Alcazar Hotel

Flagler College Archives
Picture of the Lighter Museum 1
St. Augustine in the Gilded Age
St. Augustine in the Roaring Twenties
Picture of the Lightner Museum 2

Dublin Core

Title

Alcazar Hotel

Alternative Title

Lightner Museum of Hobbies
Lightner Museum

Date Created

1887-1888

Date Modified

c.1891
1920s
1947-1948
1974
1998

Type

The original purpose of this building was as a grand hotel.
Part of this building was converted into a museum.
The front part of this building houses City Hall, city official offices including the city archives, staff offices for Flagler College, restaurants, and shops.

Description

Opened on December 25, 1888, the Alcazar is the sister hotel to Henry Flagler's Hotel Ponce de Leon. It was designed by the same architects, and originally it was constructed with three floors, but after the 1891 season a fourth floor was added to the rear portion of the building. It was slightly less luxurious and expensive than the Hotel Ponce de Leon and featured an indoor swimming pool (120ft long by 50ft wide), Turkish and Russian sulfur baths, massage tables, a gymnasium, tennis courts, a casino, and a grand ballroom. The swimming pool remained open well into the 20th century and was the local public pool.

The Alcazar closed in 1932. The building was bought by the founder of the magazine, Hobbies: The Magazine for Collectors, Otto C. Lightner for $125,000 in 1947. He converted the former hotel into a museum to display his collection and it opened on January 1, 1948 as the Lightner Museum of Hobbies.

When the City moved into the front part of the building, the museum moved into the baths/casino/grand ballroom portion at the back. City Hall first served St. Augustine from this location on April 27, 1973, and the Museum reopen on August 12, 1974 as the Lightner Museum. In 1998 the Grand Ballroom was fully restored to its 1888 spendor. In the 21st century, Flagler College began moving some staff offices into the front part of the building.

Has Part

The Alcazar Hotel was part of Henry Flagler's Enterprises, specifically, the Florida East Coast Railroad System.
City Hall and city official offices are located in the front portion of this building. Staff offices for Flagler College are also located in the front portion of this building.

Mediator

Parts of the former Alcazar Hotel are open to the public. For visitor information please refer to Plan Your Visit - Lightner Museum.

To locate the appropriate City office for your needs, please refer to St. Augustine, FL | Official Website (citystaug.com).

Rights Holder

Source

The following books, articles, websites, and photographers were used to find the above photographs or illustrations:

Photograph 1 (c.1890): Courtesy of the Flagler College Archives. https://library.flagler.edu/college-archives/.

Photograph 2 (2023): Augusty, Jean-Marc. "Picture of the Lightner Museum 1." March 5, 2023.

Photograph 3 (c.1905): Bowen, Beth Rogero, and the St. Augustine Historical Society. St. Augustine in the Gilded Age. Charleston, SC: Acadia Publishing, 2008.

Photograph 4 (c.1920s): Bowen, Beth Rogero, and the St. Augustine Historical Society. St. Augustine in the Roaring Twenties. Charleston, SC: Acadia Publishing, 2012.

Photograph 5 (2023): Augusty, Jean-Marc. "Picture of the Lightner Museum 2." March 5, 2023.

The following books, articles, and/or websites were used to find information about this location:

Adman, Ray, et al. Lightner Museum: Saint Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine, FL: Lightner Museum, 2014.

"Alcazar Information Sign." Located in front of the Lightner Museum. 75 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084.

Bowen, Beth Rogero, and the St. Augustine Historical Society. St. Augustine in the Roaring Twenties. Charleston, SC: Acadia Publishing, 2012.

Lightner Museum. "The Hotel Alcazar." 2023. https://lightnermuseum.org/history-alcazar/.

Rajtar, Steve, and Kelly Goodman. A Guide to Historic St. Augustine, Florida. 1st edition. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2007.

Rights

Flagler College Special Collections is neither the original nor current copyright owner for the photographs. Please contact the publisher or source cited for each photograph to obtain a copy and/or permission to reproduce these items.

Date Submitted

March 29, 2023

Citation

Carrere & Hastings, “Alcazar Hotel,” St. Augustine Fiction, accessed June 13, 2024, https://staugustinefiction.omeka.net/items/show/343.

Geolocation