,Pe Asa a/ ea I
THE DE MESA-SANCHEZ HOUSE
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
Julie Anne Woodcock
January 17, 1994
Historical Background Pg 2
Structural Research Pg 4
Structural Analysis Pg 9
Restoration of the De Mesa-Sanchez House Pg 16
APPENDIX A Pg 18
Works Cited Pg 20
The original construction date of the De Mesa-
'anchez House is unknown. However, it is almost
certainn that it does not date before 1702 due to the
Carolinian siege on the town)(Waterburyj( 1983). Also,
the use of coquina and tabby increases in the 1730's
and this is the construction of this houseX(ManucyX
The first known owner of the house was Antonio De
Mes y"ho is also perhaps the builder. He came to St.
Rugustine by the 1740's and was employed by the Royal
Treasury. The house, at that time, was occupied by De
Yesa and his wife and seven childrenX(Smithx 1981). It
was a one room, one story residence and was constructed
out of coquinaA(SmithX 1981). According to
descriptions of typical First Spanish style homes in
The Houses of St. Augustine by Albert Manucy, the De
Mesa house is characteristic of the "St. Augustine"
look of the time.
In 1763, the British took over St. Augustine and
De Mesa and most of the other Spanish inhabitants left.
Three different parties owned the house during the
British occupation which lasted from 1763-1783. Those
three were William Walton, the Governor, and James
Stout, the latter being the most important. The house
was used as an export office and a place to stay when
Stout and his family visited town. Stout added several
rooms along the street front/(Smith, 1981).
The Spanish regained control of St. Augustine from
1781k-1821. At this time, the house was sold to don
Juan Sanchez. He also enlarged the house)nd in the
mid-1790's the Royal Treasury occupied part of the
building. By 1803, Sanchez built an east wing, added a
second floor and constructed a detached kitchen(Smith,
In 1821, the United States acquired Florida and in
1835, James Lisk bought the De Mesa-Sanchez house. He
enclosed several porches and built a second story to
integrate the detached kitchen with the rest of the
house. He also stuccoed the coquina and painted it
- .A-. - L70_ i \v .V IOiiute nen,
there have been many owners of the house and features
were added and detracted at various times in
history (Scardaville1 1981). Finally, in 1965, the
house was acquired by the St. Augustine Restoration
Foundation and later transferred to the Historic St.
Augustine Preservation Board!((Scardaville/ 1981).
The De Mesa-Sanchez house is now a house museum ir
the Restoration District of :he city. It is part of ar
exhibit that includes other houses and outdoor colonial
activities. It is restored to its 1837 appearance on
the interior and exteriorx(Scardaville/ 1981).
SIn reviewing the research gathered on the architectural
and structural nature of the De Mesa-Sanchez house,
there are several different proposals as to when
certain features were added and removed. This overview
attempts to present all of the possibilities, but
eliminates any that have been disproved with later
evidence. The research used includes Restoration of
the DeMesa-Sanchez House for the q-'-. Augustine
Preservation Board, completed Yy Herschel Shepard in
1977, Historical Outline of the DeMesa-Sanchez Site, by
Michael Scardaville in 1978 and De Mesa Site,
Revisited, by James Smith in 1981. The Scardaville
reference is more theoretical and the Smith research is
supported by archaeological -Jidence. However,
)=l'J-t:b M* there are somo ery important points in
the Scardaville research anc thereforeA f planet
-w1"^ *- Since other pa-,s of this report include
t*GE ,4A- 4A ^.4.t*mVO
names of owners, ZI- will it tm from this portion,
kand dEl _rigotl _'ith tructural data.
). First Spanish Period
X. The 1764 Puente Map shrews a small structure on the
extreme western end of the property. He describes it
as a "stone house".
