Historic Wakulla Springs Lodge
This genteel Mediterranean Revival style hotel built in 1937 by wealthy financier Edward Ball has maintained its stately grandeur up to the present day. Surrounded by 6,000 forested acres in Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge retains its grand Art Deco marble-and-iron staircase and intricately painted ceiling of local wildlife and other decorative scenes. The world’s longest known marble bar, at 70 feet 3 inches, is in the Soda Fountain/Gift Shop.
The Lodge at Wakulla is operated by an independent concessionaire. Guest Services, Inc. manages all aspects of the lodge including the restaurant, gift shop, ice cream parlor/snack bar, lodging, and seasonal concessions at the historic bathhouse. The Lodge features regular lodging/dining specials and can host special events.
For Information About the Lodge:
Please call: (850) 421-2000Contact the Lodge
People began looking up in 2002 at Wakulla Springs State Park when a team of conservators brought attention to the lodge’s painted ceiling.
Perched atop scaffolding, seven artisans removed the soot and grime of ages from the 5,800–square–foot lobby ceiling.
Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park obtained a grant from the State of Florida’s Division of Historic Resources to conserve this folk art treasure, which is original to the 1937 lodge.
Rustin Levenson, Art Conservation Association, Miami (who co–authored “Seeing Through Paintings”); brought her team of professionals to the serene park for a two-week cleaning and restoration effort.
The decorations are a mixture of painterly styles. Some stenciling is evident, as are repetitive geometric motives. Interspersed and held together by a gleaming string–of–opal effect are historic Florida scenes, four Spanish galleons and four tropical birds. Overlooking people entering the lobby from either end are two stern looking women, both evoking a German “Jugendstil,” akin to the Art Nouveau movement.
A history book with full color pictures of the lodge ceiling is available in the Lodge gift shop.
“Art and Marble in a Florida Swamp: A New Deal for Wakulla”
By Madeleine Hirsiger-Carr
Photography: Richard Brunck, David Moynahan, Bob Thompson
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