Time for a Little Warmth

150202_FolgerCollege_StAugustine by Karl G. Graf. Ponce de Leon Hall, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL

Canon 7D, EFS10-22mm @ 10mm, f/6.3, 1/8000 sec, ISO 1600

Enough for the snow and winter cold.  My memory goes back to last year when we were in St. Augustine, FL on this beautiful clear winter day with temperatures in the high 60’s.  This image of Ponce de Leon Hall at Flagler College warms by bones.

A little history:

In 1885 multi-millionaire industrialist Henry Morrison Flagler (1830-1913) initiated a grand scheme to turn Florida’s east coast into the “American Riviera” and the city of St. Augustine into the “Winter Newport.” The Hotel Ponce de Leon, which was constructed in 1885-1887, was intended as the flagship of Flagler’s resort empire. This palatial Spanish Renaissance Revival hotel, with Italian, French and Moorish influences, was the first major commission for the Carrère & Hastings architecture firm.

The Hotel Ponce de Leon opened in 1888 and was operated by Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Hotel Company. Nationally significant for both its architecture and engineering, the building is the first large cast-in-place concrete building in the U.S. The hotel was constructed using poured concrete mixed with local coquina. The design reflected the wealth and extravagance of the upper-class during the Gilded Age. Members of the design team included Louis Comfort Tiffany, Thomas Edison, Bernard Maybeck, George Willoughby Maynard, and Pottier & Stymus. The firm of McGuire & McDonald was hired to supervise construction of the Hotel.

The Hotel was operation for almost 80 years. During World War II the building was used as a Coast Guard Training Center. Hotel operations ceased in 1967, and in 1968 the hotel became part of the campus for the newly established Flagler College as Ponce de Leon Hall. The building was added to the National Register in 1975 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

Lessons Learned:  Notice the camera settings of this image.  They are not even close to being optimized for a good image.  I had just walked outside from taking interior images in dark rooms.  I did not adjust the camera for the outdoor light.  I just composed and took a snapshot. I really need and take my time to focus on making the best out of each image I capture.

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