Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Redoubt
Title: Site Plan Recommendations of the Presidio Commission for The Reconstruction of The 1808 Santo Domingo Redoubt and Cubo Defense Line
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095516/00003
 Material Information
Title: Site Plan Recommendations of the Presidio Commission for The Reconstruction of The 1808 Santo Domingo Redoubt and Cubo Defense Line
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Redoubt
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Publication Date: 1999
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: Redoubt
Folder: Redoubt
 Subjects
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
Redoubt (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine
Coordinates: 29.897826 x -81.314976
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095516
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text







SITE PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE PRESIDIO COMMISSION


for


THE RECONSTRUCTION OF
THE 1808 SANTO DOMINGO REDOUBT
AND CUBO DEFENSE LINE


July 20, 1999

El Presidio de San Agustin Commission,
H. Carl Hoefer, Jr. Chair

Commission Members:


David Brandt
Fred Brinkhoff
Paul Fagundo
Nevin Gehman
Carl Halbirt
Robert Hall
Dennis Hollingsworth
Frank Kenton
Dr. Eugene Lyon
Teresa Milam


James Pennington
Col. Kent Petelle
Betty Riggan
Cecile-Marie Sastre
Les Thomas
Charles Tingley
David Toner
Janis Williams
Gordon Wilson
Carla Wright










Page 2


PAGE 1.

PAGE 2.

PAGE 3.

PAGE 4.

PAGE 5.

PAGE 6.

PAGE 7.

PAGE 8.

PAGE 9.

PAGE 10.

PAGE 11.

PAGE 12.


COVER

INDEX

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

BACKGROUND

COMMISSION'S SITE CONSIDERATIONS

ORIGINAL PREMISES

NEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION

FIRST CHOICE SITE PLAN

SECOND CHOICE SITE PLAN

APPROVED ALTERNATE SITE PLAN

ADDENDUM #1: ORIGINAL SIZE, N.W. CORNER

ADDENDUM #2: "SPLIT/HALF REDOUBT"







Page 3.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The Presidio Commission, through its own deliberations and with the inputs
of its Site Plan Committee, has come to conclusion on it's recommendation for the
location, size and structure of the Santo Domingo Redoubt and Cubo Defensive
Line reconstruction project:

Based on evidence from the recent excavations of City Archaeologist, Carl
Halbirt, the Commission decided that the main principles to be observed in the
decision process was to build as close to the original redoubt and line as possible in
the three aspects of LOCATION, SIZE and CONSTRUCTION.

The new evidence discovered by Mr. Halbirt indicates the redoubt straddled
what is now Cordova Street, north of Orange Street, was larger (57' X 72') than
originally thought (54' X 54'), and instead of being all reinforced palm log and earth
(similar to the Cubo Line extending from the Castillo de San Marcos west to
Castillo Drive), the east and west facing walls were vertical palm logs only, like a
barricade.

Viewing this construction project as the first major NEW addition to the
historical defense system of 1808 San Agustin, and an integral part of the defense
system which includes the Castillo and City Gate, the Commission's
recommendation is to reconstruct the redoubt and line:

EXACTLY WHERE IT ORIGINALLY STOOD (or within a
very few feet of it).
IN THE SAME DIMENSIONS, and
IN THE CONSTRUCTION FORM JUST DISCOVERED

This would mean the closing of that portion of Cordova that runs between
Orange and the new V.I.C. bus turn around circle. This is discussed on P. 8, with
an alternate on P. 9. If this proves impossible, an acceptable alternate (redoubt at
NW corer) is discussed on P. 10.






Page 4.


BACKGROUND

As far back as June, 1937, the City and citizens of St. Augustine gave
consideration to reconstructing portions of the old walled city's defense system.
The notion never left the "good idea" stage for reasons unknown to this writer.

In the mid 1980's, under former Mayor Kenneth Beeson, the idea was
revived once more, but it took a few years to gain momentum. Then in the late
1980's the governmental entities needed for such a project to become a reality came
together to start the process under a Memorandum of Agreement. The signers were
the St. Augustine Historic Preservation Board (a division then of the State Historic
Resources Department), the U. S. Park Service, which owned the land on which the
line and redoubt sat, the St. Johns County School Board, which leased the site in
question from the Park Service, and, the City of St. Augustine. The target for
reconstructing the Cubo Line west to Cordova was to be Oct. 12, 1992, the
Columbus Quincentenary.

Meetings were held from time to time, but the group didn't start to be pro-
active until after 1992, when attention to the Columbus Quincentenary began to
wane and allow the core of historic-minded citizens and groups to refocus on the
Presidio Commission. In March of 1994, the scope interest was expanded from the
original four signatories, to other historic minded groups and renamed the St.
Augustine Presidio Commission. Meetings became regular then and the discussion
was wide ranging, but no noteworthy advances were made on the big, big problem
of how to pay for such a project.

In 1997, the Preservation Board and Commission members, knowing the City
was probably going to take over management of the Preservation Board's local
properties, put together a grant request to the State Historic Resources Department
for the project money. By September, when that body's recommendations were
made known, the request had been rejected.

