News Release: Flagler receives prestigious ‘Save America’s Treasures’ grant (December 17, 2009)
St. Augustine, Fla. — Flagler College recently received a prestigious grant to help preserve drawings from the architects of the treasured National Historic Landmark Hotel Ponce de Leon.
Flagler College President William T. Abare Jr., Ed.D., announced receipt of the prestigious “Save America’s Treasures” (SAT) grant administered through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Saving St. Augustine’s Architectural Treasures project, a partnership with the University of Florida Libraries, will conserve and digitally preserve an irreplaceable collection of the earliest architectural drawings of John Carrère (1858-1911) and Thomas Hastings (1860-1929), the designers of Henry Flagler’s famed Hotel Ponce de Leon.
Carrère and Hastings were two of the most significant American architects of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Their firm designed more than 600 buildings, including the New York Public Library (1902-11) and the House and Senate office buildings in Washington, D.C. (1908-09). According to Charles D. Warren, co-author of “Carrère & Hastings Architects,” they were “innovators in both technology and aesthetics.”
Regrettably, as Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings & Archives, Columbia University, said: “Most of the archive of [their] office was destroyed in the 1920’s.” The St. Augustine collection offers significant potential to yield unique information with enduring value.
Comprised of 267 original, fragile drawings on cloth, silk and paper, as well as blueprints and copies, the collection is the largest known archives documenting the firm’s earliest work. Among these fragile drawings are the blueprints for their first commission, the Hotel Ponce de Leon, which launched their careers.
This is Flagler College’s second largest award at $49,562 and was one of only five conservation projects funded nationwide. The funds will assist with the preservation of these recently rediscovered records and make them accessible to researchers.
Additional conservation projects include Friendly Association Papers, Haverford, Penn.; Paley Center for Media, New York; “This I Believe” Collection, Medford, Mass.; and William Still Collection, Philadelphia.