As the Pensacola Journal explained [in 1909]:
The name "San Carlos" is typical of Pensacola and of Florida. It suggests at once the romance and chivalry of the early Spanish days. . .
. . .The San Carlos Hotel, sometimes called the Hotel San Carlos and affectionately dubbed the Gray Lady of Palafox, was a grand and revered hotel in Pensacola for much of the 20th century. . .
. . .The hotel was designed by New York architect William Lee Stoddart and erected by local firm C. H. Turner Construction Co. at a cost of $500,000. A sturdy beam-and-girder structural system, designed to withstand hurricane winds, was covered by ceramic tile and stucco. . .
. . .Ground was broken in April 1909, and construction was completed in 1910. It opened its doors on the first day of Mardi Gras celebrations. The hotel had its own well, with a rooftop cistern and purification system, and the original 157 rooms each had an exterior window and modern furnishings. . .
. . .The hotel fared well through the Depression years; the seventh floor was retrofitted in 1931 to accommodate the WCOA radio studio, which began broadcasting there in 1932. In 1934 artist Joy Apostle painted murals in the main lobby and dining room, and it was the headquarters for the New York Giants spring training at Legion Field. ...However, with the advent of roadside motels in the 1950s — conveniently spaced every few miles along the highway, offering air-conditioned rooms at inexpensive rates — the San Carlos could not compete. It entered a period of decline and neglect from which it would not recover.
. . .The San Carlos Hotel ceased operations in 1982 and lay vacant for more than a decade. After a proposal by Baptist Health Care to convert it to retirement apartments failed to materialize, the hotel was demolished in 1993. A new United States Courthouse was built on the site in 1998. Pensapedia
St. Michael Church, the oldest church in Pensacola, has a rich and beautiful history. There is a one-page fact sheet at the church website, as well as much more information, including photos taken both inside and outside the church. I was impressed with the "References" tab at the website assisting those who wish to delve more deeply into the history of place and faith topics.
Film North Florida has a current interactive Google map showing St. Michael Church and its surroundings (including that new courthouse where the San Carlos Hotel once stood).
In a serendipitous juxtaposition to this old postcard I happened upon the website of Fabian y Felipe, creators of the most remarkable handmade jewelry, while I was looking for art about St. Michael. From the website, here is their story:
One is Argentine and the other Mexican, but Fabian and Felipe are kindred spirits and like brothers who stay up late into the night talking about ideas, dreams, and sketching new designs while the rest of the world sleeps. You will see in their work a shared vision and a complexity to their designs that marries two individual's creative thoughts.
Fabian y Felipe is a line that seeps with soul, spirituality, wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration. Fabian y Felipe is a life-long dream...
There is a Serenity Medallion that I'd buy in a heartbeat if I had the money, and other astonishingly unique pieces too...... But getting back to St. Michael, you simply must look at the pieces in their Archangel Michael line. One look, an appreciative sigh, and this post is complete.
angel wings graphic: webweaver.nu
photo of St. Michael's Small Shield: Fabian y Felipe website