AN ARCHITECTURAL INVESTIGATION OF THE XIMENEZ-FATIO HOUSE, ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
A. METHOD OF INVESTIGATION
The Architect conducted a careful study of all construction and finishes accessible
without removal of surfaces or materials. After completion of the visual inspec-
tion, it was found necessary to remove limited portions of finishes to establish
methods, materials, and continuity of construction. Further field investigation
will require the removal of large quantities of finishes and materials, and it is
anticipated that this work can be accomplished with greater economy when restora-
tion of the building begins. Finally, the results of the architectural investiga-
tion have been correlated with archeological and documentary research completed to
date. The field investigation was conducted from December 1973 through September
The contributions of the following people are gratefully acknowledged: Mr.
Charles Peterson, AIA; Mr. Albert Manucy, Historian; Mr. Robert Steinbeck, Arch-
eologist; and Mr. John Clauser, Archeologist, have made valuable contributions
both in ideas and time. The keen eyes and careful hands of Mr. Arthur S. Ander-
son, Contractor, and his two sons, Geoffrey and Mark, have been most helpful. Mr.
John Nelson, of my office, was most gracious in lending me valuable camera equip-
ment. Finally, the continuing interest, support and excellent research of Mrs.
Judson Freeman and Mrs. William G. Lockwood, of the Colonial Dames, are grate-
Contemporary surveys identify the location of the present structures as part of
Block 34, St. Augustine, as recorded in Deed Book 149, page 458 and Deed Book 238,
page 424 of the public records of St. John's County, Florida (). The main struc-
ture is located in the southeast corner of the property, and its east and south
walls fall upon the respective east and south property lines. With the exception
of the one-story kitchen and the two-story main structure, all existing above-
grade construction was determined by the Architect to be of recent date and there-
fore was not examined as part of this report. However, archeological investiga-
tion has been conducted in certain areas of the grounds adjoining the two early
structures, and pertinent information from these investigations has been incorpora-
ted in this report ( ).
III. DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS
A. MAIN STRUCTURE
The main structure consists of a two-story masonry and wood building, L-shaped
in plan. That portion of the building adjoining Aviles Street has two-story
masonry walls and is referred to as the "main house" in this report. The two-
story wing behind this building adjoining Cadiz Street has first floor walls
of masonry and second floor walls of wood and is referred to as the "west wing".
A habitable attic is located above the main house. All first-floor floors are
of coquina concrete or lime cement ormigon ( ). Second floor and habitable attic
floors are wood plank and beam construction. All interior walls are plastered
with the exception of the habitable attic, where walls are sealed with wood siding.
All ceilings are plastered with the exception of certain first-floor ceilings
where plaster has been removed and the plank and beam construction has been exposed.
The majority of existing doors are single-swing, wooden, -Ae-panel. However,
three sets of paired swinging panel doors, two large bi-folding doors and a few
board-and-batten and plank-on-panel doors are found in the northern portion of the
house. With the exception of those in the stair hall and attic dormers, all win-
dows are wooden single-hung held open by means of stick props, containing six panes
upper sash, nine panes lower. Stair hall and dormer windows are similar in design
but differ in size and have six-over-six sash. The present roofing material is
The kitchen is of stuccoed masonry, one-story height, consisting of two rooms se-
parated by a masonry partition into which is built a fireplace and separate oven.
First floor windows are in-opening wooden casements, and six-over-six single-hung
sash are located high in each gabled end. The present doors are vertical board-
and-batten. Floors are concrete. Roof framing is exposed to the interior. The
roofing material is asbestos shingle.
IV. ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION
A. CONSTRUCTION DATE
Although documentary evidence reveals earlier construction on the property, the
property was apparently vacant when purchased by Andres Ximenez in 1797 ( ).
According to the assessment discussed below, by 1806 a residence with a warehouse,
kitchen, privy, wash shed, fences -ouoden house had been constructed ( ). Thus,
original construction must have occurred between 1797 and 1806.
There is little physical evidence at the site with which to establish a defini-
tive original date. Hand-wrought nails removed from the attic sub-floor would
establish a pre-1800 date if the site were in New England for around 1800 cut
nails apparently came into widespread and immediate use in the northeastern
United States ( ). It seems reasonable to assume that early cut nails would
have reached St. Augustine and other port cities shortly thereafter, possibly
within one or two years. Nevertheless, it is also possible that the use of hand-
wrought nails extended well into the 1800's in St. Augustine. Therefore, we must
rely upon documentary evidence for the establishment of an approximate date of
B. THE 1806 ASSESSMENT
In 1806 an assessment was made of the house of Don Andres Ximenez by chief master
carpenter Martin Hernandez and by the chief master mason of the Royal Works of
the City ( ). As might be expected, the carpenter's assessment listed all items
made of wood; the mason's assessment listed all items constructed of masonry. In
the latter case, wall surfaces and floor surfaces are measured in terms of square
varas. Each major wall and each floor surface is listed separately, not only for
the main house but also for what is designated as the first warehouse, the second
warehouse and the kitchen. Thus, we have a convenient means by which to compare
the existing masonry walls of existing construction with those of the assessment.
