The St. Augustine Record, Weekend Edition, May 5-6, 1979, Page 5-B
Fatio House Interior Is Fascinating
1 . . .
Visitors get a second-story view
A bathtub of days aone by
Here's the Answer E
By ANDY LANG
Q. You told a reader that
oil-based paint should not be
used on stucco because the ce-
ment contains alkali, which at-
tacks oil paint. A few years
ago, I bought an oil-based
house paint for our stucco
house and used it without any
ill effects. Thought you'd like to
A. The advice was general
and still applies, although there
is a special type of oil-based
paint formulated especially for
use on stucco and other types
of masonry. You probably used
that kind. A reader who might
want to use an oil-based paint
on stucco should ask whether
the dealer has that type of
paint in stock. In any case,
read the label carefully.
Q. I have been using rot-
tenstone in powdered form for
more than 20 years to smooth
newly finished furniture. It
takes all the irregularities out
of the varnish or lacquer and
makes the surface like glass. I
have always used water with
the powder, but a friend now
tells me I should have been us-
ing oil. Is he right and should I
change to oil in the future:
A. Of all the do-it-yourself
endeavors, wood finishing is the
one most likely to produce dif-
ferences of opinion. That's be-
cause everybody has 'his own
pet method of finishing wood.
Rottenstone powder can be
used with either oil or water.
Why should you pay attention
to anyone else if your own
procedure has produced such
excellent results? As they say
in baseball, never change a
Hat on chair adds a special touch
Netting was a must in earlier times
houses in separate building
NOW, A SALMON COLOR adds an interesting
touch to the second floor of the Ximenez-Fatio
House. Here, checking out colorful plants in
preparation for this coming week's events at the
historic Aviles Street structure are Mary Beth (Mrs.
Jack) Lynch, left, Mrs. Lockwood on the balcony;
and below, May (Mrs. Kimball) Bobbit, left; Becky
(Mrs. John) H. Rogers.
Record Color Photo By JIM LANE
;' A. By ANNE CARLING
The .story of tourism 150 years ago in St.
Augustine is undergoing a transformation of sorts at
the historic Ximenez-Fatio House on Aviles Street,
where members of the Colonial Dames of Florida,
owners of the structure, have just spent $75,000 on
an exterior restoration of the building.
But, smiles Norma (Mrs. William G. Jr.)
Lockwood, that's just the beginning. There's the
interior and kitchen restoration to go, as well.
THE COLONIAL DAMES HAVE owned the
Ximenez-Fatio House since 1939, and since that
time have endeavored, explains Mrs. Lockwood,
"to show a way of life in St. Augustine 150 years
ago.... Our story is the story of tourism," and the
Colonial Dames are endeavoring to show this story
as accurately as they possibly can.
Thus the extensive restoration plan.
It's been a long road, and there's still a way to go,
blonde Norma Lockwood smiled, seated in the
garden of the Aviles Street house. Visitors were
being led on tours of the 16 rooms, the kitchen and
the handsome gardens.
For the past 10 years, Mrs. Lockwood has been
chairman of the research and restoration com-
mittee, and, in this capacity she's overseen a lot of
vork. It's been a difficult task, yes, she admits, but
it's been a lot of fun too.
TO ACCOMPLISH THE RESTORATION, the
Colonial Dames first went to Dr. William Seale of
lexandria, Va., an historian .and expert in
American decorative arts. He set down guidelines
' Not only has Seale been of invaluable help to the
Dame~, but so has Bob Harper of the Historic St.
Augustine Preservation Board. He's been a "terrific
help," Norma emphasizes.
A Once a plan had been drawn for the restoration,
the Dames launched a search for funding.
'Eventually, they were granted matching funds from
the Edyth Bush Charitable Fund.
Additional funding came from the Jessie Ball
uPont Educational, Religious and Charitable
. Trust, zhe Barnett Bank of St. Augustine and the
Charles E. Merrill Trust, among other sources.
Too, the 452 members of the Colonial Dames in
Florida dipped into their pockets to provide fun-
The Colonial Dames is currently headed by Mrs.
William Dow Lovett of Jacksonville. Mrs. Donald
Robinson is house chairman.
The 452 membership total includes a number
from St. Augustine, also.
WITH THE RESTORATION, Dames decided to
"do things as the money becomes available."
The exterior transformation included a new
cedar shingle roof -- original shingles were found on
the addition to the structure and thus were
duplicated exactly; a paint analysis, of the exterior
which resulted in the white exterior instead of the
sand color it had been painted; and green shutters
which will be operable just like in the old days --
open in the day, closed at night.
A new twist to the exterior color is the addition of
a salmon color to the second story wing. The
history of the salmon color, recounts Mrs. Lock-
wood, is that the upstairs porch was considered an
extension of the bedroom, with patrons using the
porch for their parlor.
Now 'that the exterior is completed, Dames will
turn their attention to the interior and to the
separate kitchen building which must also undergo
For the interior, a paint analysis is necessary,
more appropriate furnishings, addition of clothing
and little transient items to make the house look
lived in; and floor coverings will be added.
THE HISTORY OF THE Ximenez-Fatio House
dates to 1798. Andres Ximenez was the first
owner, and the structure, which later became a
private boarding house, was first used as a store
and warehouse downstairs, with a home upstairs.
An interesting thing about the location, says Mrs.
Lockwood, is that it has "always been a com-
It became a private boarding house in the late
1820's, and the Dames are endeavoring now to
"more accurately depict a boarding house of the
territorial days." The period now being depicted is
from the 1820's to the 1840's, and the name Fatio
comes from Louisa Fatio, who operated it as a
private boarding house.
PATRONS OF THE PROJECT will get a look at
the work thus far, this coming week, when they'll
be invited to a cocktail party at the house the day
before the annual meeting of the Colonial Dames in
The annual meeting of the organization is
planned May 10, with business sessions at the
Trinity Episcopal Parish hall and luncheon at the
About 125 or more are expected for this annual
Ximenez-Fatio House is considered the major
headquarters for the Colonial Dames in Florida,
although just recently they did obtain another
restoration-preservation project in the form of
several rooms in an historic project in Pensacola.
That house, however, is owned by the Pensacola
restoration foundation, whereas the St. Augustine
project is the property of the Dames.
From now until Labor Day, visitors and residents
of the city can get a look at a private boarding
house of territorial days, as the house is open
Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.
As the Ximenez-Fatio House appeared before restoration
4, .4 '" *
WEEKEND EDITION, MAY 5-6,1979
More Photos On Page 5-B
Mrs. Lockwood checks out dining room table setting