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NEW DIRECTIONS IN HOUSE MUSEUM INTERPRETATION: CREATING A DESIRED VISITOR EXPERIENCE AT THE DE MESASANCHEZ HOUSE By AMBER CATON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2014
2014 Amber Caton
To my parents and Ad am for their unwavering support
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to acknowledge Robert C. Stewart, former Executive Director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation and former Curator of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, as well as Dr. George W. McDaniel, Executive Director of Drayton Hall, a National Trust property for reviewing my thesis. Additionally, I would like to thank my Chair, Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews and Co chair, Morris Hylton III. Without their dedication and guidance my thesis would not be what it is today. I would also like to thank Mr. Charles Tingley, Senior Research Librarian at the St. Augustine Historical Society Library, and Matthew Armstrong, Project Manager of University of Florida Historic St. Augustine Inc. Digitization Lab at the Government House for their contributions to my research. Lastly I would like to thank Cindy Stavely, Executive Director of Colonial Quarter LLC., Julia Vaill Gatlin, Executive Director of the Ximenez Fatio House and Dr. Susan R. Parker, Executive Director of the St. Augustine Historical Society. Without the contributions of these historic preservation professionals the completion of this thesis would not be possible.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 9 LIST OF DEFINITION S ................................................................................................. 11 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 15 Opening Remarks ................................................................................................... 15 Purpose Statement ................................................................................................. 18 2 A CHANGING VIEW OF INTERPRETATION ......................................................... 21 A Brief History of the Preservation Movement and Its Implications on Interpretation ....................................................................................................... 21 1850s 1890s: Era of Republican Motherhood ................................................... 21 1900s 1930s: Professionalism in Preservation .................................................... 23 1940s 1980s: A Public Appreciation .................................................................... 25 Implications for Interpretation .............................................................................. 27 The Issues with House Museums ........................................................................... 27 Competing for Visitation ....................................................................................... 27 A Distressing Sameness ................................................................................... 30 Summar y ................................................................................................................ 37 3 INTERPRETIVE PLANNING .................................................................................. 38 The Importance of Interpretive Planning ................................................................. 38 The Planning Process ............................................................................................. 38 An Inclusive Process ........................................................................................... 39 A Goal Driven Pro cess ........................................................................................ 40 An Evolving Process ............................................................................................ 41 Planning for Visitor Experience ............................................................................ 44 Creating Interpretation ............................................................................................ 45 Subjects for Interpretation .................................................................................... 48 Interpretive Methods ............................................................................................ 52 Furnishings ............................................................................................................. 63 Summary ................................................................................................................ 64
6 4 VARIATIONS IN INTERPRETATION: CASE STUDIES ......................................... 66 Five House Museums ............................................................................................. 66 Case Study Criteria ............................................................................................. 66 Common Elem ents .............................................................................................. 67 The Ximenez Fatio House ...................................................................................... 69 Location ............................................................................................................... 69 Stewardship Organizat ion .................................................................................... 70 Architecture ......................................................................................................... 70 History ................................................................................................................. 71 Preservation ........................................................................................................ 73 Interpretation ....................................................................................................... 73 The Gonzalez Alvarez House (Oldest House) ........................................................ 79 Location ............................................................................................................... 79 Stewardship Organizat ion .................................................................................... 79 Architecture ......................................................................................................... 80 History ................................................................................................................. 81 Preservation ........................................................................................................ 83 Interpretation ....................................................................................................... 84 Drayton Hall ............................................................................................................ 86 Location ............................................................................................................... 86 Stewardship Organization .................................................................................... 86 Archi tecture ......................................................................................................... 87 History ................................................................................................................. 88 Preservation ........................................................................................................ 91 Interpretation ....................................................................................................... 92 The Lower East Side Tenement Museum ............................................................... 95 Location ............................................................................................................... 95 Stewardship Organization .................................................................................... 95 Architecture ......................................................................................................... 96 History ................................................................................................................. 97 Preservation ........................................................................................................ 98 Interpretation ....................................................................................................... 99 George Eastman House I nternational Museum of Photography and Film ............ 102 Location ............................................................................................................. 102 Stewardship Organization .................................................................................. 102 Architecture ....................................................................................................... 103 History ............................................................................................................... 104 Preservation ...................................................................................................... 105 Interpretation ..................................................................................................... 106 Summary .............................................................................................................. 110 5 THE HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION OF THE DE MESA SANCHEZ HOUSE ................................................................................................................. 111 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 111 History ................................................................................................................... 111
7 The First Spanish Period: 15651763 ................................................................ 111 The British Period: 17631784 ........................................................................... 115 The Second Spanish Period: 17841821 ........................................................... 119 The American Territorial Period: 18211845 ...................................................... 123 Florida Becomes a State: 1845 ......................................................................... 126 Pre Restoration Interpretation ............................................................................... 134 Restoration ........................................................................................................... 134 Excavations ....................................................................................................... 134 Restoring the de Mesa Sanchez House ............................................................ 135 Past Interpretations of the de MesaSanchez House ............................................ 138 San Agustin Antiguo (Old St. Augustine) ........................................................... 138 1988 ReInterpretation ....................................................................................... 140 Curren t Interpretation ............................................................................................ 141 Tour Summary ................................................................................................... 142 Critique of the Interpretation at the de MesaSanchez House .............................. 144 Architecture ....................................................................................................... 144 History ............................................................................................................... 144 Furnishings ........................................................................................................ 145 Recommendations for Interpreting the de MesaSanchez House ......................... 146 Choosing Interpretive Subjects .......................................................................... 146 Choosing Interpretive Subjects for the de MesaSanchez House ...................... 149 Choosing Interpretive Methods .......................................................................... 151 Choosing Interpretive Methods for the de MesaSanchez House ...................... 155 Summary .............................................................................................................. 156 6 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................... 158 Using the Framework ............................................................................................ 158 Limitations ............................................................................................................. 160 Future Research ................................................................................................... 161 Closing Remarks .................................................................................................. 161 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 163 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 175
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Components of an Interpretation Plan ................................................................ 42 3 2 How to Create Interpretation .............................................................................. 47 4 1 Case Study Criteria ............................................................................................ 68 5 1 Choosing Interpretive Methods for a House Museum ....................................... 152
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Contemporary Art Hung in the Stone House at the Deering Estate. ................... 52 3 2 How Visitors Recall Information .......................................................................... 54 4 1 Exterior of the Ximenez Fatio House .................................................................. 69 4 2 Dendrochronology Exhibit at the Ximenez Fatio House ..................................... 75 4 3 Coquina Room at the Ximenez Fatio House ...................................................... 76 4 4 Reconstructed Washh ouse at the Ximenez Fatio House ................................... 76 4 5 Soldiers Room at the Ximenez Fatio House ...................................................... 78 4 6 Family Bedroom at the Ximenez Fatio House .................................................... 79 4 7 Exterior of the Gonzalez Alvarez House ............................................................. 81 4 8 Interactive Display of the Gonzalez Alvarez Hous e Architecture ........................ 84 4 9 Exterior o f Drayton Hall ...................................................................................... 88 4 10 Drayton Hall First Floor Wi thdrawing Room ....................................................... 93 4 11 Exterior of the George Eastman House ............................................................ 104 4 12 Exelis Exhibit at the George Eastman House ................................................... 107 4 13 Cameras from the Technology Collection Exhibit ........................................... 108 4 14 Permanent Exhibit in the Second Floor East Gallery ........................................ 109 4 15 George Eastman House Discovery R oom ..................................................... 110 5 1 De Mesa c. 1760 ............................................................................................ 115 5 2 De Me sa c. 1780 ............................................................................................ 119 5 3 De Mesa 17351800 ....................................................................................... 123 5 4 De Mesa c. 1835 ............................................................................................ 126 5 5 De Me sa Sanchez House ca. 1955 ................................................................ 133 5 6 The Old Spanish Inn ...................................................................................... 133
10 5 7 Exterior of the de Mes a Sanchez House. ......................................................... 142 5 8 Exhibit Room at the de MesaSanchez House ................................................. 145 5 9 Current Furnishings in the de MesaSan chez House ....................................... 146 5 10 Choosing Interpretive Subjects for a House Museum ....................................... 148
11 LIST OF DEFINITIONS Goal L ong range and general descriptions of desired outcomes. 1 House Museum A historic residence now used to interpret information to the public. Intangible Abstract [ideas that] include processes, relationships, ideas, feeling s, values and beliefs. 2 Interpretation An educational activity which aims to reveal meanings and relationships through the use of original object, by firsthand experience, and by illustrative media, rather than simply to communicate factual information. 3 Interpretive Methods Any personal or non personal media employed by an interpretive organizat ion to connect an audience emotionally and intellectually to a resource . 4 Interpretive Organization An agency or organization that manages a site or company that employs methods of interpretation in their daily business . 5 Interpretive Plan The documentation of a thoughtful decision making process that blends management needs and resource consideration with visitor desire and ability to pay to determine the most effective wa y s to communicate the message to targeted markets . 6 1 Division of Interpretive Planning, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experienc e Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, 1998, 20. 2 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., Interpretive Development Program: March 2007, 6. 3 Freedman Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007) 33. 4 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Methods, January 2009, 3. 5 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Planning, January 2009, 3. 6 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Planning, 3.
12 Objective Stakeholder Stewardship Organization Short range, measureable and specific outcomes 7 A person who has vested interest in a place, program, issue or process. 8 An agency or organization responsible for the preservation, management, protection, and education of a historic resource. Tangible P hysical elements of a site 9 Theme The key stories or concepts that visitors should understand after visiting a park. Themes provide the foundation for all interpreti ve programs and media developed. 10 7 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 20. 8 National Association for Interpretation, Definitions Project, http://www.definitionsproject.com/definitions/def_full_term.cfm accessed March 5, 2014. 9 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al. 5. 10 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 13.
13 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Historic Preservation NEW DIRECTIONS IN HOUSE MUSEUM INTERPRETATION: CREATING A DESIRED VISITOR EXPERIENCE AT THE DE MESASANCHEZ HOUSE By Amber Caton May 2014 Chair: Janet Snyder Matthews Co chair: Morris Hylton III Major: Historic Preservation This thesis examines interpretation in relation to changing visitor values and appreciation at house museums. While the number of house museums increase each year, visitation continues to decline .1 House museum s experience a wid e range of interpretive issues. Many of which derive from the early history of the preservation movement T he inabilit y of stewardship organizations to consider the needs and changing values of an increasingly diverse population of visitor s further complicates the problem. Interpretive planning affords a stewardship organization the opportunity to review the experience they offer their visitors requiring a deep, evolving understanding of the o rganizations mission and the historic sites significance. Planning allows for greater visitor interest and satisfaction The interpretive techniques of f ive historic house museums were chosen for analysis. The c ase studies include: the Gonzalez Alvarez House and the Ximenez Fatio 1 Gerald George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong Forum Journal 16. No. 3 (Spring 2002) 1.
14 House in St. Aug ustine, Florida; Drayton Hall near Charleston, South Carolina; The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York New York; and The George Eas tman House in Rochester, New York. T he history, past interpretations and current interpretation of the de MesaSan chez House in St. Augustine, Florida are investigated. A framework for the interpretive potential of this house museum is established, analyzing potential interpretive subjects for the de MesaSanchez House, as well as exploring various techniques for interpreting the house. The framework proposed by this study is intended to serve as a model for the development of interpretation at struggling house museums across the nation.
15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Opening Remarks In 2002 Richard Moe, P resident of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in an article entitled Are There Too Many House Museums? published in Forum Journal describ ed the financial struggles of house museums unable to gain the attention of visitors, and recommended sale to private owners as the solution.1 The National Trust for Historic Preservation, an educational and nonprofit corporation was established by Congress in 1949 to receive donations of sites, buildings, and objects significant in American history and culture; to preserve and administer gifts of money, securities, or other property. Moe had legitimate concerns ranging from underrepresented minority groups at historic sites to underfunding that resulted in historic buildings falling into disrepair. However, he missed a key point House museums have the ability to connect with any visitor because every o ne h as an idea of home. Many of the issues he mentioned were derived from interpretation, and no solutions for these particular problems were discussed. S tewardship not onl y requires the preservation of historic structures, but public education and appreciation of these places as well. 2 1 Richard Moe, "Are There Too Many House Museums?" Forum Journal 27. no. 1 (Fall 2012). While the National Trust was established to both preserve and sell historic properties, it is not in the best interest of all stewardship organizations to do the same. In many communities state owned This article was first printed in Forum Journal in 2002 and was reprinted in 2012. Richard Moe served as the President of the National Trust from 19932010. 2 Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Federal Historic Preservation Laws: the Official Compilation of U.S. Cultural Heritage Statutes (Washington, DC, 2006) 25.
16 historic sites are struggling as well. Many of these sites were acquired by their state for public use. St. Augustine, Florida, is one of these communities. In May of 1937 the St. Augustine Preservation and Restoration Association, a nonprofit corporation was formed by the state of Florida. They were given the responsibility to acquire historic properties for preservation and public use.3acquire, restore, preserve, maintain, reconstruct, reproduce, for the use, education, recreation, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of this state and nation certain ancient or historic landmarks, sites, cemeteries, graves, military works, monuments, locations, remains, buildings and other objects of historical or antiquarian interest of the city of St. Augustine, Florida. The states involvement in the preservation of St. Augustine continued. O n June 19, 1959 House Bill 774 established the St. Augustine Hi storical Restoration Commission. $150,000 was granted to commence operations The legisla tion gave the Commission the right to do the following : 4 In 1968 under a new state constitution, The St. Augustine Preservation Commission became the St. Augustine Preservation Board with all property titles acquired given to the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund (TIITF).5 3 William R. Adams, Analysis of the Management of Historical Resources in the City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Preservation Board, 1996, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 1. In 1997 the St. Augustine Preser vation Board, along with other preservation boards in Florida 4 Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, Historic St. Augustine Guide Book (Tallahassee: Florida Department of State 1971) 8. 5 Adams, Analysis of the Management of Historical Resources in the City of St. Augustine, 1 4.
17 was sunsetted.6 For a tenyear period the C ity of St. Augustine leased former Preservation Board properties through the Florida Department of State.7In 2010 the University of Florida Historic St. Augustine Inc. (UFHSA) was authorized by the Florida legislature to assume the following responsibilities as defined by Florida Statute 267.1735. : The goal for contracting with the University of Florida is to ensure long term preservation and interpretation of stateowned historic properties in St. Aug ustine while facilitating an educational program at the University of Florida that will be responsive to the state' s needs for professionals in historic preservation, archaeology, cultural resource management, cultural tourism, and museum administration an d will help meet the needs of St. Augustine and the state through educational internships and practicums.8 Thirty eight state owned properties are managed by UFHSA, which receive annual operation and maintenance funds. However, funds for interpretation and education require pursuit of additional sources such as appropriations and donations. Traditional interpretive criteria may not be the most effective means of attracting visitors and funding for these historic properties The National Historic Preservation Act was passed in 1966, creating the National Register of Historic Places.9 6 Their s tate appointed authority as Preservation Boards expired and was not renewed. This was the federal governments first attempt at recognizing significant places at the local, state, and national levels. Each place nominated to the National Register is required to be significant in one of the following 7 Paul Ortiz, Interview with Herschel Shepard, Transc ript. December 13, 2011, UFDC Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, 41. 8 The 2013 Florida Statutes, http ://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_%20Statute&Search_String=&URL=02 000299/0267/Sections/0267.1735.html accessed January 25, 2014. 9 Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Federal Historic Preservation Laws: The Official Compilation of U.S. Cultural Heritage Statutes 35 37.
18 areas: architecture, archeology, association with an important person, or association with an important event. Most stewardship organizations still use these areas of significance to drive the interpretation and education of their historic site. While areas of significance have not changed for the National Register, societal views have. As the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, stewardship organizations must work to ensure that visitors can see themselves at historic sites. The criteria that deem a building significant for listing on the National Register do not necessarily reflect a visitors views or even scholarly views as to what is important at a historic site. The roles of everyday people in history are important and often neglected at house museums. Stewardship organizations should look outside what has traditionally been considered significant in the pres ervation movement to find relevance for their unique visitor populations. Purpose Statement Many of the problems impacting the preservation of historic house museums are derived from their interpretation. By understanding what issues plague historic sites stewardship organizations can design solutions to improve upon their interpretation, allowing them to both attract visitors and create meaningful experiences Following this introduction, t he second chapter of this study explores issues at house museums through a literature review and a brief history of the preservation movement. There are a number of correlations between what was important to past preservationists and what todays visitors find lacking at historic sites. By focusing only on historical ly significant owners or objects, interpretive organizations miss out on the greater opportunity to connect with visitors, and instead create a feeling of redundancy at historic sites, which should be avoided. Additionally, organizations need to recognize
19 that they are competing against modern leisure activities for visitors. Many house museums depend upon the same interpretive technique, a guided tour, which can create an impression of repetition from site to site, even if they embody vastly different hist ories. The third chapter focuses on the role of interpretive planning through a literature review. The interpretive plan plays an essential role in deciding how visitors will interact with the house museum, both onand off site. Interpretive planning should be an inclusive process, involving all major stake holders. It addresses key themes upon wh ich interpretation is based. It is also essential that the interpretive plan evolves to include the most recent scholarship of the site, while responding to changing visitor interests. The fourth chapter investigates the interpretation at five house museums. These c ase studies include: The Ximenez Fatio House in St. Augustine, Florida The Gonzalez Alvarez House (Oldest House) in St. Augustine, Florida Drayton Hall near Charleston, South Carolina The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York, New York The George East man House, Rochester, New York Each site was chosen because they represent a wide variety of house museums. They all vary from one another in architectural style and period of significance, scale, location, stewardship organization and interpretive materials. An exploration of the locat ion, stewardship organization, architecture, history, preservation and interpretation was addressed at each house museum Chapter five focuses on the de Mesa Sanchez House, 43 St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida. The de Mesa H ouse is one of the thirty eight stateowned buildings
20 currently managed by UFHSA. It is also one of several buildings interpret ed by Pat Croce and Company as part of the Colonial Quarter LLC, which opened to the public in March 2013 under a lease agreement with UFHSA. This chapter addresses the history of the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse, its preservation, past interpretations, and current interpretation as part of the Colonial Quarter. Through an analysis of the literature review in chapters two and three, and the case studies explored in chapter four, a framework for the planning of interpretive subjects and methods wa s created. This fr amework establishes recommendations both for the interpretation of the de Mesa Sanchez House, with the potential to influence the interpretation of house museums across the United States. According to Jessica Foy Donnelly, author of Interpreting Historic House Museums no matter what age, size, or style, or what life inside and outside was like, a residence is a universally understood place. Donnelly continues, every visitor starts with the benefit of understanding this fundamental relationship--the greatest advantage of interpreting the past through historic homes.10 House museums have the potential to reach a wide range of visitors. By constantly evolving and evaluating their interpretation, they can become vibrantly relevant to visitors and their community. 10 Jessica Foy Donnelly, Introduction, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 3.
21 CHAPTER 2 A CHANGING VIEW OF INTERPRETATION A Brief History of the Preservation Movement and Its Implications on Interpretation The history of the historic preservation movement in the United States is well known among preservation students and professionals. T he changing values in the preservation field and their effects on interpretation at historic sites have received less attention. Overtime history evolves and cultural significance changes. Cultural themes presented at historic sites should reflect change. 1850s1890s: Era of Republican Motherhood The Mount Vernon Ladies Association, founded in 1853, is often referred to as the first preservation effort in the United States. Led by Ann Pamela Cunningham, the se women undertook the tireless endeavor to save the Potomac River plantation of George Washington.1 Across the nation, countless other historic societies were formed by influential affluent women such as the Daughter s of the American Revolution, who used their social status and influence to preserve historic sites. The movement continued to grow with the founding of the Colonial Dames in 1891.2 These women chose to save buildings because of the history associated with them, patriotic in nature.3 The se sites were saved with the purpose of interpreting history and were later restored.4 1 James M. Lindgren, A New Departure in Historic Patriotic Work: Personalism, Professionalism, and Conflicting Concepts of Material Culture in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, The Public Historian 18 No. 2. (Spring 1996) 4243. 2 Paul Ortiz, Interview with Robert Steinbach, December 6, 2011, Transcript, UFDC Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, 20. 3 Gerald George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? Forum Journal 3. No.1 (Summer 1989) 1. 4 Travis C. McDonald Jr., Restoration, ReRestoration and Rea l History: Trends and Issues in Historic House Museums, Forum Journal 7. No.6. (November/December 1993) 2.
22 These women were fueled by the idea of republican motherhood, the concept that women were responsible for teaching virtue, refinement, and patriotism and traditional family values.5 As a result the interpretation at these sites focused on the values of wealthy, white Americans .6 The celebration of Americas Centennial in 1976, was critical in inspiring additional interests in house museums and the desire to collect and display relics from Americas colonial history. 7 Objects used to furnish these historic houses were intended to symbolize the ideals of people through a concept known as personalism Personalism meant that human attachments, in contemporary society and historical time, deserved greater notice and nurture . [it] placed importance on an artifacts ties to such values as individual character, love of family, respect for community, personal intimacy, and humanity. 8 The focus of the movement was placed on both homes of politicians and revolutionaries who represented an ideal America and objects that represented a simpler time of traditional values This contr ibuted greatly to the romanticism and nostalgia that characterized house museums of the past. Unfortunately the house museums of today that still hold on to these values are less success ful because they are not responding to current cultural values. 5 Lindgren, A New Departure in Historic Patriotic Work: Personalism, Professionalism, and Conflicting Concepts of Material Culture in the Late N ineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, 43. 6 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 2. 7 Patrick H. Butler III, Past, Present and Future: The Place of the House Museum in the Museums Community, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 24. 8 Lindgren, A New Departure in Historic Patriotic Work: Personalism, Professionalism, and Conflicting Concepts of Material Culture in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, 44.
23 1900s1930s: Professionalism in Preservation The interpretation of house museums during the Progressive Era changed drastically from that of preservations founding mothers. It was during this time that historic furnishings and objects gained the attentio n of preservationists for their craftsmanship as opposed to the conventional ideas once associated with them. One explanation for a focus on antiques was the antimodernism movement. This trend began in the mid nineteenth century but continued through the Progressive Era.9 Those involved with the antimodernism movement focused their interpretations on crafts, antique furnishings, and techniques because they contrasted with industrialization, a development they felt challenged traditional values.10 While not specifically stating it, preservationists felt they were protecting American values. This can be seen in the development of Colonial Williamsburg by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the 1920s and 1930s, which focused on the absolute accuracy of reconstructed col onial buildings.11 These decisions were made in a time when many Americans admired Colonial Revivalstyle houses and were fearful of the impact that immigrants could have on their culture. Colonial Williamsburg intended to interpret Anglo dominance, Engl ish history, and traditional American values.12 9 Stuart D. Hobbs, Exhibiting Antimodernism: History, Memory and the Aestheticized Past in MidTwentiethCentury America, The Public Historian 23. No.3 (Summer 2001) 47. 10 Hobbs, Exhibiting Antimodernism: History, Memory and the Aestheticized Past in MidTwentiethCentury America,47 11 Richard Handler and Eric Gable, The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg (Duke University Press, 2007) 63. 12 Hobbs, Exhibiting Antimodernism: History, Memory and the Aestheticized Past in MidTwentiethCentury America, 54.
