Near the end of the nineteenth century Standard Oil millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler ventured to St. Augustine, Florida, Americas Oldest City, and transformed it into an exotic travel destination for the social elite. He raised magnificent, fanciful Spanish Renaissance hotel palaces on what had been orange grove and salt marsh. Then he connected his creation with the outside world by building a modern railroad system. Flaglers hotels stand as monuments to innovation in architecture and engineering. They were the first large buildings in the United States constructed of poured concrete, and they pioneered use of novel amenities like electric lights, steam heat, and elevators. They are still a vital part of modern St. Augustine. The Ponce de Leon, Flaglers preeminent hotel, now houses Flagler College; the Alcazar now holds the City Hall and the Lightner Museum. Only the Casa Monica (previously called the Cordova) is presently a hotel.
america’s oldest city|architecture|Casa Monica|colonial times|colonial times in florida|concrete buildings|Cordova|elite tourism|elite travel|engineering|famous hotels|first concrete buildings|first settlement in america|flagler|Flagler College|Florida|florida architecture|Florida historic hotels|Florida History|Florida hotels|Florida railroads|Florida State University|Florida tourism|Florida travel|FSU|Henry Morrison Flagler|historic hotels|historic resorts|historical hotels|history of tourism|history of tourism in florida|hotel architecture|hotel palaces|hotels|innovative hotels|Lightner Museum|miami|modern architecture|oldest city|oldest settlement|railroads|resort towns|revival Architecture|Saint Augustine|Saint Augustine architecture|Saint Augustine city Hall|Saint Augustine history|Saint Augustine hotel|Saint Augustine hotels|social elite|Spanish|Spanish architecture|Spanish colonial times|Spanish Renaissance|Spanish revival|Spanish settlement|St. Augustine|St. Augustine architecture|St. Augustine city hall|St. Augustine history|St. Augustine hotel|St. Augustine hotels|the Alcazar|the Casa Monica|the Cordova|The Ponce de Leon|The Ponce de Leon hotel|Thomas Graham|Tourism|tourism history|upper class travel