Completed in 1888, the exclusive luxury hotel in St. Augustine, Florida was built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler. Designed in the Spanish Renaissance style it was constructed entirely of poured concrete. From the very beginning, the hotel also was wired for electricity with power being supplied by D.C. generators supplied by Flagler's friend, Thomas Edison and was one of the first buildings in the nation to have electricity.
During World War II the Hotel was used as a Coast Guard Training Center and in 1963 the Hotel was one of several St. Augustine sites involved in the civil rights movement. In the late 1960's the hotel and grounds became the focal point of the newly-established Flagler College.
From Shorpy: "St. Augustine, Florida, circa 1890s. 'The Ponce de Leon, rear view.' Henry Flagler's grand hotel, with the street traffic none too artfully stippled out. 8x10 inch glass negative by William Henry Jackson."
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