24 A second trend influencing interpretation in historic sites was the interest in historic preservation by men who professionaliz ed the field. The men who took over the movement appreciated architecture, craft smanship and development. The aesthetic quality of objects were valued and presented at house museums, and a greater appreciation of architectural styles and details developed. The traditional values that once influenced the republican motherhood were no longer sufficient in saving a historic structure, and objects no longer portrayed value outside of their style. Because of their inequality in society, many women were pushed out of the movement entirely, though some stayed involved as volunteers.13 A th ird factor that led to such a strict focus on stylist objects in the house museum field was the split between academic historians and architectural historians of the time. Academic historians were interested in gaining information from manuscripts, while architectural historians were principally interested in studying architecture and objects. 14 Additionally, because c ontributions that could be made by academic historians were not viewed as relevant to the restoration process they were not valued by preser vationist s in the field.15 Early interpretations of house museums were influenced by this divide, as the history and human stories of many of these locations were simply ignored. 13 Lindgren, A New Departure in Historic Patriotic Work: Personalism, Professionalism, and Conflicting Concepts of Material Culture in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, 42. 14 Hobbs, Exhibiting Antimodernism: History, Memory and the Aest heticized Past in MidTwentiethCentury America, 4951. 15 Ibid. 52. This occurred at Colonial Williamsburg in the 1920s while preservationists were focused on creating accurate reconstructions for the site.
25 1940s1980s: A Public Appreciation After World War II there was an increasi ng interest in preservation by the average American. Many soldiers returning from Europe, exposed to Old World architecture, learned to appreciate historic buildings and had a greater interest in their own countrys history.16 Furthermore, leisure travel became an option for a growing middle class. With the development of highways and affordable automobiles, more people began to tour the country in search of entertainment and education.17 Between the end of World War II and the year 2000, well over 6,000 hi storic house museums were developed.18 The changing values presented at Colonial Williamsburg during this period significantly reflect trends within the nation. Once again, the events impacting the United States influenced the interpretive themes presented at historic sites. After the Second World War, the message was one of support for soldiers. 19 During the Cold War the Williamsburg Foundations fundamental duty [was] to teach the principles of liberty, [and] ideals of democratic government.20 Du ring the1960s interpretation lost some of its patriotic focus as it turned toward the Vietnam War and social protests taking place during the Civil Rights M ovement connecting the site with what their visitors were encountering in their lives .21 16 Butler, Past, Present and Future: The P lace of the House Museum in the Museums Community, 28. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 28 29. 19 Handler and Gable, New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg, 63. 20 Ibid. 64. 21 Ibid. 65.
26 The Natio nal Preservation Act of 1966 had an immense impact on historic sites and their interpretation. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, and for the first time anyone could nominate a historic structure of local, state or national significa nce. The average person could now participate in preserving their town. The act also established preservation resources, creating State Historic Preservation Offices, which could approve the formation of certified local governments, working toward the pres ervation of individual cities and towns. Lastly, this National Preservation Act provided preservation funding by establishing grant systems to save significant historic sites.22 Once viewed as an educational venture, the impact of tourism on house museum s grew in the 1970s. Around the nations bicentennial in 1976, there was an explosion of interest in historic preservation, most directed towards homes, fueled in part by the astonishing fever to set aside local homes and turn them into museums for touris ts 23 This continued into the 1980s as many properties in the United States turned 100 or 150 years old.24 During this twenty year period there was shift in preservation. Communities wanted to share their identity and history, while using historic preserv ation to attract tourists and foster economic development.25 22 Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Federal Historic Preservation Laws: The Official Compilation of U.S. Cultural Heritage Statutes 35 54. 23 Donna Anne Harris, New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the LongTerm Preservation of America's Historic Houses (Lanham: Rowman & Littl efield Publishers Inc., 2007), 7. 24 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 1. 25 Ibid.
27 Implications for Interpretation There can be no question that house museums constitute the bedrock of the American preservation movement.26The greatest value organizations can gain from reviewing the history of the preservat ion movement is to understand that interpretation changes. The values of preservationists, historians, communities, and visitors change. If house museums wish to succeed they need to adapt their interpretive strategies to incorporate changing communities, perspectives, and practices. The earliest examples featured homes of notable participants of the Revolution ary War and early politicians in the United States. As preservation became a business, interpretation focused less on representing historical figures and turned its attention to antiques, aesthetics and architecture. Some pres ervationists who chose this path based this focus on protecting traditional values; these goals were never stated in public interpretation. What were once the standard practices in interpreting house museums are now failed methods used by organizations tha t attempt to repeat the process. Additionally, valued as tourist destinations, house museums cannot succeed financially if they no longer draw the attention of visitors. The Issues with House Museums Competing for Visitation In the last thirty years visitation to house and history museums has been steadily declining.27 26 Moe, "Are There Too Many House Museums?" 56. While this trend is recognized among many professionals in the museum fiel d who watch ticket sales drop, there are currently no studies measuring this development The truth of the matter is that nobody knows for sure whats really going 27 Cary Carson, The End of History Museums: Whats Plan B? Managing Museums 30. no.4 (2008) 9.
28 on. No national organization keeps s tatistics on museums attendance. 28 House museums are not the only ones facing a decline in visitation. Other arts and humanities programs are having the same problems .29 A major factor in this development is that while traditional museums are struggling for survival, new history museums are continuing to open and attract visitors by doing what the traditional museum does not, create an interactive environment that presents stories the public wants to hear.30 Pressures on communities to maintain visual identities, commemorate anniversaries, and increase tourism have additionally fed the expansion. 31 House museums need to understand that they are not just competing with each other for visitation; they are essentially competing with any other museum, entertainment, or tourist attraction in their area. The competi tions for use of leisure time have given the traditional museum audience much greater choice. It will only visit museums if the experience obtained matches or exceeds that provided by other activities .32 If house museums stand a chance at raising visitor numbers it is in understanding what is desired by tourists and museums goers When stewardship organizations understand their audience it will allow them to find why visitors have come to the site i n the first place, and how they draw meaning from their visit s. 33 28 Carson, The End of History Museums: Whats Plan B? 11. While most 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid. 15 16. 31 Gerald George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, Forum Journal 16. No. 3 (Spring 2002) 11. 32 Graham Black, The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement (London: Routledge, 2005) 2. 33 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 13.
29 interpretive organizations should look at visitation demographi cs within their region, and specifically at who is coming to their site, there are some general trends that should be measured For one t he age groups interested in the traditional history and house museums should be considered. Younger generations have become exceedingly less interested in these sites.34 Visitors under the age of 35 are in decline at museums as they are a highly diverse group that desires variety and interaction They are more demanding of the experience.35 Another key group of visitors to history museums are families. This gr oup can easily be turned away from visiting historic houses when s tewardship organizations ignore the needs of children and prefer their museum silent and visitors at complete attention to docents. It is important for house muse ums to consider providing c hild friendly activities that still engage parents if they wish to take advantage of this demographic. If house museums intend on attracting young adults, serious attention should be paid to the interactive opportunities on site. 36 Without a doubt one of the main reasons house museums are failing is because they do not understand their visitors. However simply knowing about your visitors wont suffice; success resides in listening to them as well. Before diving into the vast interpretive issues associated with deterring visitors from historic sites it is important to 34 Donna Anne Harris, New Uses for Existing House Museums, Forum Journal 21. No. 4. (Summer 2007) 1. 35 Black The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement, 38. 36 Ibid. 25.
30 consider the basic needs of these visitors. In 2001 the Visitor Studies Association (formally the Visitor Services Association) created the Visitors Bill of Rights. 1. Comfort: Meet my basic needs. 2. Orientation: Make it easy for me to find my way around. 3. Welcome/belonging: Make me feel welcome. 4. Enjoyment: I want to have fun. 5. Socializing: I came to spend time with my family and friends. 6. Respect: Accept me for who I am and what I know. 7. Communication: Help me understand and let me talk too. 8. Learning: I want to learn something new. 9. Choice and control: Let me choose; give me some control. 10. Challenge and confidence: Give me a challenge I know I can handle. 11. Revitalization: Help me leave refreshed, restored. 37 A key reason why house m useums cannot attract visitors is because they are not providing an invigorating, family friendly environment, leaving many potential visitors to feel unwelcomed, unenthused, and ignored. A Distressing Sameness At first glance, they are both diverse and diverting. On closer inspection, however, the distinctions among them may begin to blur, and the frequent visitor is often left with a single overwhelming impression : t here are so many of them.38 The exact number of house museums is unknown, though they are a part of almost every community in the United States. There are sev eral factors that account for the feeling of redundancy in house museums. For one, there are more house museums than there are any other type of museum. Residences have been preserved for museum use in much greater number than commercial or industrial buil dings.39 37 Ibid. 32. Additionally, the types of houses preserved in each region are primarily of the same architectural styles; 18th 38 Moe, "Are There Too Many House Museums? 56. 39 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 2.
31 century house museums in the northeast, antebellum mansions in the s outh, and Victorian or late 19th century residences in much of the rest of the nation.40 The pressures to professionalize. In April 2002, 27 house museum professionals gathered at the Pocantico Conference Center in Tarrytown, New York to discuss the various reasons why house museums are failing to attract visitors. One of the issues discussed was the pressure to professionalize within the museum community, and that an increasing number of house museums were seeking accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums.) Despite the similarities of styles preserved in each region, there are other factors that have a much greater impact on uninterested visitors. 41 How great an impact this actually has on house museums should be evaluated further. As of January 2012 out of 776 museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums only eight percent were house museums.42 The actions taken by many interpretive organizations with hopes for accreditation can have devastating impacts on the experience at the site. In attempts to professionalize, many collections managers will get rid of inappropriate objects, even if they are significant to the community.43 40 Ibid. In some cases this is a direct effect of attempting to gain accreditation. In the first step in the process towards accreditation an interpretive organization must submit a series of Core Documents, consisting of a Mis sion 41 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, 1. 42 American Alliance of Museums, Statistics, 2012, http://www.aam us.org/resources/assessment programs/accreditation/statistics accessed January 27, 2014. 43 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, 2.
32 Statement, Institutional Code of Ethics, Strategic Institutional Plan, Disaster Preparedness/ Emergency Response Plan, and Collections Management Policy.44 The time and resources required to complete these documents are immense especially when considering that at many house museums a severely limited budget may leave few people in charge of creating all of the required documentation. Additionally, interpretive organizations can barely afford the required maintenance on their historic properties let alone expensive membership fees. While every organization should make an attempt at creating this documentation it should be done to protect historic resources, not gain accreditation. House museum professionals striving for professional recognition are turned away from significant community objects when their plans and policies are under peer review from professionals with no prior knowledge of their organization or community. Accreditation is not the only professional pressure put on house museums Many organizations are pressured to professionalize in attempts to gain financial support.45 One opinion is that Grant making agencies may be enforcing unnecessary standards .46 The impacts of accreditation vary. Historic houses that tend to be mom and pop operations think all they need is to show people through and tell a triumph, linear story full of fixed names and dates rather than interpretive understanding, a story Financial instability, a term synonymous with house museum may leave organizations believing they have no choice but to turn away from community significance, and toward national standards. 44 American Alliance of Museums, Core Documents, 2012, http://www.aam us.org/resources/assessment programs/coredocuments accessed January 27, 2014. 45 In many cases it is easier for house mus eums and other interpretive organizations to receive grants and financial help if they are accredited and recognized within the professional field. 46 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, 2.
33 unconnected with current scholarship or changing interests .47 Connecting with visitors: subjects that s uit their i nterests. While the diversity of each community is often evident to its tourists, it is surprising that the majority of house museums are telling extremely similar stories. This problem derives from the manner in which these historic residences were saved in the first place. Many historic houses have been preserved for the sake of the building . In cases such as this striving toward professional standards may help an organization t o update their education and interpretive approaches, improving the house museums connection to their community and improving visitor experience. 48 In most situations how the building would be maintained over time was an afterthought, and any plans for interpretation were only considered once an organization had already taken full responsibility over the sites care. Without a doubt a historic building with no other use would be turned into a museum, but the same efforts enacted to save the building were seldom utilized to research, interpret, or understand the complex historical relationships that took place there.49 More distressing are the types of houses preserved and the significance placed upon them by their saviors. Much of the last half centurys growth in historic property museums involved saving an elegant mansion or the home of a historical notable as an expression of community identity and pride. 50 47 Ibid. While these sites become a part of the 48 Marian A. Godfrey, Historic House Museums: An Embarrassment of Riches? Forum Journal 22. No.3 (Spring 2008) 1. 49 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 3. 50 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, 1.
34 communitys visual identi ty, they rarely reach a deeper significance that could be achieved through education and interpretation. As a result their value to the community diminishes until they become mere relics from a distant past.51 Not only are the houses of the rich typically the only ones saved, their stories tend to be the only ones ever told on site. The roles of women and minorities are often ignored at many house museums.52 Additionally, any interpretation on the lives of servants and slaves are pushed aside with the excus e that there is not enough information to tell their story. While most house museums are focusing on the famous and politicians, everyday people and lifestyles are being i gnored.53 They are not just being forgotten in the great estates of elite; they are being forgotten in their communities who do not diversify the types of houses they save. Furthermore, there are very few examples of 20th century history and lifestyles being interpreted at house museums.54 There are a vast amount of themes and eras that are not being interpreted.55 It is no wonder visitors are not coming. As society continues to become more diverse, and the populations of ethnic minorities are growing to become the majority, the subject for interpretation at many house museums is no longer adequate. Visitors are intrigued by exhibits that they can relate too, reflect upon, that encourage an enthusiasm for further learning . 56 51 Moe, "Are There Too Many House Museums? 5859. A model for historic houses must be foll owed, truly 52 Ibid. 53 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 2. 54 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong,1. 55 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 2. 56 Black The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement, 133.
35 protecting them by addressing the changing art and cultural environment in society.57 W e are still a very long way from what should be our ultimate goal as preservationists: the establishment and operation of historic sites that truly represent the American experience in all its diversity.58 A standard technique for interpreting house m useum s : guided tours and historic f urnishings One reason the stories at so many house museums may feel the same to visitors, is because they are being told the same way. Guided tours are common interpretation method used at historic sites Tours are given by docents who may have limited knowledge about the site, and who has likely memorized a tour script describing the notable acts of an owner during his life time, with unbearable detail about furnishings and objects that may have been in the house during his life time. This method is most often described by visitors as, repetitive, boring, [and] questionable. 59 This is not to say that all guided tours are unsuccessful. In situations where guides are well trained, subjects are more relevant to the visitor, and visitors are welcomed to ask questions and participate in conversation, the experience can go quite well. The unchanging interpret ation methods of historic sites such as Mt. Vernon is not working; the number of visitors has fluctuated at times, suggesting that the traditional approach to interpretation, focusing on Washington through the experience of going through his rooms and seeing his furnishings, may no longer be sufficient.60 57 Godfrey, Historic House Museums: An Embarrassment of Riches? 1. Though this issue is recognized it often goes unchanged due to a continuing conflict between visitors who do 58 Moe, "Are There Too Many House Museums? 60. 59 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong,1. 60 Butler, Past, Present and Future: The Place of the House Museum in the Museums Community, 23.
36 not want to be bored and curators who do not want their presentations to be superficial .61 A method commonly used in historic house museums that accompanies guided tours is, the placement and focus on antiques that are historically correct for the time of interpretation. In f ew situations are these objects original to the house. Houses that are intact, with furnishings that have a clear provenance to the house, may have a better chance to become l egitimate tourism resources. Int erpretive organizations may also be worried that unscripted conversations may lead to visitors receiving inaccurate information or their organization being misrepresented. Though successful in some cases, guided tours should be carefully evaluated to deter mine if they are providing museum goers with the desired experience. 62 While interpretive organizations will have an eas ier time connecting furnishings to the story they are telling when they were once an actual part of the house, whether or not the object is original has less impact on the experience of the visitor when compared to how the object are used. Poor interpretat ion tends to occur when tours focus on the objects instead of people and how the artifacts were used, or when interpreters ignore the value of objects in creating a background for the events that took place during peoples lives.63 Interpretation methods utilized in house museums are not keeping up with the desired experience of possible visitors. Visitors to museums are demanding. They want 61 Thomas A. Woods, Getting Beyond the Criticism of History Museums : A Model for Interpretation. The Public Historian 12 No.3 (Summer 1990) 77. 62 Harris, New Uses for Existing House Museums, 4. 63 George, Historic Property Museums: What are they preserving? 2.
37 constant stimulation, but they often prefer to remain passive.64 For this reason it is impor tant to give visitors options. When the correct interpretation methods are chosen, a house museum can allow people to step back in time, understand the continuity of communities, and feel in touch with something authentic 65Su mmary Keeping in mind the consta nt competition between museums and other tourist activities, a greater effort amongst interpretive organizations should be made to utilize interpretive methods that are fun, engaging, and allow visitors to make meaning of their experiences at the site. Throughout the preservation movement in the United States standards, practices, interpretive subjects, and interpretive methods have changed at house museums. The issue many face today is a lack of visitors. If these historic sites are to succeed th ey n eed to consider changing their strategies for interpretation, varying the activities and uses of their site. The values of the early preservation movement no longer relate to communities and an increasingly diverse population house museums need to attr act today. 64 Woods, Getting Beyond the Criticism of History Museums: A Model for Interpretation, 77. 65 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong, 1.
38 CHAPTER 3 INTERPRETIVE PLANNING The Importance of Interpretive Planning One of the first documents created by a stewardship organization should be the interpretation plan. The plan is a blueprint for action, a clear written statement of our intensions for any given site.1 The plan guides all actions and decisions regarding interpretation. While in creation, the best interpretation plan will include major stake holders and subject matter experts, including those not directly involved with the house museum.2The Planning Process Planning allows for long term preservation and visitor enjoyment and education. Creating a long term vision for the interpretation of the site allows interpretive organizations to continuously evolve and expand their interpretation. This will help avoid issues such as visitor disinterest that occurs when the same information is presented in the same ways over a long period of time. The i nterpretive plan is a cost effective and sustainable solution that may address future issues before they develop. An interpretive plan should be the best possible representation of that particular planning process, that unique set of resources and visitors that set of goals and recommendations, those contemporary conditions 3 1 Chris Tabraham, Interpreting Historic Scotland, in Heritage Interpretation, ed. Marion R. Blockley et al. (London: Routledge, 2006) 60. There are various suggestions and guidelines for how an interpretive plan should be written and what should be included. While these sources may differ, an interpretive organization is better off using any 2 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 6. 3 Ibid.
39 guideline instead of using no plan at all. The best option may be to evaluate different outlines and choose elements of each that relate best to the resources of the organization and the historic site. The process of planning should include an explanation and evaluation of current resources. Various people should take part in the planning process from management and site staff, to volunteers, historians and potential visitors, each of whom may influence the goals of the interpretive plan. The plan should not only look at what can be implemente d immediately but what can be accomplished over time. As these factors are considered interpretive subjects and methods can be developed to provide the best visitor experience. An Inclusive Process An interpretive organization can benefit by including multiple groups in their planning process. By including management, employees, volunteers, visitors and all major stakeholders, the most realistic idea of what can be accomplished and what challenges exist can be addressed. The best planning will also take i nto account the community, possible regional partnerships, and subject matter experts outside the site.4 4 Department of the Interior, Comprehensive Interpretive Planning: National Park Service Interpretation and Education Guideline, 6. Interpretive organizations responsible for house museums should communicate with other historic sites to avoid interpreting the same stories in the same way. Potential visitors should also be considered in the planning process. This can be done through a multitude of ways including visitor surveys and focus groups. When including a large number of people it is likely that there will be varying ideas for interpretation of the site. It is important that the plan represent an accurate and useful version of both
40 the consensus and the diverse perspectives that emerged during the planning process. 5A Goal Driven Process While all of th ese perspectives may not be implemented at first, they may serve as a guide for changes to the interpretation of the house museum in the future. The interpretive plan for a house museum is created to facilitate how a site will be interpreted based on the organizations goals and objectives. During planning, an interpretive organization should explore the big picture.6 Goals for interpretation should include consideration of why and how the house was saved, and how the organization envisions public use and visitor experience on the site.7 The significance of the structural and natural resources on the site should be explained as well. Purpose statements are used in the plan to describe how resources have been preserved thus far a s well as explain their current use.8 It is extremely important that the interpretive plan paints an accurate and descriptive picture of site resources and experiences. This will not only aid stakeholders in deciding appropriate action for the property but will illustrate their importance to those reviewing the plan who are not familiar with the house museum.9Goals in this document will explore the sites mission and purpose. Goals are the big picture. An example of a goal would be for an organization to state that they would 5 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 6. 6 Department of the Interior, Comprehens ive Interpretive Planning: National Park Service Interpretation and Education Guideline, 6 7. 7 Ibid. 8 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 9. 9 Ibid. 6.
41 like to open a specific building on their property for interpretation and public use within the next year. Objectives are a part of a goal: they are more specific and describe ways in which the goal can be accomplished. One goal may have many objectives. An example of an objective, using the previous example, would be for the organization to state that they would like to begin an architectural tour in that building within the next 18 months. That tour may only be a piece of the overall interpretation planned for that building. Interpretive goals and objectives create a plan for action when they are significant, clear, achievable and appropriate.10An Evolving Process Organizations should create a goal driven interpretive plan as part of an ongoing effort to enact cost effective and sustainable preservation, interpretation and visitor experience at their house museum. While an interpretive organization should strive for a complete interpretive plan, this document is meant to be flexible. What is achievable by the organization will change at least every year in response to visitor attendance and funding. For this reason the plan should be divided into different sections: the first is the long range interpretive plan, the second is th e annual implementation plan and the third is the interpretive database. 11 10 Ibid. ( Table 31). 11 Department of the Interior, Comprehensive Interpretive Planning: National Park Service Interpretation and Education Guideline, 8 11.
42 Table 3 1. Components of an Interpretation Plan Section Long Range Interpretive Plan Annual Implementation Plan Interpretive Database Section Documents Part One: Foundation Purpose and significance Themes Management goals Desired visitor experience Issues and Influences on interpretation Visitor profiles Existing interpretive conditions Part One: Summary of annual plan Part One: Strategic plan Part Two: Analysis of current program Part Two: Legislative history Part Three: Management issues facing interpretation Part Three: Annual media inventory Part Four: Annual work plan Part Four: Visitor survey data Part Two: Future Interpretive Program Personal services Nonpersonal services Partnerships Library and collection needs Research needs Staffing needs Interpretive program costs Implementation plan Part Five: Individual service plans Part Five: Interpretive report Part Six: Status of implementation plan (from the Long Range Interpretive Plan) Part Six: Annual volunteers report Part Seven: Media plans Part Eight: Reading list Part Three: Appendices Of sources referenced in the LongRange Interpretive Plan
43 The long range interpretive plan should include the organizations interpretive and educational goals for a period of five to ten years.12 The annual implementation plan and interpretive database are two sections of the interpretive plan that should be flexible. The annual plan should look at changes that can be accomplished each year by the stewardship organization, taking into consideration funding, the annual budget for interpretation and any work plans that may affect that budget. While the annual plan allows an interpretive organization to reflect upon interpretation once a year driving change, the interpretive database should be constan tly updated. The majority of information stored in the database should be accessible to management, employees, volunteers, and anyone involved with the interpretation of the house museum. The interpretive database will include any inventories, strategic pl ans, inform ation about interpretive media, as well as a reading list for interpre ters. The data base should be where any information relating to the interpretation on the site is stored. Each interpretive database should contain at least This section serves as a guide for all other sections. It includes information about the foundation and its goals, future plans for interpretation and references that guide the process. The long range plan looks at the organizations long term goals for interpretation and visitor experience and begins identifying what the foundation must accomplish to reach those goals, be it staffing needs, collection needs, possible partnerships and much more. This section of the overall interpretive plan will guide the interpretive organizations decisionmaking for a long period of time, and it is therefore essential that all stakeholders are involved. 12 Department of the Interior, Comprehensive Interpretive Planning: National Park Service Interpretation and Education Guideline, 8 11.
