The Solarium was the last unrestored section of the Hotel Ponce de Leon, a National Historic Landmark.
May 21, 2014
Flagler College was honored with three awards at the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference in Tampa on May 16.
The college’s work on the Solarium of Ponce de Leon Hall was awarded an Outstanding Achievement honor for Restoration and Rehabilitation.
The Solarium was the last unrestored section of the Hotel Ponce de Leon, a National Historic Landmark. When the college first opened in 1968, the Solarium was used as a library and occasional classroom. Then, after falling into disrepair, it had been closed off to students and visitors for more than 40 years.
The $2.5 million restoration of the space was completed in 2013.
Flagler College Professor Emeritus Thomas Graham and History Instructor Leslee Keys were given Meritorious Achievement honors in Preservation Education/Media for their book “Hotel Ponce de Leon: The Architecture & Decoration, Flagler College, St. Augustine.”
The high quality, full-color 200-page book showcases the Hotel Ponce de Leon’s history and Flagler College’s restoration of the building. It features photographs of areas of the building that are not part of the public tour program, and has become a significant souvenir for visitors who tour the Ponce as well as a unique keepsake gift for people who have a direct connection to the building and its history.
In addition, Flagler College President Dr. William T. Abare Jr. received the Evelyn Fortune Bartlett Award which is given to an individual whose life exemplifies the guardianship of Florida’s historic properties through philosophy and actions.
Under his leadership, Flagler has spent millions renovating, restoring and preserving the Ponce, as well as other historic college properties.
“This is an honor, not just for me, but for the entire College,” Abare said. “This represents our commitment to preserving historic properties, which is part of our mission. We take that mission very seriously.”
More than $50 million has been spent by the college on preservation or adaptation of its 19 historic properties.
To read more about Abare's award, click here.