As part of their Florida history studies, the fourth graders enjoyed a field trip to the Henry Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida’s first museum. They toured both the first floor and an original luxury railroad car, listening to descriptions of the rooms, objects and stories of Mr. Flagler’s life. The docent was quite impressed with their knowledge of Henry Flagler, the first developer of modern Florida and Gilded Age life.
Built in 1902 by the Beaux Arts trained architects John Carrere and Thomas Hastings who also designed the New York Public Library, Whitehall is a supreme example of a Gilded Age home, or should I say palace! It was intended to be both a monumental example of high culture and high technology. In 1900, when construction began, Palm Beach was one of the least developed and most remote locations in the United States. It was arguably America's last frontier. However, with 22 bathrooms, electric lighting, central heating, and a telephone system, Whitehall was not only an impressive statement of high culture, but perhaps the most technologically advanced home in America. We are lucky to live so close to this historic landmark and if you haven’t gone yet, it’s worth the trip!