44 one of the following: a general management plan, a cultural landscape report, or historic structure report.13Planning for Visitor Experience One factor that should come into consideration in both long range planning and short range planning is visitor experience. Interpret ive plans that follow the best practices when considering visitors on site will do the following: Clearly describe the visitor experience. Consider any safety and security issues of both the visitor and the resource. Provide opportunities for visitors to understand and appreciate the resource. Provide opportunities for visitors to connect with the resource both emotionally and intellectually. Enable visitors to make sound decisions and prepare for their experience through consideration of how to provide adequate information, orientation material and maps. The interpretive plan considers that visitors need to get questions answered easily through contact with staff. Provide opportunities for peak experiences and self actualization. Encourage a commitment fr om a visitor beyond the immediate experience by provoking further thought or action. Be planned holistically to include the decision to visit (promotional materials), the entry (including the journey to the site), the connections that are made through onsite interpretive media and programs, the exit (including the journey home or to another destination), and the attitude or behaviors to support or recommend the site or organization to others.14 These considerations are often neglected at house museums tha t have embraced a static story, assuming visitors will be content to see the house and its artifacts. Visitors need interpretation that allows them the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with the site. Their experience needs to be relevant to thei r lives.15 13 Ibid. 1213. House museums have ample potential to provide these connections. No matter what its age, size, or style, or what life inside and outside was like, a residence is a 14 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Planning, 17. 15 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 4.
45 universally understood place.16 House museums have an advantage. Visitors at historic sites need the chance for reflection and must find interest that relates to their own personal experiences.17Creating Interpretation Interpretive organizations, at the very least, should facilitate their visitors connecting t heir own idea of home with the historic house they visit. The interpretation plan should include important stakeholders, state the organizations goals, look at long term and short term options for interpretation and should consi der visitor experience. All of these factors should guide the interpretive organization in creating interpretation for its house museum and historic site, as well as guide changes to interpretation. In doing so these organizations must consider what is ava ilable to interpret and the best means to do so. These subjects and interpretive methods must be planned carefully so they are both thought provoking and legitimate. If we try to tell visitors everything they will be overwhelmed or bored or probably both .18 In creating an interpretative program every house museum should consider these questions first: By telling the whole story through different methods, interpretive organizations can communicate with visitors who have different learning styles and interests, allowing for a varied experience with each visit. The right combination of interpretive subject s and methods will help visitors recognize the significance and importance of the site and its stories. 16 Donnelly, Introduction, 3. 17 Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 36. 18 Tabraham, Interpreting Historic Scotland, 61.
46 What is the site about? Who is the interpretation for? How will this interpretation be communicated?19 For each exhibit, tour, furnished room, or sign in a house museum, the interpretive organization should be able to answer the se questions. Previous sections have discussed the importance of understandi ng visitors on site. It is equally important to understand the history of the site. While there should be an engaging entertainment factor to attract visitors, interpretation should be based on sound research. Research will guide interpreters to themes, w hich allow for a more cohesive and comprehendible story to be told. Visitors expect accurate information at historic sites and house museums. It is only after an interpretive organization has identified their themes and audiences that they should make deci sions about interpretive media. This process will also guide facility planners, interpreters and designers when moving past the planning stage into production.20 In 2007 the National Parks Services Interpretive Development Program created Foundations of I nterpretation, a training manual, used to guide interpretive organizations in creating effective historic site interpretation. This process has been summarized in a chart ( Table 3 2). It is important to mention again that decisions regarding interpretation should comply with the goals and objectives of the interpretive organization. 19 Barbara Abramoff Levy, Interpretation Planning: Why and How, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Pres s, 2002) 44. 20 Division of Interpretive Planning, Harpers Ferry Center, Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience, 7.
47 Table 3 2 How to Create Interpretation Step Example Importance Step One: "Select a tangible place, object, person, or event that you want the audience to care about" A room, a past owner, family members, an object significant to an occupant of the house. This gives visitors something to visualize. Step Two: Identify intangible meanings For example, a vase in a room may appear to be an interesting object. When the story of how the vase has been passed down for generations and traveled with family when they came to the United States, the vase gains a deeper meaning. Tangible intangible l inks are the basic building blocks of interpretation Step Three: Identify universal concepts Family, war, triumph, failure, home, power, are all examples of "universal concepts." Universal concepts allow a larger audience to connect to the story. Step Four: "Identify the audience" School groups, families, couples without children, academics are all examples of different potential audiences. Different audiences with have different values and require different interpretations. Step Five: "Write a theme statement that includes a universal concept" The Seminole Wars had a great impact on families living in St. Augustine. Connections made with the theme or "universal concept" will allow visitors to create their own meaning. Step Six: Use interpretive techniques to develop links into opportunities for connections to meanings One technique that could be used to illustrate the previous example would be interpreters playing the role of parents discussing their sons decision to fight in the war. Audiences will have the chance to reflect upon the "universal concept, while learning about significant stories and events. Step Seven: Use the theme statement to organize opportunities for connection and cohesively develop an idea or ideas The statement used in the example from step five could also connect to impact the war had on other members of the family, such as a father who is worried his crops outside of the city may be burnt down. By using the theme to create other idea, the story becom es unified, and more relatable.
48 Subjects for Interpretation Important themes developed during the interpretive planning process will guide the stewardship organization in developing what subjects and stories to emphasize on site. All subjects should relate to a central theme and all interpretation should fit within four sub themes .21 A site s central theme expresses what it is about the topic that sup ports the sites significance, what is relevant to the audience and what management hopes to convey to the audience.22 Effective learning will occur when the big ideas are recognized and smaller ideas fit into categories .23 Universal t heme s Themes play more than an organizational role. Themes also help interpreters plan how their audiences will connect with the house museum. When planned, interpretive themes allow visitors gain meaning by reflecting upon common ideas such as family, relationships, gender roles, household activities, travel, success and failure. Visitors can relate to these and compare and contrast the situations of the past with their life. When people can make their visit to a house museum meaningful they gain a greater appreciation for the sit e which can lead to repeat visits, or encourage them to suggest the site to friends and family members. Interpretive organizations that have completed extensive research on their house museum will find a plethora of possible subjects for interpretation. Categorizing stories under different thematic ideas will help interpreters create a cohesive story. Social diversity. Many interpretive organizations have a set idea of what they believe to be important about their house museum. This significance may stem from 21 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Planning, 11. 22 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Methods,14. 23 Levy, Interpretation Planning: Why and How,48.
49 past organizations, or even why the house was saved. For example if the house was preserved because of a notable owner, the organization may focus on his story. Despite these preconceived notions about what is important at their site, it is essential that the interpretive organization not only look at whether these subjects are attracting visitors but if there is more to the story that hasnt been told. During the planning process the organization should be aware of their contextual history and they should note where gaps in knowledge exist.24 Even after the interpretive plan has been completed, research about the site and its occupants should be an ongoing process. It is important to use the most upto date and accurate information available in storytelling, updating interpretation whenever significant information is discovered.25 One reason to continue research are the neglected stories at house museums. When visitors do appear at the door, they want engaging and meaningful tours that relat e to their lifestyle all ages, all races, [and] all political persuasions . 26 In the past people were content to visit imposing historic homes and learn about the wealthy few who impacted their communities through industry or charity. Today visitors are m ore diverse and have varied backgrounds. These people require a greater connection with the house museums they visit. Interpretive organizations need to make an indepth exploration of their propertys history and must relate their findings to the experience s of their visitors.27 24 Ibid. 4546. Sound knowledge of the site may allow for more than one story to be 25 Rex M. Ellis, Interpreting the Whole House, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 70. 26 Harris, New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the LongTerm Preservation of America's Historic Houses, 15. 27 Levy, Interpretation Planning: Why and How, 49.
50 told. It is important to discuss multiple viewpoints to tell a complete story.28 By acknowledging the whole story rather than just the pretty parts a house museum becomes more credible, and can relate to a greater audience.29 It is necessary for house museums to focus on a holistic approach to interpretationa consideration of all perspectives, features, and activities within the context of all others. 30 Interpretation should illustrate a range of human experience and represent the diverse social structures and relationships that depict a historic site s history.31 Audiences may not be able relate to the political and industrial leaders whose estates ar e preserved, but they can connect to the relationships within the household. Interpreters should ask what the roles of women within the household were. How was the wife affected by her husbands career and how did she use his success to influence her actio ns and relationships? What implications did their lifestyle have on their children? Who were the servants or slaves who kept the house running and what w as their family and social relationships like? In many cases the information regarding minority groups at a site is scarce; however this is not an excuse for ignoring their presence at the site.32 28 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 13. Stories about women and minorities though often neglected at house museums will connect with a greater audience. House Museums that disproportionately interpr et the heads of their historical households do so at the 29 George, Historic House Museum Malaise: A Conference Considers Whats Wrong? 2. 30 Donnelly, Introduction, 7. 31 Edward A. Chappell, Social Responsibility and the American History Museum, Winter thur Portfolio 24 No. 4. (Winter 1989) 252. 32 Ellis, Interpreting the Whole House, 6869.
51 expense of other people, activities, and relationships that also distinguish their sites; histories .33 Art industry and c ommunity. House museums have t he potential to leave a lasting impact on visi tors through interpreting the lives of past occupants but there are other potential themes that are explored even less than holistic storytelling These sites relate their interpretation to the houses history but use a diverse subject matter to illustrate their significance. In many cases this may be explored through art. These interpretations are different from the goals of adaptively used properties that simply function as art galleries. The distinction is in how the art is used. A gallery may have a theme, but it almost never relates to the deep history or community relevance of the site. One example of this is the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. George Eastman was the creator of Kodak, and his work in the camera industry had an im mense impact on the nation and community of Rochester. With one of the largest photographic collections in the world, the George Eastman House stands as reminder of the industry that continues to have a deep impact on the Rochester community. This particul ar property will be reviewed thoroughly in following chapters. Another example is the Deering Estate in Miami, Florida. The Deering Estate displays community and contemporary art in both of their historic Richm ond Cottage and Stone House ( Figure 31) T his not only provides an opportunity to attract audiences interested in art but it relates to their overall mission and the history of their site. It provides the estate the opportunity to tell the story of Charles Deering as a collector of Spanish and con temporary art Additionally, by creating thematic 33 Donnelly, Introduction,1.
52 requirements for the pieces they display, the Deering Estate uses art to teach about many of their objectives on site, such as the c onservation of natural areas at the Estate. House museums that focus on art and industry may not tell all of the personal stories visitors rel ate to, but they can gain the attention of visitors with diverse interests Furthermore, the broader ideas explored at these sites allow for a greater connection from the community they are a part of. They form relevance outside of their history. People with little interest in history can still make a connection. Another positive attribute of interpreting art and industry is that costly restorations often endured to turn a house back to its previous appearance is not always necessary, and interpretive organizations can chose to restore specific rooms if they tell a significant story. Figure 3 1 Contemporary Art Hung in the Stone House at the Deering Estate. Photo by author.
53 Interpretive Methods Once an interpretive organization has identified its audiences and discussed the appropriate themes and subjects for interpretation at their house museum, the next step is to find the appropriate techniques for interpretation. Many house museums choose interpretive methods before recognizing their audience or understanding their own resources leaving them at a disadvantage when they choose interp retive methods. Though many organizations choose guided tours there are an abundance of interpretive options available. Interpretive leaders at house museums should encourage multiple methods of interpretation. Exhibits, tours, signage, and other methods should accommodate a variety of learning styles to connect to their diverse audiences.34 This will also provide visitors a multitude of ways to connect with the historic site.35 Interpretive organizations also must realize that whenever they reach out to various audiences in attempts to engage or educate about thei r house museum it is interpretation. This includes the house museum s website, publications, retail products or any special events that the organization hosts.36Media descriptions are included in interpretive plan and suggest target audience, theme relationship, location, and physical description. Media descriptions provide adequate detail for designers to follow in creati on of construction documents. Media descriptions provide guidance for text writers and illustrators in preparing draft text and images. Media In best practice the interpretive plan should include accurate media descriptions to facilitat e how the plan will be realized on site. 34 Black The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement, 206. 35 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 17. 36 Tabraham, Interpreting Historic Scotland, 61.
54 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% What Visitors Hear What Visitors Read What Visitors See What Visitors Do Information Retained by Visitors descriptions are aligned with specific goals and objectives in the interpretive plan.37 Interpretation can be accomplished through personal or nonpersonal means. Personal interpretation is any situation where an interpreter is involved, while nonpersonal includes any other type of interpretation media that may be used.38 There are advantages and disadvantages t o every interpretive method. The best methods for a particular house museum will create enthusiasm for visitors and encourage the continued preservation of site resources. 39Figure 3 2 How Visitors Recall Information. I m a g e b y a u t h o r Trends in how visitors obtain and recall information can also influence decisio ns about appropriate interpretation techniques ( Figure 32 ). 40 37 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Planning, 10. 38 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 6. 39 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Methods, 9. 40 Tabraham, Interpreting Historic Scotland, 61.
55 Guide d riven i nterpretation Tours are an interpretive technique often used at historic sites. There are multiple types of tours, including the interpreter acting in first person, or a guide educating in third person. Each tour type is appropriate for different subject matter. At some sites a combination of tours provide visitors with diverse experiences and may encourage repeat visits. While so me interpretive organizations may choose to have their tour guides memorize scripts, this does not provide the most personal experience for visitors.41 A first person tour occurs when an interpreter is dressed in period costume and acts as a histori cal character. This tour is most effective when a house museum wants to emphasize the people who lived on the property. It is also one of the best methods for interpreting historic lifestyles. This method allows visitors to be immersed in the sites histor y. In combination with this type of tour, a house museum will typically furnish the historic home with period objects. It is important that when an interpretive organization chooses this method they understand what it is about the furnishings that will connect with their audience. V isitors are drawn into realistic, richly detailed environments that may include period music or dialogue, have wonderful smells emanating from a kitchen Tour guides should be trained on significant topics to cover, but should also be able to interact with guests to create a personal experience for each visitor. Each guide should also be aware of the reading list provided in the interpretive plan and encouraged to do their own research. Providing guidelines for tours, instead of strict scripts, will allow variety in each tour that may keep visitors returning. 41 Barbara Abramoff Levy, Historic House Tours That Succeed: Choosing the Best Tour Approach, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 193195.
56 or hearth . interpreted by a costumed staff member.42 The best exampl es of first person interpretation occur when a house looks lived in. It shouldnt appear frozen in time; visitors should be able to connect with the fact that people actually lived there.43 The furnished environment can be enhanced with the placement of personal items, toys laid out for children, partially finished projects such as a quilt next to sewing materials, or a messy desk with copies of old receipts or paperwork. This is a strategy that also allows the story of less prominent household members to be told.44 With this technique, many objects speak for themselves and guides should not feel the need to explain them. Visitors can have a mixed reaction to the first person tour. Some may feel embarrassed if they are forced to interact with costumed interpreters, so they should given the choice to participate or watch. In the best scenarios interaction with interpreters many result in an emotional response from visitors 45 Third person led tours involve the interpreter interacting with visitors as themse lves, instead of acting as a historic character. An interpretive organization may choose this method of tour when they are interpreting changes over time or teaching about art and architecture, as is often done in modern house museums. These guides should facilitate a discussion instead repeating the same facts on every tour. Each 42 Nancy E. Villa Bryk, I Wish You Could Take a Peek at us at the Pr esent Moment: Infusing the Historic House with Characters and Activity, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 146. 43 Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 102. 44 Bryk, I Wish You Could Take a Peek at us at the Present Moment: Infusing the Historic House with Characters and Activity, 145. 45 Adam Robertshaw, Live Interpretation, in Heritage Interpretation, ed. Marion R. Blockley et al. (London: Routledge, 2006) 51.
57 visitor comes for a tour because of his or her own interests.46 Self g uided t ours. Self guided tours occur when visitors come to a house museum and explores on their own, when they can typically visit at any time and stay as long as the s ite is open. Advantages to the self guided tour are that less staffing is needed on site, visitors can choose to spend more time at the part of the site they find most interesting, and visitors may make repeat visits if they find they dont have enough tim e on their first visit. Though interpreters do not need to guide visitors, staff or volunteers should be available to answer their questions. Serious downfalls to self guided tours are security issues that may arise at the house museum. Third person tour guides need to reach out to their audience, understand why they came, engage them in conversation, and should be able to help them find the answer to any question they may have. 47 Demonstrations. If museums are to continue to rely on tourists, there must be a growing understanding of the nature and expectations of the cultural tourist. In particular, there must be an awareness of how those expectations are changing from passive viewing of exhibits to demands for active participation. Areas may be clo sed off because they are not safe for visitors to occupy on their own, or because objects in certain rooms are too valuable to be left unattended. Seldom is a self guided tour enough to keep a visitor interested. Brochures, signage or audio tours are typic ally offered to enhance visitor experience. 48 46 Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 36. Demonstrations, though often used with various other interpretive techniques, provide a unique 47 Levy, Historic House Tours That Succeed: Choosing the Best Tour Approach, 199200. 48 Black, The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement, 40.
58 experience to visitors. Demonstration can be performed ev ery day at specific times, can be scheduled as a special event on site and something that is done once a month, or even annually. All of these possibilities work well, though the specific times and places should be advertised on brochures and the house mus eums website so that visitors know exactly when to attend and what to expect. Demonstrations are possibly the best way to show visitors how things were actually done in the time period being interpreted. The best demonstrations will be educational, entert aining, and tactile. They give visitors an opportunity to learn through touch and activity. They should be physical, giving the visitor an experience, a memory, something that is special, important.49 Technology g ui ded i nterpretation. Technology, though sometimes more costly than other interpretive techniques, can solve a range of interpretive issues at house museum and historic sites. Interpretive technology is best utilized when the interpretive organizations goal s cannot be met through the use of staff or volunteers. Freeman Tilden, an interpretation expert who developed his career through work with the National Demonstrations also give the interpretive organization a unique opportunity to do something different. House museums that typically use a first person tour can utilize third person interpreters for demonstrations, while historic sites that use self guided tours can give their visitors the opportunity to inter act with interpreters. There is virtually no downside for visitors when it comes to demonstrations. However, interpretive organization should seriously assess the impact this technique could have on their financial and historic resources. 49 Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 103,107.
59 Park Service, lists the following considerations for including technology in historic site interpretati on in his book, Interpreting Our Heritage: 1. No device of the kind we here consider is, other things being equal, as desirable as interpretation by direct contact with the person. 2. A good device is far better than no contact at all. 3. A good result by devi ce is better than a poor performance by an individual. 4. A poor interpretation by mechani cal means is worse than a poor interpretation by personal contact. 5. A poor interpretation by mechanical m eans is not necessarily better than none at all. 6. No institution should install any mechanic al devices until it knows that such gadgets can be adequately, continually and quickly services .50 While these are all considerations that still ring true today, it also important to note that Til dens work ended in the 1970s and i nterpretive technologies have made great strides since that time. More of todays audiences are comfortable with using technical devices; younger generations may even prefer them. Interpretive technologies can take visitors to areas of the site that no t physically accessible or they can bring them back in time when an organization has found better uses for some of their spaces. When done well, they may even encourage people to visit from off site, a virtual tour. Technology can provide many unobtrusive interpretation solutions .51 Regardless of whether or not interpretive technology is used on the site, almost every house museum has a website. While these websites are used to educate the public on the interpretive organization, their structure, events, and preservation goals, they often do not meet there full potential. They can introduce visitors to extra or introductory information not provided at the site. 52 50 Tild en, Interpreting Our Heritage, 134. A website can prepare a teacher for 51 Brian Bath, The Use of New Technology in the Interpretation of Historic Landscapes, in Heritage Interpretation, ed. Marion R. Blockley et al. (London: Routledge, 2006) 161172. 52 Bath, The Use of New Technology in the Interpretation of Historic Landscapes, 161172.
60 a class visit or tell stories the interpretive organization has not yet been able to explore on site, and they can provide visitors with the opportunity to give feedback. The list of their benefits is almost infinite, when they are done right. Various tour solutions are available due to technical devices as well The most important thing about touring with technology is that they are done well, updated, and entertaining. Recorded tours are an excellent option when onsite interpreters are not feasible However, they need to be flexible and easy to change. One of the worst ways in which a recorded tour can be used is as a single, unchangeable sound or video loop. Many visitors do not even enjoy watching videos on site.53 Visitors will have no incentive to return because there will be nothing new for them to experi ence. 54 Video tours are best used to supplement additional interpretation, such as inaccessible areas.55 While a stagnant audio or video tour is enough to bore any visitor, these options are becoming more customizable. Cell phone tours, as part of the bring your own technology trend, allow visitors to listen to what they want when it is convenient for the m.56 Interactive technology, while not in wide use at house museums, can provide opportunities for visitors to participate in demonstrations that would otherwise be impossible or too costly. The Government House First Colony exhibit in St. Augustine, Flori da utilizes a range of interpretive technology, primarily through touch screens. House museums may not be able to provide as many of these options due to their 53 Lecture by Darcie MacMahon to UF Historic Preservation Students in class DCP6715 on October 17, 2012. 54 Levy, Historic House Tours That Succeed: Choosing the Bes t Tour Approach, 203. 55 Ibid. 207. 56 Bath, The Use of New Technology in the Interpretation of Historic Landscapes, 161172.
61 infrastructure, cost or other limitations and may interpret different subject matter, but they m ight still consider this as an interpretive option. If objects in a house museum are interesting but do not warrant time on a guided tour, this option may enable visitors to come back, select the object they cant physically touch on the touch screen, and allow them to learn as much as they want. Does the house museum have an abundance of historic photographs that cannot be displayed due to space or conservation issues? Allow visitors to digitally flip through them. Touch screen exhibits add variety and opt ions at mundane house museums. As with all other interpretive technologies, the interpretive organization needs to consider how easily this method can be integrated into their current interpretation, and changed in the future. Because it is a new, exciting method, solving technical issues is still more difficult than changing something on a website or audio tour. Interpretation through s ignage At many house museum interpretation is presented in the form of signage. While this method typically does not inspire an emotional, in depth response for visitors, it does work well for providing supplemental information. Interpretive organizations should still strive to connect with visitors through the use of text and graphics.57 When writing interpretive signage, interpreters should think about what visitors want to read instead of that the interpreter wants to say 58 Interpretive text at house museums should be written as if the visitor is going to read a story. Interpretive writers should display enthusiasm a nd passion for their subject.59 57 Tilden, Interpreting Our Heritage, 38. 58 Ibid. 92. 59 Ibid. 193195.
