When you hear about the Sunshine State, know there is a never-ending list of things you can do on your visit there. Especially for art and history enthusiasts, there exists an ancient city in Florida with the name of St. Augustine. Originated more than 450 years ago, St. Augustine is home to some very significant historic landmarks.
You will find historic sites, assorted museums, and romantic inns. There is too much to do in St. Augustine in one day, but if you find yourself there, don’t miss visiting the Lightner Museum. The Lightner Museum sits in the historic Alcazar Hotel on King Street in the Downtown area of St. Augustine. This site is listed in the United State’s Register of Historic Places. This hotel was built in 1888 by Henry Flagler, back in the days when the Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture was thriving.
Citizens back then used to call it “The Castle of Happy Returns.” The structure of this hotel features a spacious courtyard, with palm trees, and a fish pond which is built underneath a stone arch bridge. During its peak epoch, this hotel used to boast of more than 25,000 visitors per year. Guests at that time used to take pleasure in Turkish baths and archery ranges. They also used to dive in the world’s largest indoor swimming pool.
Celebs, businessmen, and politicians used to show up to have prolonged stays in the Alcazar.
Sadly, the Alcazar Hotel fell victim to the Great Depression. It closed its doors on visitors in the year 1932. The hotel could have faced demolition if it weren’t for Otto C. Lightner, who bought it in 1946. After the purchase, the hotel was renovated and named after its new owner.
It was soon filled with prized collections, and Lightner decided to open its gates once again in 1948, with the new title of “St. Augustine’s Lightner Museum of Hobbies.” Because of this gesture, some famous historians have called him one of the first historical preservationists.
In 1968, St. Augustine began to make renovations and decided to open a new city hall on the first floor of the Alcazar Hotel. This plan was completed in 1973 and in the following year, Lightner Museum reopened. Ever since its launch, the Lightner has been both a local favorite and a renowned tourist destination in the state of Florida.
The museum highlights historic items from America’s Gilded Age. If you happen to be fortunate enough to visit this place, you will observe a Victorian village on the first floor. Inside it, a Victorian Science and Industry room and a fully equipped music room is also present.
On the second floor, there is everything inspired of glass; even a Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window. As for the third floor, there are collections of paintings, antique furniture, and sculptures. The present mission of this museum is to sustain its prominent collection for educational and public viewing pleasure.
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