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Every day in the Golden Triangle of historic St. Augustine, college students walk to and from their dorm rooms to class surrounded by Gilded Age luxury. These students attend Flagler College, whose main campus building was once the magnificent Ponce de Leon Hotel, designed by Carrere & Hastings for Henry Flagler. The elaborate hotel opened its dramatically carved doors to its first guests on January 12, 1888.
In 1968, when Flagler College acquired the splendidly ornate, architecturally complex resort hotel, it became a college campus. The beautifully appointed hotel, with its grand, domed Rotunda, which received arriving guests, and hotel rooms where they stayed, were re-purposed as Ponce de Leon Hall, primarily a residence hall.
When classes are is session, students crisscross through lavish halls, loggias and gardens, walk under the elaborate murals of the Rotunda, and attend lectures in the Flagler Room and Solarium. Most remarkable of all, they have their meals in the original 3 ½ story, oval Dining Hall, in which jeweled light streaming through 79 Louis Comfort Tiffany stained-glass windows casts a beautiful glow on hand-painted murals on the walls and ceiling. What a place to have a burger!