62 Displays should also be easily changeable so that the interpretive organization may keep them updated with the most recent research findings.60 Not only should interpretive organizations be conscious of what they are saying with their signage, but how they are saying it. Signage should be consistent and visually appealing. Interpretive organizations should create guidelines for the use of a logo, color schemes, layouts, and text fonts on all interpretive material. 61 The organi zation should view this as a branding opportunity and consider implementing the same standards on all documents. Additionally, house museum interpreters should be aware of possible barriers created when using signage. In some regions it may be necessary to use multiple languages on all interpretation media.62 Florida for example, has a large Spanishspeaking population. Because of this, UF Historic St. Augustine Inc. utilizes both English and Spanish on all interpretive signage. It is extremely important th at text is accessible and should be appropriate for visitors at multiple intellectual levels, often accomplished by avoiding jargon and technical language.63 There should be contrast between the colors chosen for text and background. The Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibit Desig n explains considerations for signage in the museum environment including the following: Each sentence should be a maximum of 25 words. Each text panel should have no more than 75 100 words in the main text. Exhibits should utilize graphics that compliment label text. Avoid using all caps when creating main label text because it is difficult to read. Text should be printed on solid backgrounds to increase legibility. 64 60 Black The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for V isitor Involvement 207. 61 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Organizations, January 2009, 5. 62 National Association for Interpretation, Standards for Interpretive Methods, 6. 63 Janice Majewski, Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibit Design, no date, 2, 17. 64 Majewski, Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibit Design, 2, 1725.
63 Furthermore, interpretive organizations should understand that, for various reasons, not all visitors will read the whole text panel. Successful text panels will use a headline, one sentence describing the main idea of the panel, followed by the main interpretive text. 65Furnishings By separating the text into three sections, visitors can choose to read or skim text that interests them. Interpretive signage and text panels are a great way to supplement other interpretive methods when addressing a variety of visitor learning styles. Furnishings, especiall y at house museums, can play a duel role in interpretation. They have the potential to be an interpretive subject when their importance is discussed and interpreted, but they also have the ability to be used as an interpretive method when they are used to create an environment depicting past lifestyles. Interpretive organizations responsible for planning a house museums interpretation need to understand how they are going to use furnishings. Planning should consider the relevance of furnishings when compar ed to other stories the foundation has deemed significant. While historic furnishings and house museums are synonymous with one another, there are other options for interpretation. When a house museum does use furnishings, a furnishing plan should be creat ed explaining why and how they are to be used. Furnishing p lans Furnishing plans allow the interpretive organization of a house museum to explore the best method for using furniture and other objects in interpretation. Interpretation at museums should begin inductively with artifacts, but the goal of interpretation should be to analyze the cultural significance of those artifacts 65 Lecture by Darcie MacMahon to UF Historic Preservation students in DCP 6711 and DCP 6716.
64 critically .66 At its simplest, the historic house furnishings plan is a document that enumerates the objects within the museums historic furnished interiors, describes their placement, and highlights their relationship to the museums interpretation .67 The furnishing plan should also be created after an interpretation plan.68 This will allow t he interpretive organization to explore how the use of furnishings will relate to their overall interpretive goals and will allow those involved in creating the furnishing plan to utilize past research on the house museum, making informed decisions about t he role of furnishings at the site. Good interpretation connect s tangible objects to intangible meanings.69Summary It is essential the stewardship organization understand how furnishings relate to the themes and stories explored on site. Interpretive org anizations at historic house museums should create an interpretation plan before developing any onsite interpretation, or when changing their interpretation. The interpretation plan allows major stake holders, such as employees, volunteers, managers, foundation members, historians, exhibit designers, and potential visitors, to express what they feel is significant about the site. When determining a sites importance, it is essential that adequate and continuing research be explored to inform such stake holders. Interpretive organizations should make an effort to understand their potential visitors, what their interests are, and how they like to learn. When an 66 Woods, Getting Beyond the Criticism of History Museums: A Model for Interpretation, 84. 67 Bradley C. Brooks, The Historic House Furnishing Plan: Process and Product, in Interpreting Historic House Museums, ed. Jessica Foy Donnelly ( Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002) 128. 68 Brooks, The Historic House Furnishing Plan: Process and Product, 133. 69 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Foundations of Interpretation, Kevin Bacher, et al., 6.
65 organization understands what is significant to both the community and historically about their hous e museum they make the best decisions about the stories they tell. Interpretive organizations should choose their interpretation methods based on their visitors and stories, while understanding what is required of each method. Interpretive planning allows house museums the diverse, interesting interpretation they deserve.
66 CHAPTER 4 VARIATIONS IN INTERPRETATION: CASE STUDIES Five House Museums Interpretation at any house museum is an essential tool in engaging visitors and establishing community relevance. While a sites interpretation as a whole may not meet the needs of their audience, specific methods may be successful in creating interest. This chapter explores five house museums as case studies. Case stud ies include the following: The Ximenez Fatio House in St. Augustine, Florida The Gonzalez Alvarez House (Oldest House) in St. Augustine, Florida Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York, New York The George Eastman House, Rochester, New York Case Study Criteria These sites represe nt a range of house museums (T able 41). The criteria for choosing these case studies were as follows: Range in period, style and size Range of management Range of geographic location Range of interpretive subjects and techniques Period, style and size The house museums chosen for this study were built at vari ous times in history, from the colonial p eriod into the early 1900s. In addition, because they were built at various times, for people from diversely different social standings, the size and architectural styles of these houses vary greatly. Range in management Regardless of who owns a house museum, a historic site can suffer from low visitation if its interpretation i s failing. Each of these case
67 studies is owned and operated by a different stewardship group. Some are privately owned by local groups, while others are part of a larger national organization. Geographic location. These house museums are located across th e eastern United States. However, there is some overlap. Of the five case studies, two are located in the state of New York, two are located in St. Augustine, Florida and one is located in South Carolina. Interpretative subjects and techniques. Each of th e five house museu ms chosen has different people and histories associated with them, representing a diverse group of stories Additionally, each site has their own way of interpreting these stories through multiple interpret ative methods These range from guided tours, exhibits demonstrations, virtual tours and games, to discussion groups and special educational events. Common Elements At each house museum the following elements were explored: Location Stewardship Organization Architecture History Preservation Interpretation
68 Table 4 1. Case Study Criteria House Museum Period, Style and Size Management Location Interpretive Subjects and Techniques Ximenez Fatio House Tw o story c.1798 s econd Spanish p eriod home with a lterations during the American t erritorial period (18211845) The National Association for the Colonial Dames in Florida St. Augustine, Florida. Subjects: The boarding h ouse lifestyle in the American t erritorial and early American statehood periods, women and business owners, and preservation Methods: video, guided tour, exhibits Gonzalez Alvarez House Two story home with Spanish and English c olonial influences, restored to its appearance in 1790 The St. Augustine Historical Society St. Augustine, Florida. Subjects: history of St. Augustine, architectur al changes, colonial lifestyles Methods: Interactive displays, guided tour, demonstrations Drayton Hall Two story GeorgianPalladian style home with full English basement, built 17381742 The National Trus t for Historic Preservation Charleston, South Carolina Subjects: the Drayton family, the architecture of Drayton Hall, the African American experience at Drayton Hall, t he National Trust, preservation Methods: house tour and Connections Lower East Side Tenement Museum Five story, red brick Italianate style tenement house built c. 1863. Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Inc Manhattan New York Subjects: past and present immigrants in America and their influence on society Methods: guided tour, virt ual tour, onli ne games, and Tenement Talks The George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film Two and a half story Georgian Style home built between 1902 and 1905 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film Rochester, New York Subjects: George Eastman, photography, film, industry, technology, art Methods: changing exhibits, guided and cell phone tours, histor ic furnishings, "Discovery Room
69 The Ximenez Fatio House Location The Ximenez Fatio House is located at 20 Aviles S treet in St. Augustine, Florida, within the St. Augustine historic preservation district. The district is bordered by Orange Street and the City Gates to the north, Matanzas Bay to the east, Cordova Street to the west and 225 feet south of St. Francis Street to the south. The Ximenez Fatio H ouse is one of many historic structures located in historic preservation area two, which includes the Government H ouse and plaza, as well as structures located two blocks north and two blocks sout h of the plaza. ( Figure 41) Figure 4 1 Exterior of the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author.
70 Stewardship Organization The Ximenez Fatio House is owned and operated by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Florida. The Colonial Dames in a non profit organization, founded in 1891.1 The Florida sector of this group was incorporated in 1899.2 The goals of Colonial Dames for the Ximenez Fatio House are summed up by the museums mission statement: To preserve and interpret the histor ic Ximenez Fatio House in St. Augustine as an Inn depicting early tourism in Florida (18211861).3 Under ownership by the Colonial Dames, the Ximenez Fatio House has been listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a Florida Heritage Landmark.4Architecture The Ximenez Fatio House is a second Spanish p eriod home built circa 1798. The original structure was built at the same time as two warehouses and a detached coquina kitchen on the property.5 Second Spanish p eriod homes combine colonial Spanish and British building techniques.6 The structure is flush to the street wi th a balcony on the faade, rear loggia, and second floor accessible only by an exterior staircase.7 1 Rebecca Yerkes Rogers and Robert W. Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Florida, 2013, 4. Building materials used for its construction are native to the area and include 2 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 4. 3 Julia Vaill Gatlin, The Personalization Process of the Ximenez Fatio House, un published presentation created for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Florida, 3. 4 Ximenez Fatio House Museum, current brochure, no date. 5 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, Updated January 2014, 1. 6 Elsbeth K. Gordon, Floridas Colonial Architectural Heritage (Gainesville, University Press of Gainesville, FL, 2002) 160. 7 Gordon, Floridas Colonial Architectural Heritage, 160.
71 cedar wood and coquina quarried on Anastasia Island.8 After 1855 N eoclassical elements were added to the interior of the house during the construction of an addition.9History The Ximenez Fatio House was constructed for Andres Ximenez of R onda, Spain, during the second Spanish p eriod (17841821) in St. Augustine.10 Ximenez resided there with his Menorcan wife, Juana P ellicer and their five children while running a tavern and general store out of the first floor.11 In 1802 Juana Pellicer passe d away and four years later, in 1806, Andres Ximenez died.12 Francisco Pellicer, father of Juana Pellicer, took care of Ximenezs three living children while caring for the house on their behalf.13 Pellicer, a Menorcan who worked as a carpenter at Andrew Tur nbulls Indigo Plantation, became a builder in the city of St. Augustine and was close friends with Ximenez before his passing.14 In 1829 Margret Cook and her secon d husband purchased the Ximenez Fatio House, converting the first floor into a boarding house. 15 8 St. Augustines Ximenez Fatio House, Florida Master Site File (SJ71). 79. As a tour guide for the house notes, This was one of the few socially accepted businesses available to women in the Coquina is a sedimentary rock formed of seashells. It is formed at only four sites in the world, three of which are in Florida and the other on the West coast of Africa. 9 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 8. 10 Gordon, Floridas Colonial Architectural Heritage, 160. 11 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 7. 12 Supplement for FMSF Site Forms, Ximenez Fatio House, Florida Master Site File (SJ71) 39. 13 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 7. 14 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 1. 15 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 7.
72 1800s.16 The house was known as Mrs. Whitehursts Boarding House, after Cooks close friend Eliza Whitehurst, who managed the business for nine years.17 In 1838 Sarah Petty Anderson purchased the property while hiring Louisa Fatio to manage the boarding house. 18 Anderson moved to St. Augustine after her familys plantation, Dunlawton, was burned down during the Seminole War. She re nted rooms to military officers and other families in St. Augustine displaced by the war.19 Louisa Fatio, daughter of Don Francisco Felipe Fatio, purchased the boarding house from her employer in 1855. 20 She expanded the structure and the number of guests she could host by adding a wing to the south side of the house.21 It was under her ownership that the business gained a great deal of recognition and fam e among those who traveled to St. Augustine. Guests sometimes stayed for weeks or even months, bringing t heir own servants to tend to them.22 Visitors came from the northeast, Europe and Canada, seeking a warmer climate.23 The house was owned by Fatios heirs until 1939.24 16 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 1. 17 Ibid. 18 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. August ine, Florida 8. 19 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 2. 20 St. Augustines Ximenez Fatio House, 79. 21 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 2. 22 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 7. 23 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 2. 24 Rogers and H arper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 4.
73 Preservation The Coloni al Dames purchased the Ximenez Fatio House in 1939; the house was in serious need of restoration as it had been neglected and divided into various rental units for shopkeepers.25 The house museum was opened in 1946 after few restoration efforts were made, using donated household items to depict both the Spanish and Am erican periods, which created a confusing and ineffective interpretation.26 In 1969 the Colonial Dames formed a committee to restore and interpret the house more accurately. This included an architectural investigation, archeology, documentary research, and consultation with historic interiors professional William Seale. 27Interpretation It was through this committee that the period of significance (18211861) was chosen, and interpretation was focused toward interpreting the lifestyles of those who lived in and visited t he Ximenez Fatio House during its period as a boarding house. The Ximenez Fatio House is open to the public from 11:00am until 4:00pm Tuesday through Saturday. House tours are given hourly beginning at 11:30am with the last at 3:30pm. Tick ets are available at the museum store which also displays exhibits on archeology and preservation that has taken place on the property. An informative video about the past owners of the Ximenez Fatio House plays before each to ur. Guests of the museum are l e d by a docent from the museum store, through the house and its detached kitchen, and through garden with its reconstructed wash/ laundry 25 Gatlin, The Personalization Process of the Ximenez Fatio House,12. 26 Ibid. 13. 27 Ibid. 14, 28.
74 house. While these interpretation m ethods are commonly used among house museums, the Ximenez Fatio H ouse distinguishes itself through interpretive subjects not repeated by any other organization in St. Augustine. Preservation and building technologies as subjects for interpretation. The Ximenez Fatio H ouse is one of very few locations in St. Augustine where visitors can learn about historic building preservation, historic building practices and historic reconstructions. Visitors are first exposed to the preservation of the Ximenez Fatio House when arriving at the museum store. One panel exhibit currently displayed is on dendrochronology, the dating and study of tree rings, used to date the Ximenez Fatio addition to Louisa Fatios ownership during restoration efforts that took place in 2006.28 The first room guests enter on the house tour is the Coquina Room used as a storage room during Ximenezs ownership and possibly as a staging area during the building s use as a boarding house. No other site in St. Augustine has used or interpreted this preservation method (Figure 4 2 ). 29 28 Dendrochronology display at the Ximenez Fatio House, St. Augustine, Florida. Holes in the north wall are mentioned to visitors as evidence of wooden shelves used by Ximenez when the first floor was used as a tavern and store Additionally, the docent points out a unique characteristic of the w alls in this room. Each wall represents a different stage in the process of plastering coquina walls, a common buildi ng practice in St. Augustines colonial p eriods (Figure 43 ). 29 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 2.
75 Toward the end of the Ximenez Fatio House tour guests are led to the west end of the property containing the detached colonial kitchen, interpretive garden and reconstructed wash/laundry house (Figure 44 ). This is one of the few reconstructed properties in St. Augustine interpreted as such. Visitors are clearly told that this is the one reconstructed building on the Ximenez property It was built after the buildings foundations were discovered and studied by archaeologists. The reconstruction was also aided by historic photographs. The original building stood from 1800 until 19 15.30 Figure 4 2 Dendrochronology Exhibit at the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author. 30 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 10.
76 Figure 4 3 Coquina Room at the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author. Figure 4 4 Reconstructed Washhouse at the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author.
77 The boarding house lifestyle The interpretation of the boarding house lifestyle is unique at the Ximenez Fatio House, and the time period chosen spans three significant owners of the house: Margret Cook, Sarah Anderson and Louisa Fatio. Instead of concentrating solely on the few owner s of the structure, the furnishings chosen for each guest room allow visitors to explore how early tourists in St. Augustine lived during the 1800s. Furthermore, visitors are given the opportunity to make their own connections and experience at the site. Women are among the many diverse groups often ignored at house museums. The Ximenez Fatio H ouse is one of very few examples of St. Augustine that has focused on women as owners who have significantly impacted the history and development of its site. Through both the introductory video and touring of the owners quarters, visitors encounter one of the few socially acceptable business ventures for a 19th century woman, who were not only able to support themselves through their work, but were able to creat e a valued service, with a shining reputation in the city of St. Augustine.31 Each room in the Ximenez Fatio House is furnished to represent a different person who may have stayed in the boarding house. These room s do not depict specific people but the var ying types of people who stayed at boarding houses in St. Augustine during the American t erritoria l and early American s tatehood p eriods. There is a sea captains room, a soldiers room ( F igure 45) a doctors room, a family bedroom ( F igure 4 6) a frail ladys room and an artists room. 32 31 Rogers and Harper, Ximenez Fatio House Museum: St. Augustine, Florida, 5. The objects in each room tell a story 32 Ximenez Fatio House Tour, 39.
78 about guests in St. Augustine. For example, the frail ladys room represents a northerner who has come south to get well, while the artists room is filled with watercolors and pelts, representing a naturalist who has come to Florida to document the natural environment. Through exploring these lifestyles visitors are welcome to connect with the site and its stories in multiple ways. One way in which visitors create an experience at t he site is through being offered ripe figs to eat from a tree in the interpretive garden.33If your ancestors traveled to St. Augustine in the mid 1800s perhaps they slept here. Wherever they may have stayed, this house shows the living conditions of the time period from 1821 till 1861. There was no A/C, running water, phones, and the only music available was from whatever instrument you played. Another opportunity is through the docent s remarks welcoming visitors to make comparisons with their own life with script wording such as the following : 34 Figure 4 5 Soldiers Room at the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author. 33 Ibid. 9. 34 Ibid. 2.
79 Figure 4 6 Family Bedroom at the Ximenez Fatio House. Photo by author. The Gonzalez Alvarez House (Oldest House) Location The Gonzalez Alvarez House, also known as the Oldest House, is located on 14 St. Francis Street in St. Augustine, Florida. The museum is located within the St. Augustine historic preservation district which is bordered by Orange Street and the City Gates to the north, Matanzas Bay to the east, Cordova Street to the west and 225 feet south of St. Francis Street to the south. The Gonzalez Alvarez House is one of many historic structures located in historic preservation area one at the south end of the city. Stewardship Organization The Gonzalez Alvarez House is owned and operated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, a non profit organization founded in 1883.35 35 Oldest House: The Gonzalez Alvarez House, current brochure, no date. The society was first named the St. Augustine Historical Society and Institute of Science, meet ing in private
80 homes and collecting curiosities.36 The society purchased its first house in 1899, known as the Vedder Museum; however, the house and many objects in their collection were destroyed during a fire in 1914.37 The St. Augustine Historical Society purchased the Gonzalez Alvarez House in 1918; which had been exhibited as a museum since 1892.38 The St. Augustine Historical Society is the oldest continuously operating museum and historical society in Florida.39Architecture Under ownership of the society the house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. The Gonzalez Alvarez House was originally a onestory, rectangular house constructed of coquina between 1720 and 1755, during the f irst Spanish p e riod in St. Augustine.40 During the British period, Joseph Peavett and his wife Mary Evans Peavett, added a wooden frame second floor, balcony and loggia, along with a fireplace and chimney to the house.41 In 1790 Geronimo Alvarez purchased the house at auct ion and added a twostory addition of six rooms onto the north side of the house.42 36 Jean Parker Waterbury, The Gonzalez Alvarez Oldest House: The Place and Its People (St. Augustine: St. Augustine Historical Society, 2000) 33. 37 About the St Augustine Historical Society, http://www.staugustinehistoricalsociety.org/about.html accessed January 21, 2014, 38 William R. Adams, St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Historical Guide (Sarasota: Pineapple Press, In c., 2009) 38. 39 About the St. Augustine Historical Society. 40 Gordon, Floridas Colonial Architectural Heritage, 153. 41 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Gonzalez Alvare z House Charles Snell and James Dillon, April 1975, 14. 42 Ibid.
81 After Florida became a state in 1845, two other owners impacted the structure with their ow n additions. However, the house as it stands today represents its appearance in 1790 during the ownership of Alvarez ( Figure 47) .43 Figure 4 7 Exterior of the Gonzalez Alvarez House. Photo by author. History The first known occupant of the two room coquina structure located at 14 St. Francis Street was Tomas Gonzalez y Hernandez who was born in the Canary Islands in 1701. He came to St. Augustine as a sailor in 1721 and by 1723 married Maria Francisca Guevara y Dominguez. Her family had resided in St. Augustine for four generations, and the house was likely a wedding gift from h er parents. The couple had 43 Waterbury, The Gonzalez Alvarez Oldest House: The Place and Its People, 15.
82 ten children, six of whom survived to adulthood.44 When the British were given Florida in 1763, Gonzalez and his family relocated to Havana, Cuba.45 Under the British occupation of Florida, the house at 14 St. Francis Street rema ined vacant for several years. In 1775 Jesse Fish sold the property to Major Joseph Peavett, paymaster for Englands East Florida troops, and Mary Peavett, a prominent midwife in St. Augustine. 46 The couple lived in the secondstory addition and ran a taver n out of the houses first floor.47 In 1784, after the Revolutionary War, Spain gained control of Florida and many English settlers in the town left St. Augustine. The Peavetts remained in St. Augustine; Joseph Peavett was already Catholic and the couple had acquired a good amount of property there. 48 In 1786 Joseph Peavett died. Mary Evans Peavett converted to Catholicism and soon married John Hudson, an Irish Catholic twenty eight years her junior, who spent her fortune and ruined her reputation in St. Augustine.49 In 1790 Geronimo Alvarez of Asturias, Spain, purchased 14 St. Francis Street at auction after saving his earnings as a shopkeeper and baker for the government hospital i n St Augustine. 50 44 Ibid. 9,10. Members of the Alvarez family owned the house for ov er fifty years, into the American territorial p eriod. 45 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Gonzalez Alvarez House. Charles Snell and James Dillon, 14. 46 Supplement For FMSF Forms: Oldest House, Florida Master Site File (SJ10G) 36. 47 Waterbury, The Gonzalez Alvarez Oldest House: The Place and Its People, 13. 48 Depart ment of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Gonzalez Alvarez House. Charles Snell and James Dillon, 15. 49 Ibid. 50 Ibid. 16.
83 The Gonzalez Alveraz House was sold to Mary E. Carver in 1844, w ife of dentist Dr. C.P. Carver. T he Carvers added a round Victorian tower to the northeast corner of the house.51 During their ownership visitors in St. Augustine became very interested in the Oldest House, and by 1855 the Carvers began charging admission for tours of their home.52 In 1898 J.W. Henderson, an attorney, purc hased the house from Carver to be used as a show place for antiques and curiosities collected by his wife. They built a two story addition to the west end of the house for their living quarters. 53Preservation In 1918 the St. Augustine Historical Society purchased the Gonzalez Alvarez H ouse as a museum for their collections.54 In 1921 the society began removing Victorian elements from the interior of the house. B y 1954 the Victorian tower and twostory apartment were removed, restoring 14 St. Francis Street to its 18th century appearance.55 Moving toward authenticity, the society utilized archeological studies to inform their restoration efforts.56 The society now presents the house for what it is, a structure which itself tells something of nearly 400 years of life in St. Augustine.57 51 Waterbury, The Gonzalez Alvarez Oldest House: The Place and Its People 28. 52 Ibid. 30. 53 Ibid. 31. 54 About the St. Augustine Historical Society. 55 Waterbury, The Gonzalez Alvarez Oldest House: The Place and Its People, 36. 56 Oldest Hous e: The Gonzalez Alvarez House, current brochure. 57 Ibid.
