2016 POWER 11A. For Contributor's Page - THE PRIVATE MUSEUMS POWER Issue – PHOTO JPGJulie Rekai Rickerd is a travel and arts journalist who specializes in discovering private museums around the globe, finding many on each of the seven continents she has visited.  Antarctica being unlike any of the others.  The entire continent is a fascinating private museum with the cleanest air on the face of the earth.








2016 POWER 11A. THE PRIVATE MUSEUMS POWER Issue – The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum



Henry Flagler was not only extremely wealthy as a founding partner of Standard Oil, “the most profitable corporation in history”, he “invented modern Florida”.  His Florida East Coast Railway ran along the east coast of Florida from Jacksonville to Key West.  He developed a series of luxury hotels along its route and established agriculture as well as tourism on two million acres of land.


Flager’s love of Florida was personal as well as professional.  He wintered in Palm Beach at Whitehall, his 75-room Beaux-Arts estate, designed by John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, a wedding present for his wife.  The architects were well known for having built Henry Clay Frick’s mansion and the Standard Oil office building in New York among many other Gilded Age landmarks.  Potter and Stymus created the interiors and the magnificent mansion was completed in just 18 months.


In 1960 Whitehall was opened to the public as a museum.  From its vast, 5000 square- foot marble “Grand Hall”, accessed through massive bronze doors, visitors can explore and marvel at the Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Italian Renaissance period rooms.  From its inception in 1900, Whitehall also had such rare technological advances as indoor plumbing, central heating, and electric lighting.  Every nook and cranny, including the frescoed and coffered ceilings and decorated walls, are works of art.  Exquisite paintings, furniture, and “objets d’art” are everywhere.


A resident organist was hired for the winter season to play the 1,249-pipe, J.H. & C.S. Odell-built pipe organ installed in the wall of the Music Room.  The china cabinets overflow with dinner services and silverware for the formal dinners held in the elegant French Renaissance dining room.  A large Billiards Room entertained the male guests after the meal while the ladies gathered to gossip in the Drawing Room.


The second floor displays a series of magnificent bedrooms and bathrooms, each unique in wallpaper, moldings, colors and design.  No amenity is missing from any room, and the many servants of the house, who also had their rooms in the west wing of the second floor, rendered service.


A courtyard leads to the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, built in the style of a 19th century Beaux-Arts railway palace that displays Henry Flagler’s original private rail car, No. 91.


A visit to the Flagler Museum is a veritable journey through the opulent life of one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of America’s Gilded Age.





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