Completed in 1888, the Alcazar Hotel was the second grand hotel Henry Flagler built in the city of St. Augustine. Designed by architects John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings, the building stands testimony to Flagler’s vision to transform St. Augustine into a premiere winter resort for wealthy East Coast tourists.
At the peak of its popularity during the 1890s, more than 25,000 guests visited the Alcazar. A major attraction of the hotel was its indoor entertainment and recreational facilities. The Alcazar boasted the world’s largest indoor public swimming pool at the time, a grand ballroom, sulfur baths, a steam room, massage parlor, gymnasium, bowling alley, archery ranges, tennis courts and a bicycle academy.
The Alcazar Hotel closed during the Depression, and in 1947 the building was purchased by Otto C. Lightner to exhibit his turn-of-the-century collection of fine and decorative art. The Lightner Museum opened two years later. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and today houses both the Lightner Museum and City government offices.