In addition, the number of doors and windows listed in the carpenter's assessment
can also be compared.
A detailed comparison of existing construction and the original construction listed
in the assessment is included as There is a remarkable correspon-
dence between the assessment figures for the two-story masonry portion of the main
structure and the one-story masonry portion of the kitchen. The warehouses, how-
ever, pose a slightly more difficult problem.
The probable configuration of the "First" and "Second" Warehouses is primarily
dependent upon the 1806 assessments. Two basic assumptions are required. First,
the fact that the original warehouse walls were of relatively valuable masonry indi-
cates they would have been preserved in later reconstruction and remain in place
today. Secondly, the fact that the east wall of each warehouse is not listed in
the assessment indicates that the east wall of the "First Warehouse" is included
elsewhere in the assessment as a portion of the west wall of the main house, and
the east wall of the "Second Warehouse" is the listed west wall of the "First
Warehouse". In other words, the main house, "First Warehouse", and "Second
Warehouse" were contiguous structures. The obvious conclusion is that the
existing first floor masonry walls of the west wing were originally the walls
of the two warehouses ( ).
The "First Warehouse" is so-called because it is the first to the west of the
main house. In addition, it may have been recognized as the first constructed.
The "Second Warehouse" is second in line and perhaps of later construction, but
Although the mason's assessment lists two warehouses, the carpenter's assessment
lists only a "warehouse" with two types of roofing materials, shingles and pine
shakes. While the faces of the masonry walls are aligned, the mason apparently
made a distinction, first, because the walls were of different heights, and,
secondly, because the masonry west wall of the "First Warehouse" was not truly
an interior partition but an exterior wall, for it formed an exposed gable into
which the lower "Second Warehouse" roof terminated. Thus the mason found it
necessary to list each wall separately in order to record the areas accurately.
This distinction was not made in the carpenter's assessment, for area computations
were not required.
The above conclusions can be tested to a certain extent by matching the areas of
the existing masonry walls of the west wing against those in the assessment. A
reasonable comparison is achieved if the "First Warehouse" walls are assumed to
be their present height, and if the "Second Warehouse" walls are assumed to be
the height of the existing kitchen walls. However, a gap approximately eleven
feet wide results in the north wall of the "Second Warehouse". No special doors
or wooden exterior walls are listed by the carpenter; perhaps a permanent opening
for carts or carriages was provided. The presence of a chimney of larger area
than that of the kitchen may be related to this large opening, and indicate the
presence of a smithy.
C. SCOPE OF ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION
Documents indicate that Ximenez maintained a store before he purchased the property
and during his occupancy of the site ( ). It is probable that a store was an inte-
gral part of his original construction plans. The first Will, dated October 19,
1802, listed "a house where he lived", and "in the said house I have a grocery
store and a billiard table with everything pertaining to it." ( ) Unfortunately,
the inventory mentioned in this Will has not been found >, and there is no record
in 1802 of warehouses. Apparently the house and store are again mentioned in
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the general text of the Second Will of April 10, 1806, but the warehouses are
listed only in the appraisals ( ).
As noted below, the "First Warehouse" masonry walls are continuations of the
main house walls, and were apparently designed to be part of original construc-
tion. The "Second Warehouse" may have been added after original construction but
before 1806; present evidence is inconclusive.
The specific location of the store within the structure cannot be determined by
documentary or visual evidence. The large early door opening at Door C4 may have
provided public access to a store in Room 4. However, a store could have been
located in the "First Warehouse". The billiard table would have required a
moderately large room; either Room 3' or the "First Warehouse" would have been
adequate. However, all considerations regarding the store must remain speculative
pending further research.
In summary, it is probable that original requirements included a store, residence,
the "First Warehouse", and the kitchen. The "Second Warehouse" was possibly in-
D. THE ORIGINAL WALLS
Limited removal of interior and exterior finishes of masonry wall surfaces indicates
that all investigated masonry walls are of cut coquina stone. In addition, all
masonry walls of the main house and at least the eastern portion of the "First
Warehouse" south wall were built at the same time. There is no evidence of a
construction joint of stacked masonry, or that the new masonry may have been
toothed into existing masonry at any of the areas investigated.
Further investigation of walls in the warehouse area was not undertaken because
it would have been necessary to remove large areas of stucco and plaster. There
is limited field evidence, however, that may support the documentary evidence
indicating the warehouses were contiguous and in this area. North and south
exterior wall thicknesses were field verified in Rooms 5, 6, 7, and 8. The north
and south walls of Rooms 5 and 6 are substantially the same thickness, measuring
approximately 151 inches. However, the north wall of Rooms 7 and 8 is approxi-
mately 13 inches thick, and the south approximately 12 inches. Thus, the north
and south walls of the assumed "First Warehouse" are approximately 3 inches
thicker than those of the "Second Warehouse". The change in thickness occurs at
the plastered wood frame partition between Rooms 6 and 7, which is now in the
assumed location of the earlier masonry west wall of the "First Warehouse".
