About the Museum

The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, built in 1888 by Henry Morrison Flagler. Home to one of the premier collections of fine and decorative 19th-century and early 20th-century art in the country. The five floors display furnishings, paintings, Victorian art glass, cut and blown glass, and natural history specimens.

Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to construct this architectural masterpiece formerly the Alcazar Hotel. The Alcazar closed during the Depression, and in 1947 the building was purchased by Otto C. 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 C. 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 five floors to the Museum, all of which are filled with interesting and beautiful artifacts from over a century ago. Furnishings, paintings, 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. 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.

Our mission is to preserve, maintain, research, and interpret the Museum’s collection for the educational benefit of the visiting public. The Lightner Museum is a non-profit cultural institution sustained by admissions and donations, and dedicated staff and volunteers support it.