Flagler Museum - Beautiful Mansion and Largest Home in Florida
The Flagler Museum is a beautiful 60,000 square foot 75 room mansion located at 1 Whitehall Way on Brelsford Point on the east bank of Lake Worth about 2,000 feet inland from the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach, Florida. The Flagler Mansion Museum is one of the 10 largest homes in the United States and the largest home in Florida.
Flagler Mansion also known as Whitehall was built from 1900 to 1902 in Beaux Arts architectural style by architects John Carrere and Thomas Hastings for multi-millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler was John D. Rockefeller's partner in Standard Oil and also had extensive railroad and real estate holdings in Florida and was one of the richest men in the United States and the world in the early 1900's. Flagler is often called the Father of Florida and Miami as he named the city and helped start the development of the area to boost his railroad and real estate holdings in the state.
In order to showcase his wealth and as a wedding present to his 3rd wife, Mary Lily Kenan, Flagler built Whitehall which is the Flagler Museum today.
Whitehall was purposely built to be grand to rival any of the summer mansions located in Newport, Rhode Island. Flagler and his wife used Whitehall as a winter home where they entertained the rich and famous in the moderate Palm Beach, Florida weather each winter.
In 1913 at the age of 83 Henry Flagler fell down the stairs at Whitehall and died not long after from his injuries. Mary Lily inherited the home but used it sparingly until she died in 1916. The house then passed on to Louise Clisby Wise Lewis who was either Flagler's niece or his daughter out of wedlock. Louise had no use for the mansion and sold it to a group of investors who converted it into a hotel. Whitehall or Flagler Mansion remained a hotel from 1925-1959.
By 1959 the hotel was not profitable and Whitehall was scheduled to be demolished but was saved by Jean Flagler Matthews who was Henry Flagler's granddaughter. Jean Flagler Matthews formed the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum nonprofit corporation and bought the mansion and opened to the public as a museum.
The beautiful Flagler Museum is a big tourist attraction in Florida today that is open to the public daily except for Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Most visitors to the largest home in Florida come away thrilled at seeing this visually impressive mansion which is also available to be rented out for weddings, parties and special events.
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