* As originally planned.
Archeological investigation and field investigation indicates that only the
larger room of the kitchen was originally constructed There is a definite
construction joint where the northeast corner of this room abuts the northern
addition. Furthermore, field investigation indicates that the masonry gable
ends of the original walls were not part of the original construction but were
later additions. Comparison with the 1806 assessment indicates that the masonry
walls of the kitchen were the same height on all four sides, thus indicating that
the kitchen originally had either a hipped roof similar to that on the main house,
gable ends of siding or shingles, or, less likely, that the gable ends remained
open. Although there is no specific indication on the carpenter's assessment,
it is probable that shingled gables were provided as seen in the 1900 photo-
graph ( ).
Within the main house, the masonry partitions separating Rooms 1 and 2 and 2 and
3 are apparently original. The partition separating Rooms 2 and 3 can be accoun-
ted for as one of the two partitions dividing the downstairs parlor in the master
mason's assessment. Similar masonry partitions found on the second floor are also
original. In addition, there is evidence of an 8-inch thick masonry partition
located 13 feet 4 inches north of the south wall of Room 4. The lime cement ormigon
floor was poured to this partition and was patched after the partition, was removed.
This partition is apparently the second of the two partitions noted in the mason's
assessment of 1806 as dividing the downstairs parlor. A similar partition on the
second floor is not noted in the mason's assessment, and we must conclude that
Rooms 11 and 12 were originally one space.
In summary, the exterior masonry walls remain today essentially as constructed prior
to 1806, although the warehouse walls have been rebuilt and the kitchen expanded.
A masonry partition in Room .4 and the west wall of the "First Warehouse" have been
removed, but all other interior masonry partitions apparently remain.
E. ORIGINAL FLOORS, FIRST FLOOR
The earliest floor surfaces now visible consist of the ormigon concrete visible
in Room 3, Room 4 and the eastern portion of Room 5. In addition, some ormigon
concrete exists at the patio at the foot of the stairs. The ormigon concrete con-
tains both oyster and coquina shells in a relatively soft lime cement. Archeo-
logical evidence from the excavation in front of the fireplace located at the
northern end of Room 3 indicates that present ormigon exposed to view is actually
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the third level of three levels, and that the original floor was approximately
0.6 feet below the present level ( ). The result of increases in floor
elevation can be seen at the exterior stairs where the bottom stringer and first
riser are embedded in the ormigon. The relatively low height of original door
openings in the northern portion of the house may also be explained by the gradual
increase of floor elevation over the years. Thus, no original concrete floor
surfaces are now visible. However, we may conclude that the ormigon concrete
now visible dates prior to 1830, for the doors and apparently the floor elevations
of the major remodelling that took place in 1830-48 were installed at the same
elevation of the ormigon floor now visible. It should be noted that the 1806
assessment indicates that all rooms of the residence and the first warehouse
contained floors of ormigon ( ).
F. ORIGINAL FLOORS, SECOND FLOOR
The second-floor floors are of plank and beam construction. Floor joists in Rooms
9, 10, 11 and 12 run east-west, and their careful craftsmanship and beaded lower
edges clearly indicate they were intended to be exposed to view from the floor
below. The floor joists appear to be continuous from Room 1 through Room 2, but
may be spliced within the partition separating these rooms. They are spaced
approximately 25 to 26 inches on center. The floor joists above Rooms 3 and 4
are identical to those above Rooms 1 and 2 but are approximately 221 inches center
to center. All floor joists are heart pine, as are the floor planks. The joists
are from 3 to 4T inches wide by 9 inches deep. The floor planks of Rooms 9, 10,
11 and 12 are apparently tongue-and-groove and vary in width from 71 to 8 inches.
Like the beams, the planks are carefully crafted and were intended to be exposed
to view from beneath.
The floor joists and planks of Room No. 5 are all part of later construction. At
some time after original construction but prior to 1830, a decision was made to
remove the original masonry wall which approximately bisected Room No. 5 into eastern
and western halves. This decision must have preceded the 1830-48 remodelling, be-
cause it was apparently necessary to leave the second floor portion of the masonry
wall in place. Had the second floor above the warehouse been added when the first-
floor masonry wall was removed, it seems reasonable that the second floor masonry
wall would also have been removed to avoid difficulties of support. However, the
presence of a large wooden beam beneath what was originally the second-floor
masonry wall indicates it was necessary to leave this portion of the wall in place.
The roof of the one-story warehouse framed into its upper portion; the wall sur-
face above the warehouse roof was exposed to the weather. In addition, this wall
also supported the second-floor roof of the main residence. To somewhat relieve
the load placed upon the wooden beam carrying the upper portion of the wall,
apparently it was decided to remove the original floor joists which framed east
and west as in Room 1 and replace them with beams spanning north and south. The
replacement beams are quite crude and are hand-hewn. Either the space created
by this renovation was to be used as a utility area or the beams were to have
been lathed and plastered. However, the flooring planks in this area are fairly
well crafted; although the tops of the beams are shimmed to meet the flooring,
the flooring itself is not shaved and fit to the beams.
