ST. AUGUSTINE HISTORICAL RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION COMMISSION
P. O. Box 484 46 St. George St.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
NOTES: On Documentary History of 39 St. George Street.
A careful, documented study effectively supplementing
Arnade with the deeds and 1702-1709 Salazar locations.
1. Quotations and statements are often not documented. Since this is a
controversial house, this is mobt important. See penciled
on margins of text: "Doc?"
Suggest document in footnotes, rather than in text if possible.
Footnotes could be grouped at end.
I suspect most of missing document.is from Escrituras?
2. Mention should be made of the "Blanco" appraisal, by Cotilla (see
Arnade: Architecture of Spanish St. Augustine, p. 175) which
is probably Antonia Averots, since Blancors other house
(Puente # ) is much too small. Comparisons made by Dunkle
with the outlines of the house on Moncrief and Rocque are
reasonable. Additional comparisons are needed with Quesada
appraisal and present building, after archeology. That Gotilla
appraised this house is stated by Antonio Avero (p. 7).
3. No mention of Moncrief (which gives English owner). Important because
it confirms the large U-shaped house shown on Rocque as being
of first Spanish, not British origins More description, from
the maps, would be helpful.
4. Quesada appraisal (p. 4) very similar to "1803" "Tax List" appraisal,
but lame variances. Are these variances of translation, or are
the two lists slightly different, or did Miss Spofford confuse
5. P. 8, lines 4-7. This gratuitous statement casts unnecessary doubt,
since the house seems much the same in 1765 and 1789 (Moncrief
and Rocque). The evidence that the 1795 walls are the same is
better than the lack of evidence that they are not.
(There is some evidence of continuity in the arches, which are
appraised in Quesada, and exist today.)
The "walls falling down" were more than likely part of the
rear wing, and this may be the time (1795-1804) when part
disappeared. (There are still important flat roofed wings
or extra buildings in 1816.)
However, the 1816 appraisal should be compared more carefully.
Woodwork and windows have been renewed, but there are still
flat roofs. I would expect them to have been replaced by
new gable or hip roofs in 1816, unless earlier flat roofs had
On Documentary History of 39 St.
George Street Page two
remained, at least in the main section. However, the "Gallery"
is coupled with the kitchen, which is unlikely to be in the
main house. Some of the flat roofed wing may well have sur-
vived. The main house is 15 x 5 varas, front and back, 6 x 5
varas on each side -- the approximate dimensions of the present
house and the front section of the Rooque house. The "dining
room and entry on the south", as well as the "gallery and
kitchen" are appraised separately. Square footage of roofs and
floors need to be compared with dimensions derived from walls,
and then compared with existing house and archeology of wing.
6. Distinguish between Arnade references:
Architecture of Geionial St. Augustine
Arewwo Story (needs more credit as first basic study of house).
7. Relationship of AGI 58-1-28/66 Aug. 13, 1709 to
AGI 54-5-11/85 June 28, 1682
8. Page 16. I agree coat of arms should be removed, but in a documentary
analysis it would be better merely to say they have no validity.
9. I dissent from the last two paragraphs as weakening the careful step-
by-step documentation of p. 1-15. The article sometimes seems
to try too hard to prove that the present structure cannot be
the ca 1720, or 1763, or 1789 building. This cannot be done
from the documents assembled here; the evidence is inconclusive.
If anything it weighs more in the opposite direction. Until
archeology is done, and the building itself carefully examined
and compared with the appraisals (some of the latter can be
done now) we cannot make such statements. In architectural
history p aper documents are only half the documentation.
10. May I suggest a substitute for the last two paragraphs as follows:
"Prior to detailed examination of the existing walls on the
site, and archeology in and around the house itself, it is
difficult to state with surety the continuity of the ca 1720,
1763, 1789, 1795, 1816, and present structures. Obviously the
present building is only the main section of a once larger
building as it appears in these documents. All woodwork and
roofs are clearly of the 19th Century or later, as is true of
almost all historic houses in the city.
On Documentary History of 39 St.
George Street -- Page three
11. Mention should be made of houses#80 (Geronomio Josef de Hita Salazar)
since it was this that Lawson confused with the present lot and
building. Our laborious land checks and map studies are
available as prsof that it is 81 and not 80. We have further
excavated the adjacent lot T7e Hita site) and located the
Puente-Moncrief two room one story tabby house which Private
de Hita had there, but which was certainly pulled down by the
British, with neighboring tabby buildings, as inadequate.
(Also there are the added walls of a larger building, probably
del Cantots). The rumor that Fraser plowed the area to destroy
any archeological evidence cannot therefore be substantiated.
12. There is no mention of its use as a Minorcan Chapel, which recurs
numerous times in the Escrituras and Census of the 1780ts. This
was certainly a temporary use, when the house seemed to be
owned by no one, and the Avero claims, and de Hita widows occupancy
obviously terminated it. (See H. P. Clavreul for Father Campst
statement of Nov. 9, 1777, and Census of 1783: Imrie, Capo,
Roch, Ortega; Escrituras: Sanchez et al.