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St. Augustine at 450 Sample from Touring Exhibition

PROJECT Ten photographers capture the oldest city in the nation on the occasion of its 450th anniversary, exploring St. Augustine’s history, preservation efforts and places as a tourist destination, college town, and home to a diverse population. Year 2015

Photograph by Kucku Varghese

ST. AUGUSTINE AT 450 Photography Documentary project includes work by ten photographers led by Sherri Bunye and Peter Schreyer.


The St. Augustine Distillery Company The building was a Florida Power & Light power plant that opened in the late 1800s, and after a 1917 addition, it was used for ice production. Once the ice manufacturing stopped around 1960, the building went through various uses and was scheduled to be torn down. In 2011, the owners teamed with the Ice Plant restaurant next door and converted it into The St. Augustine Distillery Company, winning two awards for the preservation of the building. Brendan Wheatley, pictured here, is the director of production and head distiller. His credentials include being the first American invited to Japan to study whiskey production with master distiller and blender Ichiro Akoto. From 2007 to 2010, Wheatley worked at the Germain-Robin Distillery in Mendocino, California, famed for its alambic brandy. Photographed by Cynthia Slaughter


Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind The Dance Troupe at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind was established in 1971, under the direction of Cheryl Johnson, a physical education teacher. Later, it moved under the direction of the organization’s Deaf High School. In the early years, the Dance Troupe provided signed interpretations for the music at various school events. Later, dance movements were added, and a new performing group was born. Made up of juniors and seniors with an acceptable GPA, the Dance Troupe performed at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., in 1999, when Stevie Wonder was recognized. More recently, the troupe performed with Alicia Keys at the 2005 Super Bowl pregame show. Pictured: from left, Lia Ferrante, science teacher at the Deaf High School as well as coordinator for the Dance Troupe and head cheerleading coach; Andrea Perez-Hernandez, senior; Savannah McCord, senior; Wes Homewood, senior and valedictorian. Photographed by Cynthia Slaughter


The Fort Built between 1672 and 1695, more than 100 years after the founding of St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. For centuries, it has stood watch over the salty Matanzas Bay and the city of St. Augustine as it was ruled in turn by Spain, Great Britain, the Confederate States of America and, finally, the United States of America. When Florida seceded from the Union in 1861, all Union troops withdrew, save one Union soldier who turned the fort over to the Confederacy after obtaining a receipt for it. Photographed by Dennis James

The Alligator Farm In 1893, George Reddington and Felix Fire established the St. Augustine Alligator Farm on Anastasia Island. In 1920, due to storms and fire, the farm was relocated closer to the lighthouse, another popular tourist attraction. Today, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the only facility in the world that exhibits living specimens of all 23 currently recognized species of crocodilian. Photographed by Dennis James


The St. Augustine Light Spiral Staircase Looking up is a different view of the St. Augustine Light built in 1874 at the north end of Anastasia Island, replacing the first lighthouse built in Florida in 1824. The two lighthouses were controlled at different times by the Spanish and English crowns and finally by the United States. There is a mystery to this historic icon, now operated by the nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum. Some “ghost hunters� believe that there is heightened paranormal activity in the area, and so the museum features "Dark of the Moon" ghost tours of the lighthouse. Photographed by Dennis James


Flagler Statue at Gate A statue of Henry Morrison Flagler (1830-1913) stands at the entrance of the first hotel he ever built, in 1888, the magnificent Ponce de León Hotel, in the heart of St. Augustine. The hotel is now home to Flagler College. After Flagler visited the sleepy town of St. Augustine in the early 1880s, he believed Florida had the potential to attract large numbers of tourists and become a winter playground for the rich. Flagler soon bought his second hotel and changed the name from Hotel Casa Monica to Hotel Cordova. He added his third St. Augustine hotel in 1889, the Hotel Alcazar, which now houses the Lightner Museum. Flagler knew that a transportation infrastructure was vital to support his hotel ventures, so he developed the Florida East Coast Railroad that traveled down the peninsula into Key West, creating hotels and communities along the way. The transportation, tourism and agriculture industries Flagler established in the early 1900s remain ─ even today ─ the very foundation of Florida's economy. Photographed by Holly Manus