However, the floor joists and floor planks to the west of the beam are cruder
than those to the east. Again, the floor joists are hand-hewn, but the flooring
planks have been shaved to fit accurately over the beams.
Thus the quality of the workmanship of the eastern portion of Room 5, while not
nearly as well executed as that of Rooms 1 through 4, is quite superior to that
found in the western half of Room 5. The floor construction of Rooms 6, 7, and
8, as well as the construction of the western half of Room 5, dates from the
remodelling accomplished in 1830-48.
The assessment of 1806 may indicate that a floor was located in the loft space
of the "First Warehouse" and was accessible by ladder ( ). An investigation
of the top of the floor joists to the west of the large beam in Room 5 did not
indicate, however, that these floor joists had been used as part of an earlier
loft floor or roof construction. No evidence of pegs or other attachment of
rafters was found. The joists were apparently new when installed in 1830-48.
G. ATTIC FLOORING
Floor joists and flooring accessible at the south end of the attic were examined.
The joists measured 3 to 31 inches in width by approximately 8-1/8 inches in
depth. The floor joists that could be examined appeared to be pit-sawn and were
spaced between 26 and 28 inches on center. The sub-flooring measured approximately
11-1/4 to 11-3/4 inches in width by 1 inch thickness, square-edged. The bottoms
and sides of both floor joists and planks were whitewashed, clearly indicating
that they were exposed to view. The planks actually form a sub-floor, for within
all areas of the attic intended to be habitable a second flooring was installed
over the original planks. Several nails were withdrawn from the original floor
planks and found to be approximately 9d hand-forged. Nails withdrawn from the
planks installed above the original planks were also 9d, but were machine-cut with
machine-stamped heads, clearly indicating that the upper floor was installed at a
later date ( ). The original flooring was apparently cut by a vertical stoke
steam saw. The vertical stokes are clearly evident on the plank faces.
H. ROOF CONSTRUCTION
The roof over the two-story masonry portion of the main house clearly precedes
the roof built above the western wing. The roof framing of the western wing was
installed above the existing shingles and framing of the earlier roof of the two-
story masonry structure. The earlier shingles and framing were left in place
in the attic space thus created.
The roof above the two-story masonry structure was designed as a hip with approxi-
mately 450 slopes, indicating English design influence ( ). The space above
the attic ceiling burned within the last 75 years but the original joists were
not so damaged as to require. replacement ( ). They were, however, supple-
mented by relatively modern joists fastened with wire-cut nails. The original
joists were apparently hand-hewn on tops and bottoms, and the sides exhibit either
hand or pit-sawn marks as seen in unburned areas. The joists measure approxi-
mately 2z inches wide by 5 inches deep, and are spaced at varying intervals of
from 27 to 31 inches. Collar beams connect every opposing pair of joists and the
panel ceiling of the attic is nailed to the bottom of same. The roof rafter collar-
beam joint is usually a lapped joint pegged with a wooden peg, but at least one joint
has the collar mortised to the roof joists and pegged.
There is no ridge beam. Each joist is mortised and pegged into the other at the
ridge. A vertical post braces the end of the ridge at each hip. The vertical
post measures 5 by 2z inches and is mortised and pegged at the bottan. At the
top, joists opposite are mortised in separately with separate pegs. The hip ridges
frame in to the top of the post at an angle and are fastened with metal spikes.
Original or very early stripping and shingles are visible at the juncture of the
roof of the west wing and the main house. The stripping is hand-hewn, measuring
1-3/4 to 2-1/2 inches on the flat and 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches deep. The shingles are
of cypress and are hand-split. At the plate line, the roof joists are mortised into
the plates and beams. The wall plate is 4 inches high by 5-3/4 inches wide.
Dormers are discussed in "Windows".
An investigation of chimney construction in the attic revealed that the chimney
in the partition separating Rooms 2 an 3 and 10 and 11 was of stuccoed coquina
stone masonry. All other chimneys, including the chimney at the south end of
Rooms Nos. 4 and 12, were of brick, and part of later construction.
The wooden frontispiece of the fireplace in Room 3 was removed to permit investiga-
tion of construction. The fireplace and chimney are constructed of coquina masonry
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and are an integral part of the coquina wall behind. This particular fireplace
exhibits a wooden lintel which may not be original but which is early and un-
doubtedly the replacement of an original wooden lintel. The coquina blocks are
not cut in a flat arch above this wooden lintel but are designed to bear directly
upon it. The original firebox measures 4'-O" wide x 4'-2," high x l'-ll" deep.
Two later fireboxes constructed of brick with flat iron bar lintels were con-
structed within the original firebox. This fireplace is apparently integral with
the chimney listed in the 1806 assessment ( ).
The wooden frontispiece was also removed from the fireplace in Room 2. The ori-
ginal firebox was built of cut coquina masonry blocks with a lime plaster finish.
