Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Title: [Letter to trustees re de Mesa]
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Letter to trustees re de Mesa
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Physical Description: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Adams, William R.
Publication Date: 1978
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
43 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
de Mesa-Sanchez House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 43 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896429 x -81.313225
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091263
Volume ID: VID00022
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L6

Full Text

Memo to Trustees
September 13, 1978
Page 2

suspected from the 1803 inventory, that the kitchen was a one-story
structure. In 1830-40 it was joined to the rest of the house, a second
floor placed over it, and a porch added. At that time the whole roof
was reframed to give it the appearance it has today. To go back to 1803
means to remove or alter much of the existing roof frame, remove a two-
story room (on the eastern portion), construct a stair to the separated
structure, take all of the roof and floor structure off the detached
kitchen, and make it a one-story structure.

Dr. Gannon: But the front of the building will be the same with either
the 1803 or 1830-40 version?

Mr. Shepard: Essentially, yes.

Dr. Gannon: What you are really saying is that to return to 1803 we
will have to demolish the building and rebuild it?

Mr. Shepard: Yes.

Dr. Gannon: Would that jeopardize the funding?

Mr. Shepard: Not necessarily, although the burden of proof will be upon
the Board that this should be done. It would not be the direction
welcomed by the National Park Service or Department of Interior, but it
is a Board decision. However, most of the fabric of the building dated
from the 1830's and to return to 1803 requires rebuilding all of the
doors, hardware, and interior finishes. Also, we would have to revise
all of our cost estimates for General Services. This will delay the
project three to four months. Also, part of our present funding comes
from a separate grant. To get that money released, and we need it now,
we must have plans submitted by September 30. To revert to 1803 will
complicate that process and make it much more costly.

From an interpretive view, it is my understanding that the Master
Plan embraces the period up to 1845. To restore the building to 1830-40
will incorporate the Spanish period features. Also, as a preservation
architect, I must say that we know far more about the 1830 building than
we do about the 1803 building.

s_________________________ ----------------------------

Memo to Trustees
September 13, 1978
Page 3

General MacMillan: Is there a substantial cost difference?

Mr. Shepard: Regrettably, yes. We would have to rebuild much of the
fabric and finishes for the 1803 version. Many of them would have to be
hand-hewn. The cost would escalate considerably.

Dr. Gannon: Mr. Steinbach, are there any buildings near the de Mesa
house that date from the 1830-40 period?

Mr. Steinbach: At least two. The second floor of the Arrivas House is
Territorial. I would not swear that the Toy Museum is Territorial, but
I think it is.

Dr. Gannon: But they are both reconstructions.

Mr. Steinbach: No sir. The Toy Museum has basically never been touched.
The Arrivas House was a restoration, not a reconstruction. The other
pertinent fact is that the street facade will be the same whether you
choose 1803 or 1830. Interpretively, this will be a unique opportunity
to explain the evolution of a building, since it will contain elements
of all periods.

Ms. Guerrero: We had interpreted the house that way, and we interpret
the other buildings in that fashion.

Dr. Gannon: Now, about the exterior finish. In February, we were given
two alternatives, red ashlar scored and yellow. Now we seem to be down
to only the red ashlar scored. We are uneasy, because some trustees may
prefer the yellow stucco.

Mr. Shepard: I do not blame you because that is what concerns most
people. To be honest we are not entirely certain when it was applied
and we hope the lab tests will help us. We think the red finish pre-
dates the Civil War. The influence is English Georgian, It existed in
Charleston during the English period and could have been brought to St.
Augustine then. If the lab tests verify that it is a territorial fin-
ish, then my recommendation is that it be incorporated in an 1830 rest-
oration. A similar analysis was just completed for the Fatio House,

Memo to Trustees
September 13, 1978
Page 4

restored by the Colonial Dames to the 1830 period . . much more
authenticity will be achieved by the 1830's restoration.

Dr. Adams: And we preserve all elements of Second Spanish Period
architecture that way?

Mr. Shepard: The whole trend of preservation is to preserve as much of
the extent fabric as possible.

Mr. Bailey: Do we have any restored buildings that date back to the
First Spanish Period?

Mr. Steinbach: The ground floor of the Arrivas House. Remember, the
town was leveled in 1700. Only the Arrivas House and de Mesa have parts
that pre-date 1763 in the restored area. And those parts are not going
to change. Every bit will be the same, the doors, the windows, the

That ends the substantive part of the discussion.

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