Photo courtesy Brian Thompson, Flagler College
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- For 2013 Flagler College will celebrate the January 12, 1888, opening of the Hotel Ponce de Leon, a National Historic Landmark.
The yearlong celebration kicks off January 12 with trumpeters announcing founder Henry Flagler's guests arrival at 9:30 a.m.
Guests will then be able to tour the hotel and interact with staff and other guests dressed in period costumes. Mr. and Mrs. Flagler will also be at the hotel, dining in the grand ball room.
During the free event, guests can also visit the art museum to see a feature on historical items relating to the construction of the hotel and its early years.
Inside the hotel are 79 stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany, murals by George Maynard later duplicated in the Library of Congress and steam power and electricity by Thomas Edison.
January 15 the celebration continues when John Blades presents "Henry Flagler Very Few People Knew," a lecture in part of the Ideas and Images series. An additional lecture will be offered January 22 when Tom Graham discusses "Life and Leisure in Flagler's St. Augustine," a part of the Community Lecture Series on "The Hotel Ponce de Leon Deconstructed."
Flagler College will renovate the hotel's Solarium as a part of honoring the 125th anniversary. The Solarium has been closed to students and visitors for over 20 years.
Starting in the spring, the Solarium will begin hosting Second Sunday Teas. Visitors will be able to view the restored space and drink teas and eat tea sandwiches and other sweets.
Flagler College said since its founding in 1968 it has invested more than $54 million in restoration and preservation of historic properties similar to the Ponce de Leon Hotel.
For more information, visit ponce125.com.
First Coast News