3. The lot was approximately 31.6 American feet N-S Y
195.2 American feet E-W. (Scardaville, 1978).
Excavations during980 uncovered three
architectural features) a sminall single room house, a
larger, partially enclosed central courtyard, and a
small, detached rear kitchen of coquina. The house was
a one-room, 16.7 x 26.5 foot coquina structure built
some time before 1760. No flooring material was found
courtyard was found that extended from the rear of the
house eastward 23.3 x 35.0 feet to the edge of the
kitchen. A post hole was found somewhere along the
back wall of the house and this suggests a rear loggia
with a shed roof. The kitchen had a tabby floor and
the north-south dimension was a little less than 12
feetC (SmithsX 1981).
*'t -- No wooden construction mate'rials were identified
during archaeological investiga-ions.(Deagan, 1978).
2, British Period
cX The house was expanded to the south creating a
central hall with two flanking rooms. This symmetrical
plan is a typical British adapt-ation to Spanish
houses (ManucyX 1962).
). The front edge of the lot was expanded 9.8
American feet to the south making the actual frontage
42.8 American feetY(ScardavilLeK 1978).
2/6 The E-W dimension of the lot was expanded east to
236.5 American feet/(Scardavi].lex 1978).
,(" The house was roofed wit:- shingles and contained a
tabby floorr(Scardaville/ 197f[).
t. A three room stone house on the west boundary of
the property with a detached kitchen was noted in the
1784 deed of sale to Sanchez. This refutes the theory
that there was a partial sec.c id story at this
timel(Chain of Title). The wtst and south walls of the
kitchen were demolished and replaced with wood frame
Jith A chimney base was built cn Room 103's east wall
inthe exact location of the present door (Smithy
3, Second Spanish Period
(a The south wall of Room 103 was removed providing
asymmetrical two room plan along the
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floor (Deagan, 1978).
. A second floor, a ore story wing and loggia to t
east were added. The detached kitchen was rebuilt.
These changes are evidenced in the Rocque map of 1788
which says there was a one room second story. It is
believed that the partial second floor was accomplish
around 1784 and completed over the west wing around
1791 as evidenced in the Book of Mortgages of 1791.
< Sometime before 1803 a second floor was complete
over the east wing and a few years later the loggia w
enclosed. An 1803 inventory describes the house as a
L shaped 2 story structure vTith a detached masonry
kitchen. The kitchen was shifted eastward by about 1
feet and was built entirely of coquina to be a larger
'1 1. 1- I -7 0 M1, 4P -- mi- -
4'.4 The south wall of Room 103 which had been removed
in the Second Spanish Period, was now replaced with two
wooden frame partitions) (Smith 1981).
---- STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS
The following is a structural analysis based on
the recollection of the restoration architect on the
project, Herschel Shepard. Further evidence was foun
in the reports found in archival records at the
Preservation Board Office but most reports were
unavailable for analysis.
The analysis describes each room, using room numbers
ri-i h i e,'k e, r c=art-%nA +-* ^ 4-+ = eikt= F I ^ I = ^-v "-^ Ir- n DDV?,TT T
Z'.,, TD- Of' (,
r was constri
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This room is the original one room one story building
built by De Mesa in the early to middle 18th century.
There is evidence that the floor in this room was wood
during the territorial period and therefore, the
present floor is wood reconstructed at the time of the
restoration of the property in the 1970's. It was
reconstructed from archaeological evidence and there i,
a tabby floor beneath.
Blind we used in the reconstruction so that no
one could misinterpret the floor and baseboards as
being original) 1) L 4- 4 i&C 114t1
The window in the room is in its original position and
+h rm A~nr 1AAdina i-to Room 106 was Drobablv a window
iambs of the opening are splayed, which is a colonial
Che finishes were removed from the walls and were
placedd with plaster and veneer plaster to represent
:he original plaster finish.
1ll door frames, a few doors, cornice trim, ceiling
)lanks, most windows, window sills, surrounds, and
returnss were present at the time of restoration.
Exterior walls in this room are coquina.
kll walls except the south wall are colonial with the
Interior and exterior being plastered.
