Casa Monica Hotel - St. Augustine, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 29° 53.529 W 081° 18.810
17R E 469730 N 3306876
Quick Description: The Casa Monica Hotel was opened in 1888 and is one of the oldest hotels in the United States. It is located at the intersection of King Street and Cordova Street in St. Augustine, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 4/20/2016 1:35:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMQZN7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member the federation
Views: 8

Long Description:
According to the "Drive the Old Spanish Trail" (visit link) website, the Casa Monica Hotel is one of several must-see stops on the OST. This website states: "Also completed in 1888, the Casa Monica Hotel was designed by Franklin Smith and later taken over by Flagler to become the Cordova."

The following additional information is from Wikipedia (visit link) :

"The Casa Monica Hotel is a historic hotel located in St. Augustine, Florida, in the United States. The Casa Monica Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the United States and is a member of the "Historic Hotels of America" National Trust.


The hotel was opened in 1888 by Franklin W. Smith, a notable Victorian architecture enthusiast and social reformer who earned a place in Florida history for interesting Henry Flagler in investing in the state. The construction material was poured concrete, of which Franklin Smith was a leading experimenter. The original exterior finish was natural, leaving horizontal pour marks visible, and matching other grand Flagler era structures in downtown St. Augustine. Unfortunately, the exterior was altered by covering with a modern material (stucco) in the 1960s. The architectural style was Moorish Revival and Spanish Baroque Revival, in which Smith was also a pioneer promoter. His own winter home, Villa Zorayda, just a block to the west, was the first Moorish Revival building in the Ancient City. The hotel's Sun Parlor was the most notable interior room, but it was gutted after the hotel closed. Its details were unfortunately later demolished and have yet to be restored.

Soon after completing the hotel, Smith ran into financial difficulties and sold the hotel, including all fixtures, furnishings, linen, and all other chattel, for $325,000-USD to oil and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler. Upon purchasing the hotel, Henry Flagler renamed the Casa Monica the Cordova Hotel. Flagler, a founder, with John D. Rockefeller, of the Standard Oil Company, already owned two hotels in St. Augustine, the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) and the Hotel Alcazar (now City Hall and the Lightner Museum). From 1888 to 1902, the hotel featured parties, balls, fairs and charity events.

The famous travel agency "Ask Mr. Foster" had its headquarters in the hotel. It was started by Ward G. Foster of St. Augustine, became a national business, and was owned for a time in the 20th century by Peter Ueberroth, one time Commissioner of Baseball. The building once featured an historic marker as the birthplace of the agency, but it has been removed in recent years.

In 1902, a short bridge was constructed over Cordova Street that connected the second floors of the Cordova Hotel and the Hotel Alcazar. At the completion of the bridge, the Cordova Hotel was again renamed, this time to Alcazar Annex. In 1903, the Alcazar and Alcazar Annex were considered one hotel and advertised as "enlarged and redecorated". In 1932, the conjoined parts of the hotel were closed due to the great depression. In 1945, the bridge between the Annex portion and the Alcazar Hotel was removed."
Submission Criteria:

Distinctive or Significant Interest

Website with More Information: [Web Link]

Address of Waymark:
95 Cordova Street
St. Augustine, FL USA

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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wildernessmama visited Casa Monica Hotel - St. Augustine, FL 6/24/2018 wildernessmama visited it
BuckeyeFinnigan visited Casa Monica Hotel - St. Augustine, FL 7/14/2016 BuckeyeFinnigan visited it

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