The Lightner Museum, St Augustine

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About The Lightner Museum, St Augustine

The Lightner Museum, St Augustine - Address, Phone Number, Ticket Price

Address: 75 King Street, P.O. Box 334, Saint Augustine, Florida 32085

Phone: +1-9048242874

Ticket Price: 10 USD

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Time Required: 03:00 Hrs

Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

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Art And Culture, Museum, Landmark, Family And Kids, Architecture

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Hotel Alcazar was built in 1887 in the Spanish Renaissance style architecture to provide luxury and comfort to wealthy patrons vacationing. Railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to give it a touch of splendour and glamour which summed up the atmosphere in this hotel. The hotel boasted a steam room, massage parlour, sulphur baths, gymnasium, a three-storey ballroom, and the world's largest indoor swimming pool. However in 1932 the hotel closed down, and in 1948 it was open to the public as the Lightner Museum.

Chicago publisher, Otto C. Lightner, purchased the building to house his extensive collection of Victoriana in 1946 and opened the museum two years later. He gave the museum to the city of St. Augustine. The building is an attraction in itself, highlighting the open courtyard with palm trees, and a stone arch bridge over a fishpond. On display at the Lightner Museum are artefacts from the 19th century. There are three floors to the museum, all of which are filled with relics of America’s Gilded Age.

Costumes, furnishings, mechanical musical instruments all give you a glimpse into the daily life of that era. And to represent this are collections of items like lighters, pipes, and glasses. Paintings from around the world are all exhibited. Each room is restored to its inventive splendour so guests can feel like they are walking back in time. The Museum is housed in the former health facilities of the hotel, including the spa and Turkish bath, and in its three-storey ballroom.

The museum's first floor houses a Victorian village, with shop fronts demonstrating emporia selling period wares, a Victorian Science and Industry Room exhibits shells, rocks, minerals, and Native American articles in beautiful turn of the 20th century cases, as well as stuffed birds, a small Egyptian mummy, model steam engines, elaborate examples of Victorian glassblowing, golden elephant bearing the world on its back, and a shrunken head. The Music Room, filled with mechanized musical instruments—including player pianos, reproducing pianos, orchestras, and others—dating from the 1870s through the 1920s.

The second floor contains examples of cut glass, Victorian art glass and stained glass work of Louis Comfort Tiffany's studio. The third floor, in the ballroom's upper balcony, exhibits paintings, sculpture, and furniture, include a Grande escritoire created for Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, in the period 1806-1810.

The Lightner Museum is located in the historic downtown district of St. Augustine across from Flagler College.

The Lightner Museum Information

  • Include in your visit lunch at the Cafe Alcazar directly behind the museum in the former hotel indoor swimming pool.
  • Alcazar Cafe serves delicious food at affordable prices, service is outstanding. They serve lunch daily.
  • Lightner Museum provides a spectacular setting for special events. Corporate functions, award ceremonies, dinners and dances can be outstanding evenings held in the Museum's elegant environs.
  • The affluence of a golden era provides a unique milieu for weddings and wedding receptions.
  • Events ranging in size from 50 to 400 guests can be accommodated. Rates vary according to the size and type of event. The Museum is available for events after 6:00 pm any day of the year except on Christmas day.
  • Other areas in the museum are available for a more intimate setting. The Museum will try to accommodate you as best as possible and tailor the evening to your special event.
  • Even the exterior courtyard can be rented as well.
  • The Museum appreciates financial gift and donations but suggests you consult a financial or tax advisor to help you decide.
  • You can fund a specific project or exhibit. Or you can work as a volunteer.
  • If you have an object the museum might want, please describe the object: its size, age, condition, and history. If you can, send them a photograph. They will be happy to discuss it with you.

The Lightner Museum Ticket Prices

  • For Adults $10
  • For Children (12-18): $5
  • Children under 12 entry is free.
  • Active military with ID $6:College student with ID $5
  • Tour group rates: 10 or more, reservations required; Adults $6.00; Children $5.00

Restaurants Near The Lightner Museum

  • Reflections Bistro: Sandwiches
  • Old City House Inn and Restaurant: International
  • The Corazon Cinema and Cafe: Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Cafes
  • Casa Monica: Armenian

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in St Augustine before you plan your trip.

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The Lightner Museum, St Augustine Reviews - Write a Review

  • Catch lunch in the Cafe at the bottom of the indoor pool. Less expensive than you might think. We caught the museum during a special exhibit of costumes from Dowton Abbey. While I never saw an episode of the show, it was still an interesting afternoon.

  • Downton exhibit was to die for. So we'll done. Many pieces from the museum taken out storage just for this exhibit. Lovely day.

  • Cheap for students. Cool fish outside. Weird estate sales are fun to look at. Ample wedding jokes available.

  • Interesting collection, but some of it seemed to be placed randomly and not much in the way of guided tours or even a map. And apparently Mr. Lightner's collection favored sculptures and paintings with one female breast hanging out. (My 10-year-old daughter noticed this theme running through the whole museum.)

  • I spent the afternoon here with my mother and was not disappointing. If you like museums, this little gem is like a trip back in time. I recommend allowing yourself a good 4 hours to really "see" everything. I particularly enjoyed the old buttons & furniture. Be sure to ask about Sir Richards clock.

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