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“Fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Flagler College

Flagler College
74 King St, P. O. Box 1027, Saint Augustine, FL 32085
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Type: Educational Sites
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Flagler College's historic campus is located just four miles from the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of St. Augustine, Fla., the “nation’s oldest city.”The college is named for Henry Morrison Flagler, a Gilded Age industrialist, railroad pioneer and partner with John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil. In 1888, Flagler built the Hotel Ponce de Leon, his first in a series of luxury resorts along Florida’s east coast. A masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture and the first major poured-in-place concrete building in the United States is now known as Ponce de Leon Hall. This National Historic Landmark serves as the centerpiece for the Flagler College.The grand hotel launched the careers of young architects John Carrere and Thomas Hastings who are noted most for the New York Public Library and the House and Senate Office Buildings adjacent to the Capitol in Washington, D.C.The Edison Electric Company powered the building with steam heat and 4,000 electric lights, making the Ponce one of the nation’s first electrified buildings. Louis Comfort Tiffany is credited with the building’s interior design including the stained glass and mosaics. Murals were completed by George Willoughby Maynard and Virgilio Tojetti.The hotel was gifted to Flagler College when the institution was founded in 1968. Since then, the college has spent more than $43 million dollars restoring the historic campus and adding new buildings.
Saint Augustine, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

I went on a Flagler College Legacy tour today and was very pleasantly surprised by how fascinating and beautiful the history and grounds of Flagler College are. During the tour, you explore various sections of the former Ponce de Leon Hotel, including the gardens, dining hall, grand foyer, and ladies parlor room. The building features authentic Tiffany windows and lamps, murals by George Maynard, hand-laid title mosaics, and a tropical garden which is maintained to match the gardens that guest would have seen during Henry Flagler's days. Flagler spared no expense in building the Ponce de Leon Hotel and the building's ornate and unique beauty remains exquisite. The guided tour runs an hour long, and gives guests a chance to adequately soak in the history and splendor of the place.

In addition to enjoying the grounds, themselves, my tour guide, Joe King, proved to be very knowledgeable, personable, and funny. He conveyed information about the history of Flagler College/ the Ponce de Leon Hotel in a clear and entertaining manner, and was able to swiftly answer most of the questions poised by my group without missing a beat. All in all, a great experience.

Visited June 2011
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Do not miss it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2011

Who would think a college is going to be a good tour?, we almost did not go, and it would have been a BIG mistake, this was our favorite tour in St. Augustine.
Do not miss it!

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Top Contributor
513 reviews 513 reviews
315 attraction reviews
Reviews in 203 cities Reviews in 203 cities
481 helpful votes 481 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Architecture with Fabulous Workmanship!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2011

The grandest structure in St. Augustine, FL is the old Ponce de Leon Hotel which now serves a small liberal arts college -- Flagler College. Tours are limited, but it's worth the effort to check the website ahead of time to plan for one of the tours.

Approaching the college, we met a friendly professor who offered to show us a little of the building and courtyard. We enjoyed a chat with him. Inside the lobby, we purchased tour tickets which are very reasonably priced. Our tour guide was a college student who seemed happy to show us the areas open to public tour.

We viewed the lobby, dining hall, courtyard, and formal parlor. The woodwork, Tiffany glass, art, furnishings, and chandeliers were gorgeous and elegant. The guide and video provided lots of history and detail to the tour of a beautiful, historic building. Afterward, we enjoyed a walk around the campus appreciating the grand architecture combined with sunny blue skies and many palm trees.

The Flagler College tour, the Castillo de San Marcos, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum were our favorite attractions in St. Augustine.

Visited April 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2011

Having a daughter who just graduated here, we're more than a little prejudiced, but even so this is one attraction not to miss.

Visited April 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

We had to go back another day to catch this tour, and we're delighted we did! James was our very capable and entertaining tour guide, who gave us plenty of time to look around. The architectural detalis and decorations are stunning, to say the least. The dining room is nearly as ornate as the lobby, but the Ladies Parlor was exquisite. The priceless Tiffany chandeliers alone are worth the tour cost to see. It was fun to try to imagine what it must have been like to be a guest here in its glory days. Too bad my college days are long past! Ladies - be sure to check out the restroom!

Visited March 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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