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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 Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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The towers St. Augustine City Hall, formerly the Alcazar Hotel,
as see during the city's annual Night of Lights Celebration.
For 114 years, St. Augustine's skyline has been dominated by the Mediterranean Revival towers of Henry Flagler's Alcazar Hotel. The huge, square towers rise above the city and, in their prime, offered visitors of the hotel a vista they were unable to experience anywhere else in the city.
Time and the elements were not kind to the sculptured terra cotta that distinguishes the towers, largely because of the gradual deterioration of the iron frame work that reinforced the structure.
Today, though, the towers have been restored to their former glory through the financial support of a grant from the Florida Department of State's Division of Historic Resources.
The project began nearly four years ago when the City of St. Augustine applied for and received a $452,000 grant enabling the city to purchase all the materials for the restoration of both towers, but only to perform the work on the west tower. Last year, an additional grant of $300,000 was awarded making restoration of the east tower possible.
The Alcazar Hotel received its first guests on Christmas Day of 1888 and remained in operation into the 1930's. In 1947 Otto C. Lightner, publisher of Hobbies magazine, purchased the building and handed it over to the city to be held in trust. Lightner also moved his massive collection of Victorian decorative items and art from Chicago into the building and opened Lightner Museum which still operates today. In 1968 the city was in need of a new city hall and thus began renovations on the unoccupied portions of the building. On April 27, 1973 the building was dedicated as the new city hall.
The restoration and maintenance of St. Augustine's city hall is ongoing. The next major project will be the replacement of the building's inefficient and historically inaccurate aluminum framed windows. This project is also made possible through a grant from the Florida Department of State's Division of Historic Resources.
Like so many structures in St. Augustine, the former Alcazar Hotel is an architectural treasure that must be protected. At the dedication of the new city hall nearly 30 years ago, one commissioner remarked that St. Augustine was now in procession of "the most beautiful, unique and majestic city hall in the Nation."
The City of St. Augustine's commitment to historic preservation is nowhere better demonstrated that in its continuing efforts at preserving its "beautiful, unique and majestic" City Hall.