Ceiling planks arecolonial due to the rough sawn
e wall connecting Room 10) is mn.ionry constructionX 0
e wall connecting Room 10. is wood frame.
e floor is a reconstructior of the or.
is room is also part of .hLe first expansion performed
e floor covering is a reconstruction of American
rritorial covering evide-ced in archaeological
e heads of nails in the ,:ice-fte floor read through
e floor covering indicate. :ig that the wood floor
neath is original and wa not replaced during
storation. The width of 1.he floor planks suggest
at they are territorial.
ets-w-ere -installed in the "loor at the time of
1 wooden surfaces show ev.lence of hand planing.
e frames on the doors are nortise and tenon and show
nd planed marks.
rt of the floor near the -earth had to be patched for
ructural reasons at restoration.
rt of the plaster on the !;outh wall is original and
applied directly to the i-oquina.
e brick was replaced in -:he fireplace sometime after
iginal construction and ,i smoke shelf was built. The
oke shelf is a mid-19th century feature. The brick
the front of the firepl;ice could be original due to
s differing appearance f2) m the interior brick.
rtland cement mortar is i.sed and this did not come
to use until after 1890.
e fireplace frontispiece could possibly be from the
te 18th century but there is no clear evidence as-ten
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the mantel could have been replaced o0
The baseboards are the same as Rc
The door to Room 104 has splayed
This opening could have been a wi
wood frame is hand planed.
The window trim is the same as Rc
This addition took place after tI
e Stout additions
area of some sort.
During restoration, all of the joists, battens and
roofing were replaced.
The roof that was replaced could not predate the
addition of the second floor, because the rafters
supported by the second floor wall well above the
height of a one-story building.
When first constructed, this area may have been an
exterior patio with an exterior stair.
The saw marks in the structural members demonstrate
that they are original, not reconstructions.
The floorboards above the structural members have
The staircase materials have not been replaced sin
the staircase was constructed.
This room was added by Sanchez in his first expans
A window in the south wall opens into the staircas
addition. The shutters on the interior of that wii
indicate that when the stair was ouilt it was left
at the window to provide ventilation through the
window. However, this is arguable because the lat]
63, behind the plaster in the stair is sawn wooden lati
'--r'av&3-Iable berrev--B, and the stair was built bef<
that. The shutters on the wind&ws use hand wrought
nails which were used before thne 1820's.
The ceiling planks are the same as those used in Rc
The molding is the same as that used in the other
rooms, as well.
The room was probably formed to be sy~imetrical aroi
the door leading to Room 103.
The door leading to Room 107 was probably a later
addition because a door would not normally be place
the end of a'wall in that fashion,
The floor planks above the room were replaced at
The ceiling planks and the molding on the ceiling i
the same as Room 103.
The window is at a different heir *it from the window
There is no trim on the window.
It is theorized that this room was part of the Stoi
addition due to its similarity to the other rooms (
This kitchen was not the original kitchen. The
original was constructed away from the main body o:
floor and is attached to the house. It was originally
thought that the house was expanded to reach the
kitchen, but it is now known that the kitchen was
simply reconstructed. The kitchen was constructed by
The door to Room 108 uses cut nails which is a 19th
7 Apintel hinge is used on the door to Room 108 and thiE
hinge was not used until after 1830.
^ SECOND FLOOR WA-
The second floor was constructed in phases similar to
the first floor. It is theorized that Sanchez
constructed one room at first and then continued with
the rest of the second floor.
This room was built in phases by Sanchez. The
configuration of the room as it appears today was
constructed by Sanchez near the turn of the 19th
The ceiling is the "tea tray style" ceiling first
introduced by the EnglishX(Manucy; 1962). Handwrought
nails are used in the ceiling.
The trim is similar to that found on the first floor
but it is stained as opposed to painted white. There
is a little more detailing on the top of the trim.
Due to this evidence, it is believed that Sanchez addec
the trim downstairs.
The windows are 12 over 8 and appear to be the original
The frontispiece is more ornate than downstairs, but
this is consistent with most of the features on the
second floor and does not rule out the possibility that
Sanchez installed all of them.
The baseboards are the same as those found on the first
The floor boards are wide and are the floorboards found
at the time of restoration.
The floorboards run straight and unspliced under the
partition dividing Rooms 201 and 202; this indicates
that the partition may have been added later.