84 Interpretation The Gonzalez Alvarez House is open from 9:00am until 5:00pm daily with guided tours of the house offered every half hour. The museum complex includes a museum store, the Manucy Museum, t he Oldest House and Garden, as well as the Tovar House. Visitors may pick up tickets in the museum store, or at a window outside of the store, and are asked to wait at the Manucy Museum until the tour begins. Interpreting architecture through low tech in teractive displays. With a half hour tour time, exhibits in the Manucy Museum allow the St. Augustine Historical Society to interpret information not included on the guided tour. One exhibit on display introduces visitors to the changing architecture of the Gonzalez Alvarez House. This display is divided into two parts. The first interactive display allows visitors to move plastic panels outlining the stages of architecture during the c olonial and American periods in St. Augustine (Figure 48 ). The second part of the displ ay outlines the restoration of t he Oldest House. In this display visitors move plastic panels to rem ove the Victorian Tower and twostory apartment both added to the house during the mid to late 1800s. Figure 4 8. Interactive Display of the Gonzalez Alvarez House Architecture. Photo by author.
85 Connecting children with history through the guided tour The St. Augustine Historical Society has one script that is used to interpret to all visitors. This tour script allows docents to custom ize the experience of visitors based upon their previous knowledge, but also suggests ways to engage the many school groups which visit the house. One way children are engaged while on the tour is by being asked questions. The script outlines simple ques tions about human needs and lifestyles the students can relate too and answer. Once the children answer, the docent can elaborate upon their answers with descriptions h ow things were done during the c olonial periods of St. Augustine. This allows students t o make comparisons with their own lives Here is one example of how this is used: what do people need to have in order to live? ([Answer] air to breath, food to eat, water to drink, shelter to protect them from the weather.)58 Another way in which children connect with history on the g uided tour is by the docent explaining the roles of children during colonial St. Augustine; how they worked, played and learned. Examples found in the tour script include these: The docent will then describe how the early citizens of St. Augustine stored water in earthen jars (one is located in the garden) and demonstrate to students how lava rocks brought from Spain were used to purify the water. From an early age children worked to help their families. Boys fishing, crabbing, gathering oysters, carrying wood and water, tending cattle.Girls cooking, sewing, sweeping59 58 Susan R. Parker, St Augustine Historical Society Oldest House (Gonzalez Alvarez National Historic Landmark) Tour Content, December 21, 2009, 1. 59 Parker, St Augustine Historical Society Oldest House (Gonzalez Alvarez National Historic Landmark) Tour Content, 3.
86 Much of their play was imitating the activities of adults around them.boys would have played at being soldiersgirls would have played with dolls and im itated their mothers childcare activities60 Most children did not go to school, so most never learned to read and writeChildren of the wealthier and more prominent people in town sometimes were taught by private tutorsAlso, the priests at the church taught a few boys three days a week. 61 By asking children questions and discussing colonial childrens activities the docents at the St. Augustine Historical Society are providing students with the opportunity to connect with the history and lifestyles associated with S t. Augustines colonial p eriods. Children are engaged because they are given the opportunity to participate in their learning. Drayton Hall Location Drayton Hall is located at 3380 Ashley River Road near Charleston, South Carolina. This site is approximately a thirty minute drive from Charlestons historic downtown, on Ashley River Road, a Nat ional Scenic byway. During the c olonial and early American periods the area was home to the Ashley R iver elite, which included wealthy planters an d politicians.62Stewardship Organization Drayton Hall is a National Trust site. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded, nonprofit organization that was established by Congress in 1946. Drayton Hall is one of twenty seven historic sites the Trust protects and promotes. The 60 Ibid. 61 Ibid. 62 History of the Drayton Family and Drayton Hall (Drayton Hall Training Materials, Unpublished, 2007) 5.
87 mission of Drayton Hall is to preserve and interpret Drayton Hall and its environs in order to educate the public and inspire people to embrace historic preservation.63Architecture Drayton hall was built in the Georgian Palladian s tyle between 1738 and 1742.64 The architect is unknown: however, the design reflects Andrea Palladios second book of Architecture, not employed elsewhere in the American colonies until decades later.65 The landfront faade features a two story portico with Doric capitals on the first story and ionic capitals on the second story (Figure 4 9) .66 Native and foreign materials were utilized in the houses construction. The main house required over 360,000 bricks, all made onsite by ensl aved workers. Regional materials included bald cypress, used for the paneled walls; yellow poplar, used for architectural details and yellow pine plank floors. Mahogany used for ornamentation in the main house came from the Caribbean Islands, while other m aterials such as limestone, sandstone, iron and glass were all imported from England.67 63 Membership Training, (Drayton Hall Training Materials, Unpublished, 2010) 2. 64 Joseph C. Mester, The Architecture and Design of Drayton Hall: The Main House, Landscape, and Outbuildings (Drayton Hall Training Materials, Unpublished, 2012) 9. 65 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Drayton Hall James D illon, et al., August 1976, 2. Andrea Palladio (15081580) studied Greek and Roman architecture and wrote the Four Books on Architecture. The books were not entirely translated into English until 1720. 66 Mester, The Architecture and Design of Drayton H all: The Main House, Landscape, and Outbuildings ,18. 67 Ibid. 10.
88 Figure 4 9 Exterior of Drayton Hall. Photo by author. History John Drayton, son of Thomas and Ann Drayton, was born around 1715 and spent his childhood at Magnoli a Plantation, on the Ashley River. In March of 1738 John Drayton purchased a plantation on the Ashley River from John Greene. The property bordered his family home. While Drayton Hall was being built, between 1739 and 1740, his wife Sarah Cattell and their two young sons, Stephen Fox Drayton and William Drayton, passed away.68 In 1740 John Drayton remarried to Charlotta Bull at Ashley Hall, a nd by 1742 their first son, William Henry Drayton, was born at Drayton Hall.69 68 History of the Drayton Family and Drayton Hall 1 3. The 69 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Drayton Hall Ja mes Dillon, et al.,2. History of the Drayton Family and Drayton Hall, 3. Charlotta Bull was the daughter of William Bull, the Royal Lieutenant Governor of the South Carolina colony.
89 couples second son, Charles Drayton, was born in 1743: Charlotta passed away several days later due to complications from the birth.70 After the death of his second wife, John Drayton became involved in politics. Johns first major political role began in 1745 when he won a seat in the Common House. In 1752 he took his third wife, Margaret Glen, who gave him another son, Glen Drayton, within the first year of their marriage, and a fourth son, Thomas Drayton, in 1758. By 1761 John Drayton was appointed to the Royal Council. In 1772 Margret Glenn Drayton passed away in England where she had been caring for Glen and Thomas Drayton. In 1755 fifty nine year old John Drayton took his fourth and final wife, seventeenyear old Rebecca Perry, who gave birth to three children, Susannah, Anne and John. 71 The Revolutionary War (17751783) had an immense impact on Drayton Hall and the Drayton family. John Draytons oldest son, William Hen ry Drayton was a patriot who served as President of the South Carolina Provincial Congress and oversaw the formation of South Caroli nas first constitution in 1776. Additionally, he designed South Carolinas great seal that same year with Arthur Middleton. In 1778 he became a delegate to the Continental Congr ess. 72 70 History of the Drayton Family and Drayton Hall 3. In 1779 as British t roops marched toward South Carolina, John with his wife and three children fled Drayton Hall. While crossing the west branch of the Cooper River, John had a seizure and died at Strawberry Ferry. 71 Ibid. 4, 5, 9. 72 Ibid. 9, 11, 26.
90 Many Ashley River plantations were looted and destroyed. Drayton Hall survived, though it was occupied by British troops in March of 1780.73 Rebecca Perry Drayton inherited Drayton Hall after her husbands death, but in November of 17 83 Charles Drayton paid for her rights to the plantation through a promissory bond. Drayton Hall served as the main house for generations of Draytons until the Civil War. Ownership passed from Charles Drayton to his son, Charles Drayton II, and his sons, T homas Henry Middleton Drayton and Dr. John Drayton. 74 The Civil War (1861 1865) did not have the same impact on the Ashley River area that the Revolutionary War did. After 1860 Drayton Hall was not used as the familys main residence. Post Civil War photog raphs indicate that the house was in a state of disrepair. Windows were missing or broken, bricks were missing, crops were grown up to the landfront faade on the property, and plants were overgrown on the riverfront faade. 75 The Charleston Mining and Manufacturing Company leased the property from Dr. John Drayton to mine for calcium phosphate, which was used as fertilizer. By 1883 Charles Henry Drayton IV owned the property and began his own mining company, Charles H. Drayton & Company. It was through thi s business that he was able to restore Drayton Hall. 76 In 1915 Charles Henry Drayton passed away and divided his estate among his three children. Charlotta Drayton, known as Miss Charley, used Drayton Hall as a 73 Ibid. 9, 11. 74 Ibid. 32, 40. 75 Ibid. 5354. 76 Ibid. 52.
91 vacation house. She used the house with only the barest of conveniences: a wood burning stove, oil lamps, and icebox. Her desire to preserve the house in an authentic condition as possible is evident from the care she took to maintain the house as virtually untouched.77Preservation In 1960, still owned by the Drayton family, Drayton Hall was nominated a National Historic Landmark. In 196 9 Charlotta Drayton passed away leaving ownership to her nephews, Francis and Charles Drayton. In her will she stated that the house was not to be modernized.78 The brothers realized they could not keep up t he house and chose to sell it. When news of the sale became public, the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) and the State of Carolina began raising funds. After HCF had accumulated a substantial trust fun d, The National Trust purchased Drayton Hall and 125 acres of land surrounding the house, while the state of South Carolina purchased an additional 540 acres surrounding the property.79 Drayton Hall opened to the public in 1976. The National Trust made th e bold decision to preserve the site as it was received from the Draytons in 1974 in order to provide a time line showing the change and continuality through three centuries of American History.80 77 Ibid. 59. Under stewardship of the National Trust Drayton Hall will never be restored. When the Trust acquired the house, main efforts in the 1970s and 1980s focused on stabilizing the house. More recently 78 Ibid. 79 Ibid. 60. 80 Americas Oldest Unrestored Plantation House Open to the Public, http://www.draytonhall.org/preservation/overview/ accessed January 25, 2014.
92 preservation of the Great Hall ceiling, portico masonry, and paint conservation ha ve become top priorities.81Interpret ation Drayton Hall is open to the public from 9:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Saturday and from 11:00am until 5:00pm on Sundays. Tours of Drayton Hall are given every hour and begin at 9:30am every day except for Sunday when they begin at 11:30am. There are several activities for visitors on site. There is a guided tour of Drayton Hall, and visitors can participate in Connections: From Africa to America, a presentation and discussion group. The Voices of Drayton Hall DVD landscape tour is available and guests can visit A Sacred Place: The oldest documented AfricanAmerica cemetery in the nation still in use. Touring an e mpty h ouse Guided tours of Drayton Hall are a major component in interpreting the site. The house is completely empty, with the exception of benches for visitors to sit and a model depicting Drayton Hall when the two Flanker buildings on the landfront faade still existed. There are no objects to portray how people once lived on site or to showcase the Draytons wealth ( F igure 410). It is the job of the interpreter to fill the house for visitors. This is an extremely successful method of interpretation as it allows interpreters to tell the whole story of Drayton Hall. Visitors may come to the site with varied interests including di fferent time periods, people and lifestyles, and have all of their questions answered through a discussion with their tour guide. This can be accomplished because of the interpreter training program established at Drayton Hall. Each interpreter is allowed to create his or her own tour, organized around required 81 Americas Oldest Unrestored Plantation House Open to the Public.
93 content and showcasing what makes them passionate about the site, including the selection of a central theme. These interpreters have become knowledgeable by reading required materials that include extensive information about the sites history, architecture and preservation. R equired information that must be addressed in each room generally follows the themes of: architecture, family history, the AfricanAmerican experience, and the National Trust.82 After a new i nterpreter has created a tour, they meet with the lead interpreter to have their tour approved. The training materials for Drayton Halls interpreters do not only include required readings and information, but suggestions for how they should d eliver their tour including vocal techniques, animation, eye contact, word selection, body language, pace, and practice.83After going on tour with a Drayton Hall interpreter, guests should understand: 1. What the differences are between preservation and r estoration 2. Why the Trust made the decision to preserve Drayton Hall 3. What the Trust has done and what the Friends of Drayton Hall have made possible since the Trust purchased the site in order to preserve it 4. Why Drayton Hall is worth saving.84 Figure 4 10. Drayton Hall First Floor Withdrawing Room. Photo by author. 82 Craig Hadley, et al., Museum Educators Training Manual: The Drayton Hall House Tour (Drayton Hall Training Materials, Unpublished, 2011)1011. 83 Hadley, et al., Museum Educators Training Manual: The Drayton Hall House Tour 3 4. 84 Membership Training, 12.
94 Connections: From Africa to America Richmond Bowens was a member of one of the enslaved family that came to South Carolina with the Draytons in the late 1600s.85 After the Civil W ar his family grew crops on the land; his mother worked as a cook for the Draytons and another family member w orked as a caretaker of Drayton Hall. After the house opened to the public, Bowens worked as a gatekeeper: when he retired in 1993 he began volunt eering his time to tell visitors about the African American experience at Drayton Hall. Richmond Bowens passed away in 1998, and one year later Connections was established.86At Drayton Hall, the purpose of Connections is to highlight stories about the li ves of the enslaved and the anomalies of their relationships in this place over a period of time. 87 The Connections program takes place under a tent near the museum shop. The program presents a general history of African Americans from slavery, to emanc ipation, to the present, but also gives focused attention to South Carolina. The program also addresses changing relationships between owners and the enslaved. The concept held in Barbados that enslaved were considered members of the family was carried into South Carolina. In the early period the enslaved had more freedom than at a later time, and in the early period masters often worked alongside their enslaved.88 85 Peggy Reider, et al., Museum Interpretation Training Manual: Connections, Drayton Hall Training Materials, Unpublished, 2011, 4. In 1739 the Stono Rebellion led to the Slave Code of 1740, which placed higher restrictions on the conduct of slave owners, while impacting every aspect of an enslaved persons life. 86 Reider, et al., Museum Interpretation Training Manual: Connections 11, 27. 87 Ibid. 3. 88 Ibid. 20.
95 There is a wide range of information that an interpreter can cover during Connections. However, because the program is meant to facilitate discussion, interpreter s may also stick to particular subjects the audience is interested in.89The Lower East Side Tenement Museum 97 Orchard Street is perhaps most valuable because of its lack of particular historical association. As an essentially anonymous building, it is well suited to represent a profound social movement involving great numbers of unexceptional but courageous people.90 Location The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is located at 97 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. The neighborhood has historically housed many of the immigrants who have come to the United States through New York City. The street is build up entirely with nineteenthand twentiethcentury, five and six story tenements, all with stores at street level.91Stewardship Organization The Tenement museum is owned and operated by The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Inc. which was chartered in 1988.92 Ruth Abram and Anita Jacobson, founders of the museum, began their commitment to interpreting the lives of early immigrants by running a tour program in the Lower East Side.93 89 Ibid. While visiting the storefront of 97 Orchard Street, looking for a location to run tours from, the partners 90 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street Larry Lowenthal, et al., October 1993, 8. 91 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street Larry Lowenthal, et al., 4. 92 Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Forum Journal (October 1998)1. 93 Tenement Museum: About Us: Our Story, http://www.tenement.org/about.html accessed January 25, 2014.
96 realized that they had found a prelaw tenement building.94 The museum opened on November 17, 1988, in the leased store fronts of 97 Orchard Street during a threemillion dollar campaign to purchase and restore the building: the goal was reached in 1996.95 In 1991 the organization began a self study funded by the National Endowment f or the Humanities, which included research and discussions with museum professionals, poets, immigrant advocates, scholars and others.96 In 1993 the Tenement Museum became a National Historic Landmark under the themes of American ways of life and social and humanitarian movements.97The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immi gration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattans Lower East Side, Americas iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping Americas evolving national identity. The museum is affiliated with both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service. The following is the museums mission statement: 98 Architecture Between 1863 and 1864, 97 Orchard Street was built in the typical tenement style of the 1860s. It is a fivestory, red brick Italianate style with a galvanizediron cornice, with storefronts on the first floor and a centrally located stone stoop for tenants 94 Tenement Museum: About Us: Our Story. A pre law tenement is on e that was built before housing and building restrictions were created. 95 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 2004) 14. 96 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 17. 97 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street Larry Lowenthal, et al., 7. 98 Tenement Museum: About Us: Our Story.
97 to e nter apartments on the top floors.99 The second through fifth floors each originally contained a centrally located hall with four apartments, finished with wooden floors and plaster walls and ceilings.100History During the 1620s Dutch settlers were the fir st to arrive to the area known today as Manhattan, and the land were divided among eight farms.101 During the 1700s the British acquired New Amsterdam, and British Lieutenant Governor James DeLancy purchased approximately 300 acres of the land.102 Orchard Stre et was the road that once led to DeLancys orchard. He died in 1760, but his family continued to occupy the property. They remained British Loyalists during the Revolutionary War (17751783) and at the conclusion of the war the familys land was taken from them.103 By 1800 Manhattan was divided into equal lots, each intended to hold a single family home. 104 Lucas Glockner, a German immigrant, purchased the lot at 97 Orchard in 1863, and his tenement was completed by 1864.105 99 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street Larry Lowenthal, et al., 4. The building had two basement shops, one of which Glockner ran as a tailors shop, and the other a saloon ran by John 100 Ibid. 5. 101 Linda Granfield, 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life (Ontario, Tundra Books, 2001) 25. 102 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 25. 103 Granfield, 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life 9. 104 Ibid. 105 Department of the Interior, National Par k Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: Tenement Building at 97 Orchard Street Larry Lowenthal, et al., 13.
98 Schneider.106 Glockner collected rent from nineteen apartments. He lived in the twentieth until 1870 with his wife Wilhelmina and their three sons. He sold the building in 1886.107 The tenement at 97 Orchard Street was owned by various other immigrants. Slight changes were made to the building as housing and building laws in New York City were developed. Around 1900 gas lighting was finally installed. In 1901 the New Law had th e six privies in the yard replaced with two flushable toilets on each floor. 108 In 1905 windows were added to partition walls to allow for airflow and natural light. By 1924 electricity was added.109 The last family to own the tenement was the Helpern family, who purchased it in 1918. Due to increasingly strict housing and building codes, the family evicted their tenants in 1935, sealing the apartments and continuing to use the stores on the first floor. 110Preservation Barbara Helpern sold the building to the Lower East S ide Tenement Museum in 1996, eight years after they began leasing the property. When the vision for the Tenement Museum first began, a historian and social activist, Ruth Abram, wanted to build a museum that honored Americas immigrants.111 106 Granfield, 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life 27. The first apartment that was opened to the public was the 1878 restored apartment of 107 Ibid. 108 Ibid. 29. 109 Ibid. 110 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 14. 111 Tenement Museum: About Us: Our Story.
99 the GermanJewish Gumpertz family.112 Interpretation in the museums other apartments was originally going to use fictional stories of immigrant life in tenement housing. T his goal quickly changed in 1993 when Josephine Baldizzi Esposito visited the museum. Baldizzis family had lived in that building from 1928 until 1935 when she was ages two to nine. The museum used family artifacts to recreate the apartment as it had looked in 1935, completely changing course in their interpretation.113 Six of the twenty apartments have been restored to interpret the tenement story, the newest being the home of the Moores, Irish immigrants who lived in the building in 1869.114Interpretati on The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is open daily from 10:00am until 6:30pm, except Thursdays when the museum is open from 10:0 0am until 5:00pm. At the museum neighborhood walking tours, tenement talks, and guided tours are available. The heart of the museum is a historic tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over twenty nations between 1863 and 1935.115 Interpretation represents the immigrant experience by sharing the living conditions and history of the Lower East Side. The museum offers tours in multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese and Russian.116 112 Ibid. The museum maintains its community significance by working with todays 113 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 7 9. 114 Tenem ent Museum: About Us: Our Story. 115 Step into 97 Orchard St., step into another time, http://www.nps.gov/loea/index.htm accessed January 25, 2014. 116 A Tenement Story: The History of 97 Orchard Street and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 18.
100 immigrant population of New York, through educational measures such as English classes. Virtual t our. There are var ious ways for potential visitors to learn about immigrant life through the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Linked to the museums website, the virtual tour of the Tenement Museum is just one way that visitors can experience the site without actually traveling there. The virtual tour is composed of four parts: a floor plan outlining the location of the parlor, kitchen, and backroom and indicating where the viewer is standing; three dimensional views of each apartment in which the viewer can move around each room; voiceover by the museums President, Ruth Abram giving a tour; and a section where viewers can click to read more about each familys history or look at photographs of the family.117 Immigration g ame The immigration game, another online interpretation method, allows children to learn about the lifestyle of an early immigrant in the Lower East Side. During the game videos of an actress playing Victoria Confino tell the story of young immigrant life. Victoria Confino was an immigrant from Kastoria, Turkey, who The virtual tour begins with a historic photograph 97 Orchard Street with Abram describing the history of the neighborhood. The next location on the tour is the stairway hall. At this location viewers can listen to Abram ask visitors where their families immigrated from, and describe the history of tenement housing and the housing laws that eventfully lead to the closing of 97 Orchard. Within the virtual tour several apartments are available for viewing including the ruin apartment, Gumpertz apartment, Rogarshevsky apartment, Confino apartment, Baldizzi apartment and Levine apartment. 117 The Lower East Side Tenement Museum Virtual Tour, http://www.tenement.org/Virtual Tour/index_virtual.html accessed January 25, 2014.
101 came to the United States in 1913 and lived at 97 Orchard Street with her family.118 Tenement T alks Tenement Talks is an evening series of lectures, readings, panel discussions, films and other programs that provide historical and contemporary perspectives on New York Citys rich culture. In the first step in the game, who do you want to be, a passport is created. The player chooses whether they are a boy or girl, what their name is and what country they are from. In the next step of the game the player chooses what three items they would like to take with them on their journey. The options are clothes, toy, shoes, books, religious item, food, a cooking pot, or family photo. In the third step you are on your way to America, Victoria Confino explains what traveling to the United States was like while a boat icon travels across a map from the immigrants home country to Ellis Island. In the fourth step go to Ellis Island, the player interacts with an inspector, telling them who they are based upon the passport they created. During this step Victoria explains that it was very important for immigrants to act healthy because they were watched the whole time they were at Ellis Island. In the final stage of the game, make a life in America, the player makes choices how they will work, play, eat, sleep, and what housework they will do. When the game is completed the player has the option to create a post card that can be sent to Victoria at the Tenement Museum. Players also have the option to print out their passport and have it stamped on their next visit. 119 118 Imm igration Game, Most events take place at 103 Orchard Street in the museum store. There are currently eight events advertised by the Tenement Museum from March into June 2014. In March one event that is talking place http://www.tenement.org/immigrate/ accessed January 25, 2014. 119 Tenement Talks, http://www.tenement.org/tenement talks.php, accesse d January 25, 2014.
