By CYNTHIA PARKS
Times-Union Staff Writer
ST. AUGUSTINE Pfaucets leak, dol-
lar weed taking over the front yard, heater
won't kick ,on without an ice cube on the
thermostat. You thiik you've got problems
with your little 3-bdrm 2-bath GBS, FHA fi-
asco? Consider livwig in -a house-about 165
years old! -.
THEt HOUSE at- 42Spanish St., must
have been a realtor's nightmare: 2 7bdrm,r,
no bath, separate kitchen, one patio
(sandy), octagonal well (needs cleaning).
Termites in lintels. Oyster shell foundation
buckling. Stuccoed coquina walls need fresh
coat of pink paint. Built before 1808. Mort-
gagor retains right to pick color of shutters,
will not allow any structural changes. Price
Only a few couples wouldn't break tip
over that ad. Happily, the couple who
thought it absolutely reasonable, even desir-
able, got it Bob and Gudrun Hall.
The house, listed in the Historic Ameri.
can Buildings Survey, is the Triay House.
F THE ADDRESS itself is a duplicate-in-
miniature of St. Augustine's history. At the
end of the first Spanish colonial period
(1763) a tabby house occupied the lot. The
British took over the town for 20 years, and
the governor, Patrick Tonyn, allotted a sec-
tion of the town to the dispirited refugee
families fleeing the Minorcan colony of New
Smyrna. History zeroes in on the site again
in 1788. The Spanish were back again, and
Mariano de la Rocque drew a map of all
.buildings, and he listed a small house "of
wood with a palm roof, in poor condition, on
the land of the King" there. It belonged to a
Minorcan, Juan Triay. In 1803 Juan's widow
wanted to sell, the place was so dilapidated.
She had to ask the governor's permission.
She sold it to another Triay, and the old
place must have collapsed or been torn down,
because by 1808 there was a stout coquina-
walled two-storyhouse typically colonial
- and the Triays lived in it until 1885.
A SUCCESSION of o w n e r s added or
subtracted from the house and in 1950 the
St. Augustine Historical Society bought it
for $3,500. The Society ripped out modern
additions, tore down the relaid part of the
south wall which was several inches off
plumb, pulled the beaver board off the
downstairs ceilings to expose the darkened
beams. It made a few concessions to mod-
ernity: a bath and a kitchen were added up-
stairs and a window was made into a door.
since the original front door is directly on
the curb. Rotted lintels were replaced with
concrete, wormy window frames with wood
from the old Flagler mansion Kirkside, but
the original rafters were in excellent condi-
tion. The wide pine floors upstairs were
sanded and varnished, the fireplace bricks
replaced and the downstairs concrete'floor
and walls braced against rumbling traffic.
The Society sold it in 1963 to a strug-
gling school teacher and his wife who hadn't
a Dun & Bradstreet rating but who had a
deep feel for the place.
Sunday, May 7, 19A742
RENDA AND GUDRUN sit on the edge of their well, the only
octagonal one in the city. The walls are fern-covered "and we are
sure there is a treasure at the bottom, but we dare not drain it or the
walls will collapse," says whimsical Gudrun.
THE UPSTAIRS n[
uniquely Halisian. Bob's
copper and crockery dece
place is distinctively East
Sword" has Indian art
165- ear-old house is contemporary and
emblabes hang in the stairwell. Gudrun's
te the kitchen, the bedroom with its fire-
n. and Renda influenced by "Cross and
"'her room, along with elves, gnomes and