This... is my modest summer home. You know, just a few rooms near the beach where I can really just escape the hustle and bustle of the city and let my hair down. Ha, just kidding! That giant white thing behind me is The Flagler Mansion, or rather Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. The museum is the former 55 room home of Henry Flagler, the founder of Standard Oil and basically the patron saint of Florida.
One Saturday during my stay in Florida, The B Man and I were eager to find a picturesque spot to take some pictures and to soak up some of the local history (and sunshine too!). We headed off to The Flagler Museum and were not disappointed. The house, Whitehall, while museumized is left much in the state it would have been lived in back when Henry Flagler was it's resident except there are a few more glass display cases I'm sure, but who knows. The rooms are filled with the original furnishings and decorations while clothes, dishes, and artwork are out on display in other parts of the home.
While there is a tour of the ground floor, you are left to your own devices for the second floor. Not being tour people anyway, we headed up the grand staircases to check out the goods.
The stairway is a bit more impressive from the top.
The house was built as a wedding gift for Flagler's wife... lucky lady.
In spite of the fact that I was having a great time, my face refused to show it for the first round of pictures. What can I say? There's a reason I'm not a model... okay there are a lot of reasons I'm not a model. But I digress.
While the interior design is nothing I would pick for myself, it's truly breathtaking. Just trying to wrap my mind around how much money it took to build, decorate, and run this place gave me a headache. It was like the American version of Downton Abbey and I hope it saw it's fair share of scandal!
The house is set up hacienda style so every room gets great light just pouring through the windows.
And since it's Florida, that light will be there all year long.
Oh hey there, B Man, I...uh didn't see you there.
I mean this man really spared no expense when it came to his home, or his life, or really anything.
Can you spot the hidden MG above?
How about now?
I was just a little impressed with the place.
And sometimes, I just couldn't help myself, I had to stretch it out and dance a little.
Good God I love that sun.
One of my favorite parts of the house was this particularly naughty fountain. Check out those pervy demons peeping at Venus while she bathes.
Not cool, demons, not cool.
And here I am again, looking horribly enthused.
After checking out the house, we walked about the grounds, until this sun worshiper/winter refugee decided the grass was a good place to laze.
Although I could have just stayed in the grass, soaking up the sun all day, there was more to see in the Pavilion.
The family's personal train car is on display, but the Pavilion itself is something to behold. It's a gorgeous Gilded Age structure with glass EVERYWHERE for maximal ocean and Intercoastal views. This building absolutely dwarfs you. And, if you plan it right you can have a Gilded Age style lunch in the Pavilion! I wish we had known about this before going, because I love a good high tea! If you're either in or headed to the Palm Beach area, definitely check their website so you can make the most of your trip and enjoy the Cafe des Beaux-Arts!
The museum was one of my favorite things in Florida and I would highly recommend adding it to your itinerary if you're Florida bound. It's easy to think of Florida as just beaches and jet skis, but this is a nice piece of Florida culture and history that you'll totally love if you're like me and are dazzled by fancy things and giant houses!