Thursday, May 08, 2014

Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida

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When I was in Florida back in 2011 for a Mars rover launch, I made a side trip up to the town of St. Augustine to visit Castillo de San Marcos, a centuries-old Spanish fort I'd tried and failed to visit on two previous occasions. Since I was there anyway, I wandered around the historic (if heavily touristed) downtown for a bit, taking photos of anything that looked old. One of the highlights of the area is Flagler College a small private liberal arts college built around the former Ponce de Leon Hotel. The ornate hotel building is nowhere near as old as the Spanish fort; it was built in 1888 by railroad oligarch Henry Flagler, in a sort of Spanish-Moorish fantasia style. I didn't go inside to look around, but apparently the interior is a bit over the top as well. The building's actually a concrete structure, with electricity designed in from the beginning. Which is a bit more forward-thinking than you'd expect for the year 1888. As you might imagine it's on the National Register of Historic Places, a fake-historic building that's become historic in its own right with the slow passage of time.

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