Poolside at Sultan's Pavilion The poolside Sultan’s Pavilion at the luxury Casa Monica Hotel was a new addition when the hotel was restored to its original glory in 1997. Three luxury hotels were built in St. Augustine in the late 1800s ─ Ponce de León Hotel, Hotel Alcazar and Casa Monica Hotel ─ and were some of the first built in America. All three properties exist today, but only Casa Monica is used for its original purpose. Purchased in 1997 by hotelier Richard C. Kessler, Casa Monica was restored to its original glory after sitting vacant for almost 20 years. Franklin W. Smith, the original builder and architect, is responsible for the Moroccan-inspired architecture evident throughout the hotel, including Sultan’s Pavilion, pictured here. Smith was forced to sell the hotel to Flagler shortly after it was built because of financial concerns. Today, the boutique hotel is part of the Marriott’s distinguished Autograph Collection. Photographed by Holly Manus


Bayfront Marin House Bayfront Marin House is one of the few historic bed-and-breakfast inns in the area and features a balcony overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Matanzas Bay. Over the years, three St. Augustine homes, ranging in age from the colonial period to the Flagler era, were combined to create the current rambling structure. The original home was made of wood and dated back to the 1780s. A Victorian cottage stands at the front of the property, and a masonry home sits in the back of the property. Serving time as a single-family residence, modern apartments and shortterm rental units, the Bayfront Marin House was fully restored and converted into a bed-and-breakfast in 2003. Photographed by Holly Manus

Scooters at Historic Gate Two girls on their way to work drive past the most photographed gate in St. Augustine, located at 15 Bridge Street. Scooters have become very popular since 2000, especially in tourist areas like St. Augustine. People of all ages ride them, because they are economical, easy to park and get about 175 mpg. While visiting St. Augustine, many tourists rent scooters to see the sights. Photographed by Holly Manus


Man at the Bar The Bull and Crown Publick House on St. George Street in St. Augustine was resurrected on the original site of the late-1700s house built by skilled Minorcan carpenter Francisco Pellicer. It is now part of the Colonial Quarter, a two-acre attraction in the heart of the downtown historic district. Photographed by Holly Manus


Centennial Cottage on Mulberry Street Catherine Rogers relaxes in her beautiful centennial cottage on Mulberry Street. This cottage was built in 1895 and has maintained its natural charm ever since. Interior renovations blend Old World features along with modern conveniences. Photographed by Jennifer Pereira


Rodriguez Gift Shop Katie, an employee of two years, attends a customer at Casa Rodriguez Gift Shop, open for 28 years now on St. George Street, and open seven days a week. Owner Julie Fraser receives many locals and tourists, especially snowbirds that make it a point to stop by the store every visit. Photographed by Jennifer Pereira


Way of Life View of the lighthouse from the salt run of the Matanzas River. The construction of the lighthouse started in 1871 and was finished in 1874. It rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps. The beacon is served by the original Fresnel lens ─ consisting of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering 12feet-tall and 6 feet in diameter ─ lit up by a 1,000 watt bulb. Photographed by Jennifer Pereira


Jim and Tanner Jim and Tanner are part of a small group of street performers left in town. Jim Olds, originally from Boston, moved to St. Augustine six years ago. He plays the Australian didgeridoo along with his dog, Tanner, who is a service dog and warns him when he is about to have an asthma attack. Photographed by Jennifer Pereira


Boy at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche The Chapel of Nuestra SeĂąora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery), commonly known as the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, is the first shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States. Located on the grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios, it is built in the simple Spanish Mission Style of the 16th century and now houses a replica of the original statue of Our Lady of La Leche. The original 1600s chapel and several reconstructions were damaged by storms and attacks. The chapel was rebuilt in 1875 but was ravaged by a major hurricane. The present chapel was reconstructed in 1915. Photographed by Kucku Varghese


Living Room, The Gonzalez-Alvarez House The Gonzรกlez-Alvarez House, known locally as the "Oldest House," is promoted as the oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling in Florida and a U.S. National Historic Landmark, built in 1723. Initially built as a one-story, flat-roofed house, it was upgraded to its current size during the British occupation. Archaeologists have documented continuous occupancy of this site since the 1600s. Photographed by Kucku Varghese

