Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Lightner Museum, St Augustine

Opened by Henry Flagler in December 1888 this was once the luxurious Alcazar Hotel, boasting a casino, grand salons, steam rooms, a bowling alley and the largest indoor swimming pool of its time.   The hotel was the centre of social life in St Augustine until it closed in 1931.
In 1947 Otto Lightner purchased the building to house his collection of antiques on his death in 1950 the building and collection were left to the citizens of St Augustine.
This highly decorated Belleek tea pot is part of a large tea service.

Among a huge collection of cut glass, this fabulous glass lamp caught my eye.

I would’ve dearly loved to try out this 18th century carved and gilded English Regency rocking chair. 

At each end of the gorgeous ballroom a semi-circular seating area leads out onto a terrace, presumably where the gentlemen retired to smoke, it reminded me of something out of ‘The Great Gatsby’. 

The courtyard is a lovely spot and soft classical music encourages you to linger on one of the benches or, 

as we did, enjoy coffee and absolutely gorgeous homemade cake at the Café Sol Brailéirisimo Café of St Augustine, definitely some of the best cake we’ve ever eaten and definitely on our ever expanding ‘to re-visit list’. 

Today this beautiful building is home to the Lightner Museum and City Hall, it has to be one of the most gorgeous City Hall buildings I’ve ever seen. 

Have fun, we are!

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