THE NEW NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARKS
St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District.--City plan-
ning was an early feature of Spanish colonization in America,
St. Augustine is the earliest extant example of an European
planned community within the present continental limits of
the United States.
St. Augustine began its existence in September 1565 as
a military base. It was initially located within the impro-
vised fortification at the Indian village of Seloy (Nombre
de Dios Mission site). Then, the breakdown of friendly rela-
tions with the Indians forced the Spanish to move to Anastasia
Island. Here, within the walls of a wooden fort built in May
1566 and a successive one erected in July, the soldier-set-
tlers lived six years.
But in 1572 the unpaid soldiers mutinied and destroyed
the fort on Anastasia. Returning to the west shore of Matan-
zas Bay, they built houses south of the present plaza and
another wooden fort completely separate from the houses. Thus,
St. Augustine finally occupied its present location and, for
the first time, existed independently from the fortification.
As the permanent St. Augustine developed, it was influ-
enced by the "Royal Ordinances Concerning the Laying Out of
New Towns," issued by the Spanish crown on July 3, 1573. The
Boazio sketch shows that, by 1586, nine regular city blocks
HISTORIC LANDMARKS 99
had been formed by four north-south and four east-west
streets. The three land sides of this grid were free of
confining defense features. Then, the English came and
burned St. Augustine.
Rebuilding St. Augustine afforded another opportunity
to follow the provisions of the 1573 ordinances. In 1598,
the construction of a public market and a private house by
the governor delimited the east and west sides of the plaza
respectively. Later, the house became the official resi-
dence of the Florida governors. A mill and a hospital
were established elsewhere. And standard weights and meas-
ures were introduced.
St. Augustine was burned by the English again in 1702.
The reconstructed city, largely confined by defense fea-
tures, preserved the colonial town plan. Castillo de San
Marcos (built 1672-95) and the Cubo Line (1704-05), running
west from Cas'tillo to the San Sebastian River, limited ex-
pansion to the north. Likewise, the Rosario Line (1718-19),
running along present Cordova and San Salvador Streets,
enclosed the city's west and south sides respectively.
The original physical layout of St. Augustine is the
most distinctive feature of the old section of the city.
The section resembles a 16th Century colonial walled town
in any part of Spanish America. The resemblance is not
accidental; it stems from the town planning provisions of