Thursday, February 26, 2015

Toring "Old Town St Augustine".

Today was “tour old town St Augustine” day for us. We had decided that we would do a walking tour of old town.

By the way - we are at the Elks Club which is only about 2 miles from Old Town. Our first stop was the visitor center for map and orientation. We had a good docent who filled us in on all the best ways to see things and where to have lunch as had Clyda requested a Greek Salad for lunch. The city has a large Greek population which was brought in as indentured slaves to work producing Indigo.

St Augustine will celebrate 450 years of city hood on September 8th of this year. It is the oldest established city in the US.

We started walking St George Street with its small shops, old school house and narrow streets. It is well preserved but modern tourism has taken over. Too may shops like you find in any tourist area in the US.

Many of the buildings are made from blocks of Coquina (ko-kee-na) a locally quarried soft shellrock. Coquina is compressed sea shells about a million years old.

St George Street.
Old school house.

We walked into the Spanish influence area where the buildings reflect the Spanish style with tile roofs.

Catholic Basilica under renovation.

St Augustine was the home of Henry M Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil Co, a real estate developer of Florida Coast property, and founder of Florida East Coast Railway.

Flagler built the Hotel Ponce de leon, Hotel Alcazar, the Memorial Church and more.

Hotel Alcazar swimming pool with balconies on 2 levels where people danced.
Swimming pool is now a resturant.

The Ponce de Leon Hotel is now the home of Flagler University while the Hotel Alcazar is now the Lightner Museum.
 Entrance to Flagler University.
Fence detail near university.

All of the Flagler properties are now under exterior renovation in preparation for the 450th birthday celebration.

We later toured Castillo de San Marcos the old fort on the water front near old town.