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Fun in the Sun: 1901

Fun in the Sun: 1901

Palm Beach circa 1901. "The Royal Poinciana, from northwest." A mere fraction of Henry Flagler's immense hotel, at one time the largest wood-frame structure in the world. 8x10 glass negative by William Henry Jackson. View full size.


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This hotel survived unscathed by fire until its owners razed it as unprofitable, unlike its companion hostelry, The Breakers, which suffered not one but two major fires, being rehabilitated after each. Huge wood frame complexes like this must have given fire marshals pre-traumatic stress syndrome in spades!

Delonix regia

The hotel's namesake is a vividly spectacular flowering tree, endangered in its native Madagascar but cultivated widely throughout the tropics and sub-tropics. One might assume that the grounds of the hotel were planted with at least a few of the eponymous tree.

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