The Villa Zorayda Museum has undergone an extensive renovation and is once again open to the public as a museum. Built by Franklin Webster Smith, the museum is built 1/10th the scale of a section of the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain utilizing his method of construction of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell.
Setting a precedence for St. Augustine that began the Moorish Spanish Revival style of architecture that is seen throughout the city today as well as the concrete and coquina construction that was used throughout the city. The building was leased out and became the Zorayda Club in 1904 featuring dining, dancing, and gambling, which was by invitation only. In 1913 the building was purchased by Abraham S. Mussallem, an authority on Oriental rugs, fine arts and Egyptian artifacts and became one of the most fashionable places for casino gambling.
The building finally became a museum in 1930 and featured the priceless antique collections of both Franklin Smith and A.S. Mussallem which are still on display today. The 45-60 minute tour given today aprovimately 45-60 minutes and features an in depth look at the historical significance of the building to the City of St. Augustine, the magnificent architecture, as well as descriptions of the many exquisite pieces you will see.
A Must See! This is a must see stop in St Augustine. The decor isn't for everyone's taste, but it is an interesting part of history.
This is a must see if you go St Augustine. The art and culture enclosed in this building is superb. A treasure, and a privilege to be able to admire now.
Unique and Original Enjoyed all the different size windows. The antiques combined with architecture is a unique yet real example of how they lived in the past. Low profile and fun for the entire family.
Beautiful and Exotic
Beautiful, well-kept historical home featuring Moroccan architecture and thousands of exotic antiques. Electronic tour guide box gives lots of info about each of the exhibits, the home and the owners. Possibly would not be interesting to smaller children.
Small private residence based on the Alhambra in Spain. House has had only two owners over 105 years so many artifacts are original to the house. Built by a Boston architect in the late 1800's. Very interesting. Not something you would normally see. Free audio tour is helpful.
A Must See!
Its amazing eye dropping building artifacts the self tour was awesome what can I say we'll worth the time spent history was amazing a good learning lesson for the kids and anyone else who would visit