P R/ CITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE COPY
TO: Joseph Pomar, Jr.
DATE: February 10, 1998
RE: Constitucion Monument
Because of our on-going dialogue with Hildegard Pacetti, I had asked Carl
Halbirt to contact a knowledgeable source in the National Park Service to obtain viable
information on restoring and preserving the Constitucion Monument. On Monday, Dean
Garrison, Maintenance Supervisor, Ft. Frederica National Monument, met with Carl and myself.
As the result of that meeting, I am requesting permission to file an application for a Historic
Preservation Grant from the Florida Department of State.
The Monument is in dire need of repair and preservation. This is questionably
one of only two such monuments dedicated to the Spanish Constitution remaining intact out
side of Spain. The history of this edifice is truly under publicized. It is extremely important
that we rehabilitate the monument before it is past the point of repair. Some ten years ago
repairs were made to various elements of the Plaza de la Constitucion, the Spanish
Constitucion Monument included. However, some of the repair included use of Portland
Cement, which is apparently not harmonious with coquina. In fact it is harmful. Attempting to
restore the monument by using the resources of HP-1, Inc. will, in my opinion, wind up much
like the attempt at restoring the Cubo Line solely on the strength of the Presidio Commission.
Nothing was getting done until the City stepped into the process. It will be a much better
scenario if we apply for a State Historic Preservation matching grant of $10,000.00. We can
use our labor for the City's in-kind match and allow HP-1, Inc to participate with monetary
donations under our guidelines. Also it is possible the Sister Cities would participate by using
the restoration a part of Hispanic Awareness Month. The deadline for applying for this type
grant is August 1. 1998. Results of the application would be known no later than November
30, 1998. As with the Cubo Line Project, the City will lead the planning, do the work and
consummate the preservation with the token assistance of HP-1 and Sister Cities. Expertise to
be provided under contract.
The following is needed:
1. Remove by proper process the build up of moss/dirt/etc., the loose
stucco and the portland cement patches.
2. Re-surface with the proper scientific blend of lime based stucco.
3. Improve the security barricade to prevent hand and foot contact and
4. White wash with a quality product.
5. Establish a maintenance routine which includes yearly white washing.
6. Replace the missing "English" version of the plague.
While this project is under way, the bronze plaques we recently placed on the
cannons need to be preserved by adding a coat of cold wax. This should also be a yearly
preventive maintenance item.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions.
Special Events Coordinator
cc: C. Halbirt, City Archaeologist