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“Beautiful and breathtaking architecture!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Flagler College

Flagler College
74 King St, P. O. Box 1027, Saint Augustine, FL 32084
+1 904-829-6481
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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.
Wellington, Florida
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful and breathtaking architecture!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

This is a beautiful place to walk through and see! My husband and I almost didn't go to it because we didn't want to pay for the tour but we decided to take a stroll by it and realized we could still walk the grounds and visit the lobby with paying to enter or take the tour. I'm sure you'd get more out of a tour guide, but it's nice to know you can at least see it for free. Almost EVERYTHING in St. A costs money so unfortunately you need to pick and choose what do to. This wasn't on the top of our list but was still fascinating to see and take in close up!

Visited January 2011
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Boston area
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“We didn't plan on taking this tour - but glad we did!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

It was a cold day in St Augustine and we were looking for things to do where we wouldn't freeze outside. We walked past the former Ponce de Leon Hotel, now Flsgleer College, and saw the tour sign. Our tour guide, a junior at Flagler, (Angela or Allison?) was super! She was enthusiastic and articulate and kept the tour interesting the whole time. Our three kids, age 5, 11 and 14 didn't even complain! The architecture was beautiful and the history interesting. The Tiffany stained glass in the dining hall (surely the most beautiful college dining hall in America) was amazing. The rotunda inside the entry way was also vey beautiful. Don't miss this if you're in St Augustine!

Visited January 2011
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St. Pete Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Interesting & Informative Short Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

Flagler college is beautiful, and the short (1 hr) tour for $7 was well worth it. It iwas given by Kelsey, a history major 2 weeks shy of graduation, and she was fantastic--knowledgeable, smart, funny, and very engaging. You don't get to see all that much of the interior, but what you do see is really fabulous. We've been to St. Augustine twice in the last 3 years and almost skipped this tour - glad we didn't!

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Montevallo, Alabama
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
109 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
“Highlight of our time in st. augustine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2010

Flagler college was originally built by Henry Flagler as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Flagler made his money in wheat and oil, and no expense was spared on making the hotel a true masterpiece. We had a young lady who was a junior at Flagler as our tour guide. She was knowledgeable about the history of Flagler College, and you can tell she loves the institution. tour begins in the courtyard, proceeds to the rotunda which was the hotel lobby, the old banquet hall area which is the caffeteria today and ends in the old ladies parlor. A clock hangs over the mantle of the fireplace which thomas edison made. He also wired the hotel for electricity. The old banquet hall area has tiffany windows everywhere. It is simply gorgeous. Highly recommend the tour which costs around $8 per person

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Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful -- would have liked to see more”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2010

Our tour of Flagler College (the former Alcazar Hotel) was conducted by a smart, articulate college senior whose affection for her soon-to-be alma mater showed. After viewing a 15-20 minute video about the life of Henry Flagler (which, of course, glossed over any Gilded Age excesses he might have been guilty of), we got the inside scoop on the courtyard's Moorish Revival architecture and fountain, the sumptuous lobby, and dining hall with its Tiffany windows and original dining chairs that the students actually sit in, and the beautiful, restful ladies' retiring room, which was provided to protect women's delicate sensibilities from the cash transactions being conducted in the reception area. Oh, and did I mention the Alcazar Hotel was one of the first U.S. buildings to be wired for electricity, and by none other than Thomas Edison himself? The hotel actually hired people to demonstrate flipping light switches on and off for new guests.

I only wish we could have seen more of the old hotel. I gather restoration projects are ongoing, so maybe one day, the tour can be expanded.

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