Starting in February, 1998, the City undertook rewriting the request and the
Presidio Commission set out to gain, and got, supporting letters from over thirty
prominent sources. Finally, in September of 1998, the request made "the cut" in
Tallahassee. And as of this writing, the State Legislature has passed the funding,
the Governor signed the bill, and the City now has a contract to proceed.










Page 5.


COMMISSION'S SITE CONSIDERATIONS

The Presidio de San Agustin's Site Planning Committee, whose members are
Gordie Wilson, Chair, David Toner, Les Thomas, Charles Tingley, Carl Halbirt,
Robert Hall and Carl Hoefer, met on three occasions to discuss where the Santo
Domingo redoubt should be located.
On the first occasion, it had very recent information regarding the original
site based on excavations by City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt. His findings changed
our information about its size, location and structure significantly. On the second
occasion, the committee met with members of the City Staff, including, Jack
Cubbedge and Frank Kenton. The third meeting was held at the proposed site
location, north of Orange St. on both sides of Cordova, in an attempt to visualize
better, the size considerations issue.
At the first meeting, all present voted in favor of building on the original
location, which straddled Cordova Street just north of Orange. Next, the
Committee met with Messrs. Cubbedge and Kenton of the City Staff. At that time,
concern was expressed about the problems associated with the closing of Cordova
in two areas, traffic control and project costs. Mr. Cubbedge indicated to the Site
Planning Committee that these concerns may be too big an obstacle to overcome,
and that we needed an alternate.
The Committee and Mr. Cubbedge went to the actual site as a follow up, and
which time, Mr. Toner suggested that there would be room for the redoubt to be
entirely west of Cordova without interference with the School Board parking lot.
The issue came back to the Commission at its April meeting, at which time
this was discussed and considered in relation to the other proposals.
The following pages, with small maps to illustrate the site situations and
proposals, will show the considerations entertained by the Commission and the
reasons for their choices.




Page 6.


ORIGINAL PREMISES


The Presidio Commission's early (prior to grant preparation) notions
of the structure, and location where the Santo Domingo Redoubt should be built is
shown below.
We understood the redoubt to be about 54 feet square, located mostly to the
right of current Cordova on the northeast corer of the intersection with Orange
Street. Further, we understood (perhaps assumed) that its construction was
essentially the same as the Cubo Defense Line, slanted palm logs facing the enemy
to the west, north and east, a truncated triangular cross section of earth and timber
reinforcement, with two embrasures facing north and one each facing east and west.
The early planning assumption was to shift the footprint of the redoubt
slightly to the east in order to keep it 54 feet square and still have space enough
between it and the cemetery for a simulated moat, also part of the 1808 fortification.
In all of the following maps, the wide line ("railroad tracks") attempts to
show the redoubt as the same construction as the Cubo Line. The map below
shows what, up until about two months ago, we were thinking.


1. School Bd. Parking
2. Existing wood fence
3. Bus turn-around
4. Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
Les Thomas drawing.)
I,_


1




Page 7.


NEW INFORMATION ON THE SIZE & LOCATION OF THE REDOUBT

Due to the diligent and energetic digging of City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt,
new information came to the Presidio Commission's attention.
We now know the following new things:
1. The dimensions of the original redoubt are considerably larger
than we had thought, approximately 57 feet north to south, and
72 feet east to west. The east and west walls are outside the
current Cordova Street by several feet, more on the east side.
2. The side walls were not truncated earthen and log construction
like the north wall and the Cubo Line proper. They were made
of vertical palm logs tied together in the style of early U.S.
Army forts. This, of course, reduces material costs for the east
and west walls, but is offset to some degree by the width
increase of 18 feet of earth and log construction.

The drawing below shows the true original site of the redoubt and line with
the red dots indicating logs only and the wider one ("railroad tracks") indicating
earth/log construction. Some commission members surmise that the east and west
walls were less sturdy so that the Castillo could fire through them in case the
redoubt was ever overtaken.


School Bd. Parking
Existing wood fence
Bus turn-around
Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
Les Thomas drawing.)


OZAk16E




Page 8.


COMMISSION'S FIRST CHOICE

The map below shows the same general location and structure of the redoubt as
was discovered by recent digs, except offset to avoid disturbing most of the original
remains.. The difference is that we show Cordova Street closed off between Orange and
the bus turn-around circle. The Cubo Defense Line comes up to join the redoubt, giving
the impression of a strong and complete defensive fortification. This allows visitors
approaching from the V.I.C. parking lot to grasp the full size and impact of the original,
with two cannon facing them and two more on the sides. It also will allow the
development of either a real or simulated moat fully in front of the redoubt and line
eastward that won't impinge on the Huguenot Cemetery. The Cubo Line should proceed
as far east as funding allows. At some future date, the Commission hopes, it can be
actually tied into the section of line just west of the City Gate.
By putting a sidewalk in along the west side of the redoubt, the pedestrian traffic
coming out of the V.I.C. parking lot should be much better managed than it is now.
Eventually, also, there will be room for a walkway leaving the bus turn-around and
proceeding eastward along and nearby the Huguenot Cemetery, ending near the City
Gate.
The Presidio Commission is fully aware that this poses some traffic and cost
concerns, but at this moment, they are concerns only; that is, they are not quantified. We
believe the next step is to obtain a professional traffic evaluation and cost estimate of
closing Cordova.