Medici Lion at the Bridge of Lions One in the pair of lions that guards the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, these Medici Lions are a replica of the ancient marble lions that date to 1598 at the Villa Medici in Rome. The St. Augustine lions have been at the bridge since its construction in 1927. They were removed in February 2005 for restoration as well as renovation work on the bridge, and were returned in March 2011, after work on the new bridge was completed. Photographed by Kucku Varghese


National Cemetery The St. Augustine National Cemetery sits in St. Johns County, designated as a national cemetery in 1881. The first internment took place in 1828, and most early burials were soldiers who died during the Seminole Wars. In 1842, the Army proposed to transfer the remains of all who died in the territory along with the remains of Major Francis L. Dade and his company. Thus, 1,400 soldiers were laid to rest in three graves marked by pyramids made from coquina stone. Photographed by Laura Barthle


Catholic Heritage Standing 208 feet high, the Great Cross was erected in 1966 to mark the 400th anniversary of St. Augustine. It was built using 70 tons of stainless-steel plates, and the bottom third is packed with concrete to prevent toppling by hurricanes. The Great Cross sits at the approximate site where, in 1565, the cross of Christianity was first permanently planted in what is now the United States. Photographed by Laura Barthle


Store Clerk in Oldest Store Museum George Sommerer portrays a 1908 store clerk in the Oldest Store Museum in St. Augustine. Visitors who walk inside this establishment are transported back in time to the turn of the century, when Charles Ferdinand Hamblen sold merchandise to the St. Augustine community from his warehouse and downtown general store. The Oldest Store Museum re-creates the former C.F. Hamblen Hardware store by displaying thousands of historic products, many from the original C.F. Hamblen General Store collection. Every 30 minutes, reenactors portray store clerks and invite visitors into the store in an attempt to sell them the latest goods, such as worm syrup, an Edison Cylinder Music Player or an early milkshake maker. Visitors also walk through the butcher shop into the warehouse, where the manager explains items on display before letting guests explore the collection on their own. Photographed by Marsee Perkins


Entry to the Sanctuary Grace United Methodist Church is a Flagler National Historic Building as well as a United Methodist Historic Site. The original congregants of this church met in the Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church on the corner of Tolomato and King streets; however, Henry Flagler wanted this land for his Alcazar hotel. As a result, Flagler donated the land for the current church and parsonage to the congregation. Construction began in 1886 and was completed within a year. Designed by Carrere and Hastings, and built by McGuire and McDonald, who also planned and constructed Flagler’s hotels and the Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, the building has the same Spanish Renaissance architectural style as Flagler’s other buildings. Today the Reverends David and Carolyn Williamson serve as co-pastors, offering three services on Sunday morning: two traditional and one contemporary. While church members conduct public tours to highlight the church’s role in the history of St. Augustine, they emphasize the church’s missions, such as service at the St. Francis House and Dining with Dignity. Their goal of making everyone feel welcome is clearly expressed with the motto, “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” Photographed by Marsee Perkins


Winter Morning on the Bayfront The 140-year-old Avenida Menendez Seawall stretches along St. Augustine's Bayfront area, connecting Castillo de San Marcos with the historic St. Francis Barracks, now the headquarters of the Florida National Guard. Beautifully illustrated in many vintage photographs from the Victorian era, the scenically situated seawall continues to entice residents and visitors for a stroll along the water. While the style of dress has changed, the morning fog still romantically wraps the Bayfront landscape and the Bridge of the Lions. Photographed by Peter Schreyer


The Tradewinds Lounge Opened in 1945, as the South Seas Lounge, this tropical bar was inspired by two sailors looking to re-create exotic seaside drinkeries visited in their voyages while merchant marines. In the 1960s, Tradewinds became known as the place to go to hear live music by Florida notables the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Art Shill and Gamble Rogers. The bar relocated in 1964 to 124 Charlotte Street, after a hospital dating back to the founding of St. Augustine was unearthed at the original 1 Aviles Street location. The allure of the Tradewinds Lounge continues today, known as a locals bar and remembered for its charm. Photographed by Sherri Bunye


