Sunday, November 29, 2009

St. Augustine

Originally uploaded by Decrepit Telephone

No matter how much of a tourist trap St. Augustine, Florida, can be, there's something about the place that I really do feel a love for. In the 1880s Flagler had a vision to turn it, along with Miami, Clearwater, and Tampa, into the finest watering places of the South. What he built in all of those places has left an indelible legacy on the Florida landscape - but in St. Augustine, he made something fantastic, there on the Alameda where the once great hotels that he built still stand: The Ponce de Leon, the Casa Monica and the Alcazar. It's a fantastic center of nineteenth-century architectural revival style can be seen and experienced, a revival style that has all of the beauty and the pleasantry that all but disappeared after the 1893 World's Fair, when style that the fair introduced crushed the originality in architecture that the 1870s and '80s had brought about. It's kind of sad, really, what happened there, but I'll save my thoughts on that for another day.

This is a bit away from the Alameda (the original name of the great landscaped square that all three of the Flagler hotels face on.), on the old city square, this is the former First Nat'l Bank Building of 1928. Today, it's been re-dubbed the Wachovia Building. It's still, however, very much of its time. The shadow on the lower side of the building is the shadow of old Cathedral bell tower. I rather like the cream and the red contrastiness against the blue sky.

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