When the addition was constructed, a partition may have
run east to west in this room just north of the outside
door. At this point, there is a continuous east-west
butt joint that is visible in the floorboards, and the
floor begins a definite slope down to the south in this
area. Traces of a partition are also visible in the
wall plaster. However, traces of a partition are not
visible in the ceiling, indicating the ceiling is
probably a later Sanchez addition.
This room was the original Sanchez addition. However,
it originally extended to the previously mentioned
The ceiling is "tea tray", probably added by Sanchez.
This was originally an outdoor loggia which was
enclosed by James Lisk.
The door leading to Room 205 is an outside type door
indicating that it was installed before the porch was
This room was added by Sanchez.
There is a "tea tray" ceiling like those in Rooms 201
There is a window to the north, which is a feature not
found in rooms to the west.
This room was constructed over the kitchen by Lisk.
This porch was probably rebuilt by Lisk. If the porch
had been built at an earlier time, the floor planks
would have been perpendicular to the house wall. The
framing of the porch is original American Territorial
and the floor boards were replaced at restoration.
-___- RESTORATION OF THE DE MESA-SANCHEZ HOUSE
agreefwith the original reasons for restoring
the house to its 1837 appearance due to the fact that
as much of the existing fabric as possible was saved.
the house over the centuries should be the focus for a
new restoration effort. i 4-1 "-a' -The layers of the
house's history should be explored and celebrated and
Aft*. the house should be exhibited in this manner. The
De Mesa-Sanchez House has something unique to offer St.
Augustine in that it survived through the major periods
in the city's history. The house should be an
Whether or not to employ furniture is another
question. tome furniture could be utilized
in a very didactic way. However, ef. .m. 7 ]=i_] the
house should be fully furnished. The concentration
should be on the structural and finishing elements
employed in the house. St. Augustine is very lucky to
have such a fine example of architectural evolution and
the city should utilize this house to its fullest
FIRST FLOOR PLAN
DE MESA HOUSE
202 TL: 206' 208
Book of Mortgages
1983 The Museum of San Augustin Antiguo. Visitor
Services. St. Augustine, Florida. o, H1AP S ,AP
1978 1977 Excavations of the De Mesa-Sanchez
House Interior. Florida State University.
The De Mesa-Sanchez House:History, Restoration and
1980 Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board.
St. Augustine, Florida.
Genong, Overton G.
1974 Spanish Inn. St. Augustine, Florida.
Manucy, Albert C.
1962 The Houses of St. Augustine. St. Augustine
Historical Society. St. Augustine, Florida.
1977 Preliminary Historical Outline of the De
Mesa-Sanchez(Spanish Inn) Site. Historic St.
Augustine Preservation Board. St. Augustine,
1978 Historical Outline of the De Mesa-
Sanchez(Spanish Inn) Site. Historic St. Augustine
Preservation Board. St. Augustine, Florida.
presented at the Woodmen of the World
Presentation. St. Augustine, Florida. cC^ G C?1
1977 Research Report: Restoration of the De Mesa-
Sanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation
Board. (oa^Z 6 "n
Smith, James M.
1981 De Mesa Site, Revisited. Historic St.
Augustine Preservation Board. St. Augustine,
Waterbury, Jean Parker (editor)
1983 The Oldest City. St. Augustine Historical
Society. St. Augustine, Florida.
HTmEIRETIYLDZVEniwrea rU PROPOSAL FOR
THE DE fIESA-SANCBEZ HOUSE
INTERPRETIVE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL rFO
THE DE MESA-SANCHEZ HOUSE
il Period (see
represents a one-nunared-year transition between tne i
history interpretive area of the Spanish Quarter and the
Mlesa-Sanchez site and structure (HSAPB 1989). Curren
there is no int-erpretation of Gthe Y fe-Sanchez yaru. I
of the house are conducted every thirty minutes. Visi
wait outside the building and to the south of the De M
The tour begins in the kitchen and visitors are gu
through the rooms on the first floor and, subsequently.
second floor. Interpretation of the house recreates the d
life of a middle-class family relocated to St. Augustini
the 1830's, during the American Territorial Period (Ste
1982). Interpretation of the house includes facts regar
the Loring Family who leased and occupied the house bet
1837 and 1841 (Scardaville 1977).
