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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact: Will Franke, Building Official, Phn: 904.825.1065, Fax: 904.209.4335, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: email@example.com. You may also write either of these contacts at City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
Franklin Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 9, 1826. The prominent architect and his wife, the former Laura Bevan of Baltimore, selected St. Augustine for a winter residence and built the Villa Zorayda, which is based on the Morrish architecture of the Alhambra in Granada.
To build such a house of wood was out of the question and no stone existed within reach. It was then that Smith conceived the idea of using reinforced concrete mixed with coquina, the tiny fossilized shells found on the beaches near the city. Today, such construction has become commonplace all over the world, but it was Franklin Smith who used it for the first time in the construction of his Villa.
Nearly fifteen years later Mr. Smith would work with Henry Flagler in building the Hotel Ponce de Leon (now Flagler College), the Alcazar Hotel (now the Lightner Building) and the Cordova Hotel (now the Casa Monica Hotel) using the new coquina material. The Cordova Hotel was Mr. Smith’s personal enterprise and was built in the Moorish Revival style. Shortly after completion, it was sold to Mr. Flagler.
Franklin Smith realized the preservation of what was old and lovely was of vital importance and suggested a committee of architects be formed to control all future construction in the City of St. Augustine.
The Casa Monica Hotel on the corner of King and Cordova Streets
Website for the Casa Monica Hotel