The Alcazar closed in the 1930s, a victim of the Depression, and was abandoned until purchased by Otto Lightner in 1946. A native of Chicago, he was looking for a site to house his collection of "Gilded Age" artworks, antiques, curios, wood paneling, mantles, doors, and stained glass windows. Lightner died 4 years later, but 80% of the museum is still comprised of his original collection.
If you ever visit the museum, don't miss:
- The Music Room - filled with instruments built between 1870 and 1920. There was a demonstration of the mechanical instruments that included a Nickelodeon, this crazy thing that played both a violin and a piano (German Orchestrion), the Regina Orchestral Corona (with spring motors ... wind-up) and some other interesting pieces.
- The Shrunken Head from Jivaro Indians (Equador).
- The works of Tiffany's New York studios. They have several lamps and panels created by Tiffany in the late 19th century. Very beautiful.
Link to their website: Lightner Museum