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Built in 1913 by Reverend Dr. Harwood Huntington, The Casements is named for its casement-style windows. Retired Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, Sr. purchased it in 1918 as a winter residence, in hopes that it would support his desire to live to age 100. Known locally as "Neighbor John," Rockefeller spent winters here enjoying golf, watching automobile racing on the beach, and meeting "Birthplace of Speed" race drivers. He also spent time socializing at the Hotel Ormond, and welcoming the company of friends such as Will Rogers, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. Rockefeller died in his bedroom here in May 1937, just short of his 98th birthday. Allegedly his heirs intended to have The Casements razed following his death. Instead it was sold in 1940 to Maud Van Woy, owner and headmistress of the Fairmont Junior College of Washington, D.C. Van Woy transformed the building into the Casements Junior College. Following the closing of the college in 1951, The Casements then served as a religious retirement facility and school. Later it became Casements Manor, a secular retirement facility and transient hotel, and finally, the Ormond Hotel-Casements.
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The property, which
included a separate cottage called "South House," was expanded through the years by each owner's addition of staff residences, garage apartments, and dormitories. It fell into an extended period of owner neglect and was finally abandoned. Again destined to be razed in the late 1960s, The Casements was saved by local citizens. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and the City of Ormond Beach purchased the property in 1974. It was restored with a federal Economic Development Administration grant under the Local Public Works Act in 1978 and reopened in 1979 as The Community Enrichment Center of Ormond Beach, a historical, educational and cultural facility also hosting community events. With the additions removed, The Casements evokes the residence built by Rev. Dr. Huntington and purchased by John D. Rockefeller. The State of Florida designated John D. Rockefeller "A Great Floridian" in November 2000.