Cut coquina blocks form a flat arch above the opening complete with keystone in
the center. The firebox measures 3'-101" wide x 3'-3" high x l'-5" deep. This
fireplace is not integral with the wall although the face of the masonry wall
behind is apparently used as the rear of the firebox. We can conclude that this
fireplace was built after the wall was constructed and is not part of original
construction. In addition, it is not recorded in the 1806 assessment.
J. PLASTER FINISHES
The earliest plaster now visible is located on the walls of Rooms 2, 3, 10, 11,
12, 13, 14, and on the ceiling of Room 14. The plaster is applied directly to
the walls and has an irregular surface and smooth finish. Ceiling plaster in Room
14 is on hand-split lath visible from the attic. All plaster is sand and lime
without binders of any kind. Although early, it is reasonable to assume that the
visible plaster is not original and has been extensively patched and reworked for
several reasons, including a gradual increase in first floor elevation over the
years, possible reworking of door openings in the east wall, required patching
of the walls where the plastered ceiling was removed, and normal wear and tear.
The thickness and presence or absence of plaster on early walls can best be deter-
mined by the removal of some of the ormigon flooring around the exterior walls.
This investigation cannot be attempted at this time but could be accomplished when
As noted previously, the original wooden ceilings on the first floor and at least
Rooms 12 and 13 on the second floor were intended to be exposed to view and left
unfinished or whitewashed. Therefore, we must conclude that only the exterior
and interior surfaces of original masonry construction were to receive any plaster
or stucco. It is possible that certain utility spaces did not receive plaster wall
finishes, but these spaces, if any, have been subsequently plastered and cannot now
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K. WOOD FINISHES
The exposed plank and beam ceiling construction of both the first and at least part
of the second floor have been discussed. In addition to these wooden surfaces, the
attic at one time was sealed with wide hand-planed boards that were in place at the
time of the fire. The remains of the original framing of the attic roof and side
wall clearly indicate that the side walls of the attic, the sloping underside of the
roof joists, and the bottoms of the attic floor beams were sealed as at the present.
The wooden finishes apparently contained the fire within the upper attic space and
did not.allow it to progress down the slope of the roof joists before the fire was
contained. Some of these planks may have been reused when the roof was sheathed
following the fire. The planks are slightly charred and measure + 3/4" thick by + 15"
Although there is no clear evidence that the attic was sealed as part of original
construction, the steep ladder access originally provided and later installation of
the finish floor indicate the attic was originally an unfinished loft space.
Another area of the attic is sealed with planks. This area includes the ceiling and
side walls of the attic stairs plus a few planks forming the bench located above the
intermediate landing of the stairs. All of these planks are hand-planed-
-a n d. m e a.s u r e approximately 1 inch by 8 inches, are apparently square-
edged, and display a slight bead on one edge. Although these planks may be original,
it seems probable that they were installed as part of the revision of the stairs
leading to the attic accomplished in 1830-48.
Since all six-panel doors in the western wing are clearly a part of a later remodelling,
we can only conclude that identical six-panel doors found within the original two-
story masonry construction are also part of the same remodelling. In addition, the
bi-folding doors in partitions between Rooms 3 and 4 and 11 and 12 are also part of
later remodelling. Door 2 with its four lites and transom is completely atypical of
the early period; photographs indicate it was installed after 1907, and that the
opening was originally a window ( ). Furthermore, Doors 3B, 30 and C4 are
located in masonry openings which are not original or which have been considerably
rebuilt over the years. Had the openings been part of the original construction
the interior masonry jambs would return at an angle to the wooden door frames, as
found in Doors 1A, 1B and 3A on the first floor, and Doors 9A, 9B, 10 and 11B on the
second floor. Thus it is probable that only seven of the original openings construc-
ted through masonry walls are visible today.
The carpenter's assessment of 1806 lists 15 doors for the house ( ). Only
two of the remaining doors in the seven remaining original openings may date to
the 1806 assessment. Doors 9A and 10 are made of panel frames backed by vertical
planks. When viewed from one side, a panelled door is visible; when viewed from
the opposite, only vertical planks are visible. Both doors are 6 feet, 61 inches
in height and utilize cast iron HL hinges fastened with clinched hand-wrought nails
( ). The vertical planks in both doors are hand-planed, approximately 3/4 x
8-3/4 inches each with a slight bead on one side. The panel moldings are hand-planed
and integral with the rails and stiles. Both doors have similar but not identical
rimlocks with approximately 1-5/8" diameter brass knobs. There is no visual evidence
that the brass knobs were silverplated. Doors 10 also have three cast-iron clothes
hooks and one barrelbolt at the head of one leaf of early design. There is no evi-
dence on frames or doors that either carried earlier hardware or that the present
door hardware has been reused. Furthermore, the door jambs of Doors 1A, 1B and 9B
bear traces of HL hinges although the doors and hardware now in these openings date
from later remodelling. Thus all visual evidence indicates that Doors 9A and 10 are
the oldest in the house and may well date from original construction.