Shrimp Boat Anchored off the rickety south end of the dock, Miss Gerrie is small compared to most shrimp boats ported at the Seafood Shoppe on Riberia Street. In the 1700s, immigrants from Spain's Isle of Minorca came to St. Augustine, bringing with them the tradition of skilled fishing. A local commercial industry developed around shrimping in the early 1900s. At its height in the 1940s, shrimping was the fourth largest industry in St. Johns County. The Seafood Shoppe is the only fresh-off-theboat wholesaler in St. Augustine. Locally owned boats deliver catches from coastal waterways several time a week as well as larger vessels fishing as far as 250 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. Photographed by Sherri Bunye


St. George Street at Night Downtown St. Augustine is centered along pedestrian-only St. George Street. During the day, the street fills with life, as visitors and locals travel the thoroughfare. In the final hours of the evening, the street becomes unusually serene with very few guests on the footpath. Photographed by Sherri Bunye


Flower Garden and Coquina Wall This coquina wall, part of the historic St. Francis Barracks, was originally built in 1735 as part of a Franciscan monastery. The British took control of the area in 1763 and converted the monastery’s living quarters into a barracks. Although the barracks were destroyed by fire in 1915, the coquina walls remained standing. In 1922, the state of Florida rebuilt the St. Francis Barracks using the original walls. Today the wall provides a secure break area for the headquarters of the Florida National Guard. Photographed by Vaughn Dunham

Coquina Walls of the Historic St. Francis Barracks The coquina walls of the St. Francis Barracks were originally built in 1735 to house a Franciscan monastery. British soldiers converted the living quarters into a military barracks in 1763, and in 1821 the site became a U.S. Army installation. Although gutted by fire in 1915, the coquina walls remained standing. In 1921, Congress gave the site to the State of Florida, which used the original walls to rebuild the barracks. Today, the building houses the state headquarters of the Florida National Guard.


Photographed by Vaughn Dunham

El Galeón and the Bridge of Lions Docked in the foreground is the Spanish El Galeón Andalucía. The ship is representative of the vessel that carried St. Augustine’s founder, Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, from Spain in 1565. She is the only galeón class vessel sailing the open seas today. Handbuilt in Spain from the original plans, it set sail with a crew of 27 for the East Coast of the United States in 2012. El Galeón is now docked in the St. Augustine Municipal Marina and is open for tours as part of the 450th anniversary. Galeóns were constructed from oak, pine and various hardwoods for hull and decking. Behind her, the Bridge of Lions spans the Intracoastal Waterway and connects downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island. Originally constructed in 1925, the bridge was completely renovated and reopened in March 2010. Photographed by Vaughn Dunham


Grand Parlor at Flagler College A bronze tabletop statue adorns the historic Grand Parlor at Flagler College. Built by millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler in 1888, the Ponce de León Hotel served as a winter resort for wealthy northern businessmen. The Grand Parlor was near the dining room and provided a relaxing area for ladies to socialize while gentlemen enjoyed a drink and cigar at the bar. In 1968, the hotel was closed and converted to the centerpiece of the newly established Flagler College. Photographed by Vaughn Dunham

Sunset at the Magic Beach Motel The Magic Beach Motel was built in 1951 and features pink flamingos, bright colors and neon lights. In the late 1990s, the motel provided the setting for the television series “Safe Harbor,” starring Rue McClanahan and Gregory Harrison. The sign came about because the fictional owner’s husband had been a magician. The motel was damaged by fire in 2010, but after being restored and modernized, it reopened in June 2012. Photographed by Vaughn Dunham


Sunset Stroll on Bridge Street Between the crowded streets of Cordova and St. George, a young man fades into the sunset while walking the time-worn stones of Bridge Street. One of the oldest streets in St. Augustine, it starts at the bay front and ends at Riberia Street and the San Sebastian River. Photographed by Vaughn Dunham

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St. Augustine at 450, Collaborative Project  

Ten photographers capture the oldest city in the nation on the occasion of its 450th anniversary, exploring St. Augustine’s history, preserv...

St. Augustine at 450, Collaborative Project  

Ten photographers capture the oldest city in the nation on the occasion of its 450th anniversary, exploring St. Augustine’s history, preserv...