102 is a book talk for Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. In April there is a scheduled book talk called How the Other Half Lived and Lives, which involves discussion of the novel How the Other Half Lives, written by nineteenthcentury Dutch immigrant Jacob A. Riis. Past events are available on the Tenement Museums website as podcasts. George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film Location The George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film is located at 900 East Avenue in Rochester, New York in one of Rochesters eight historic preservation districts, the East Avenue Historic District. This district includes East, University and Park Avenues, as well as the streets between them and is bordered by Alexander and Probert Street.120Stewardship Organization The George Eastman House is a private non profit organizati on. It first opened the public in 1949 and is the worlds oldest photography museum, and is one of the oldest film museums. The museum was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and is also registered on the New York State Register of Historic Places.121 120 Historic Preservation: The Rochester Preservation Ordinance, The George Eastman House has been supported through funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589939748 accessed January 31, 2014. 121 Restoration of the George Eastman House and Grounds, Forum Journal (October 2000) 1.
103 Arts, and with donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. 122 The mission statement of the George Eastman House is to: L ead though practice and programs in the interpretation of photographic and motion picture heritage. We strive to inspire widespread recognition of how the media we collect, preserve and under stand broaden and enrich life. We do so as stewards of the legacy of George Eastman, who values excellence and innovation.123 Architecture The George Eastman House was built in the Georgian style between 1902 and 1905.124 The original house was two anda hal f story, T shaped plan with a full pediment portico including Corinthian columns.125 Eastman was extremely involved with the design of his house, choosing design and architectural details based upon what he had observed at other houses or seen in photographs .126 The architect of the George Eastman House was J. Foster Warner, while the fifty room interior was designed with the consultation of McKim, Mead and White.127 122 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: Visitors Guide & Map, current brochure, no date. Landscape architect, Alling DeForest, designed a stable, garage, barn, five green houses, and eig ht gardens on the 123 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: Mission, http://eastmanhouse.org/museum/mission.php accessed January 31, 2014. 124 Restoration of the George Eastman House and Grounds,1. 125 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: George Eastman House, Richard Greenwood, January 1976, 2. 126 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Hist oric Places Inventory Nomination Form: George Eastman House, Richard Greenwood, 2. 127 Restoration of George Eastmans 50 Room Colonial Revival Mansion and Its Four Remaining Gardens as Part of a 12 Acre Museum, Forum Journal (July 1992) 1.
104 property.128 The estate t ypifies the period in American history known as the Country Place Era (18901940). During this time, throughout the United States industrialists (e.g. Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Ford) were building country estates based on European design traditions.129 In 1951 Dryden Theater was added to the south wall of the former garage.130 (Figure 4 11). Figure 4 11. Exterior of the George Eastman House. Photo by author. History George Eastman (18541932) was born in Waterville, New York, and moved with his parents to Rochester in 18 60. When his father passed away Eastman left school to work at an insurance firm, and later worked as a junior clerk at the Rochester Savings 128 Restorati on of George Eastmans 50 Room Colonial Revival Mansion and Its Four Remaining Gardens as Part of a 12 Acre Museum,1. 129 Restoration of the George Eastman House and Grounds,1. 130 Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Hist oric Places Inventory Nomination Form: George Eastman House, Richard Greenwood, 2.
105 Bank. He purchas ed his first camera in 1877 and while continuing to work as a banker, Eastman developed and sold an inexpensive dry plate film.131 In 1880 Eastman left the Rochester Savings Bank and by 1890 founded the Eastman Kodak Company. His reason for going into business was simple to make photography an everyday affair, to make the camera as convenient as the pencil. George Eastmans marketing genius, which put his affordable camera into the hands of millions. 132 When George Eastman passed away in 1932, he left his house to the University of Roc hester; it was used as the Presidents house for ten years. He succeeded at his goal continuing to make advancements in photography throughout his lifetime. 133 In 1936, due to maintenance costs, the gardens were simplified, and many rooms went unused.134 After World War II the University of Rochester transferred the estate to a Board of Trustees and The George Eastman House Museum of Photography was chartered in 1947.135Preservation By 1984 the photography and film collections had outgrown the George East man House. From 1985 until 1988 over thirty million dollars was raised for the restoration of 131 Ibid. 3. 132 Restoration of the George Eastman House and Grounds,1. 133 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: History of the George Eastman House, http://www.eastmanhouse.org/museum/history.php, accessed January 31, 2014. 134 Restoration of George Eastmans 50 Room Colonial Revival Mansion and Its Four Remaining Gardens as Part of a 12 Acre Museum,1. 135 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: History of the George Eastman House.
106 the house and appropriate collections care.136 An archive building with a study center for the collections and exhibit galleries were constructed.137 Fourteen months and about two million dollars went into the restoration of George Eastmans House. Completed in January of 1990, the goal of the restoration was to present Eastmans house a threedimensional biography and living memorial to the man who lived in it from 19051932. 138 The restoration and interpretation was informed by oral histories, original photographs of the house, and George Eastmans manuscripts. Furthermore, a historic furnishing plan was created by Dr. William Seale, which allowed for the replication of plaster ceilings, the repairs of marble floors, reproduction of wall and window textiles, along with the refinishing and reupholstering of vintage furniture, eighty five percent of which is original to the house.139Interpretation The George Eastman House is open on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am until 8:00pm and on Sundays from 11:00am until 5:00pm. Guided tours are offered twice a day at 10:30am and 2:00pm. The tours are offered in English; however, sign language tours can be scheduled as well. While visiting the house, guests can also choose to participate in a guided cell phone tour. In the spring and summer Garden Tours are available. The original portion of the house primarily displays historic furnishings. However, rooms on the second floor offer exhibits about George Eastman, 136 Restoration of George Eastmans 50 Room Colonial Revival Mansion and Its Four Remaining Gardens as Part of a 12 Acre Museum,1. 137 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: History of the George Eastman House. 138 Restoration of George Eastmans 50 Room Colonial Revival Mansion and Its Four Remaining Gardens as Part of a 12 Acre Museum,1. 139 Restoration of the George Eastman House and Grounds,1.
107 his family and career. Additionally, a Discovery Room is located on the second floor. Six nights a week films are showed at Dryden Theater. They include archived, foreign and independent films.140 Changing e xhibit s pace s There are several gallery spaces in the 1990 addition of the George Eastman House where changing exhibits are displayed. These spaces allow interpretation to change and give visitors a reason to come back to the museum. The exhibit titled Exelis: The H istory of Space Photography was displayed from October 26, 2013, until January 12, 2014, in the Brackett Clark and South Galleries (Figure 4 12). This gallery presented pictures of planets and supernovas in space, the environment and climate pictures of Earth. Through this exhibit the George Eastman House showcased a unique collection sure to interest a greater audience than is typical at house m useums. Additionally, this exhibit connected with community of Rochester, as it was members of this community who built the various space cameras and telescope systems that took the exhibited photography Figure 4 12. Exelis Exhibit at the George Eastman House. Photo by author. 140 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: Visitors Guide & Map, current brochure.
108 The Cameras from the Technology Collection exhibit is located in the Mees Gallery. This exhibit showcases the various forms that cameras have taken throughout history (Figure 413). Visitors not only see historic camer as, but can also novelty, and more recent cameras created during their lifetime. Figure 4 13. Cameras from the Technology Collection Exhibit. Photo by author. The George Eastman House shows contemporary art in its changing galleries as well. From November 14, 2013 until February 23, 2014 Lossless was exhibited. Lossless (2008) is a contemporary art instillation by Rebecca Baron and Douglas Goodwin that explores the possibilities of the transformation and distortion of images and ultimately the creations of new ones within the digital realm.141 Though Lossless is exhibited temporarily, it is part of the George Eastman Houses permanent collection. Permanent e xhibits Permanent exhibits are on display on the second floor of the George Eastm an House. These spaces allow visitors to learn about George 141 George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film: Lossless, http://eastmanhouse.org/events/detail.php?title=lossless_2013 accesse d January 31, 2014.
109 Eastman through means other than viewing his furniture. Diversity in the methods used in the original house creates an interesting interpretation. The East Gallery on the second floor uses panel exhibits and a running loop video to explore who George Eastman was (Figure 414). It is designed to portray information about Eastmans family and business. Figure 4 14. Permanent Exhibit in the Second Floor East Gallery at the George Eastman House. Photo by author. Discovery r oom The Discovery Room at the George Eastman House is a family friendly area for children to play and learn (Figure 415 ). Everything in the room can be picked up or played with. The room includes stereoviewers (which make pictures look threedimensional), photograms (pictures that change in the sun), and zeotropes ( mini movies made by creating the illusion of motion). A Discovery Room pamphlet includes a list of suggested books, as well as information about the museums onli ne activities.
110 Figure 4 15. George Eastman House Discovery Room. Photo by author. Summary An analysis of all five case studies suggests that all house museums can benefit from allowing variety in their interpretation. Each house museum portr ays various themes such as an important person, family history, lifestyles, architecture, industry, art, history of a region or societal trend, and preservation. The s tewardship organizations responsible for these sites choose interpretation techniques bas ed on number of factors, which include cost, staff availability and accessibility. However, it is the unique combination of stories and how they are told that creates interest. No matter i f a site is privately owned, controlled by a national organization, or part of the National Trust, each must reach diverse and unique audiences to obtain successful visitor numbers and community relevance.
111 CHAPTER 5 THE HISTORY AND INTERPRETATION OF THE DE MESASANCHEZ HOUSE Introduction The de MesaSanch ez House, 43 St. George Street in St. Augustine Florida, is one of thirty six remaining c olonial buildings in the city, and one of thirty eight state owned buildings managed by University of Florida Historic St. Augustine Inc. ( UFHSA ) Currently the house is interpreted through The Colonial Quarter LLC. Though the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse dates back to the f irst Spanish p eriod in St. Augustine its architecture has been adapted and influenced by owners in every period of St. Au gustine, including the British p er iod, s econd Spanish p eriod and American territorial p eriod. The history of the site predates the house itself. The area is located in city block seven and has been a constant area of use and development throughout the history of St. Augustine. History The First Spanish Period: 1565 1763 Development and history of block seven. The area of St. Augustine known today as block seven was first developed in the late seventeenth century. It was used as a work camp during the construction of the Castillo de San Marcos (16721695).1 Convicts from Spain and Mexico, slaves and Native Americans were housed in the area.2 1 David Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, September 1978, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, B 2. Indians were enslaved as builders and were permitted to bring along their wives 2 E.H. Reynolds, The Standa rd guide to St. Augustine and Fort Marion Practical information for tourists, descriptions of all points of interests; and an historical summary (St. Augustine, 1885) UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 48.
112 and childr en.3 Excavations that took place on the site during restoration efforts in the 1970s found evidence of the work camp. Structural remains consisted of a portion of an oyster shell wall and clay packed floor.4 Several Native American burials were found as w ell, under existing houses and courtyards.5 Their association with the building of the Castillo was evident as the bodies were located in flexed positions and the burials were not Christian.6 With the completion of the Castillo, the block soon became a neighborhood. The area was drastically changed during the siege of 1702 by Carolinians St. Augustines population was safely behind the walls of the Castillo; however housing west of the f ort created a challenge for the Spanish. 7 While some of the citys houses were destroyed at the end of the siege by fire, others were demolished by the Spanish. The Spanish Commander ordered the destruction of all cover wit hin a musket shot of the fort, approximately 750 feet, obliterating the neighbored within block seven.8 3 Cathy Gallagher, Human Skeleton Discover ed, The Traveler March 30April 5, 1978, in 43 St. George Street. De MesaSanchez. Blk 7, Lot 6 flat file, St. Augustine Historical Society Library, 2. The area would be developed again as a residential neighborhood in the latter half of the f irst Spanish p eriod. 4 James M. Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, St. Augustine Preservation Board, 1981, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 5. 5 Paul Ortiz, Interview with Kathleen Deagan, April 23, 2012,Transcript, UFDC Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, 45. 6 Ortiz, Interview with Kathleen Deagan, 45. 7 Albert Manucy, The Houses of St. Augustine: 15651821 (Gainesville:1992), 22. 8 Manucy, The Houses of St. Augustine: 15651821, 22 23.
113 Owners and architecture. The earliest known resident of the de MesaSanchez House is Don Antonio de Mesa, a shore guard from Veracruz, M exico.9 He came to St. Augustine in 1740, and on a civil roist er in 1746 he was listed as a Guarde de Rivera of the Real Hacienda, he received the honorific title of Don with his service.10 De Mesa made an annual salary of 132 pesos.11 His parents were Jua n de Mesa and Clavaselai Guevara.12 On September 26, 1746, de Mesa married Geronima Santollo (Santoyo) of St. Augustine.13 She was born in 1729 to Juan de Rosa Santoyo and Maria (Mariana) Cavcallero.14 De Mesa and his wife had seven children together, four gi rls and three boys, all baptized in the Catholic Church.15 De Mesa was also listed as a slave owner, though little information on this topic has been dicovered.16 The exact date of construction for the de MesaSanchez H ouse is unknown. The earliest evidence of this house appears on the 1764 Puente Map where de Mesa is listed as the owner of lot six. 17 9 Michael Scardaville, Historical Outline of the deMesa Sanchez (Spanish Inn) Site, 1978, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 2. The house was located on the extreme western section 10 Clifton A. Huston, SA 7 6 the DeMesa site: Excavation of a Colonial Spanish Well in St. Augustine, Florida, June 1977, 5. Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3. 11 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3. 12 Card One, in Antonio de Mesa Biographical Cards, St. Augustine Historical Society Library. 13 Huston, S A 7 6 the DeMesa site: Excavation of a Colonial Spanish Well in St. Augustine, Florida, 6. 14 St. Augustine Cathedral: 1st Spanish Period Catholic Marriages and Baptisms, 15941763, comp. John Sallas (St. Augustine: 1993) St. Augustine Historical Society L ibrary, 115. 15 St. Augustine Cathedral: 1st Spanish Period Catholic Marriages and Baptisms, 15941763, 72. 16 Huston, SA 76 the DeMesa site: Excavation of a Colonial Spanish Well in St. Augustine, Florida, 6. 17 Ramola A Drost, Drost Overlays, 1954, UF DC Historic St. Augustine Collection.
114 of the lot.18 De Mesas neighbor to the north was Antonio Avero and Lucas Escovedo lived to the south.19 D e Mesas house was a small, oneroom coquina structure, 16.7 ft by 26.5 feet, with a large tabby floored courtyard 23.3 by 35 f eet, surrounded on three sides, containing a well.20 The east of the house contained a loggia, the north side was enclosed by an oyster tabby wall, and the east side of the property was bound by a detached kitchen that spanned a north/south dimension of 12 feet.21 Manucy describes this as a St. Augustine Common Plan, which accounted for 70% of residences by 1788.22 Little about the interior of the de Mesa House is known. E xcavations that took place in 1977 found no evidence of interior partitions or flooring. 23 It is highly likely that flooring during the time de Mesa lived in the house was only dirt, whic h was common during the first Spanish p eriod.24 Excavations al so uncovered clay barrel tiles likely the first Spanish period roofing material.25 In 1764 the d e Mesa family left St. Augustine and traveled to Havana where Antonio de Mesa passed away in 1766.26 18 Fisher and Shepard, Architects and Planners Inc., Research Report: Restoration of the DeMesaSanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, December 13, 1977, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 3. (Figure 5 1). 19 Drost, Drost Overlays. 20 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 7. 21 Kathleen Deagan, 1977 Excavations of the de Mesa Sanchez House Interior, 1978, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 19. Tabby is a concrete created by burning oyster shells to create lime, and mixing the lime with sand and broken oyster shells. 22 Manucy, The Houses of St. Augustine: 15651821, 49. 23 Deagan, 1977 Excavations of the de Mesa Sanchez House Interior, 19. 24 Manucy, The Houses of St. Augustine: 15651821, 116. 25 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 10. 26 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3.
115 Figure 5 2 De Mesa c. 1760. The British Period: 1763 1784 Development and history of block seven. The British gained control of St. Augustine in 1763 through the First Treaty of Paris Few changes were made to the Spanish houses in t he beginning of the British p eriod as most of them were held by a few wealthy property owners, many of whom may never have occupied most of their houses. When the Spanish left St. Augustine their properties were left to Elixio de la Puente, who was respons ible for surveying the properties left behind and selling them, sending the money back to the relocated Spanish f amilies. As a stipulation of the Treaty of Paris the Spanish only had eighteen months to transfer all property to the British.27 27 Robert L. Gold, That Infamous Floridian, Jesse Fish, The Florida Historical Quarter 52. No. 1 (1773) 4. When he couldnt sell to the uninterested British soldiers who first occupied the town, he transferred these properties to Jesse Fish, a n ative of New York. Jesse Fish came to
116 Florida in 1736 as an employee of William Walton and Company where he worked as a representative until 1736, spending the majority of his life in St. Augustine. There is little evidence that Fish ever paid the Spanish for the properties he took over and sold.28 In 1767 Menorcans traveled with others from Greece and Italy to work as i ndentured servants at Andrew Turnbulls indigo plantation. 29 In 1777, a fter ten years of disease and mistreatment by Turnbull, an investigation by British Governor Patrick Tonyon of the plantation led to the eventual release of the colonists from their cont racts.30 That summer the freed Menorcans walked north to St. Augustine, where they were granted land by the British G overnor.31 This area became know n as the Menorcan Quarter and was located in the southern portion of block seven While there is no proof that a Menorcan renter ever occupied the de MesaSanchez House, Menorcan houses were located to its south, and the Menorcan parish property directly north of the de MesaSanchez H ouse.32 28 Gold, That Infamous Floridian, Jesse Fish, 2. T he British first acted with kindness toward the Menorcans but their atti tudes change d Because the British were primarily of the Protestant religion, they believed that the Catholic Menorcans would be sympathetic to the Spanish. Problems escalated during the American Revolution when British soldiers 29 Philip D. Rasico, The Minorcan Population of St. Augustine in the Spanish Census of 1786, 1987, 162. Menorcan is spelled in two ways. Menorcan is correct: however, the group is also referred to as Minorcans in many academic sources. While Menorcans are from the country of Menorca, many references to this group in St. Augustine include the Greeks and Italians who were indentured servants on Tur nbulls plantation when referring to the group. Menorca is an island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. 30 J.G. Cusick, Ethnic Groups and Class in an Emerging Market Economy: Spaniards and Minorcans in Late Colonial St. Augustine, 1993, 57. 31 Cusick, Ethnic Groups and Class in an Emerging Market Economy: Spaniards and Minorcans in Late Colonial St. Augustine, 57. 32 Drost, Drost Overlays.
117 would enter the Menorcan Quarter and abuse innocent citizens, convinced they would aid American Rebels .33 This area remained the Menorcan Quarter into the nineteenth century.34 Owners and architecture. William Walton, head of William Walton Co. located in New York, was the first owner of the de Mesa Sa nchez house during the British p eriod of St. Augustine. 35 His company sold supplies to patrons in St. Augustine from 1726 to1739, and again from 1754 to 1739, earning him 200,000 pesos annually.36 When the Spanish left St. Augustine, t hey had not paid off their debt to Walton and he became the fourth largest property owner in St. Augustine.37 Walton never lived in the de MesaSanchez H ouse. He made no alterations to the house and when he died in 1768 the de Mesa property was transferred to the British crown.38 In 1771 British Governor James Grant gave the property to Joseph Stout, a native of Philadelphia. 39 In 1765 Stout had married Mary Rolph, a native of Canterbury, England.40 33 Cusick, Ethnic Groups and Class in an Emerging Market Economy: Spaniards and Minorcans in Lat e Colonial St. Augustine, 57. They came to Florida together in 1767 where Stout managed the estate of 34 Supplement for FMSF Site Forms: DeMesa Sanchez House, 43 St. George Street, 6. 35 Michael Scardaville, Preliminary Historic Report for the De Mesa Sanchez House (Spanish Inn) Site, November 1977, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 2. 36 Scardaville, Preliminary Historic Report for the De Mesa Sanchez House (Spanish Inn) Site, 2. 37 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3. 38 Scardaville, Preliminary Historic Report for the De Mesa Sanchez House (Spanish Inn) Site, 3. 39 Supplement for FMSF Site Forms: DeMesa Sanchez House, 43 St. George Street, 7. 40 Tour Outline, in De House: Guides Manual, no date, St Augustine Preservation Board, UFHSA Digitization Lab, 4.
118 John Tucker.41 He fathered four boys while residing in East Florida.42 Stout was also employed as a government surveyor. In 1779 he purchased 950 acres of land near the northeast creek of Matanzas where he grew indigo, raised livestock and owned eight slaves.43 The de Mesa H ouse was never the permanent residence of Stout or his family. He instead used it as a townhouse when he visited St. Augustine with his family or as an export office for his plantation. 44 In 1780 Stout illegally expanded his property 9.8 feet to the south into the property of Jose Peso de Burgo.45 Stout made the first extensive renovations and architectural changes to the house. T he house became a threeroom plan with masonry wall s and tabby flooring.46 The west and south walls were replaced with wood frame construction, and a six foot wide entrance to the house was built on the street faade, facing St. George Street.47 Additionally, a chimney was added to the east wall of the north room, and there was a onestory paved loggia on the east side of the house.48 41 Ibid. 3. The detached kitchen remained, though a new tabby floor was poured. Flooring recovered during the 1977 excavations suggests that the kitchen was 42 Ibid. 4. 43 Ibid. 44 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3. 45 Tour Outline, 4. 46 Shepard Associates, Design Development Presentation: Restoration of the DeMesa Sanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, October 20, 1978, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 8. 47 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 10. 48 Shepard Associates, Design Development Presentation: Restoration of the DeMesa Sanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 8.
119 seven feet wide.49 In 1783 Stout m ade additional changes to the property by replacing the roof.50 Stout was among many British citizens who left St. Augustine in 1784 when the Spanish were given control over Florida once again. Stout moved with his family to the Ba hamas where he was a merchant and cotton planter. It is reasonable to suggest with knowledge that the de Mesa House was utilized as an export office and townhouse, with knowledge that Stout owned his own plantation, and that he was employed as a government surveyor, Joseph Stout and his family were very well off. (Figure 5 2). 51 Figure 5 2 De Mesa c. 1780. The Second Spanish Period: 1784 1821 Development and history of block seven. Few changes occurred in the development of block seven during the second Spanish p eriod. It remained a part of the 49 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 11. 50 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Pres ervation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 3. 51 Tour Outline, 4.
