Beach Inn when he opened it). He is known as
the father of Miami and Palm Beach, Florida.
Flagler had so more of an interesting life to
condense into one paragraph. I would suggest
reading a biography in him to realize what a visionary
he was and the gifts he gave the world.
Now, we get to the actual mansion – Whitehall.
(“The Island”) on the Intracoastal Waterway directly
across from Downtown West Palm Beach.
The site of the home was purchased for $50,000
in 1893 by Flagler; later surveyed for construc-
for Flagler and his wife to move in on February
6, 1902. Whitehall was to be a Winter residence,
and Henry gave it to Mary Lily as a wedding present.
They would travel to Palm Beach each year
in one of their own private railcars, one of which
was No. 91. Flagler died of injuries sustained in
1913. Mary Lily died four years later, and the home
was willed to her niece Louise Clisby Wise Lewis,
who sold the property to investors. In 1959, the
site was saved from demolition by one of Henry
Flagler’s granddaughters Jean Flagler Matthews.
She established the Henry Morrison Flagler
building in 1959, opening it as a museum in 1960.
Distinct from Northern homes, Whitehall had
no outbuildings or subsidiary structures. The façade
of Whitehall is marked by massive marble
columns and topped with a red barrel tiled roof.
Built around the central courtyard, the house
as well a grandiose double staircase. Besides
are twelve guestrooms, house servants rooms
servants rooms in the attic along the east side.
Also included were a pantry and kitchen as well
tary. The mansion is built around a large open-air
central courtyard and is modeled after palaces
in Spain and Italy. Three stories tall with several
rooms furnished with period pieces. These
umns, murals on the ceilings, and heavy gilding.
The building grounds had not been elaborately
trees and shrubs were allowed to grow unaided.
Henry Flagler’s private Railcar No. 91 is displayed
in the Museum’s Flagler Kenan Pavilion.
Built in 1886 for Flagler’s personal use, the railcar
was acquired by the Museum in 1959. The
interior and exterior of Railcar No. 91 car have
been restored to the original 1912 appearance,
when Flagler traveled by this railcar along the
Over-Sea Railroad to celebrate this phenomenal
engineering achievement and the completion of
the FEC Railway from St. Augustine to Key West.
Today, Whitehall is a National Historic
Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler
Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits,
and special programs. It also hosts a variety
of local galas and balls throughout the year.
The Museum is located at Cocoanut Row and
Whitehall Way, Palm Beach. For information visit
FlaglerMuseum.us for hours and special events.
Visit us at explorepalmbeach.com