Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Government House, Local Projects
Title: [Letter to Stewart Udall]
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095479/00087
 Material Information
Title: Letter to Stewart Udall
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Government House, Local Projects
Physical Description: Correspondence
Language: English
Creator: Smathers, George A.
Publication Date: 1965
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: Government House - Projects & Exhibits
Folder: Government House, Local Projects
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
48 King Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Government House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 48 King Street
Coordinates: 29.892465 x -81.313142
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095479
Volume ID: VID00087
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text








14 September 1965



The Honorable Stewart Udall
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
Washington, i. C,

My dear Stewart:

My stint in respect to the St. Augustine Quadricentennial came
a couple of days after yours, but I have heard from Senator Holland
who had talked with you about it and who was present at the timer
your speech. We are both mighty grateful to you for taking the time
to do this for us and for St. Augustine. The celebration really was
a national and international, and not a local event.

I hope you had a chance to take at leasa a fleeting glance at
the old "Government House in St. Augustine, which dates down from
Spanish times to the present in an uninterrupted history of use by
the various governments which have ruled St. Augustine: Spain,
England, United States. As the United States or Federal Building
in St. Augustine for more than 100 years, it has held federal
offices here, and of late principally the Post Office.

More than a year ago our Director General, Earle Newton, whom
you net in St. Augustine, talked with Assistant Postmaster General
Tyler Abell, who indicated he thought the building ought to be re-
turned to historical purposes. The Post Office Department agreed
that it would build a new post office in St. Augustine and vacate
the present building. This leaves the disposal of the vacated
building in the hands of G.S.A.

As you know, first call upon these is given to other federal
agencies, and I can think of none more appropriate than the
Department of the Interior. We very much hope that you, through
the National Park Service, will request the transfer of this pro-
perty to the Department of the Interior and its development as an
historic shrine.

Already, G.S.A, has supplied a very extensive study of the
evolution of the building during American times, and the National
Park Service is checking into historical source materials from the
earlier period. Thus far, it seems that the walls of the Spanish





9


14 September 1900


Honorable Stewart Udall
page two


Governor's house still stand as the east part of the building,
but the vest part is a modern replacement (despite its Spanish
architecture) of a vest wing which was torn down many years ago,

I think our friends undertaking the restoration of the city
would very much like to see the old portion restored, and the new
portion utilized as an iniotmation and exhibition center for the
historical area. I should think this would fit right in line with
the new policy of the National Park Service in establishing in-
formation centers in connection with its historical sites.


Since the post
is already pressing
ing, both temporary


office is getting ready to vacate soon 6B.S.A
for an answer as to disposition of the build-
and ultimate.


Cordially,


George A. Smathers




-4
CLf- f


9

NATIONAL QUADRICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
1565 1965
September 13, 1965

The Honorable Stewart Udall
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
Washington, D. C.

My dear Stewarts
My stint in respect to the St. Augustine Quadri-
eentennial came a couple of days after yours, but I
have heard from Senator Holland who had talked with
you about it and who was present at the time of your
speech. We are both mighty grateful to you for taking
the time to do this for us and for St. Augustine. The
celebration really was a national and international,
and not a local event.
I hope you had a chance to take at least a fleeting
glanoe at the old "#oTeranent House* in St. Augustine,
whiEh dates down from Spanish times to the present in an
uniaterrued history of use by the various governments
whioh have ruled St. Augustines Spain, England, United
States, As the United States or Federal ~1ilding in
St. Augeutine for more than 100 years, it has held
federal offices here, and of late principally the Post
Office.
More than a year ago our Director General, Earle
eSwton, whom you met in St. Augustine, _ae- u ._-i. -
#-gM Assistant Postmaster General Tyler Abellt~4-. 4aJ .A '(AC2
the building ought to be returned to historical purposes,
washie Post Offiee Department agreed that it would build
a new post office in St. Augustine and vacate the present
building. This leaves the disposal of the vacated build-
ing in the hands of G.S.A.
As you know, first call upon these is given to other
federal agencies, and I ean think of none more appropriate
than the Department of the Interior. We very auch hope
that you, through the National Park Service, will request
the transfer of this property to the Department of the
Interior and its development as an historic shrine.


.' i'o fl





9
Honorable Stewart Udall Septemberl3, 1965
page two



Already, O.S.A. has supplied a very extensive study
of the evolution of the building during American ties,
and the National Park Serviee Is oheoking into histori-
ael soarose materials from the earlier period. Thus far,
it seems that the walls of the Spanish Governor's house
still stand as the east part of the b ilding, but the
west part is a modern replacement (despite its Spanish
areh1teoture) of a west wing whaih was torn down many
years ago.
I think our friends ~n unrtaking the restoration of
the eity would very muh like to see the old portion re-
stored, and the new portion utilized as an information
and exhibition center for the historleal erea. I should
think this would fit right in line with the new policy
of the National Park Service in establishing information
oenters in connection with its historic sites.
Siase the post office is getting ready to vacate s
-'G.S.A. is already pressing
for an answer as to disposition of the building. ihey
aro r tour e the space
offt anotr &enodiliy
t of e bui di n disposition of 4
ture onfim ed
Cordially#

TL e George A, Sathers
G^-SL C^^`CuuSL





t 9/14/65


Mr. Wolfe: The original of the attached letter
was accidentally mailed to SenatorSmathers
yesterday.

M. E. R.




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