Since there were no extant wills or inventories v
related directly to the Loring occupation of the house,
interior re-creation was based on the prevailing styles
tastes in St. Augustine during the American Territo
Period. The majority of the furnishings are authentic pe
antiques which reflect a combination of late eighteenth
early nineteenth century pieces and emphasize the 1820's
1830's (Harper 1979). The furnishings of the house pro
the basis for the interpretation of American Territo
minutes in length, focus on the furnishings of the hc
rather than on the architectural development of the struck
in relation to the history of St. Augustine (Vells 1993).
The guided tours conclude on the second floor lax
just outside the child's bed chamber. Visitors are
directed into an exhibit area. The exhibit area, locate
the eastern end of the second floor, contains panels and
exhibits which present the structural development of the I
in rplantinn ftthp rfiiffPrant nT.Tvo< arc nifnal- ina fi
2) the current interpretive program does not maximize t
interpretive use of the De Ilesa-Sanchez yardtj
3) the sequence in which the rooms are presented does r
correspond to the structure's evulution(D
4) the guided tours focus or. the furnishings of the hot
and fail to relate the evolutionary development of I
structure to the history of St. ,.ugustinep
5) the location of the exhib:.:. area on the second floor ;
interpretation of the second f'.oor does not comply with
(Americans with Disabilities Act ) guidelines xsk
fords the us(
tour.- which begin in the "origirl" room
3roceedl on a room by room basis according
Instruct ion: s^-
1750-1763) .. ,.
irial" one story, one room "stone house"
re to the south creating a three room
! floor. one story east wing and loggia. /
' integration of kitchen intG house.
- 2, Exhibits
Placement of exhibit panels and case exhibits in the "kitchen"
which present an orientation to visitors.
Development of a video presentation which provides an
alternative interpretation of the second floor to those unable
to walk up the stairs. 4 1 ,.o A,,e k ADA OA-,H J
Redevelopment of Alid'e/vido presentation which documents the
archaeological research and the restoration.
--) 3. Outdoor Signage and Interpretive Displays
Development of outdoor sigrage and interpretive displays to:
W delineate and interpret the historical background and
former landscaping practices in St. Augustine (see Robert
Stewart's Proposed Landscape Plan for the De Ilesa-Sanchez
relate the site to the historical context of the Spanish
As an architectural and cultural artifact, the De Mesa-
Sanchez House provides an invaluable resource for relating the
evolution of the structure to the continuous historical
context of St. Augustine. -The implementation of an "'empty
house" interpretive policy promotes the historical
significance of the house and allows for the expression of
cultural values through architectural features of the house.
This expression allows for the interpretation of the house as
it evolved during the First Spanish Period, the British
Period, the Second Spanish Perioci and the Territorial Period
arid promotes the significance of t. A ugustine as the oldest
continuously occupied European settlement in the United
.983 The Huseums of San Agustin Antig'uo.: A Guia
.977 Research Report* Restoration of the De &e.
orouse for the St. Au.justine PreserT.ation Board.
a, T.oss, erscIel SC.ard a i T .racy SpLIkeS
L993 Person Cont..tcation September 17.
1984 The Great Dra iton Hall Debate. His
* ''. I I
tme wornl presentation: z nay. O'A ; '
.993a Personal Commrnication September 21.
.993b Personal Conumnication October 12.
t, Robert C.
.981 Ozutline of THemes.. Information and Visusal
WAsterials for the De ilesa-Sancbhe House. -
1982 Do Hesa-Sanchez House:A As Abbreviated Guided Tour.
force on Drayton Hall
L983 Report azd Recommenda tions on Draoyton Hail.
National Trust for Historic Preservation.
L993 Pers-onal Interview 12 October.
History and Architectural Development
C-Fr^U SCi,-^yV^<, MT?,.) 117?S )
HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURAL DEVELOPMENT
ANTONIO DE IIESA
DON JUAN SANCHEZ
ONE STORY, ONE ROOM
ADDITION OF SEVERAL ROOMS
ALONG THE STREET.