120 Menorcan Quarter as Menorcans became the largest population in St. Augustine at this time .52 Owners and architecture. On August 11, 1784, Don Juan Sanchez purchased the de Mesa H ouse for 450 pesos, later purchasing the land from the de Burgo property that Stout had used to extend the house. 53 According to a census completed in 1793 in St. Augustine, Juan Sanchez was born in 1748 to Juan Sanchez, and Catalina de Soto.54 He was born in Puerto Real Andalusia, Spain, but moved to Cuba where he married Maria del Carmen Castaneda of St. Augustine; she was born in 1742.55 Maria Castaneda had moved to Cuba during her first marriage to Jose Joaquin de Ortega, with whom she had one child.56 Together Sanchez and Castaneda had two daughters Maria Sanchez, born in 1779, and Maria de Rosario, born in 1785.57 Their eldest daughter, Maria de los Dolores Sanchez, married Tomas de Aguilar, an official and secretary to the Governor.58 The Sanchez family has been known as an influential family throughout the history of St. Augustine. Juan Sanchez worked as Chief Master Caulker of the Royal 52 Rasico, The Minorcan Population of St. Augustine in the Spanish Census of 1786, 162. 53 Tour Outline, 7. 54 Translated Abstracts of pre 1821 Spanish Censuses: Vol 1, trans. Donna Rachal Mills (Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Naples, Florida: 1992) St. Augustine Historical Society Library, 91. 55 Scardaville, Preliminary Historic Report for the De Mesa Sanchez House (Spanish Inn) Site, 4. 56 Tour Outline, 6. 57 Translated Abstracts of pre 1821 Spanish Censuses: Vol 1. ,91. 58 Lanthe Bond Hebel, The Sanchez Family of St. Augustine, Florida (Daytona Beach FL, 1952) St. Augustine Historical Library, 4.
121 works, fixing Spanish ships, earning him an annual salary of 420 pesos.59 From 1793 to 1794 the R oyal Spanish Treasury and Treasurers quarters were located on the second floor of the de MesaSanchez H ouse, while Juan Chrisostomo de Acosta was treasurer.60 1793 census data shows that Sanchez owned four slaves, all whom were baptized.61 Juan Sanchez pass ed away in 1803; his wife inherited one half of his property, while the other half was inherited by his two daughters.62 The family stayed in the de MesaSanchez house after his passing, and by 1814 nineteen people were living there; Juan Sanchezs widow, M aria del Carmen, Tomas de Aguilar and his wife Maria, their six children, and ten slaves.63 Juan Sanchez was responsible for one of the largest renovations of the de MesaSanchez H ouse. It is suspected that such grand changes were made due to the prosperit y of his mercantile activities in the late 1780s, and that a majority of the first floor was used to hold his supplies. 64 The first stage of construction took place between 1784 and 1788. Sanchezs additions took place in two stages. 65 59 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 4. During the first sta ge two rooms were added to the house (forming what is referred to as the east wing) touching the north east side of the original house, extending along the north edge 60 Tour Outline, 8. Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Proper ties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 4. 61 Translated Abstracts of pre 1821 Spanish Censuses: Vol 1., 91. 62 Scardaville, Preliminary Historic Report for the De Mesa Sanchez House (Spanish Inn) Site, 4. 63 Tour Outline, 8. 64 Ibid. 65 Fish er and Shepard, Architects and Planners Inc., Research Report: Restoration of the DeMesaSanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 5.
122 of the property toward Matanzas Bay .66 This changed the house from a rectangular plan to an L shaped plan. The chimney built into the northwestern room of the house by Stout was replaced by a doorway into the new wing. During this phase, the three rooms used during the British period were transformed into only two rooms, and tabby flooring wa s poured throughout the entire first floor and over the paved loggia.67 The kitchen was rebuilt; its location was moved 14 feet east; its new dimensions were 14.2 feet by 17.8 feet, with dirt flooring.68 The second stage of Sanchezs construction took place between 1788 and 1791. 69 It was during this phase that the secon d floor of the de MesaSanchez H ouse was constructed.70 This phase also included the construction of the balconys. One balcony was constructed on the west faade, a feature brought to St. Augustine by the British. The second balcony was built on the south side of the east wing; it included an exterior stair and covered first floor loggia with coquina piers.71 Few details about the i nterior of the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse are known, other than t he inverted tea tray ceilings located in the second floor rooms.72 66 Ibid. (Figure 5 3). 67 Deagan, 1977 Excavations of the de Mesa Sanchez House Interior, 27. 68 Smith, De Mesa Site, R evisited, 12. 69 Fisher and Shepard, Architects and Planners Inc., Research Report: Restoration of the DeMesaSanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 5. 70 Ibid. 9. 71 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 2. 72 Fisher and Shepard, Architects and Planners Inc., Research Report: Restoration of the DeMesaSanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 5.
123 Though the Sanchez family remained in the house after Juan Sanchezs passing, they made no further alterations to the house. The de MesaSanchez H ouse remained their residence until 1832 when the family moved to Cuba.73 Figure 5 3 De Mesa 17351800. The American Territorial Period: 18211845 Development and history of block seven. During the American territorial p eriod block seven continued to be a residential neighborhood in St. Augustine. While no documentation on this subject has been found, it is possible that there was some commercial influence in the area, considering the rise in tourism and the magnitude of commercialization that the area experienced after Florida became a s tate in 1845 Owners and architecture. In 1832 the Sanchez f amily sold the de MesaSanchez H ouse to Lewis G. Melizet of Havana and John M. Melizet of Philadelphia. The 73 Nolan, Florida Master S ite File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 4.
124 Melizets only owned the house for three years, selling it in 1835 to James Lisk of New Baltimore, New York.74 Lisk was a carpenter; he owned the house for only two years. 75 He was a Quaker and suffered from tuberculosis.76 Very little information is known about Lisk, and though he only owned the de Mesa House for a short time he h ad a great impact on its architecture. Using the masonry pillars already present, Lisk enclosed the loggia, and replaced the second floor balcony above, creating a new porch on the south side of the east wing.77 When he built the new balcony, he enclosed part of the original, leaving the old window in place. The same was done when he enclosed the logia, which is why there are windows on interior walls today. Lisk also rebuilt the kitchen into the house, extended the second floor of the east wing and built the exterior stair along the south balcony Lisk made extensive changes to the interior as well. The N eoclassical or Greek Revival details, evident on several window frames, would have been added at this time. Additionally, the interior walls of the rooms facing St. George Street were replaced with wood frame wa lls, giving that section of the de MesaSanchez H ouse a N eoclassical symmetry . The southernmost room of this wing became the living room. The chimney still located in this room was placed there during Lisks ownership. It is likely that the flooring of the house throughout the American territorial period was wood plank.78 74 Ibid. After 75 Michael Scardaville, History of the deMesa Sanchez House, 1981, 2. 76 Interpretive Furnishing Proposal for the De Mes a Sanchez House, no date, UFDC Historic St. Augustine Collection, 2. 77 Shepard Associates, Design Development Presentation: Restoration of the DeMesa Sanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 9. 78 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 1 5.
125 renovating Lisk finished the exterior of the house with pink ashlor scored stucco designed to protect the porous rock from moisture and give the impression of a grander stone building .79 In 1837 Lisks heirs sold the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse to Seth Gifford of South Carolina, who was a third Lieutenant in Company G of the St. Augustine Guard during the Seminole War. Gifford never lived in the house, and there is no evidence he made any changes to it. The same year he purchas ed the de Mesa H ouse it he rented it to Charles Loring, a soldier during the Seminole War. The de Mesa H ouse was restored to the American t erritorial period, and appears closely to the descriptions of work completed by James Lisk (Figure 5 4). 80 The Loring family was among many early settlers in New England. 81 Reuben Loring (father to Charles Loring) was born in Higham, Massachusetts, in 1787 and moved to W ilmington, North Carolina, marrying Hannah Kenan on May 19, 1811.82 Charles Loring was born in 1812 and in 1823 the family moved to St. Augustine.83 At the age of eighteen Charles Loring married Mary Jane Cabell.84 79 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 1. The couple had three daughters: Elizabeth, Catherine, and Emma (who passed away at nine months old) In 1839 Seth Gifford deeded the house to Mary Loring, and she assumed an $800 80 Ibid. B 4. 81 William L. Wessels, Born to Be a Solider: The Military Career of William Wing Loring of St. Augustine, Florida (Texas Christian University, 1971) St. Augustine Historical Society Library, 1. 82 Wessels, Born to Be a Solider: The Military Career of William Wing Loring of St. Augustine, Florida, 2. 83 Susan Parker, Historical Report for the Mesa Sanchez and its Owners c. 1840, September 1988, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 4. 84 Card One, Trinity Parish (BOA 7) in Charles Loring Biographical Cards. St. Augustine Historical S ociety Library.
126 mortgage. A census completed in 1840 shows that Charles and Mary Loring, their two children, and five slaves lived in the household. In August of 1840 Mary Loring died from a short and severe illness ; two months later the de Mesa H ouse was foreclosed on.85 Sometime after 1844 the house was purchased by Ann Hurlbert for $550; she was the widow of Capt ain Daniel Hurlbert (17761836).86 The only owner to have an influence on the st ructure of the de MesaSanchez House during the American t erritorial p eriod was James Lisk. The end of the American t erritorial p eriod shows a trend that continues into the Am erican period, many owners and renters staying in the house for a short time, making minimal changes. Figure 5 4. De Mesa c. 1835. Florida Becomes a State: 1845 Development and history of block seven. When Florida became a state in 1845, block seven began developing into a commercial area, with shops and stores to satisfy those who moved to and visited St. Augustine from the north. The post Civil War 85 Parker, Historical Report for the Mesa Sanc hez and its Owners c. 1840, 45, 8. 86 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 5.
127 years brought intense commercialization to part of H ypolita Street and all of St. George Street as the main thoroughfare became lined with shops, boarding houses, and large hotels.87 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centur ies many historic buildings were demolished on St. George Street and replaced with brick commercial buildings This area eventually became a depressed business district .88 One invaluable resource available for understanding the development of St. Augustine during this period is the Sanborn Fire Map Insurance Company maps of St A ugustine in St. Johns County. The Sanborn Fire Map Insurance Company was founded in 1867 by D.A. Sanborn. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps were designed to help fire insurance agents assess the degree of hazard associ ated with a particular property. 89 The 188 8 Sanborn Map depicts block seven as primarily residential surrounded by Fort Lane, St. George Street, and Cuna Street. At the Northwest corner of the block, the colonial site of the Gallegos house was the San Salvador Hotel. There are other commercial s tructures in block seven, north of the de MesaSanchez House including a grocery, mill inery (hat maker) and jeweler. The rest of the block is domest ic. Behind the de MesaSanchez H ouse there is a wooden structure labeled Negro Tenement possibly located in lot nine or ten. The block directly east of block seven, block twelve is extremely commercial. On lot eighteen of block twelve is a hotel call the Cleveland house. The de MesaSanchez House was used commercially in 1888. In this year 87 Su pplement for FMSF Site Forms: DeMesa Sanchez House, 43 St. George Street, 7. The American Civil war ended in 1865. 88 Ibid. 89 Sanborn Maps, http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/maps/Sanborn/MAPNEWSANBORN.HTML accessed September 23, 2013.
128 cigars were sold in the north portion of the house and a barber shop was located in the southwest front room Furthermore, there was a onestory, rectangular structure touching the south side of the de MesaSanchez H o use labeled Shooting gally. 90 The commercialization in the area around block seven was again evident in the 1893 Sanborn map. In the northwest corner of the lot the San Salvador hotel was called the Abby . While the north of the de Mesa Sanchez House that once held a millinery and jeweler was converted to residential use, other buildings north of the house include a book store and cigar shop. The Negro Tenement that was located behind the house in 1888 still existed in 1893. Located south of the de MesaSanchez House in 1893 was a grocery tailor, and racket store, though the buildings along Cuna Street were residential. Furthermore, the Cleveland House had changed to the Colombia Hotel The de MesaSanchez H ouse itself was still used commercially in 1893 with fruits sold out of the northern portion of the house and an office in the southwest front room; the shooting gally touching the south side of the house was labeled music and was likely a store. 91 The Sanborn map of St. Augustine in 1899 shows a slight shift back to a residential neighborhood for block seven. This is also the first Sanborn map to show lot lines for the block. The Abby was still located in the northwest corner of block seven in l ot one. One other commercial building was located north of the de MesaSanchez H ouse, a shoe store in lot five. The building that was labeled Negro Tenement in past maps was not on the 1899 map. The Columbia Hotel still dominated the 90 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1893, UF Map and Imagery Library, Sheet 4. These streets continue to border block seven through history and still border it today. 91 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1893, Sheet 4.
129 southeast corner of block twelve The 1899 map identifies the rectangular wooden structure that touches the south wall the of the de MesaSanchez house as being located within lot six ; it was listed as a bicycle shop. Additionally, according to this map there was a onestory wooden structure in the back of lot six, used for storage. The e ntirety of the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse is now labeled Pianos and Organs . The piano and organ store was run by Frank Sulzer who purchased the house in 1892 and left it to his heirs when he passed away in 1899.92 The 1904 map depicts the north portion of block as residential, though the Abby still stood in the same locatio n. To the south of the de MesaSanchez H ouse is a printing shop and tailor and the Columbia Hotel appears in the same location on the 1904 map as it had in previous maps. 93 The de MesaSanchez H ouse was not in use during the creation of this map. After her fathers death, Sallie Sulzer held the property until 1905.94 By the time the 1910 Sanborn map was created, The Abby on the colonial Gallegos s ite had turned into the Arlington Hotel. To the south of the de MesaSanchez House there was a printing shop and tailor; however, the rest of the block was primarily domestic. Additionally, there were no noticeable changes to the exterior of the de MesaSanchez House, and no use listed. The rectangular, wooden structure in lot six on the south side of the house, once used as a shooting gally, music store 92 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1899, UF Map and Imagery Library, Sheet 2. 93 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1904, UF Map and Imagery Library, Sheet 4. 94 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 5.
130 and bicycle store was gone by March of 1910. There is, however, a new building in lot six. A small two story dwelling shares the lot with the de MesaSanchez House. The new buildings south side is centered on the south lot line of lot six. The buildings address is 47 St. George Street.95 By 1924 the Arlingt on Hotel had become the Rectors Hotel on lot one of block seven. This was not the only hotel north of the de MesaSanchez House. The New Dixie Highway Hotel was located at 35 St. George Street. During the time the July 1924 Sanborn map was being creat ed there had been no changes to the de MesaSanchez House and no use noted. At 47 St. George Street, a path traveled from the street east, behind the deMesa Sanchez House, where a small onestory dwelling was located, again sharing lot six. 96 When the ne xt Sanborn map for St. Augustine was created in 1930, the Rectors Hotel, and New Dixie Highway Hotel were still located in block seven, north of lot si x. Located south of the de MesaSanchez House in block seven was a large Cigar Factory. The de Mesa Sanchez site had undergone some changes as well. The house was partially unused, while another portion of the house was used as a store. There were now three addresses associated with it, 4145 St. George Street. Additionally, at 95 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida, March 1910, In De Mesa Sanchez Historical Research, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, #975.9189301 Dem. V.4., UFHSA Digitization Lab, Sheet 4. 96 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustin e, St. Johns County, Florida, July 1924, In De Mesa Sanchez Historical Research, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, #975.9189301 Dem. V.4., UFHSA Digitization Lab, Sheet 3.
131 the back of lot six, behind the de MesaSanchez House was a large twostory residence.97Owners and architecture. In 1851 Ann Hurlbert sold the house to her daughter and son i n law, Mary and Darius Allen, for $550. 98 Over the next 100 years the house belonged to various owners and was rented to many tenants. Few changes were made to the house until Margret Butler purchased the property in 1912. Mrs. Butler had two large arched openings that faced St. George Street put in, had the west balcony removed and had a clay tile bungalow built at the back of the lot (Figure 5 5) .99 Additionally, the 1930 Sanborn map indicates that the st ructure of the deMesa Sanchez H ouse was changed with the removal or enclosure of the exterior stairs.100 97 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1930, In De Mesa Sanchez Historical Research, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, #975.9189301 Dem. V.4., UFHSA Digitization Lab, Sheet 4. After World War II Margaret Butler leased the property to Ruth Pontius, who opened the Old Spanish Inn. She furnished guest rooms with antiques and created a popular restaurant enjoyed by both tourists and locals. In 1952 the Wiles sol d the de MesaSanchez property to Marguerita Phillips, a poet and artist in St. Augustine. In 1954 Phillips lease d the house to Walter B. Fraser (18881972), who had served as mayor to St Augustine from 1936 until 1943. Fraser was a leading force for preser vation in St. 98 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 5. Darius Allen was a carpenter and became commissioner of pilotage in 1871. One son of Mary and Darius was a sea captain, fire chief, and boarding house proprietor. 99 Ibid. 100 Sanborn Map Company, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida 1899, Sheet 2.
132 Augustine. In 1958 Gerald Horton Bath, former public relations director for the St. Augustine tourist center took over Frasers lease.101 G.H. Bath took responsibility for the preservation of the de Mesa site, good intentions that would not be appreciated when the city took over the building less than a decade later. Bath believed an Inn had been located at the de Mesa site during the Spanish and British periods. 102 With this belief, he made every effort to restore it. Bath took photographs and building drawings to Spain. He had an antique firm, Abelardo Linares of Madrid, create all of Inns furnishings. He reconstructed the west balcony (though made it only half as wide so that it would not be disturbed by traffic), and had a sidewalk lain in fr ont of the building to protect it from traffic.103 One unfortunate action was the removal of the buildings stucco, which allowed water to penetrate the coquina walls, eventually damaging original floors and wood work.104 The Old Spanish Inn opened to the public on July 4, 1959, as a museum exhibit that did not sell food or rent rooms; the museum was not popular and had financial difficulties (Figure 5 6) In 1963 Bath purchased the property from Marguerita Philips for $35,000, mortgaging it for the same amoun t, and soon after put it on the market for $150,000. Two years later, in 1965, he sold it to the St. Augustine Restoration Foundation for significantly less than his asking price.105 101 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 5. 102 Ibi d. B 6. 103 Ibid. 104 Herschel Shepard, Lecture to University of Florida Historic Preservation students in DCP 6711 and DCP 6716 at the Colonial Quarter on September 16, 2013. 105 Ibid.
133 Figure 5 5 De Mesa Sanchez House from St. George Street looking Northeast, ca. 1955. Figure 5 6 The Old Spanish Inn after restoration work from St. George Street, looking Northeast, ca. 1960.
134 Pre Restoration Interpretation The Old Spanish Inn was owned by the Restoration Foundation until 1977, and continued being interpreted as the Old Spanish Inn. Interpretation continued to include the furnishings brought into the museum by Bath. In 1971 the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Guidebook was released, describing twenty eight historic buildings in St. Augus tine, including the Old Spanish Inn.106Restoration The Historic St. Augustine Preservation board purchased the Old Spanish Inn from the Restoration Foundation in 1977.107Excavations Within the next two years, extensive efforts to document, restore, and interpret the site were made. The first steps in the restoration process were excavations. The first set of excavations took place between March and September of 1977, ma de possible through a grant from the National Park Service.108 Dr. Kathleen Deagan led the Florida State University Field School.109 Archeological work focused in the floor of the de Mesa Sanchez House. Trenches for climate control were strategically dug by members of the field school, gaining archeological evidence of the houses four major stages of evolution.110 106 Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, Historic St. Augustine Gu ide Book, 27. Additional excavations included the yard of the de MesaSanchez House. In June on 1977 a barrel well was excavated and dated to the first Spanish perio d in St. 107 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 6. 108 Deagan, 1977 Excavations of the de Mesa Sanchez House Interior, 6. 109 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 2. 110 Shepard, Lecture at the Colonial Quarter.
135 Augustine.111 Archeology continued at the site in 1978 by John Bostwick for the St. Augustine Preservation Board.112Restoring the de Mesa Sanchez House Little evidence of Bostwicks findings are available. However, a 1981 report by John Smith titled, De Mesa Site Revisited examines the findings of both Bostwicks and Deagans excavations, suggesting that both were interested in researching the sites architecture and cultural artifacts. Resto rations of the de MesaSanchez H ouse took place between 19 78 and 1980 with Herschel Shepard as project architect.113 With his expertise in restoration work, especially in St. Augustine, he knew that the best restoration would have to include more than the first Spanish p eriod home. During this time the Preservation Board was restoring everything t o the first Spanish or British periods. However, Shepard convinced the Board to res tore the house to the American territorial period, preserving as much historic fabric as possible.114 The period the de MesaSanchez H ouse w as rest ored to was between the years 1830 and 1840. 115 Before restoration work began there were widows, door trim, and hardware that reflected the territorial and Greek Revival styles of the mid 1800s.116 111 Huston, SA 76 the DeMesa site: Excavation of a Colonial Spanish Well in St. Augustine, Florida, 5. Rooms east of the kitchen on both the first and second floors were demolished. 112 Smith, De Mesa Site, Revisited, 2. 113 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 2. 114 Ortiz, Interview with Herschel Shepard, 40. 115 Herschel E. Shepard, re: Design development Drawings, Restoration of the de Mesa Sanchez House, State Project N.DOS 3200, Letter to William Adams, Director of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, November 29, 1978, in De Mesa Architectural Research, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, #975.9189301 Dem. V.1. UFHSA Digitization Lab. 116 Ortiz, Interview with Herschel Shepard, 40.
136 Furthermore, the second floor room above room 104 (todays exhibit room) was demolished and replaced with a shed roof. Door and window openings were rearranged into their positions during the American territorial period; for exampl e, the widow on the east side of the living room chimney was filled in. Additionally, fenestration on the faade of the house was taken back from three doors to one door in the center and two windows. Another change that took place during restoration was t he removal of the second floor balcony stairs added after 1845. These were replaced with stairs on the south side of the east wing. Both the back balcony and loggia were restored to American t erritorial resemblance as well. The estimated cost of the de Mes a Sanchez restoration on October 20, 1978, was $109,375.117 This included restoration, new construction, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and demolition. An additional $2,000 was estimated for the house museums exhibit.118 Additional attempts to restore the de M esa Sanchez House to the American territorial p eriod included an extensive paint analysis by Frank Welsh of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, which took place on May 1, 1979. 119 On the exterior, paint samples were taken from portions of the building added during the 1830s.120 117 Shepard, re: Design development Drawings, Restoration of the de Mesa Sanchez House, State Project N.DOS 3200, Letter to William Adams, Director of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, November 29, 1978. Exterior samples proved that the stucco of the building was pink; the pigment composed of calcium carbonate, 118 Shepard Associates, Design Development Presentation: Restoration of the DeMesa Sanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 5. 119 Frank C. Welsh, de Mesa Sanchez House ca. 1835 St. Augustine, Florida: Microscopic Paint and Col or Analysis of Interior and Exterior to Determine the Original Architectural Surface Coatings, in De Mesa House Reports on Interior and Exterior Finishes, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, #975.9189301 Dem. V.3. UFHSA Digitization Lab. 120 R obert Stewart, The Pinking of St. George Street, Ancient City Beacon: Heritage, June 25, 1982, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 3.
