Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Plaza: Constitution Monument
Title: Outline of Development of Constitution Monument
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Outline of Development of Constitution Monument
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Plaza: Constitution Monument
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: Plaza - General Info.
Folder: Plaza: Constitution Monument
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
Plaza de la Constitucion (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Constitution Plaza (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine
Coordinates: 29.892493 x -81.312335
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095508
Volume ID: VID00019
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


1812--On August 14, 1812 a royal decree was promulgated by the
Spanish parliament naming all plazas where the Spanish constitution was
officially proclaimed to be called Plazas de la Constitucion
(Constitution Squares).

1813--On January 4, 1813, the town council met to discuss the above
royal order. Specifically the order instructed all towns in the kingdom
where the promulgation of the constitution had been celebrated to erect
a tablet recognizing the constitution and naming the plaza, Plaza of the
Constitution. Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, senior alderman, and
Francisco Rovira, the town attorney, were appointed to develop the plans
and specifications for the monument in order to determine its cost.

1813--On January 19, 1813 the Governor of Florida informed the
local town council of the above decree and instructed them that the
naming of the Constitution Plaza should be inscribed on a tablet
(implication seems to be marble) or tile from another place (implying no
suitable material was available in St. Augustine).

1813--In May, 1813 the town council met to discuss the erection of
a piramide designating the central plaza as the Plaza of the

1813--(no date) The town council appointed a committee to constuct
the pyramid.

1813--On July 5, the town council requested the mayor to allocate
the funds for construction of the pyramid.

1813--On July 27, Fernando de la Maza Arredondo reported only about
150 pesos had been collected. He resigned from the construction commit-
tee because the funds were not in proportion to significance of the
monument. He was replaced on the committee by Mayor Geronimo Alvarez
and Alderman Eusebio Gomez.

1813--On August 2, the committed charged with the construction of
the pyramid presented a tentative design based on the funds available.
The monument was to be 30 feet in height. Mayor Alvarez asked
permission to use the coquina rubble from the Palacio Episcopal which
was located on the present site of Trinity Episcopal Church.

1813--On December 24, 1813 the town council received 151 pesos for
construction of the monument.

1814--Construction of the monument was completed the latter part of
January. On February 14, 1814, Alvarez and Gomez presented their
account for approval.

1814--September 15 a daily paper was received from Havana and the
aldermen read that similar tablets had been removed from monuments in
in other towns and cities and been substituted with the incription
"Plaza de Fernando Septimo." Alderman Francisco Pons was ordered to
remove the tablet from the plaza.

1815--January 18, a royal order, dated July 20, 1814, was received,
declaring the dissolution of the constitutional government and the local
council was likewise dissolved.

1820--On May 4, 1820 the council was recreated as the result of the
reproclamation of the 1812 constitution. On May 11, the tablet was
replaced on the monument.

1953--the St. Augustine Historical Society had a Herculite glass
plate placed over the original marble table. A replica of the original
table was placed on the west side and a bronze placque, with incriptions
in Spanish and English was installed on the base in 1955. Apparently the
four smaller placques on each side of the base were also placed at that
time. They are written in Spanglish (Plaza de la Constitution) instead
of Plaza de la Constitucion.

Construction of the pyramid:


9 bushels of lime were purchased from Mrs. Russell; another 33
bushels were purchased from the widow of Mr. (Jesse ?) Fish.

a pallet of stone (coquina) which had been set aside for the
construction of a bridge but not used

6 arrobas of spikes for scaffolding

wood for form boards (?)

an iron bar to support the -f / eal / / CU // a I/ (f ,r,~ ci.

parts of the coquina ruins of the Old Episcoal Church located on
the plaza were used due to the scarcity of materials.


A master mason named Maron was used.

two apprentices assisted the mason

a black laborer assisted with the laying of the corner stone (?)
/6 6., ,1 J
two black ef es using a wagon removed coquina at low tide for
the cornice

the cornice was apparently pre-fabricated because there was a labor
charge for setting it separately on the monument
the mason Benjamin Seguier (Segui) assisted with the construction

the master carpenter Cercopoli did minor carpentry work

Construction schedule:

1st week:

the master mason and the 2 apprentices constructed the scaffolding and
form boards (cajon)

materials used were: t--bf-bo ajrl-n lienza; 30 feet of planking
for the scaffolding and form boards; a pound of nails

2nd/3rd weeks:

no information

4th week:

apparently construction was well under way as the apprentices were
paid for their services

lime was also paid for indicating construction was under way

5th week:

the master mason and the two apprentices worked on the project

additional lime was also purchased

6th week:

only the two apprentices worked this week and only for 2 1/2 days

7th week:

the two apprentices worked for 4 1/2 days

8th week:

the two apprentices worked for 2 1/2 days

9th week:

the two apprentices worked 6 days

the base of the monument was apparently complete at that time
because the materials for the cornice were delivered

the two blacks removed large pieces of coquina at low tide for the
cornice; the stone must have come from somewhere along the Matanzas Bay
because no mention is made of a boat; a cart was renting to transport
the stone

10th week:

the cornice was constructed during this week

the apprentices worked two days

a black helper worked one day handling the coquina block

3 blacks worked half a day handling and lifting the cornice into l

11th week: a c,7y"'

the monument was completed

the master mason worked two days

the apprentices also worked two days / 5 //
v ,, f,. ,Aj) ~, /o / O' C A a- AF/
1/2 day was spent assembling the scaffolding, apparently for the
pyramid portion of the monument

13 bushels of lime were used, apparently for the stucco finish that
was applied to the i shed--v-wtkf/"- c/

the stucco was apparently apparently applied by brush as a brush is
listed as one of the expenses

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs