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On the western boundary of the Post Office Park is the Ponce de
Leon Hotel. Henry M. Flagler built this hotel during the development of
St. Augustine as a winter resort; it turned out to be but one unit in his
plan for Florida East Coast development. The hotel was formally opened
on January 10, 1888. A fine example of Spanish Renaissance
architecture, its red tile roof, its towers, domes and lavishly decorated,
arched gateways, no less than the remarkable interior ornamentation,
make it one of the most colorful spots in St. Augustine.
Placed about the two Plazas are interesting varieties of cannons,
at one time the armament of Fort Marion, including Columbiads [sic],
James, and Redman cannons, old four-pounder field pieces, and a huge
mortar weighing 7,640 pounds. The Columbians were probably
manufactured during the War of 1812. All the other cannons were cast
after 1846. Today, surrounded by pyramids of cannon balls, these
historic guns strike a military note in accord with the past of this parade