Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


General's House, The

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Institution Name: Flagler College
Original/Historic Place Name: Manager's House
Location on Campus: 20 Valencia St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1887-1891original construction McGuire, Joseph McDonald, Joseph
Designer: Joseph McGuire; Joseph McDonald
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: wood with ashlar-scored concrete veneer
Roof: shingle, tin
ca. 1891-1970private residence
1987-present (2006)faculty offices (student counsellor office, and office of an emeritus professor)
1987-present (2006)administration (business offices of the college, also office of director of information technology)

This uniquely styled two-and-a-half story house was built and probably designed by James McGuire and Joseph McDonald, the builders of the Hotel Ponce de Leon. Its gray concrete veneer and red brick quoins and window surrounds are intended to echo the stylistic motifs of the adjacent hotel, although the house's steep-pitched, gabled roof is distinctly different from the gently-sloping barrel tile roof of the hotel. The porch has round columns and Victorian balusters, with dentils at the roof line.

The building was erected as a home for the manager of the Hotel Ponce de Leon, Osburn D. Seavey. In addition to his duties with Flagler's principle hotel, Seavey also supervised the Alcazar Hotel and its entertainment casino, as well as various entertainments and sports for the amusement of guests. Seavey was a promoter of baseball in Florida, including the Hotel Ponce de Leon's house team, which included players from the Negro professional league Cuban Giants.

Seavey resigned as hotel manager after the 1894 season. For the rest of the decade the house was rented to various winter visitors who composed part of "cottage society" in St. Augustine and in the neighborhoods surrounding the large hotels. In 1899 the cottage was rented by General John McAllister Schofield: Civil War Union general, military governor of Virginia, Secretary of War, and superintendent of West Point. He continued to spend his winters in the house and died there in 1906.

From 1916 to 1923 the house was rented by General Martin D. Hardin, another veteran of the Union army. He died in the house in 1923. His widow continued to occupy the house until her death in 1939. From the 1940s through the early 1970s the house was owned by Mrs. Rose Pattie, who rented rooms.

Flagler College acquired the house in the early 1970s. In the spring of 1987 Flagler College celebrated the conclusion of a year-long $500,000 restoration program for the house. The building was preserved as an integral part of the Hotel Ponce de Leon complex and as a bridge to the residential neighborhood beyond.


Akin, Edward N. Flagler: Rockefeller Partner and Florida Baron. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1992.

Graham, Thomas. Flagler's Magnificent Hotel Ponce de Leon. St. Augustine, FL: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1975. Reprint from the Florida Historical Quarterly (July 1975).

Harvey, Karen. America's First City: St. Augustine's Historic Neighborhoods. Lake Buena Vista, FL: Tailored Tours Publications, 1992.


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Last update: November 2006