Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Title: Letters to the editor
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Letters to the editor
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Physical Description: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: W., Rachel
Publication Date: 1981
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: VID00070
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

Friday, August 7, 1981 The Ponte Vedra Recorder

Letters To
Dear Sir or Madam:
As one who is involved with the
preservation, restoration and interpreta-
tion of St. Augustine's historic buildings
on a daily professional basis, I am com-
pelled to answer directly the criticisms,
raised by Mr. Bill Daniell in your article
of July 10, and to clear up several points
of misinformation for your readers.
Mr. Daniell cites several structures on
St. George Street in the Restoration Area
as examples of 18th century buildings
somehow "turned into," respectively,
1890, 1979 and 1830 buildings. (One, the
Arrivas House, has even been
transported to the Midwest by Mr.
Daniell.) Leaving aside the question of
where Mr. Daniell derived such absurd
dates as 1890 and 1979, it is important
for citizens and visitors alike to unders-
tand that these buildings 'have been
restored to periods in their histories
which will allow the preservation of as
much of their original fabric as possible
tid still maintain the historic character
of the 'area. The Spanish Inn which he
mentions, for instance, was a tiny two-
room stone structure in the mid-18th
century. (Though it was probably not
built as early as 1740, as Mr. Daniell
says.) "Restoration" to that time would
actually have involved the demolition of
one of St. Augustine's most important
buildings and the reconstruction of what
Mr. Daniell refers to as -"primitive
American architecture."
The later Victorian structures, which
he describes as "standing in the way of a
unified district," do reflect important, if
not unique, architectural elements of St.
Augustine. Their presence on north St.
George Street would be admittedly out
of place, but they too have their own
place in St. Augustine's history and its
neighborhoods today. After all, less than
10 percent of the structures within the
boundaries of the old "walled city" date
from the colonial period, and many of
these have been irretrievably expanded
and remodelled.
It is the criticism of the National Trust

The Editor
for Historic Preservation by both Mr.
Daniell and Mrs. Rachel Welch which is
most disturbing of all, however.
The National Trust is the largest
private preservation organization in the
United States, and has worked tirelessly
: for several decades' on behalf of
America's historic architecture of all
periods. It has no preference for "pret-
ty" Victorian architecture, as they claim,
.but does adhere to the highest profes-
sional standards in promoting accurate
S restoration standards also maintained
by the State of Florida through its
Historic St. Augustine Preservation
SBoard. Mr. Daniell's and Mrs. Welch's
criticism of the National Trust on such
shallow grounds reveals that they share a
common ignorance of its aims and
methods, and thus of preservation in
As these newly-appointed members of
the Historic Architectural Review Board
begin their duties, let us hope they do
their homework better in the future, so
they can indeed help to "put the history
back into preservation," as Mr. Daniell
insists. In any case, we hope Mr. Daniell
does not really share the "committ-
ment" (as your article described it) to St.
Augustine of his ancestor Col. Robert
Daniell, who came to the city in 1702
with Governor James Moore of South
Carolina. On that little visit Moore and
his English comrades completely burned
and levelled St. Augustine, destroying
every building except the Castillo de San
.rs Sincerely,
: Robert'C. Stewart
Museum Curator
My dear Mrs. Bradford:
In making clippings from your issue of
the 24th to send to the Cultural Mtkiser
of Spain in Washington, I was taken
With the sympathetic -to-Spanish-culture
treatment shown- in the various an-
nouncements of events scheduled for St.
Augustine. I want to thank you for this.
As Bill Daniell has probably told you,
we here are having to wage a con-

siderable battle to protect the archite
tural remains of the Spanish Settlemen"
which exist. Although there are avai'ab
helps at official levels which will'be a:
pealed to, the interest and support
such people as your readers and tho
you write about is invaluable for any a
preciation and revival of Spani.
Culture in this area.
As to the first, we plan an appeal to t!
US Ambassador to,the Organization ,
American States for their assistance. Th
Government has a Treaty Obligation
a member of O.A.S. to live by its chart,
and constitution -which require
members to protect and. preserve all a
chitectural evidence remaining of tl
Spanish Period. Obviously this will tai
time to bring to bear but it offers need<
authoritative opinions and office
I plan to send a coy of Hen
Johnston's great article on "who mak
US Foreign Policy, Reagan or Begin"
Arab contacts who really cannot unde'
stand why Begin has carte blanche: to u
US arms and clout as it wishes desp
treaty restrictions. How well he said i
Sincerely you!
Rachel We!,
(Mrs. James Welc
P.S. It's Morada Unicornio The Cc
genial Dwelling of the Unicorn



AUG i10 I


The Ponte Vedra Recorder

Friday, August 7, 1981

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