St Augustine FL
The Ponce de Leon was Henry Flagler’s first hotel venture after founding Standard Oil Company with John D Rockefeller. It was the first large hotel built of poured concrete and opened January 10, 1888. It was four stories high situated on five acres. The dining room could hold 700 people. It is now part of … Continue reading
Flagler’s second hotel–Alcazar– opened Christmas Day 1888. It closed in 1930 and was virtually abandoned for 10 years. It serves today as City Hall and the Lichtner Museum. It has changed little since the 1905 photo.
Adjacent to the Ponce de Leon Hotel, the Casa Monica also opened in 1888 and was purchased the next year by Flagler, who renamed it the Cordova Hotel. Later the hotel was extensively renovated and reopened in 1997, being renamed Casa Monica in 1999. Enjoying a AAA 4 Diamond rating, it is the only … Continue reading
Here is an aerial view taken from a balcony of the Ponce De Leon Hotel in 1897. To be able to see incredible detail in this shot, click on the picture to open up the 10MB file.
For a long time, the City Gates were the only entrance to St Augustine. Erected in 1808 the pillars and walls are made of coquina–sea shells and mortar. It is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in North America. St Augustine will celebrate its 450th birthday in 2015 and is seen here in an 1865 photo.
Florida tourism goes back a long ways. Here is the Governor in 1901 doing his part for St Augustine.
St. George St. has been St. Augustine’s main thoroughfare for over 300 years. It runs south from the City Gates and takes you to the heart of the historical district. The photo dates from 1910.
The Central Plaza was laid out in 1598. To the left in the vintage photo below is the Monument of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 erected in 1814. To the right is St Augustine Cathedral-Basilica built in 1793-1797. Note the ladies viewing alligators on display in the pool. Central Plaza is the oldest public park … Continue reading
It figures that the country’s oldest city would have the oldest house. It was constructed of coquina in the early 1700s and is seen here in a 1904 photo.