The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, which was built in 1888. Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to construct this architectural masterpiece. The Alcazar closed during the Depression, and in 1948 the building was purchased by Otto Lightner, who was editor and publisher of Hobbies Magazine in Chicago. Lightner converted the hotel into a museum to contain his vast collection of decorative and fine arts. He bequeathed the building to a board of directors who then opened it to the public several years later. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and today is home to both the Lightner Museum and City government offices.
Otto Lightner was fascinated by what other people collected, a hobby that became his trademark and his passion, which is clearly reflected in his diverse and eccentric collection. The four floors of the museum are filled with interesting and beautiful artwork from over a century ago. The historic ambience of the museum, with its costumes, furnishings, and other Gilded Age artifacts, transport the visitor to the heyday of the Alcazar Hotel and its wealthy visitors. What was once known as the World's Largest Indoor Swimming Pool (dry now, though it seems to echo with the voices of a bygone era) is the elegant setting for the Café Alcazar and frequently serves as a venue for special events in St. Augustine.
Other highlights of the museum include exquisite Victorian art glass, stained glass works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Oriental art, and a Victorian Village portraying 19th-century life. The museum is self-guided with docents available to answer questions. Nineteenth-century mechanical musical instruments are demonstrated daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The museum hosts monthly events, such as the Curator's Tour on the first Wednesday of every month and Lightner After Hours, a free open house in the evenings of the last Thursday of each month.
The Lightner Museum also offers an in-depth tour called Upstairs/Downstairs, which allows visitors to get a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in the museum. The Upstairs/Downstairs Tour ($45.00) is offered by request and is limited to 10 people.
During the run of the special exhibit, "Edgar Degas: A Private Impressionist" (April 12 – June 16, 2019), the Upstairs Downstairs Tour will include the Degas exhibit and will be offered Mondays through Fridays at 1:00 p.m. until June 14. Tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance of the tour. Visit here for more information and to book a tour.
The Lightner Museum is located at 75 King Street in the historic downtown district of St. Augustine, just across from Flagler College.
The Lightner Museum proudly hosts "Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist,” a special exhibition that offers a rare look at over 100 original works on paper by Edgar Degas and his circle of friends. The exhibit will be on display from April 12 through June 16, 2019. This exhibit has been assembled from the private collection of curator Robert Flynn Johnson and includes more than 50 works by Degas himself, as well as a varied collection of prints, photographs, monotypes, and drawings created by Degas's friends, including works by Mary Cassatt, Alfred Stevens, Paul Cézanne, and Camille Pissarro.
Admission to the Degas exhibit is $5.00 above the price of museum admission.
Event Title Date Time Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 24, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 25, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 26, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 27, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 28, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 29, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 30, 2019 Lightner After Hours May 30, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist May 31, 2019 Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist June 1, 2019
Street View Panorama Photos
Hours of Operation
Admission | Ticket Prices
|Adults (18 – 64)||$15.00|
|Children (12 - 17)||$8.00|
|Children (11 & under)||FREE|
|Active Military (with I.D.)||$12.00|
|College Student (with I.D.)||$12.00|