Alcatraz? No, Alcazar. The Alcazar Hotel, designed by Carrère and Hastings, opened on Christmas day, 1888 and closed in 1931. Today it houses the St. Augustine City Hall and the Lightner Museum.
The Spanish Renaissance structure was originally a luxury winter resort with a casino, spa, salons, bowling alley, and the largest indoor pool of its time.
The courtyard includes a lovely koi pond.
In 1946, the building was purchased by Chicago publisher Otto C. Lightner, and reopened as the Lightner Museum two years later. He gave the museum to the city of St. Augustine.
John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings both studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and worked at the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White, before establishing their own firm in the same building.
Their first few major commissions were from Henry Morrison Flagler, the Florida developer and railway tycoon for whom the partners designed the Alcazar Hotel, Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Ponce de León Hotel, and the Flagler family home, all in St. Augustine.
A famous later project was the New York Public Library main branch in Midtown Manhattan, which opened in 1911, the year that Carrère was killed in an automobile accident. Using the same firm name, Hastings continued on his own until his death in 1929.