ADDITION OF EAST VING AND
SECOND FLOOR OVER ENTIRE
STRUCTURiE. CONSTRUCTION OF
DETACHED ONE STORY KITCHEN.
MUCH OF CURRENT APPEARANCE
ENCLOSURE OF SEVERAL PORCHES
AND INTEGRATION OF KITCHEN
INTO HOUSE. APPLICATION OF
SCORED PAINTED STUCCO TO
FROM 1837 TO
PE S IDENCE
1867-1874 BOARD ING HOUSE:
ST. JOHNS HJOUS:E
B. C. MA2'.TELL
ADDITION OF WOOD AND GLASS
STORE FRONT ON FIRST FLOOR
ADDITIONS OF TrO STORY.. ONE
ROOM: TO THE EAST OF THE
KIITCHEN ANTi ONE STORY. ONE
ROOMH TO EAST OF THAT.. AND
SINGLE ROOM EAST OF SOUTI END
OF WEST WING. REPLACEMENT OF
WOODEN ST.OREFRO:,NT WITH
BARBER AND CIGC.AP
BARBER ANT, CIG.A]?
BARBER ADC CIG.AR'
BARBER ANrD CIGARJ
IIITSIC SHOP (LOT)
BICYCLE SHOP (LOT)
THOMAS AND DORIS
REMOVAL OF OF EAST, ONE ROOM
ADDITION AND WEST BALCONY.
ADDITION OF STUCCO ARCHES
AT SOUTH BALCONY AND CONCRETE
STAIR AT EAST END OF BUILDING.
REMOVAL OF ARCHED
STORE FRONT. BALCONY
CUR 10 SHOP
RESTORATION TO 1830'S
(SCARDAVILLE 1977, 1978, 1981)
Friday September 17, 1993
De Uesa-Sanchez House
Notes of meeting with Fullham,Shepard and Spikes:
-Drayton Hall (Blue Ribbon report) as example- furnishings?
-upstairs parlor colonial furnishings
-address cultural significance of furnishings
-Bob Steinbach and Stanley Bond-report containing basic
-originally a one room structure, walls may date from 1704,
-expansion during British period
-second story completed by end of British period
-originally a freestanding kitchen which was later enlarged
and incorporated into structure
-1830 interpretation (Loring family)
-floors date from American territorial
-speak with interpreters (Sally Bergman)
what questions asked
-St. Augustine not a destination as compared with
-address problem of bQttleneck at top of stairs
-tea tray ceiling (west wing, second floor)
.-incorporation of static exhibits
-research guidelines as sources for duplication--
-balcony originally ran length of building
-literature review of other examples
-how people used rooms
information on people who lived there
-late 1950's commissioned
-historic site report (Susan Parker)
-address structural changes and history of occupants
1. HSR (archaeology and history)
2. Summarize intent of general area interpretively
3. Address structural and family changes
-orchard and possible Native American burial ground behind
-Fatio House = example of graining
-restored as American Territorial
-bring history of interpretation into plan
esday September 21, 1993
tes of meeting with Tracy Spikes:
sources of information:
site files/flat files
audio exhibit (based on Stan's research)
obtain plans from research
architectural bibliography from Herschel
isting of deed transfers through Susan
addresss use of surrounding yard and structure
'lagler foundation (Center for Historic Research)- Eugene
comparisonn of other colonial (territorial) structures
ield drawings (Bostwick 1977)
sday October 12, 1993
es of meeting with Hike Wells and Tracy Spikes:
terpretation through progression of time line to understand
ansion of structure
dress lifestyles and furniture through present
earance=American Territorial with concentration on 1839/40
minant questions address furnishings of house
te 1830's/40's furniture style carried on to victorian
rilyn=senior interpreter (Saturdays and Sundays)
ur previously structured as "Old Spanish Inn"
deo presentation of remodelling work (Stan)
ide presentation of interest to preservationists
iving history museum"
ssion to educate and inform
irnlshings based on sources of time period and southern