Several other doors and openings require comment. Door 3B has been rebuilt, patched,
and altered several times. The door has obviously been used from elsewhere and dates
from a later remodelling. Apparently this opening at one time was either 11 inches
wider or was located 11 inches further to the north. It seems possible that this
opening was originally a window and that the main entrance to the house was by means
of the patio door. However, a street entrance would not have been unusual for a house
of this period.A Extensive removal of finishes would be required to resolve this
The frame of Door 30 appears to be in a remodelled masonry opening. The door itself
dates from a later remodelling and extensive removal of finishes would be required to
determine if this opening is in the location of the original patio door. However,
marks in the plaster indicate an earlier opening 12 inches to the north.
Door 4C is another door requiring extensive removal of finishes before its earlier
configuration can be determined. A recess in the interior plaster indicates an
earlier opening measured 5'-10" x 7'-7" to the top of the present threshold. Early
photographs indicate that this door has been its present size since 1875 at the latest
( ). Although the function and date of the larger opening must await further
investigation, it is not unreasonable to speculate that originally a pair of doors
opening into the Ximenez store were located here.
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Sash in the first floor of the main house are in similar-sized openings throughout,
with the exception of Windows 1, 1S and 3A. Window 1 sash measures approximately
3'-0" x 5'-10", Window IS 2'-7"/and Window 3A measures 2'-10" by 5'-6". All other
sash openings on this floor measure approximately 3'-0" x 5'-8".
With the exceptions noted, all sash on the second floor of the main house measure
approximately 3'-0" x 5'-8" and are thus similar to those on the first floor. How-
ever, Window 9 measures 2'-10" x 5'-6", Window 2S measures 2'-71" x 4'-21", and
limited removal of finishes indicates that Window 13C was identical to 2S before
the third floor flight of stairs was installed during later remodelling.
The non-typical dimensions of Windows 1, 3A and 9 may indicate that they were either
installed or reworked during later remodelling. The omission of 1 and 9 would have
resulted in windowless Rooms 1 and 9. Although precedents exist, the finish floors
and first floor ceilings of these rooms indicate they were always intended as habit-
able spaces and thus had windows. Window 3A, however, was probably installed in 1830-
48, for it is identical in size with the northern first floor windows of the west
Windows 1S, 2S and 130 are of a size not found elsewhere in the structures, but
they are identical and therefore installed at the same time. Windows 2S and 13C
both preceded the present flight of stairs to the attic, for the intermediate landing
would not have interrupted these openings except as necessitated by remodelling. How-
ever, these windows are not easily included in the sixteen total noted in the 1806
carpenter's assessment. It is probable that these windows were added after original
construction, but before the attic stair was remodelled in 1830-48. However, Window
2S would have been inaccessible from inside or outside whether installed originally
or before major remodelling. Resolution of this problem must await further research.
Except where repaired, all windows of the main house and west wing have hand-planed
interior jambs and stools. Consistency of workmanship indicates that all were
installed at one time as part of later remodelling, and none date from original con-
struction. Extensive exterior repairs over the years, particularly to exterior win-
dow surfaces on the east and south elevations, have removed much evidence regarding
sequence and date. For instance, although shutters are visible in upstairs and
downstairs windows in the 1855 photograph ( ), spike pintles remain at Windows
10A, 4A, and 12A only, and have been removed from 3B. All other frames have been
extensively reworked and evidence removed. Furthermore, patched early stucco on the
east elevation around windows probably indicates early but extensive reworking of
- 13 -
openings on this exposure. Also, it should be noted that Windows 4C and 4D in Room
4, and 120 and 12 in Room 12 may not be in original locations but installed with
the fireplaces in those rooms. One window rather than two may have been located in
each respective wall.
Although sash opening sizes and number of lites vary, the sash proper are of identical
design throughout the main house and west wing, indicating they were installed during
or after construction of the west wing second floor. Rails and stiles are mortised
and pegged at corners, and all mouldings appear to be machine-planed. Unless noted
otherwise, all sash are six-lite top, nine-lite bottom.
Since the carpenter's assessment of 1806 lists only four "windows" in the roof, and
all sash in the existing seven dormers are identical, six-over-six lite, 2'-4" wide
by 2'-10" high, we must conclude that they are not part of original construction
but were all installed at the same time during remodelling ( ). Although a
limited amount of panelling flanking the south, southeast, northeast, and northwest
dormers was removed during investigation, no clear evidence was seen indicating which
if any of the dormers were original. An investigation of attic framing indicates the
south dormer may be part of original framing, and the central dormer on the east side
interrupts an original joist and therefore may not be original, but the evidence is
not conclusive. Although only the upper roofs of the dormers were affected by fire,
the dormers have been extensively reworked over the years, and a definite determina-
tion of date and sequence may not be possible.
The carpenter's assessment of 1806 lists three windows for the warehouse area (
Whether or not any of these openings remain in remodelled form cannot be visually
determined; they are surely not present as originally installed.
