Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Flagler Hall

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Institution Name: Stetson University
Original/Historic Place Name: Science Hall
Location on Campus: 434 N. Woodland Blvd.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1902original construction Hays, William Charles
1979renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: continuous brick
Walls: hollow tile; stucco (facing); brick courses (each floor)
Roof: composition shingle
ca. 1902other (science laboratories)
ca. 1902academic department building (School of Law; moot courtroom)
ca. 1902-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 1902-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 1902-present (2007)administration

Significance: architecture, education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterStetson University Campus Historic District (1991)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Flagler Hall was financed by railway magnate Henry M. Flagler, who also built hotels down the east coast of Florida to serve tourists on his railroad system, which extended over the sea to Key West. But he required Stetson to keep his $60,000 gift a secret, for fear other institutions would ask him for money. After his death in 1913, the three-story classroom building was renamed in his honor.

Flagler himself dictated its Mediterranean style, which he used for several other projects in St. Augustine and Palm Beach. Flared foundation walls, brick courses defining each story, brick surrounds on the second story arched window openings and terra cotta cast Mediterranean ornamentation are major features. The main entrance features a broken pediment and bust of Benjamin Franklin in an elaborate arch surround of cast terra cotta. On the second story, over the entrance, is a recessed balcony with ornamented terra cotta columns, and over the third is a monumental tablet breaking the roofline.

Flagler Hall was the home of Florida's first law school, which remained there until World War II, when it was temporarily closed. The Stetson University College of Law is now located in St. Petersburg.

Renovated in 1979, thanks to a gift of Flagler's granddaughter, Jean Flagler Matthews, it is in excellent condition.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Johnston, Sidney. "The Historic Stetson University Campus in DeLand, 1884-1934." Florida Historical Quarterly (January 1992): 281-304.

Lycan, Gilbert L. Stetson University: The First Hundred Years. DeLand, FL: Stetson University Press, 1983.

Shiver, W. Carl. Stetson University Campus Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1991.

A Walk with the Founders: Stetson University Campus Historic District. Booklet. [DeLand, FL: Stetson University/Public Relations Office], 1996.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: Office of Marketing and Communications, Stetson U.

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