and pastimes, and the Parlor Suite, one of the most expensive suites in the hotel. If you are in Tampa and like history, this is a place definitely worth visiting.

這個博物館有很多Tampa Bay 酒店的家私和古董。全都是Plant 和他妻子到歐洲買的。博物館也講解酒店的歷史和古董。這些古董很漂亮,手工非常好。展覽是包括走廊,書房,花園的家具,昔日愛好,和豪華套房。如果你到 Tampa 遊玩,這個博物館是不能錯過的!

If you go/ 旅行質料:

Address/ 地址:401 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa FL 33606

Tickets/ 門票:$5 donation Jan-Nov

Hours/ 開放時間:Tu-Sat 10-4, Sun 12noon-4pm


The Flagler Hotels Part III: Competition

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Casa Monica Hotel

At the same intersection as the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar Hotels was Flagler’s competition, the Casa Monica Hotel. Flagler sold the land to Bostonian architect Franklin Smith. Smith built a massive 250-room hotel in the Spanish Moorish style with cream white walls and a red tiled roof. The entrance on King St. was modeled after the Puerta del Sol in Toledo, Spain. The hotel had gas lights and heat, as opposed to electric lights and steam heat like the Ponce de Leon.

同Ponce de Leon 和 Alcazar 酒店一樣的街口還有一間度假酒店。這酒店本來是 Flagler 的商敵,叫 Casa Monica 酒店,但後來也被 Flagler 買過來。這酒店的地是 Flagler 賣給波士頓建築師 Franklin Smith。 Smith 建了一間250 房大大的西班牙色酒店。外墻奶油般白,屋頂紅色,和 Flagler 那兩間酒店一樣那麽美麗。Casa Monica 酒店用煤氣燈和暖氣,不像Ponce de Leon 酒店用的比較先進的電燈。

view of Casa Monica (right) and The Alcazar (left)

The hotel was not a success for Smith. He faced some setbacks with a plumbers strike and delayed shipment of furniture. The hotel also opened in 1888, like the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar, but it faced low occupancy. In April 1888, just 3 months after opening, Smith sold it to Flagler for $325,000 who renamed it the Hotel Cordova. Flagler renovated it, converted some floors to apartments, and built a walkway from the Alcazar to this hotel, making it an annex to the Alcazar. Today you can still see the remains of the walkway from the second floor of the Alcazar. The rate for this hotel back then was $3-$4/day.

Smith 這生意好難維持。He faced some setbacks with a plumbers strike and delayed shipment of furniture. 酒店像Ponce de Leon and Alcazar 酒店也是1888 年開張。但是好小人入住。4月1888 年,開張了短短三個月,Smith 就把酒店買了給 Flagler。價錢 $325,000。Flagler 裝修了酒店,在裏面建了公寓,也從 Alcazar 酒店二樓搭一條橋過來。他把酒店名字改爲 Hotel Cordova。至今,遊客還可以在 Alcazar 酒店二樓看到以前搭過橋過來的地方。1888年這酒店的日租是 $3-$4/ 一天。

view of Casa Monica from King St.

view of Casa Monica from King St.

Like the Alcazar, the Hotel Cordova closed in 1932. The county bought the hotel in 1961 for $250,000 and renovated it for another $1.5 million. It became the county courthouse. Then Kessler Properties bought the hotel and completely renovated it again, restoring it to its former glory. The hotel reopened in 1999 under its original name, the Casa Monica. Today it is a AAA 4-diamond hotel and the daily rate ranges from $200-$600. It is a beautiful hotel with shops and restaurants. Of the 3 Flagler hotels, the Casa Monica is the only one that remains a hotel today. The hotel is quite impressive from the outside but I wish I’d thought to go inside to have a look.

Hotel Cordova 1932 年關門。1961 年county 政府用了 $250,000 買了酒店,用了 $1,500,000 裝修, 改爲 county 法院。多年以後 Kessler Properties 把酒店買過來,裝修為昔日 Casa Monica 酒店的美觀和輝煌。酒店於1999 年用原來的名字 Casa Monica  再次開張。 現在是 AAA 四星級的豪華酒店,每天房租 $200-$600,裏面也設有高檔的商店和餐館。Flagler 在 St. Augustine 的酒店王國現在只是 Casa Monica 還是酒店。 我在外面觀光和欣賞它的美觀,可惜沒想到進去看看裏面美麗的擺設。

view from Cordova St.

view from Cordova St.

If you go/ 旅行質料:

Address/ 地址:95 Cordova St., St. Augustine FL 32084

Tickets/ 門票:free/ 免費

Hours/ 開放時間:9am-9pm daily

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

Art Deco Miami

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Ocean Drive, the street that runs along Miami Beach, is famous for its Art Deco hotels. It is always packed and there are lots of people enjoying the day at the cafes and restaurants. It is hot year round and felt like a summer day when I was there in February.

Ocean Drive 是到邁阿米的旅客必見的地方. 這是邁阿米著名的 Art Deco 區。 這條街的酒店都是用 顔色豐富的 Art Deco 建築風格而建。 旅遊業在這裡很繁榮。有很多人在室外咖啡廳欣想這裡的美景。邁阿米整年都熱的。我二月到這裡還是夏天一般的熱。

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Gloria Estefan owns a hotel on this street, which was also the set for the movie The Birdcage.

這是歌星 Gloria Estefan 的酒店。美國影片The Birdcage 也在這裡拍攝。

Daytona Beach


Daytona Beach, FL has been a popular spring break destination since the 1960’s, but it is most well known for its auto racing.The beach is basically lined with hotels jostling for ocean view rooms, however, there are many public access points to the beach. There are tourist shops in this area and I am standing on the 3rd floor of the open air Ocean Shoppes. There is also an amphetheater, ocean view restaurants,cafes, and bars, and a boardwalk further down.
Although most racing today occurs at Daytona International Speedway, people used to hold auto races right on the beach in the sand in the early 1900’s.The speed record in the early 1900’s was 59 mph, whereas today the spped limit on the highways of 65-70 mph exceeds this. People still held auto races on the beach in the 1960’s. There was a restaurant on the beach with front row seats at these races. Today driving on the beach is permitted in some areas, but only at a slow 10 mph speed limit.

佛羅里達州的 地通拿 海灘 (Daytona Beach) 是一個流行的春天度假勝地,但是它最著名的是賽車。現在的海灘有好多酒店,也有商場, 戲臺,和看到大海的餐館和酒吧。我站在露天商場的三樓可以瞭望這著名海灘的風景。

今天的地通拿有自己的賽車場,但昔日的地通拿是在沙灘上賽車的。1900 年代,賽車最快的速度是 59 英里/小時。 僅僅一百年,這最快速度都比現在高速公路的 65-70 英里/小時的限量低。我們世界進步和變得真快。 60 年代 在沙灘賽車還流行。有一家沙灘上的餐館讓顧客們坐貼近賽車一邊就餐 一邊看比賽。這我覺得不舒服,你想吃餐的時候,沙灘的沙從車邊飛到你的食物裏。現在我們還可以在一部分的沙灘上駕車,但是只可以駕駛 10英里/小時慢慢的速度。