AVERO HOUSE: OUTLINE OF PRE-1800 RESEARCH DATA AND CONCLUSIONS
A. RESEARCH DATA.
1. There is reasonable correlation among the 1790 appraisal, excavations by
Steinbach and Deagan, and the Rocque map of 1788, although certain ambiguities
cannot be resolved with available information.
2. The plan on the Rocque Map does not correspond dimensionally with existing
and excavated construction if a scale of 1:300 is assumed. However, there is
good correspondence if a scale of 1:345 to 350 is assumed.
3. The plan on the Rocque Map misplaces the arches and piers. If located in
accordance with field measurements, the east wall of the assumed "pantry" would
be located approximately opposite an interior partition of the east wing.
4. The interior partition of the east wing in 3 above may have been a two-story
wall, as confirmed by Deagan's work. All other walls of the east wing in the prox-
imity of Room B were of one-story height, based upon excavated foundation di-
5. Archeological data indicates the north wall (present or earlier to be con-
firmed) of the "Spanish Inn" was at one time a party wall serving the "Inn" and
the Avero House. The Rocque and Barrio Maps can be interpreted to indicate this,
as can the 1790 and 1816 appraisals.
6. The east wall of Room A continued to the south property line when originally
constructed; the present wall and arched opening have replaced the original wall
(to be confirmed by Deagan).
7. Foundations of the "stone stairway" have not been found. Possible foundations
of two of the "three pillars" have been found east of the "pantry". It must be
concluded that the stone stairway was not located in any areas completely excava-
ted to date; that is, this stair must have been located further east in unexcava-
8. Post holes of a possible wooden stair have been excavated at the north end of the
9. The 1790 appraisal specifically identifies only two walls as second story walls.
The location of these walls is not specified.
10. The 1790 appraisal lists a floor under carpentry; there is no evidence to dis-
pute this as a reference to the second floor.Although Rocque mentions flat roofs,
the 1790 appraisal lists only "roofs" under carpentry.
11. The north walls of Rooms A and B, and the east wall of Room B exhibit a con-
tinuous horizontal mortar joint at the approximate elevation of the bottom of the
present floor rafters, indicating the upper portions of these walls were built
after the lower portions.
- 2 -
12. Assuming the same conventions of appraising quantities of masonry were
used in 1816 as in 1790, the 1816 appraisal cannot be related to the present
or earlier structures unless the appraisal is assumed to be that of a one-story
building. Furthermore, no mention is made of second floor framing or a wood
or masonry stair.
1. The first floor plan of the existing and excavated structures is that indi-
cated on the Rocque Map of 1788.
2. The 1790 and 1816 appraisals refer to structures built on this site.
3. The 1790 appraisal is a general and relatively superficial accounting,
primarily of exterior surfaces; the 1816 appraisal is detailed and comprehensive.
4. In 1788 the east and west walls of Room A extended to a party wall (the north
wall of the "Spanish Inn"). None of the south party wall ("Spanish Inn") masonry
is included in the 1790 appraisal but is apparently viewed as part of the "Spanish
5. The existing north, east, and south walls of Roan A, and north and south walls
of Room B are pre-1788.
6. The second floor, complete, dating from pre-1788, was removed prior to 1816
when the house was remodelled as a one-story structure. A second floor was added
ca. 1875-1890 and is visible today.
7. The only evidence that the second story of the building was located above Room
A and possibly Room B is the footing and foundation wall size and local precedent.
The 1790 appraisal is of little help in establishing the limits or construction of
the second floor. Although two second-story walls are noted to be masonry, minimal
quantities of material are listed for these walls. The balance of second-story
masonry is apparently included in other wall listings not specifically noted as
second-story, or portions of the second story walls were wood frame. The latter
are not mentioned under carpentry, and this possibility seems remote, except above
the "loggia" as noted below. Unfortunately the pre-1816 remodelling obliterated
field data when the second floor was removed. Lacking further contrary.evidence,
we must conclude that the second story was located above the entry, Room A, and
Room B as far east as the two-story foundation wall excavated by Deagan. All walls
were of masonry.
8. The masonry of the first floor east wall of Room A may or may not be listed in
the 1790 appraisal. A listing in the appraisal corresponding to the second floor
east wall is not evident. It is probable that this wall was viewed as an interior
partition and not listed. If so, the second floor above the loggia must have been
roofed. The appraisal value of the arches and pillars on the east side of the loggia
apparently indicates one-story height. Therefore, second-story construction above
the arches was probably wood; and since no wooden walls are listed, we may conclude
that the second story of the loggia was an open porch.
9. The only evidence that flat roofs existed in 1788-90 is Rocque's notebook;
neither the 1790 appraisal nor field evidence is helpful. However, the pre-1816 re-
modelling utilizing flat roofs may indicate that existing flat roofs over the east
wing were reused to some degree, and the easiest remodelling solution was to extend
the flat system over the cut-down western portion of the building. Thus restored
roofs should be flat as follows:
(a) Room A roof should slope to drain to St. George.
(b) Room B roof should be an extension of Room A roof.
(c) Parapets should surround both of above.
(d) Loggia roof should slope to drain to patio, without parapet
over wood frame porch construction.
10. The "pantry" is a strange object in a difficult location. It is apparently
a pre-1788 addition to the earlier arches and south wall of Room B. Foundations
apparently indicate a one-story height. Since nothing is known of its relation-
ship to the main building, I suggest it not be rebuilt.
11. There is no evidence the stone stair was located in the excavated areas. A
wooden stair should be located at the north end of the loggia pending further
12. Whether or not the second floor and roof originally covered the entry requires
a consensus. I believe at least the roof covered the entry.
13. The original location of two doors is known. All other door and window loca-
tions have been extensively remodelled or newly built since 1875. Restored loca-
tions will be conjectural; except for the two doors, no evidence for location
or number exists. A consensus is required.
14. Appropriate modification and re-use of existing walls and timbers should be
seriously considered.. A consensus regarding method is required.