HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE PRESERVATION BOARD
June 14, 1983
TO: Robert H. Steinbach
Hector L. Miron
FROM: Robert C. Stewart
SUBJECT: deMesa House Recommendations
I have discussed with both of you my thoughts on some additional improve-
ments for the deMesa-Sanchez House. At this point I'm only listing the specific
physical changes that could be implemented in the near future.
1. DOWNSTAIRS FLOORS
The floors in Room 101 (Office), Room 104 (Odd room at bottom of stairs),
Room 106 (Storage Room), and Room 107 (Dining Room) should have the following
a. Clean thoroughly using soap and water. Do not bleach. Stains
(particularly from old carpet tape) should be removed using
acetone or other solvent.
b. Stain to match upstairs new flooring.
c. Test one obscure area : with polyurethane or other sealant. If
the appearance is unsatisfactory, perhaps a coat of tung oil or
linseed oil after the stain is thoroughly dry will provide sufficient
protection. However, you will probably have to consider sealing
the original floors upstairs if they continue to receive heavy
traffic. If you decide to do the upstairs you should do the down-
d. Room 102 (Hall), Room 103 (Sitting Room/Game Room), and Room 108
(Servant's Room) have wall-to-wall floor covering at this time. I
should think you need not re-do those floors until you have to re-
place the coverings.
e. Bob, Susan or someone from Government House should supervise the
movement of furniture and objects at all times. I suggest that
when you replace the dining room furniture, try leaving the table
in the center of the room and see how it works for traffic flow.
If it's too cramped you'll have to put it back where it is now.
When the new rug arrives, I would recommend storing it in the fan room,
hanging along the north wall. There are some pipes in the ceiling there that I
think can be used as hooks. It should be securely fastened with strong clamps.
This should keep the rug wrinkle-free and clean until it can be installed.
Memo to Steinbach and Miron
June 15, 1983
Installation of the rug, as well as re-doing the downstairs floors, should
take place during the September closing.
I would recommend moving the parlor furniture into the two bedrooms and
upstairs hall. Then the parlor'floor can be vacuumed, mopped, and oiled (or
sealed if you choose).
You will need to order carpet padding from one of the local dealers. It
should be 1/4" thick, preferably the hair or fiberglass type but I think a
synthetic will do. The dealer should have some recommendations. It should be
large enough to pad all but the outside 1" or 2" of the rug.
After you have reinstalled the parlor furniture, you can repeat the cleaning
procedure for Room 201, the Master Bedroom. The handwoven striped rug now in the
Parlor should be handwashed or dry cleaned before it is laid in the Bedroom.
Some sort of padding (of a less expensive variety) should be used under it, too.
Plastic runners will also have to be laid in the traffic lane across the Bedroom,
since that rug cannot tolerate much wear.
If a better quality floor matting can be found (Suzette Spieler, volunteer,
is looking into this), I would recommend replacing the beach matting in the
Children's Bedroom. My guess is that it would cost $150-$200 for a sufficient
quantity. A good quality matting could also be used in the odd room 104.
4. UPSTAIRS REAR DOOR TO PORCH o-~c rJuJ S7-r~we _
It has been recommended on several occasions that we install-self-closing
and self-locking devices on the rear exit onto the porch upstairs. I agree.
The devices should not be too obtrusive, and the closer should not be too strong
to damage the door. We do need this for purposes of security and climate control.
In regard to the continuing problem of visitors cutting across the area
in front of the rear loggia, I would suggest considering one of the following
1. A low hedge along the loggia
2. A small brick-paved area, perhaps with seating and additional plants
3. Simply allowing the area to become a rough, undistinguished dirt area
(probably the most historically accurate).
Consideration might also be given to constructing a grape arbor over the
shell-sand area behind the large carriage gate. This would be in keeping with
the interpretation of the area as a carriage driveway and would give a much
more attractive presentation of the space from St. George Street.