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In January of 1896, Henry Flagler opened his second hotel in Palm Beach, which he named the Palm Beach Inn. It was a simple and unpretentious hotel overlooking the ocean a quarter mile from Flagler's luxurious Hotel Royal Poinciana. During an expansion project in 1903, the Palm Beach Inn caught fire and was destroyed. By 1906 it was rebuilt and renamed The Breakers Hotel and opened to universal acclaim. Room rates started at four dollars a night, and included three meals a day. The guest register read like a "Who's Who" of early twentieth century America - Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Astors, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan vacationed alongside United States presidents and European nobility.

On March 18, 1925, twelve years after Flagler's death, tragedy struck The Breakers once again when another fire destroyed the all-wood structure. Mrs. Flagler’s family, who had inherited the Flagler System, were determined to build the world's finest resort as a testament to Henry Flagler's vision. The new resort would be constructed where the old hotel once stood. The notable New York-based architectural firm of Schultze & Weaver were invited to design The Breakers resort we know today. The Villa Medici in Rome was the inspiration for the new hotel’s facade. The Breakers reopened for the 1926-27 Season, and featured more than 400 guest rooms that overlooked the ocean, sumptuous public spaces, and world-class amenities. Today, The Breakers remains an impressive masterpiece of Gilded Age luxury and one of the world’s great resorts.

Touring The Historic Breakers Hotel

The Breakers Driveway

The Flagler Museum offers tours of The Breakers that explore the hotel's history, and the architectural precedents of its impressive public rooms.

November 22, 2016 through April 11, 2017
Tours are available on Saturdays and Tuesdays


April 22 through November 18, 2017
Tours are available on Saturdays only

Watch a Lecture about the Architects of The Breakers

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This lecture on architects Schultze & Weaver was part of the 26th Annual Whitehall Lecture Series on "The Architects Who Designed Palm Beach's Iconic Buildings." Jonathan Mogul is the Academic Programs Coordinator at the Wolfsonian at Florida International University. He co-authored "Grand Hotels of the Jazz Age: The Architecture of Schultze & Weaver."