Monday, June 18, 2012


 'Whitehall', the Henry Morrison Flagler estate designed by Carrere & Hastings c. 1900 in Palm Beach, Florida.  Flager, a founder of Standard Oil, would go on to be influential in the development of the Miami and Palm Beach areas building railroads and hotels such as the Ponce de Leon Hotel, the Royal Poinciana Hotel and the Breakers Hotel.  Since 1959 'Whitehall' has been open to the public as a museum, click HERE for more on the museum and HERE for a biography of Flagler.  Click HERE to see 'Whitehall' on google earth and HERE on bing.

Photos from Architectural Record.


archibuff said...

An impressive monument to an early founder of Palm Beach and much of the South-East Florida lifestyle. A visionary developer of his time who put Florida on the map. Wonder what he would think of the many developers who followed him.

The Devoted Classicist said...

I love the colossal-sized urns and the Cuban courtyard (just partially shown).

Zach L. said...

Speaking of those urns...the ones from De Lamar's 'Pembroke' in Glen Cove were at the first 'Templeton' in Brookville and the logo for OLI.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I know this place well---and it's a tough call. The exterior works well enough, indeed the urns and courtyard are handsome, but the whole house lacks something---the hall is far too wide for its height, likewise the ballroom, the rooms are just elaborate boxes, with little relation to each other. There are no lovely internal vistas, just lines of rooms upstairs and down. Flager tried for Newport under the palms with a marble palace, others tried for Bar Harbor with shingled cottages, and nobody got it really right for Palm Beach until Mizner, Fatio, et al showed them how to do it, with shadowy courtyards and quiet corners. This house has so little to do with where it is---one could plop it down just anywhere, Buffalo or Scranton, with no adjustment necessary. Such a contrast to brilliant Vizcaya. This one is just a middle class house made vast. No soul at all.

Anonymous said...

"MIDDLE CLASS" perish the thought.

WSG said...

"Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!
"Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses!
"Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses!
"Tantara! Tzing! Boom!
"We are peers of the highest station,
"Paragons of legislation,
"Pillars of the British nation!"

The Down East Dilettante said...

It is instructive to compare this magnificent, vast and stiff house with 'Il Palmetto', the Widener house at Palm Beach---also huge, also magnificent, but site appropriate, and even sensual---the idea of a Palm Beach house had come a long way in the 25 years that separate the two. Coincidentally, it is the current post at Devoted Classicist

NYarch said...

Toured the Flager mansion this past winter and it has never looked better. Completion of the lavishly appointed home and the magnitude of construction of both mansion, adjacent Royal Poinciana Hotel and private rail access on what were remote barrier islands, wetlands and mangrove swamps, remains an astonishing achievement to this day. The Flager bio is a good read. It is one of my favorite Gilded Age mansions and worth a visit.