V. A MAJOR REMODELLING CA. 1830-1848
The assessments of 1806 are the only conclusive documentary evidence of major con-
struction at the site until 1855-75, at which time photographs were taken of Louisa
Fatio and the southeast elevation of the main house ( ). However, the build-
ings yield considerable visual evidence that an extensive remodelling was accomplished
in the early 1800's.
All nails obtained from the second floor construction of the west wing, the finish
floor of the attic, six-panel door moldings, and mantelpieces are machine-cut with
machine-stamped heads. These nails were not available in the northeastemU. S. until
1825 at the earliest ( ). Since the heads of the best preserved nails are
regular and true, they are probably no earlier than 1830-40 ( ). The earliest
- 14 -
date for major remodelling, therefore, falls within the 1830-40 period. We must
assume that construction from 1806 to 1830-40 was limited to normal maintenance,
although field evidence noted earlier indicates certain changes might have been
accomplished in this period ( ).
As noted elsewhere in this report, many six-panel doors throughout the west wing
and main house are identical and were installed at the same time, almost certainly
during reconstruction of the west wing. Screws were removed from the hinges of
several of these doors, specifically Doors 4A, 5D, 6A, 13A, and 14A. All screws
were blunt, or pointless, and predate 1846 at the earliest and 1848 at the latest,
assuming products from the northeastern U. S. required a little time to find their
way to St. Augustine ( ). The latest date for remodelling, therefore, is
Similarly, there is reasonable evidence that all of the pegged sash were installed
throughout the building during major remodelling. Window 11B bears the inscription
9". W. Whitehurst, April 13, 1837". .Th
^bhei-inscripti f. i -w-a -poe.Mr C-I- "k nwn epf --)be
If we accept this somewhat tenuous evidence, plus the assumption that all sash were
replaced during remodelling, the dates for remodelling are confined to 1830-37.
Documentary evidence reveals that the property was acquired in single ownership by
Mrs. Margaret Cook on August 21, 1830 ( ). On July 27, 1838 the property was
acquired by Mrs. Sarah P. Anderson ( ), and was sold by her to Louisa Fatio
on May 15, 1855 ( ).
There i viingwas --being utien
aed-byouia-Fatio in 155 ()--This-s-the-only-d uuutLary evidence Lu
*datc that myindirK ite remodl'lHing preceded le55, or ind d wna .......p.. s-. t. ..
The fact that the remodelling was very extensive and could have been accomplished
only by a wealthy person or group may be of importance to those undertaking further
There is another piece of documentary evidence, the accuracy of which has not yet
been fully verified. The evidence is a plan of St. Augustine dated approximately
1833 ( ). The main house and perhaps the "First Warehouse" are indicated,
but neither the "Second Warehouse" or kitchen is shown. Since archaeological, docu-
mentary, and architectural evidence indicate that at least the walls of the kitchen
listed in the 1806 assessment exist today, the plan is probably in error with regard
to the kitchen. Further speculation regarding the configuration of the west wing
and main house must await assessment of the accuracy of the plan.
- 15 -
The date for remodelling, therefore, is dependent primarily upon architectural
evidence, and can be assigned to the period 1830-48 with reasonable certainty,
and to 1830-37 with less certainty.
C. SCOPE OF REMODELLING
Apparently the general intention was to create a number of rooms for boarding pur-
poses by remodelling the existing residence and warehouses. Each rented room re-
quired windows for light and ventilation; a fireplace; a closet or wardrobe; and
exterior access. A dining room or romns were surely required; the kitchen built
by Ximenez was probably adequate ( ). A parlor or public space was probably
required, as were quarters for the managers ),
Both "First",and "Second" warehouses were subdivided into two rooms each on the
first floor, and an identical arrangement was provided in a new wood frame second
floor supported by the remodelled masonry walls of the warehouses. Exterior access
was provided on the north from a new walk on the first floor and a balcony on the
second. It seems probable that elimination of the warehouses created a need for
storage space, and a room was added to the north side of the kitchen.
The attic and access to it were remodelled for additional rental space. The ladder-
type access from Room 13 was removed and the present flight from the second floor
porch was constructed. The attic was sealed, three dormers were added, and the
space was subdivided into possibly three rooms, all separately accessible from the
attic stair landing. Although fireplaces were not provided, these rooms may have
been heated with stoves.
In addition to new fireplaces provided in the remodelled west wing area, it was
necessary to build two and possibly four fireplaces in the original main house.
The fireplaces in Rooms 4 and 12 are very certain to date from this period; the
fireplaces in Rooms 2 and 10 may be earlier, but not original, and as noted below,
probably date from this remodelling.
Finally, rental interiors were remodelled to match throughout the building. New
plaster finishes were provided throughout new and existing construction; even the
exposed wooden ceilings were furred and plastered. The original masonry partition
in Room 4 was removed, and the existing partition between Rooms 3 and 4 was added,
apparently to create the existing entrance hall. New six-panel doors were provided
throughout; early doors were replaced with six-panel matching doors, although a few
original doors and openings in the north end of the building were not changed. The
earliest finish found on doors and frames installed at this time is consistently
whitewash; we may infer that the plaster surfaces were similarly finished.
