Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 12 – Lot 19
Title: [Research notes on The Paredes-Dodge House]
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Research notes on The Paredes-Dodge House
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 12 – Lot 19
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Copyright Date: Public Domain
Physical Location:
Box: 4
Divider: Parades-Dedge House, Lot 19 Block 12
Folder: Parades-Dodge House
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
54 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Parades-Dodge House
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 54 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896092 x -81.313202
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094126
Volume ID: VID00034
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B12-L19

Full Text

The Paredes-Dodge House is a one-and-a-half story
Spanish Colonial style building located at 54 St. George
Street. It was built between 1803 and 1813 and is one of
thirty-six surviving colonial buildings or structures
located within the city of St. Augustine.

The Paredes-Dodge House shares several characteristic
features of the Colonial architecture of St. Augustine.
Its lack of a set-back from the street line and the use of
coquina for the construction of its foundation and walls
are principal among them. Its other salient architectural
features are a rectangular ground plan, a stucco over
coquina exterior finish, 6/6 double-hung sash windows, a
gable roof, a chimney and four shed wall dormers, three of
which dominate the roof line of the main facade.

As is true with many colonial buildings in St.
Augustine, the physical development of the Paredes-Dodge
House reflects economic trends in the history of the city
and the changing needs and interests of its various
owners. The original building was only two rooms wide and
served as a private residence. It was attached at the
first-floor level to the older Rodriquez-Avero S&nchez
House to the north with which it shares.a common chimney.
The original eleven inch thick wall of the latter building
was increased to twenty-four inches at the time of the
construction of the Paredes-Dodge House. Cartographic
records supported by physical inspection of the building
indicate that between 1833 and 1860 two rooms, also
constructed of coquina, were added to the west side of the
first floor of the building. The rooms were covered by a
shed roof addition to the original gable roof.

Subsequent changes to the building embody its
adaptation from residential to commercial usage. They
occurred primarily during the Flagler era when St. George
Street became increasingly commercialized. By the 1890's,
a second doorway was cut on the street facade, probably to
allow shoppers greater access to the interior of the

Other changes to the building occurred following its
acquisition by the St. Augustine Historical Society in
1934. In 1948 the Society sought to stabilize the
building. The openings on the St. George Street facade
were reinforced with steel "I" beams and a thirty foot
long steel plate was anchored to the ceiling joists to
reinforce the coquina wall. On the first floor, the


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southeast and southwest rooms were replastered, and the
interior stairway was rebuilt. On the second, new
flooring was laid over the original, and a bathroom and
kitchen were installed over the south end. The entire
roof was recovered with asbestos shingles and a dormer
window was built in the west slope for ventilation.

The Paredes-Dodge House is architecturally
significant as one of the relatively few extant buildings
from the colonial period. It stands among a cluster of
colonial buildings along St. George Street, including the
Avero, DeMesa, Arrivas, and Rodriquez-Avero-Sanchez
Houses. Moreover, its original architectural integrity is
largely intact. Its alterations are generally historic
and have gained an integrity in their own right. Since
the 1930's it has been well maintained under the
custodianship of the St. Augustine Historical Society.

Beyond its architecture the Paredes-Dodge House and
surrounding property is significant for its historical
associations and archaeological potential. The property
includes the northernmost parcel of a lot owned by Antonio
Josd Rodriguez at the time of the transfer of Florida to
the British in 1764. Rodriguez, an elderly, invalid
infantryman, owned two tabby houses -on the property,
although they were situated at the southern end of the
lot. Jesse Fish received the Rodriguez property at the
time of the transfer and sold it along with the
Rodriguez-Avero-S&nchez House to the north to Joseph
Dyason in 1768. At the time of the sale the two tabby
houses had been destroyed.

Following the retrocession of Florida to the Spanish
in 1784, the property became royal patrimony. In 1791,
Governor Juan Quesada sold the property along with the
Rodriguez-Avero-Sanchez House to the north to Don Juan
SAnchez, the chief master calker of the royal works. In
1803, following SAnchez's death, his widow, Maria del
Carmen CastaWeda sold the 54 St. George Street property to
Juan Paredes, a sailor, harbor pilot, and merchant from
the island of Mallorca.

Paredes had married Isabel Ridaveto of Minorca in
1785. He and his wife had a daughter, Juana, at the time
of the 1786 census. Upon purchasing the property, he
received the right to build the north wall of his house
flush with the wall of the Rodriguez-Avero-SAnchez House.
He probably had the building constructed shortly

In 1813, following his death, Paredes's daughter
Juana sold the house to Pedro Fucha, a farmer and
landowner who was also of Minorcan descent. Sometime
between 1813 and 1834, Fucha sold the house to Esteban
Arnau, another Minorcan in an as yet undocumented
transaction. The house remained in the Arnau family until
the 1890's.

During the 1890's the Arnau family mortgaged the
property to Colonel George L. Eastman, a prominent
resident of St. Augustine. The mortgage was foreclosed
in 1895 and the property was deeded to Eastman. Eastman
sold the property to James P. Dodge in 1900.

Dodge was a jeweler and watchmaker. During his
ownership the building became known as the Dodge House and
was billed as "The Oldest House in America, 1565."
Following his death, his widow, Emma Dodge, sold the
property to the St. Augustine Historical Society which has
retained ownership ever since.

While its owners were not necessarily outstanding
individuals, the Paredes-Dodge House is nonetheless
significant for its historical associations, particularly
those with the Minorcan community. During the British
Period the Minorcans settled along St. George Street and
remained there well into the nineteenth century. The
Paredes-Dodge House represents a typical Minorcan dwelling
of the late colonial period. It also, in all likelihood
was the product of Minorcan craftsmen who have made
substantial contributions to the built environment of St.
Augustine since their arrival in Florida during the late
eighteenth century.


DATE: September 7, 1988


FROM: Susan Parker



Some thoughts on the Paredes-Dodge House

This is a draft of a memo to Hector. I would like some input
from the research staff.

While the agency, staff and Board, is in a pa2iod of
introspection and evaluation, I thought it might be a good time
to suggest that the Board consider the possibility of
interpreting the Paredes-Dodge House as part of the "Spanish
Quarter." It is a colonial building which still looks like a
colonial building and there is still something special to
visitors about standing in a "real" colonial building. Based dn
cursory research I submit the following background.

The Paredes-Dodge House takes the first part of its name from its
Minorcan owner, Juan Paredes, who is credited with being these
builder, c. 1803-1813. Paredes was a mariner employed by the
Spanish government on its intraprovincial boats. A search
through our computer index of the East Florida Papers shows quite
a bit of information about Paredes' nautical activities:
ferrying supplies among the defense posts in the hinterland as
well as building supplies from the plantations on the St. Johns
River to the capital. I have not yet pursued other sources of
p-rzon al information about Parades. The comp. index shows that
his. son in-law, Antonio Caballero, served with him on the SAN
AGUS'T'IN in 1.804. Paredes' longest command'appears to have been
the SANTO TOMAS, which made many trips to Amelia Island, on one
voyage carrying "stone" for building materl/i, tli. wa-., probably
coquina from the St. Aug area. /

Many of Paredes fellow inmmigranin i-inorcang-" jo:vern:it-nt
employees serving as masters or "cap gains Paredes could be a
g ocjd representative of these mariners. We hav. long felt that
both the Minorcan element of St. Augustine and the nautical
aspects of this aoac-astt LtowLI should be addressed in the living-
history museum. r Ltin -' this suggestion deserves further
considerations by Lte Board of Trustees.

^Zet ^^-=-c- L ,/ -,2. n



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