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Memorial Presbyterian Church Architecture Collection

Identifier: MS Group 312

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 53 architectural drawings and blueprints for the Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida. Although most of the drawings are not dated, they date primarily from about 1888 to 1890. There is one drawing dated 1904.

The drawings include floor plans, elevations, sections, and detail drawings. There are numerous drawings relating to the dome, the parsonage, the pulpit and the Flagler mausoleum. In addition to original pencil drawings and blueprints, there are ink drawings and diazotype prints. Many are working copies that contain notes, corrections and changes in pencil, pen, and red and blue grease pencil. A number of the drawings have hand applied color. Most of the drawings include formal titles, and some include handwritten notations describing the content or purpose of the drawing. Whenever a drawing includes a formal title, the title is included with quotation marks in the description of the drawing.


  • 1888-1904



The collection is available for research. However, due to the extremely fragile nature of the drawings, researchers are asked to use digital reproductions available online at

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1885 multi-millionaire industrialist Henry Morrison Flagler (1830-1913) initiated a grand scheme to turn Florida's east coast into the "American Riviera" and the city of St. Augustine into the "Winter Newport." He constructed and operated several hotels and businesses in St. Augustine, and he constructed the Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1890. It was designed by the Carrère and Hastings architecture firm.

John M. Carrère (1858-1911) and Thomas Hastings (1860-1929) were American architects of the late-19th and early-20th centuries who specialized in Beaux Arts architecture. The Carrère and Hastings firm designed more than 600 buildings, including the New York Public Library (1902-11) and the U.S. House and Senate Office Buildings in Washington, D.C. (1908-09). They were partners from 1885 until Carrère died in 1911. Hastings continued to practice, managing the firm until he died in 1929.

Carrere and Hastings began designs for the Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1888. Their Renaissance Revival design was inspired by St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. The firm of McGuire and McDonald was hired to supervise construction of the Church. The building was constructed using poured concrete mixed with local coquina. The Church includes a copper dome, terra cotta features, and Italian marble on the interior. The sanctuary was dedicated in 1890 as a memorial to his daughter, Jenny Louise Benedict. The Church includes a family mausoleum in which Henry Flagler is entombed along with his first wife, Mary Harkness, his daughter, Jenny Louise, and his granddaughter, Marjorie Benedict. The building was added to the National Register in 1983.

In addition to the Memorial Presbyterian Church, Flagler commissioned the Carrère and Hastings firm to design several other projects in St. Augustine. The Grace Methodist Church was constructed in 1886-1887 (National Register 1979). The Hotel Ponce de Leon, now part of Flagler College, was constructed in 1885-1887 (National Register 1975; National Historic Landmark 2006). The Hotel Alcazar, now known as the Lightner Building, was constructed in 1888-1889 (National Register 1971). Flagler's private residence, Kirkside, was constructed in 1893.

Source: Walter Howard Lee, The Flagler story and Memorial Church (Memorial Presbyterian Church Society), 1949. Memorial Presbyterian Church,


8.75 Linear feet (53 drawings)

Language of Materials



Architectural drawings and blueprints for the Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida. The hotel was designed by the Carrère & Hastings firm for Henry M. Flagler.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Custodial History

The Memorial Presbyterian Church previously had deposited the drawings with the St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library.

Acquisition Information

In 2005 the Memorial Presbyterian Church placed the collection on deposit at the University of Florida.

Alternate Form of Material

The items in this collection have been digitized and are available via the Carrère & Hastings Digital Collection page in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). The items were digitized with the generous support of a Save America's Treasures grant administered by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to the links that are provided throughout this guide to the collection, all materials can be searched or browsed at the Carrère & Hastings Digital Collection page.

Related Material

The University of Florida also holds Carrère & Hastings drawings for the Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine. Flagler College holds materials pertaining to the history of buildings constructed by Henry Flagler in St. Augustine.

Processing Notes

All arrangement and description activities, conservation treatments, and digital imaging were completed in 2011-12 with generous support of a Save America's Treasures grant. Many of the drawings include original numbers (e.g., "Plan No. 4"). As much as possible, the drawings were retained in their original number order. However, it was impossible to accurately discern the original order of all of the drawings. The numbers assigned to the drawings are not original numbers used by the creators of the drawings. These numbers were assigned during processing of the collection.

A Guide to the Memorial Presbyterian Church Architecture Collection
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
April 2012
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.
Digitization funded with the generous support of a Save America's Treasures grant.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America