School Bd. Parking
Existing wood fence
Bus turn-around
Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
Les Thomas drawing.)


* V~mmn


Ii




Page 9.


COMMISSION'S SECOND CHOICE

The map below shows the same general location and structure of the redoubt as
was discovered by recent digs, except offset to avoid disturbing most of the original
remains, as proposed also in the Commission's First Choice. Again we show Cordova
Street closed off between Orange and the bus turn-around circle, with the Cubo Defense
Line joining the redoubt, giving the identical impression of a strong and complete
defensive fortification. The difference this time is that we show Cordova going
northward as a jog going to the west side of the redoubt. This also allows visitors
approaching from the V.I.C. parking lot to grasp the full size and impact of the original,
with two cannon facing them and two more on the sides. It also will allow the
development of either a real or simulated moat fully in front of the redoubt and line
eastward that won't impinge on the Huguenot Cemetery along with the sidewalk
possibilities suggested in the first choice. The Cubo Line should proceed as far east as
funding allows.
The key is that it is physically possible to have a relocated, full size Cordova
Street connection to its westward and northward continuation without impinging on the
School Board parking lot. Room for a sidewalk and green space also!
If the professional traffic advice as regards the first choice fails to be positive, then
the next step is to get contractor's estimates on the cost of the relocated Cordova Street,
along with any revisions needed in the traffic assessment.









1. School Bd. Parking
2. Existing wood fence
3. Bus turn-around
4. Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
Les Thomas drawing.)




L l .. .. .. ..


O .A1 6 F_




Page 10.


APPROVED ALTERNATE LOCATION

If no way can be found to build the redoubt on its original site as just
presented, the Presidio Commission can, by a strong majority of votes, live with the
redoubt being on the northwest corer of that intersection at full size, with the Cubo
Line starting on the northeast comer and continuing eastward as far as the Castillo
southbound cut-off (or as far as funding will allow).
The map below shows the locations and makes it clear that no changes in
Cordova Street need be made.
From the V.I.C. parking lot, one will still get a significant impression of the
redoubt's/line's massiveness and visitor traffic is pretty well preserved. The
educated visitor will probably wonder why the line and redoubt don't connect.

The following pages are Addenda which show other site plans discussed and
our reasons for rejecting them in favor of the two just presented.













1. School Bd. Parking
2. Existing wood fence
3. Bus turn-around
4. Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
,- yLes Thomas drawing.)

I 4.


QA&I


3
I---------~





Page 11.


ADDENDUM #1

USE ORIGINAL ASSUMPTIONS FOR LOCATION: FULL SIZE REDOUBT

We tested the idea of a full size redoubt located on the northeast corer of
Orange and Cordova.
This lost to another slightly better idea shown on the next page. The
Commissioners felt a fill size redoubt would truly overwhelm the cemetery and
leave too little room for a moat. The idea was to not have either the cemetery or the
redoubt take stage center. The relative locations should not call more attention to
one than the other.
The map below attempts to show that the "footprint"of the redoubt would
impinge on the setting of the cemetery, but probably fails because it is not a eye-
level depiction which would certainly appear very massive and imposing. This
option would cause no pedestrian complications to our knowledge.














1. School Bd. Parking
2. Existing wood fence
3. Bus turn-around
4. Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
SLes Thomas drawing.)


r----^^^^-n .*---.--**- iiii





Page 12


ADDENDUM #2

REDOUBT SITE PLANS CONSIDERED: "SPLIT REDOUBT"

We tested two other possible site plans, one a variation of the other The first was
to leave Cordova as it is and merely build the portions of the redoubt outside the
sidewalks. Beside causing pedestrian crowding near the walls and putting up with traffic
noise, a "split" redoubt just wouldn't have the visual impact a full model would. The
portions of the redoubt rebuilt would be on the same site and of the same construction as
the original, but the negatives stated were felt to be governing.
An alternate idea was to build the right "half" only. It would provide even less
impact, and give the impression that it was incomplete. One member liked this idea
based on the hope that if Cordova was not closed now, it might be some time in the
future. The Commission generally felt that, a.) it should be closed, and; b.) the chances
of closing it in the future would be considerably smaller than the present.
An adjunct of the use of the original site for the redoubt was the notion that there
would be room along the south wall of the Huguenot Cemetery for a walkway leading
from the bus turn-around to Castillo Drive, just north of any use of that land as a moat.
Of course, pedestrian use of such a walkway would vary depending on which of the three
original site ideas or the northwest corer alternate was adopted. It's quite possible that a
pedestrian traffic study should be made in connection with the vehicular traffic study. All
Commission members felt that a dangerous situation exists in the pedestrian crossing of
Cordova (including the bus turn-around) to gain entrance to the historic district.


1. School Bd. Parking
2. Existing wood fence
3. Bus turn-around
4. Huguenot Cemetery Wall
(Scale is proportional to
Les Thomas drawing.)




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