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Lightner Museum, St Augustine

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Louis Yamonico

The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiques, mostly from the American Gilded Age which was from 1870 to 1900. They have 3 floors to this museum packed with some beautifully crafted antiques. They just do not make many things with the details and beauty that we see in the past anymore. Like most museums many of the exhibits are temporary and change in time so going to the website at lightnermuseum.org is very helpful to let you know some of the things you will see. The normal everyday pieces though are really worth the price of admission at 17$ for Adults.

The building itself is something to behold. Originally the Hotel Alcazar, it was commissioned by Henry Flagler, to appeal to wealthy tourists who traveled south for the winter on his railroad, It was designed by architects Carrère and Hastings, in the Spanish Renaissance Revival style. While a hotel, it had a steam room, massage parlor, sulfur baths, gymnasium, a three-story ballroom, and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. It closed for this purpose in 1932 and was sold to Otto C. Lightner, who purchased the building in 1947 to convert the old hotel into a hobbies museum. It was then turned over to the city of St. Augustine in 1948 to be shown to the public.

The courtyard is a absolutely beautifully maintained and landscaped. and there are many antique stores within to shop that look like they contain some amazing items. Unfortunately we did not have time to do that. Across the street is a great little place to get breakfast or lunch at the Sweetwater Coffee Bar & Gallery so you do not have to worry about stopping on the road. Overall the Lightner Museum is a must see in St. Augustine.


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