While exploring West Palm Beach, we came across the beautiful Flagler Museum, a 55 room Beaux Arts mansion over looking Lake Worth Lagoon. It was built in 1902 for the late Henry Flagler, an Industrialist and oil tycoon responsible for the development of the Florida East Coast Railway. He was known as the father of Palm Beach, Florida, and in the late 1800’s he set out to build Whitehall as a winter escape for he and his wife Mary. He commissioned the architecture firm of Carrère and Hastings, (the same firm credited with designing the famous NY Public library in Bryant Park) to design this 60,000 sf mansion as an ode to the gilded age of America and modeled after the great buildings of Europe.
Upon entering the great hall with its soaring gilded ceilings we were immediately transported to Versailles. Marble floors surrounded by Roman statues like those of Augustus Caesar, and life size paintings of Flagler and his wife surround you. The architecture of this electrically lit, Victorian era design features some impressive spaces including a music room, dining hall, and grand ballroom. However, most impressive was the mansion’s train station, where Flagler’s very own private rail car No. 91 was docked.
The Flagler Museum is open year round and features guided tours and changing exhibitions see flaglermuseum.us for more information.
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Sarah + Monty