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Newly renovated solarium at Flagler College opens after 40 years

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Updated: 5/21/2013 4:26 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- After being closed to the public for 40 years, the Flagler College solarium is ready to make a comeback.

Crews were out Monday afternoon putting the finishing touches to the space for tomorrow's dedication ceremony.

The room is known as the centerpiece of Flagler College, perched on the fourth floor of the historic building once known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel.

"It was a mystery floor, you kind of could see through a doorway but at the same time you didn't know what was up here so there were all these rumors and legends," said Samantha Palmer, Director of Historic Tours and former Flagler student.

Behind closed doors sits a domed shape room, flooded with sunlight from every corner, and breathtaking panoramic views of the nation's oldest city.

"This is the final piece of this building to be restored in time for the 125th anniversary. Ironically today, Henry Flagler died 100 years ago," said Leslee Keys, Director of Corporate Foundation and Government Relations.

It took $2 million for the renovation project to happen, most of the money was a gift by two members of the Board of Trustees.

"The possibilities are endless at this point. It's such a beautiful room not to share with the public and the student body," said Palmer.

Starting June 1st, school leaders will be hosting private tours of the solarium. They've also planned tea parties and will eventually open it up to Flagler students for school functions.

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