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:
1902original construction Hays, William Charles
Designer: William Charles Hays
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: continuous brick
Walls: hollow tile surfaced with stucco, with brick courses defining each floor
Roof: composition shingles
ca. 1902other (science laboratories)
ca. 1902academic department building (Law School with moot courtroom)
ca. 1902-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 1902-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 1902-present (2006)administration

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.


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.


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Last update: November 2006