An entire city block of historic homes is not a typical gift from a philanthropist, but that's what Kenneth Worcester Dow gave today's visitors to St. Augustine. Dow was not a St. Augustine native, but when he arrived in the 1930s, he bought the Prince Murat House (Murat was a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and also the crown prince of Naples, Italy), one of the city's oldest surviving colonial structures. Over the next two decades, Dow acquired the block's other nine historic
homes and in 1989 donated them, along with his collections of art and antiques, but it took more than a decade to restore the buildings and open seven of them to the public. The houses were built between 1790 and 1910, demonstrating Florida history from the colonial era to the period when Henry Flagler established St. Augustine as a luxury resort location. The museum entrance is through the Star General Store, originally a dry-goods emporium built in 1899, which now houses the museum's gift shop. Both guided and self-guided tours are available.