The Lakeview of St. Augustine Condominium is located at 172 Cordova Street. It is a two-story frame and brick building. The building was constructed by the firm of McGuire and McDonald between 1885-1893 to serve as the servants’ quarters for the Ponce de Leon Hotel. It was called the Ponce de Leon Barracks. It filled this purpose for most of the years that the Ponce de Leon was operated as a hotel. A local newspaper reported in 1894: “One hundred and fifty rooms are in the building called the Barracks, for the accommodations of male help.”
The southern half of the building is brick and it is one of the oldest brick buildings in St. Augustine. The building has foundation of poured concrete – the famous material used in the building of the great hotels. It was erected on filled land. Maria Sanchez Creek, which ran through this site, was filled in by Henry Flagler in the 1880’s to create land for the building of the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar Hotels and this building.
Early map and sketches show an unadorned, rectangular shaped, high roofed building. It has been remodeled over the years in the Colonial Revival style, with large square wood columns on a portico and a decorative metal balconet over the main door. Four two-story wooden porches have also been added to the back of the building. In the 1940’s, it became the Lakeside Apartments, with a dozen rental units. In 2004, a developer purchased the apartment building and converted it into high-end luxury condominiums, retaining many of the features of the original building.
This area surrounding 172 Cordova Street is built on land filled by Henry Flagler for the construction of the great 19th century hotels. It is bounded on the south by Maria Sanchez Lake and on the north by the Alcazar Hotel. It is bounded on the east by the National Landmark Historic District boundary of the old colonial city, upon which have been built mainly early 20th century residences.
Until the late 19th century, this block formed the western bank of Maria Sanchez Creek. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a series of walkways or bridges crossed the marshes in the vicinity of Bridge Street, and this thoroughfare led to one of the three late colonial ferry crossings across the San Sebastian River. After the Civil War, the community of Africa, later called Lincolnville, soon developed on the marshlands as newly freed Blacks began renting the property from the City. Lincolnville expanded west of Washington Street by the mid-1890’s, at which time Henry Flagler filled in the Creek to St. Francis Street. The Cordova Street side of the block, running parallel to the 18th century Rosario defense line, was used for this building, offices of the St. Augustine Record, and some private residences. The Washington Street side became an extension of Lincolnville and developed in a prosperous early 20th century Black commercial district. The southern tip of the block was developed in the mid-1890’s by Heth Canfield’s St. Augustine Park Association as part of the planned Water Park around the then newly dredged Maria Sanchez Lake.