- 16 -
D. WORK ACCOMPLISHED AT ONE TIME
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Ximenez-Fatio House is that very little
major remodelling has been accomplished since the remodelling .of 1830-48. Doors,
door frames, window surrounds, partitions, exterior walls, and most of the roof
framinghave not been altered.
The jambs, sills, and sash of windows in the main house and west wing deserve special
consideration. Although sash sizes in the remodelled west wing differ from those
in the main house, as indicated in the Window Schedule, Figure the design of
sash muntins and pegged sash frames is consistent throughout new and original con-
struction, indicating that all were replaced at this time. Furthermore, the large
number of early panes remaining in place are similar in manufacture, including the
one bearing the inscription noted above. All window jambs and sills are hand-planed
and of similar design, and there is a possibility that they, too, were installed at
this time. The use of six-over-nine sash indicates influence of English design
principles ( ). The owner went to unusual lengths to obtain design consistency
throughout the remodelled public areas.
The six-panel hand-planed doors located in the west wing and the main house are
identical in thickness (1-5/8"), construction, and mill-made, applied panel molding
design. At least one rimlock (on Door 14A) has not been replaced, and a number of the
butt hinges in doors previously mentioned date from this period for they are apparently
fastened with their original screws. A detailed comparison can be made by referring
to the Door Schedule, Figure All of these doors were installed at this time.
The selection of a six-panel design may have been an attempt to match the general
appearance of the earlier doors left in place, but this type of door was in general use
before the original building was constructed ( ). The doors, like the sash,
indicate the influence of English design principles ( ).
New and remodelled openings provided during remodelling were cut straight through
masonry walls and fully cased in wood. As previously discussed, Doors 3B, 3C, and
4C may be in original openings which were altered during this remodelling, but further
investigation is required. However, the doors and frames in openings 5A and 13A were
surely installed during remodelling, although the openings may have dated from original
construction and been altered from angled plaster jambs to perpendicular jambs cased
in wood. Again, an extensive removal of finishes would be required to verify this
- 17 -
a- /: r
3AM /.- / -l ( ,(
TENTATIVE RESTORATION OUTLINE XIMENEZ-FATIO'HOUSE o
I. MAIN HOUSE AND KITCHEN.
1. Lower elevation of landscaped areas.
2. Provide landscaping Circa 1830-48.
3. Reconstruct coquina wall on south property line.
4. Provide shingle roof in main building.
5. Rebuild dormers to 1855 through 1907 photographs.
6. Provide shutters on east and sputh and four windows on north and west.
7. Replace Door 2 with window.
8. Rebuild kitchen roof and shingle.
9. Remove kitchen gable ends; provide shingles.
10. Replace kitchen windows.
11. Rebuild kitchen doors; replace hardware.
12. Repair kitchen fireplace and oven.
13. Provide an appropriate wall or fence on the east property line.
1. Provide wooden floors Rooms 3, 4 and 5.
2. Replaster ceiling of Romn 5.
3. Replaster ceilings of Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4.
4. Restore all fireplaces,to 1830-48 (Note: Fireplaces will not be operable).
5. Conceal all electrical outlets; (no electric light fixtures in restora-
tion except emergency).
6. Fur and replaster interior surfaces of exterior walls.
7. Relocate public rest rooms and modern kitchen in new building noted below.
8. Provide concealed heating and natural ventilation.
1. Repair all windows and doors as required.
2. Restore proper hardware; remove window screens.
3. Provide whitewash or paint as applicable.
4. Reserve attic as utility and light storage area strict restoration not
II. NEW CONSTRUCTION.
A. General Description.
1. Provide a new structure concealed behind stuccoed masonry walls at the
north end of the property.
2. To be physically separated from the restored building by landscaped
3. To include all convenience, display, and business functions not properly
located in the restored buildings.
-B. Building Program.
1. Located near or to contain public entrance to the site.
2. Public reception area.
3. Business office.
4. Conference room.
5. Kitchen facilities.
6. Public rest rooms.
8. Private patio.
9. New building heated and air conditioned.
A. Total Estimated Restoration and New Construction Cost: $175,000.00.
B. Work not included.
1. Interior furnishings
2. Interior design not specifically architectural.
3. Architectural fees.
@ ? I WO@D @ < @3
,IM~dEZ I AoFSOVE
ROOM N9P 8 R I OOMNI7 /7ROOM IA/ 6 < ROOM F9,5 5A
XI M E EZ-FATIO HOUSE
5COND OL OOR
5CALE : /8"-- /'-O
ES5EAITALL Y UNIVCAAN6E0
CA, /830-48 T7HR/U 1974
< /N/DICATES MATERIALS REMOVED
FOR /NFVEST/GAT/OQA /A/ T77/ AREA.
ROOM A9O /0
ROOM NA //
ROOM A/ /5
ROOM N9 /4
ROOM No /3