With sparkling crystal chandeliers, intricate mosaic tile flooring, majestic arched windows, and carved wooden staircases, Lightner Museum is a show-stopper! The museum opened in 1948, displaying the collections of Otto C. Lightner, which include 19th-century artwork, glassware, sculpture, furniture, stained glass, and antique chandeliers throughout the three floors of exhibits. Originally built as the Hotel Alcazar in 1888 by Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler, this beautiful structure was created in the Spanish Renaissance Revival Style. In addition to the Lightner Museum, it also houses St. Augustine City Hall, several antique shops, and Cafe Alcazar, a restaurant that sits in the location of what was once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool.
Beluthahatchee Park is a four-acre park located within the 70-acre tract of land purchased by Stetson Kennedy in 1948 after the 18-acre Beluthahatchee Lake was created by impounding Mill Creek in 1945. This lake meanders through a natural basin and is surrounded by high bluffs, currently owned by the Lake Dwellers Association, a non-profit Florida corporation formed by the lakefront residents. In 1949, the 70-acre tract was subdivided and platted by the owner/developer Stetson Kennedy who recorded the restrictive covenants setting aside land in perpetuity as a wildlife refuge, and stipulating that residential construction be consistent with the developer’s goal of “serving as a working demonstration that human and natural habitat need not be mutually exclusive, but can coexist in harmony.”