aka Ponce de Leon Hotel
The Ponce de Leon Hotel was built by Henry Flagler in 1888 as a winter escape for wealthy Northerners. He and the movers and shakers of the era came here for the three month "Season" from January to April. A season's lodging cost around $4000, which would be $100,000 in today's dollars.
This beautiful four story building boasted many modern amenities for the era; it's own pressure water system, electric lighting, and poured concrete construction. It's Spanish Renaissance Revival facade contains precious works of art including murals by George W. Maynard, windows by Louis C. Tiffany, and ceiling murals by Italian artist Virgilio Tojetti.
This grand dining room has seen a fascinating sweep of history and on March 31, 1964, the first sit-in of the civil rights movement occured right here. In fact, St. Augustine has a rich history from the civil rights era with many buildings in the Lincolnville neighborhood boasting "Martin Luther King was here" or "an important site in the civil rights movement" on their historical plaques.
This is the ladies' drawing room, furnished much as it would have looked at the turn of the century. The faculty and students at Flagler created some period dresses which are also on display here.
The history of St. Augustine and the legacy of Henry Flagler have been an interesting diversion from working on our boat and we hope you've enjoyed it too.