- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Visit the Lightner Museum
The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, which was built in 1888. Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to construct this architectural masterpiece. The Alcazar closed during the Depression, and in 1947 the building was purchased by Otto Lightner as the perfect place to house his Victorian-era collection of antiques. He opened it as a museum two years later and turned the building over to the City of St. Augustine. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and today is home to both the Lightner Museum and City government offices.
Otto Lightner was fascinated by what other people collected -- a hobby that became his trademark and his passion, which is clearly reflected in the diverse and eccentric collection of 19th-century artifacts on display at the museum. There are three floors to the museum, all of which are filled with interesting and beautiful artifacts from over a century ago. Costumes, furnishings, mechanical musical instruments and other items transport you to the heyday of the Alcazar Hotel and its wealthy visitors. Exquisite Victorian art glass and stained glass works of Louis Comfort Tiffany are around every corner. Paintings from around the world are also on display. Each room is restored to its original beauty so guests can feel like they are walking back in time.
The Lightner Museum is located in the historic downtown district of St. Augustine across from Flagler College, Florida.