137 iron oxide (yellow), Carbon (black from animal bones), and iron oxide (creating red from red ochre).121 The original finish was described as pink ashlar scored stucco, which once protected the porous coquina from moisture.122 The restored color had community members in uproar, some of whom even spray painted the building.123 Paint analysis on the interior of the building took place as well, revealing common colors of white, light and dark grays, reddish brown, and a pale green for walls, with white for first floor trim work, and dark brown stain for second floor trim.124 Interior restorations were intensive as well. Wooden floors and base boards on the first floor were ins talled over the second Spanish p eriod floors using a technique called blind nailing, making it obvious that the flooring was not original.125 Some features such as the second floor wooden floor, inverted tea tray ceilings, fireplac e mantels, and windows simply needed restoration and not replacing.126 Though controversial at times, the rest oration of the de MesaSanchez H ouse followed the best practices of preservation, many of which are still followed today. While restoring the house Hershel Shepard, Robert Stewart and countless others believed their work to to be in accord with the best practice in the field of preservation as 121 Welsh, de Mesa Sanchez House ca. 1835 St. Augustine, Florida: Microscopic Paint and Color Analysis of Interior and Exter ior to Determine the Original Architectural Surface Coatings. 122 Nolan, Florida Master Site File Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Historic Properties Inventory Form: De MesaSanchez House, B 1. 123 Shepard, Lecture at the Colonial Quarter. 124 Welsh, de Mesa Sanchez House ca. 1835 St. Augustine, Florida: Microscopic Paint and Color Analysis of Interior and Exterior to Determine the Original Architectural Surface Coatings. 125 Julie Anne Woodcock, A Report: Part I, The De Mesa Sanchez House St Augustine, Florida, February 8, 1994, in De House: Guides Manual, St. Augustine Preservation Board, UFHSA Digitization Lab, 9. 126 Shepard, Lecture at the Colonial Quarter.
138 promulgated by the National Park Service and National Trust for Historic Preservation.127Past Interpretations of the de MesaSanchez House Since the 19781980 restoration no other restorations of the de MesaSanchez H ouse have been required. Since the restoration of the de MesaSanchez H ouse was finished in 1980; the interpretation of the house has gone through many changes. This structure has been used as both a standalone house museum, as well as part of a larger museum which incorporated other buildings in the Spanish Quarter. San Agustin Antiguo (Old St. Augustine) Interpretation of the San Agustin Antiguo Spanish V illage began before the completion of de Mesa Sanchez restoration in the late 1970s. During its early stages a ticket purchased at the ticket booth located on the northwest side of St. George Street admitted visitors to all of the restored or reconstructed houses on St. George Street.128 127 Fisher and Shepard, Architects and Planners Inc., Research Report: Restoration of the DeMesaSanchez House for the St. Augustine Preservation Board, 2. By the time restorations and exhibits of the de MesaSanchez H ouse were complete in 19771982, t he San Agustin Antiguo Spanish V illage included only the Riberia House on the west s ide of St. Ge orge, the de Mesa H ouse and all reconstructions on the east side of St. George Street. Interpretation included eighteenth century Spanish colonial lifestyles with the exception of the Pellicer de Burg o House (interpreting British s tyle Architecture) and th e de Mesa H o use (interpreting the American territorial period). The 128 St. Augustine Restoration Inc., Welcome to San Agustin Antiguo (Old St. Augustine) A Restored 18th Century Spanish Village by the State of Florida St. George Street Walking To ur, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 2.
139 de MesaSanchez H ouse gave regular house tours every hour and half hour, but was the last stop for anyone touring the San Agustin Antiguo V illage.129 This project was the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board s first attempt at interpreting domestic life in Floridas American t erritorial p eriod. 130 The topics interpreted during the tour were very diverse. A slide show in the kitchen related the history of the de MesaSanchez H ouse to the history of St. Augustine and illustrated the restoration process.131 Slides in cluded pictures of the de Mesa H ouse before, during and after restoration efforts, the reconstruction of the Pellicer de Burgo House, photos from excavations, and additional photos of the preservation and research that was taking place in St. Augustine.132 Additional in terpretation within the de MesaSanchez H ouse included traditional furnishings and museum exhibits. The themes planned by Robert Stewart, curator for the St. Augus tine Preservation Board, explored the history of the house holistically, from the first Sp anish period into the American territorial period 133 129 St. Augustine Restoration Inc. Interpretive Material. San Agustin Antiguo Museum, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 2. Rooms furnished in the de Mesa House reflected the American t erritorial style and living conditions and did not re flect the story of any individual occupant. Plans for the early 1980s interpretation indicate that N eoclassical furnishings, to match the architectural details of the house, 130 Interpretive Furnishing Proposal for the De Mesa Sanchez House, 1. 131 Marsha Chance, Letter to David Scott: DeMesa House Project Proposal, July 19, 1988, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 3. 132 De Mesa House Slide Show, no date, UFDC Historic St. Augustine. 133 R. Stewart, Outline of themes, information and visual materials for deMesa exhibit, July 1981, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 1.
140 were used along with high quality vernacular furniture. Interpretive objects in the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse depicted the general characteristics of frontier life.134 Exhibits in the house told the stories of past owners and significant events of each historic period in St. Augustine, as well as information about restoration and archeology related to the site. The evolving architecture of the house that changed with each occupant was explored with graphics and a scale model, likely the one on display in room 104 today. 1351988 ReInterpretation Early interpretation also included depictions of the roles of diverse ethnic groups throughout the history of St. Augustine such as Native Americans, Menorcans and Blacks. By 1988 the St. Augustine Preservation Board decided to reinterpret the de Mesa Sanchez House. It is probable this was due parti ally to changes in the de MesaSanchez H ouse admission practices. Previously, the house was part of the San Agustin Village Museum, and now individual tickets for only the de Mesa H ouse were sold at the front entrance by the late 1980s.136 As an individual house museum, interpretation changed to more traditional methods; furnishings were used to tell the story of a specific individual or family. Interpreters felt that without this there would be no human aspect for visitors to relate to. During the initia l proposal to reinterpret the house, the St. Augustine Preservation Board did not know who lived in the house during the American territorial period. One 134 Interpretive Furnishing Proposal for the De Mesa Sanchez House, 3, 13. 135 These are the Topics that will be Presented in the deMesa exhibit, no date, UFDC Historic St. Augustine, 1. 136 Amy Bushnell, Memo to Norma Lockwood, Bill Adams, Hector Miron, Bob Steinbach, Susan Clark, Cookie O'Brien, Jimmy Smith, Gayle Prevatt, July 17, 1884, UFDC Historic St. Augustine,1.
141 suggestion was that interpreters create a scenario based upon the possibility that northern or Menorcan renters may have occupied the house at some time, interpreting only one story and one family.137 Once reinterpretation was underway historian, Susan Parker researched the previous occupants of the de MesaSanchez House. She discovered that Charles and Mary Loring lived in the house during the late 1830s, purchasing it in 1839. 138Current Interpretation The house was refurnished to depict the Lorings lifestyle. The Colonial Quarter, leased by Pat Croce and Company, opened in March 2013. The companys m ission statement outlines their goal for interpretation. To preserve, educate entertain and to interpret the story of Colonial St. Augustine spanning centuries of layered history through quality, engaging programs and the architecture and lifestyles of ou r nations oldest city; and to express through authentic and interactive museum exhibitions and immersive living history experiences the important role St. Augustine and its diverse peoples have played in the cultural and historical development of America .139 The Colonial Quarter focuses on Spanish and British Colonial Periods, interpreting the lifestyles of the Spanish, British, Native Americans, African Americans and Menorcans through the use of costumed interpreters, demonstrations, hands on activit ies and immersive dioramas.140 137 Chance, Letter to David Scott: DeMesa House Project Proposal, 23. 138 Parker, Historical Report for the Mesa Sanchez and its Owners c. 1840, 4. 139 Colonial Quarter Discover Centuries of St. Augustine: Interpretive Plan, unpublished) August 22, 2012, 3. 140 Colonial Quarter Discover Centuries of St. Augustine: Interpretive Plan, 34.
142 Within the interpretive plan, the de MesaSa nchez House is labeled British colonial and located in the 18th Century British: 14th Colony section of the museum.141 In this section the Colonial Quarter aims to interpret subj ects such as cultural diversity, colonial architecture and historic preservation.142 According to Cindy Stavely, Executive Director of the Colonial Quarter, the de Mesa H ouse interpretation currently focuses on the evolution of the de Mesa architecture.143 (Fi gure 57). Figure 5 7 Exterior of the de MesaSanchez House. Photo by author. Tour Summary The tour (taken by this author) took place on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 4:00pm to approximately 5:00pm. The tour began some distance away from the gift 141 Ibid. 5. 142 Ibid. 8. 143 Cindy, Stavely, Conference with UF Historic Preservation students in DCP 6711 and DCP 6716 at the Colonial Quarter on September 16, 2013.
143 shop, where tickets are purchased, at the Ship (X marks the spot on the museum map). Visitors are greeted by a costumed interpreter posing as Pedro Menendez a pirate who established St. Augustine on behalf of King Philip II of Spain in 1565. At this loc ation the route the Spaniards took from Spain to Florida is discussed, as well as life on the sea. Next, a child is selected to hold a small anchor and act as the ocean while Pedro Menendez discusses how a ship s speed was measured in knots. From the reconstructed ship visitors follow Pedro Menendez to the b lacksmiths shop, stopping twice to discuss tabby and coquina as important building materials in St. Augustine. While at the b lacksmiths shop Pedro Menendez gives a short demonstration o f forming iron and what would actually be made there, explaining that weapons in colonial St. Augustine could only be made at the Armory, the next stop on the visitors tour. While at the Armory visitors observe the change in weaponry throughout colonial times until a m usket demonstration is given. The strength and importance of the Castillo de San Marcos are explained here as well. From this location Pedro Menendez leads his guests to the home of a soldier, the Gallegos house; this is a reconstructed first Spanish P erio d home rebuilt by the St. Augustine Preservation Board in the 1960s. The interpreter, who was honest about the reconstruction, also discusses family life as well the influence of the Spaniards on agriculture in St. Augustine and Florida, with the introduct ion of crops such as citrus trees. From the Gallegos House the tourists move to their next location. The tour slows whi le the Gomez House is mentioned and visitors are invited to look at the printing shop after the conclusion of their tour. Outside the de Mesa Sanchez house is a cannon. At this location a cannon drill allows up to four visitors to participate, pretending to clean and ready the cannon for firing with the use of tools and a little gun
144 powder for theatrics. From here the tourists make it to th eir final stop, the de MesaSanchez House. Very little of the house is explored as part of the guided tour and visitors enter an interior exhibit room. The first owner of the house, Antonio de Mesa, and his family are discussed briefly. Pedro Menendez als o presents an exhibit illustrating the architectural changes of the house over the four historical periods in St. Augustine: the f irst Spanish p eriod, the English p eriod, the s econd Spanish p eriod and the American p eriod. At this point the tour had ended, and visitors are invited to explore the house (including the balcony that overlooks St. George Street), explore the rest of the museum, or meet their interpreter outside to answer questions. Critique of the Interpretation at the de Mesa Sanchez House Arch itecture While the exhibit in the house gives visitors a good view at how the exterior architecture of the house has changed, it was apparent that visitors were still confused about the changes as they walked through the house on their own, despite coded floor plans available in each room. For example, there were discussions about where exactly the oneroom original house would have been. Additionally, visitors cannot fully grasp the changes that occurred on the first floor because the two north rooms on the first floor (between the bedroom and the kitchen) were closed. This leaves areas such as the storage and servants rooms inaccessible, closing off portions of the second Spanish p eriod architecture. (Figure 5 8). History On the tour both Antonio de Mesa and Juan Sanchez are briefly discussed. Visitors who tour the house on their own only have the opportunity to learn about de
145 Mesa through a sign on the wall. This prevents visitors from mak ing a connection with past lifestyles, as they can learn very little about these individuals. Figure 5 8 Exhibit Room at the de MesaSanchez House. Photo by author. Furnishings Interpretive furnishings in the de MesaSanchez H ouse are not an effective tool. Room 103 is extremely confusing (Figure 59A ). This room is furnished as a bedroom. The room may have been used in such a way during de Mesas occupancy, while the Spanish Treasury was located on the second floor, or possibly in the American territorial p eriod as a boarders room but because there is no explanation, the placing of this furniture is odd. Additionally, furnishings are not telling a story. They are placed behind rope barriers and are not arranged in an educational manner. There are no everyday objects to show visitors how people lived in any of the historic periods (Figure 59 ).
146 Figure 5 9 Current Furnishings in the de MesaSanchez House. A) Furnishings in the northwest room of the de MesaSanchez House. B) Furnishings in the dining room of the de MesaSanchez House. Photos by author. Recommendations for Interpreting the de Mesa Sanchez Hou se Interpr etation of the de Mesa Sanchez H ouse has been a constant challenge. Each stewardship organization has struggled to fit an American t erritorial building into a larger Colonial setting Considering that the de Mes a H ouse is the only original historic building on the site, greater efforts should be made interpret the house to visitors. Additional challenges have arisen with engaging visitors who are not passionate about the sites history or architecture. Choosing Interpretive Subjects The first step is choosing interpretive subjects for a house museum should be carefully researching the history of the building and its occupants. A stewardship organization may choose to start with important documents on the site such as Historic A B
147 Landmark Nominations, National Register Nominations, Historic American Building Surveys, or state inventory files. It is important for organizations to understand that reading these documents should not be the extent of their research on the site. Additionally, wh en reinterpreting a site, a stewardship organization should not focus on one significant period of time predetermined by existing documentation because in doing so they will miss out on other potential subjects. Created by the author, Figure 510 provides a guide for choosing stories to interpret. This chart provides questions that each stewardship organization should ask while developing interpretive subjects. Following this chart will allow the organization to develop multiple viewpoints and topics of interest. Additionally, it allows stewardship organizations to consider how they can set themselves apart from other historic sites in their region. Upon selecting possible interpretive subjects, multiple stakeholders should be involved. Members of the m useums governing board, the executive director, interpreters, school teachers and potential visitors should be included. Surveying visitors or conducting focus groups are two ways to involve visitors. Stewardship organizations should also review their mus eums mission statement. It may be outdated, and should be rewritten to reflect the house museums goals. Lastly, if school groups visit the site, some interpretive subjects should reflect state learning standards.
148 Figure 5 10. Choosing Interpretiv e Subjects for a House Museum. Image by author.
149 Choosing Interpretive Subjects for the de Mesa Sanchez House Important people The de MesaSanchez House is not associated with any significant owners. No one who lived in the house made any major contributions to historic events, politics, social reform, science, industry or art. Lifestyles. There are several lifestyles that are reflected in the history of the de Mesa S anchez House. They include the first Spanish c olonia l, British colonial, second Spanish period colonial, and American t erritorial lifestyles. The life styles of many minority groups could be interpreted here as well. The first Spanish c olonial lifestyle is already interpreted at the Colonial Quarter at th e Gallegos House, and therefore it should not be repeated at the de Mesa House as most information would be repetitive. While the British pe riod and second Spanish period c olonial lifestyles are not interpreted at house museums in the Colonial Quarter, bot h are explained at the Oldest House. Visitors who have been to that site may not be interested in hearing the same information at the de Mesa House. The American t erritorial lifestyle is br iefly discussed at the Ximenez Fatio H ouse in St. Augustine; however, that site focuses more on tourism during that time. The de Mesa H ouse could focus on depicting lifestyles during that period, though the Colonial Quarter would need to revisit their mission statement. There are several minority lifestyles that could be i nterpreted through the de Mesa Sanchez House. One story that could be told is of the Native Americans who lived on the site while enslaved during the construction of the Castillo. The Castillo de San Marcos, a National Park Service site, does not explain the role of these Native Americans. The lifestyle of slaves in St. Augustine could also be interpreted at the de Mesa Sanchez House. The roles of slaves in the city are ignored at every historic site,
150 not only neglecting a significant portion of the towns past population, but neglecting a subject of potential visitor interest as well Three long term owners of the site, Antonio de Mesa, Joseph Stout, and Don Juan Sanchez, were all slave owners. While some slaves may not have lived at the house, in t he 1814 census the Sanchezs are listed living with ten slaves on the de Mesa property.144 Events. The de MesaSanchez house is not associated with any major historic events. Lastly, the lifestyle of the Menorcans who lived on block seven should be interpreted. Menorcans made up a large population in St. Augustin e during and after the Briti sh P eriod. Very little is interpreted on this group throughout the city. Limited information stating that the group was known as carpenters and fishermen is often explained, while the groups history as indentured servants and impact on St. Augustine is ig nored. Architecture. The architecture of the de MesaSanchez House is a fascinating subject. The house evolved with the ownership of four major owners: Antonio de Mesa, Joseph Stout, Don Juan Sanchez and James Lisk. This evolution has followed major vernacular trends, popular throughout different periods in St. Augustine history. No other site in St. Augustine has attempted to focus its interpretation on such architectural transitions. Use The de MesaSanchez house was not always used as a residence. After Florida became a state in 1845, many residences, especially on St. George Street, were transformed into commercial structures to meet the needs of northern tourists. The de Mesa Sanchez house had many uses including a grocery, barbers shop, and antique 144 Tour Outline, 8.
151 store. The commer cialization of St. George Street is not interpreted elsewhere in St. Augustine, and would be a great topic for the de Mesa House. Preservation The preservation movement in St. Augustine has an interesting past, and while some sites focus on their indivi dual preservation, no site focused on the movement as a whole. The first preservation efforts made by G.H. Bath, transforming the house into the Old Spanish Inn, provide an interesting aspect of the houses history, while allowing for comparison on how preservation has changed over time. The restoration of the de Mesa h ouse was controversial though. Preservationists such as Hershel Shepard and Robert Stewart made difficult decisions that would be applauded by professionals today. Getting the St. Augustine Preservation Board to agree that the de Mesa House should be restored to the American territorial p eriod was a task of its own, as the board pushed for recreating St. Augustines Spanish colonial past. Additionally, once restored to its American t erritoria l pink, ashlar stucco finish, the house was a target for a backlash from the community. Lastly, the colonial reconstructions on St. George Street are not interpreted anywhere else. Many visitors to the historic city do not even know they are reconstructions. The Colonial Quarter includes several of these buildings and could interpret their creation through an exhibit in the de Mesa House. Choosing Interpretive Methods Choosing which interpretive methods are right for a historic house museum is not as str aightforward as choosing its subjects. The use of multiple techniques will foster many different experiences on site. Additionally, different methods will appeal to a diverse group of visitors. Table 51 was created by the author to explore the potential o f various interpretation methods.
152 Table 5 1 Choosing Interpretive Methods for a House Museum Interpretive Methods Pros Cons Considerations Other Options Guided Tours Guided Tours allow visitors to interact with someone on site, giving them someone to ask questions of. Interpreters can also keep an eye out to ensure visitors and resources are safe. Guided tours may be ineffective if interpreters are not knowledgeable about the site. Visitors may also be frustrated if their questions go unanswered. Some visitors may be uncomfortable when forced to interact with a costumed interpreter. Interpreters should have ample training time. The most successful interpreters are those who are allowed to customize their tour based on guidelines rather than following a ridged script. Other tour types include cell phone tours, tablet tours, or a virtual tour available through the museum's website or interactive display. Interactive Displays Interactive displays give visitors something to participate in. They are also a good option when interpreting subjects not covered by a tour. Interactive displays can become damaged if used inappropriately. They are also difficult to update. An interactive display is limited in the questions it can answer based upon preprogrammed info rmation. Interactive displays give your visitor something to do on their own. They can be highor low tech. Interactive displays give visitors the option to customize their experience, especially when they are hightech. Interactive games, tours, or stori es can be put on the museum's website. They can also be made available through a smart phone app. Exhibits Visitors can choose what exhibits they want to see and how much time they want to spend at each exhibit. Exhibits are a great way to display cultural objects that may make other methods, such as tours, take up too much time. Some exhibits such as text panels are not difficult to change. Changing exhibits may encourage repeat visits. If used too often visitors may become bored by exhibits. Some high tech exhibits, such as ones that play a loop video, may be difficult to change. It may be difficult for house museums to loan or obtain items for use in changing exhibits. Text for exhibits should be written with visitors in mind. In some regions, suc h as Florida, it is essential that the text be written in both English and Spanish. Text should be easy to read, and should not use professional jargon. Some exhibits can be replaced by scale models. Some information provided in exhibits could be interpret ed through special educational events, or by adding to a tour.
153 Table 5 1 Continued Interpretive Methods Pros Cons Considerations Other Options Historic Furnishings Historic furnishings have the ability to portray how people actually lived. Historic furnishings that are original to the house aid interpretation as significant objects and may tell a story about their owner. Most visitors will not be interested in objects that do not aid a story; a few may be interested if they enjoy antiques. F urniture may do nothing but take up space that could be used for other interpretation methods. In some situations it may be better for a house to be empty than to showcase furniture that has not relevance to interpretation. It should be clear what time and lifestyles the furniture is portraying if multiple timelines are interpreted in the house. Select objects can be chosen for specific rooms to aid in storytelling or as part of an exhibit. Laser scanning, photographs, or virtual tours used on the muse um's website, hightech exhibit, or app could show visitors what the house would look like if it were furnished. Demonstrations Demonstrations are a good way for visitors to see how things were done in a specific time period. It is also a way for the interpreter to interact with the audience. Demonstrations are often given a few times during the day so if they are depended upon to heavily some visitors could miss out. The times of demonstrations should be advertised on the museum's website and brochur e so visitors can plan accordingly. Some demonstrations may require a significant amount of training for some interpreters. If staff are not available to give demonstrations, videos of demonstrations may be posted to the museum's website, or made availabl e through a QR code on site. Children's Play Areas Play areas allow children to interact and learn at the house museum. They can also keep children entertained while parents read exhibit signage. Play areas could distract other interpretation if there is too much noise. If children are not watched they could cause damage to historic resources. When creating a play area a stewardship organization should keep specific age ranges in mind. Toys, furni ture or costumes will need to be cleaned regularly. The house museum could create games for children and develop a suggested reading list. Some interactive displays could also be geared toward children.
154 Table 5. 1 Continued Interpretive Methods Pros Cons Considerations Other Options Special Educational Events Special events are a great way to encourage repeat visits to the site. They can focus on topics not addressed in everyday interpretation. They can focus on specific age ranges to be an intellectual experience for an adult, or play day for a child. Special events may become costly if enough people do not come. Special events can take place at regular intervals or can be planned throughout the year. It is important that the museum adverti se their event. There are various options for these events from guest lecturers, discussion groups, art show, plays, holiday events, play days, book talks, special tours (such as an architecture tour) and much more. The museum may be able to present speci al interpretive information through publications, editing their tour, or creating a game. House museums could also create a temporary exhibit. Museums Website The museum's website is a great way for the stewardship organization to connect with a potential visitor, or encourage further learning. They also allow for interactive activates that may be too costly to integrate on site. If a museum's website is underdeveloped people may decide not to visit. If the information on the website is the same as what is interpreted onsite, people may be disappointed when they visit. A museum website should tell visitors about the stewardship organization, and when they can visit. It should also give visitors the ability to learn more about the site than what is interpreted. This may be done through a suggested reading list, informational videos, or historic photos. The website can also allow people to play. At this point in time it is essential for every house museum to have a website, even if it just gives information about the organization and when the house is open.
155 Choosing Interpretive Methods for the de Mesa Sanchez House Guided tour Most of the Colonial Quarter site is already interpreted during the guided tour, led by a costumed interpreter. As visitors have already spent an hour experiancing this method,by the time they arrive at the de MesaSanchez House, this is likely a poor opt ion for interpreting the house. Special tours on the architecture or history of the house could be given that would not require the previous tour. However, it may be difficult to obtain enough interpreters to conduct it. Interactive displays. Interactive displays are good options for interpreting the de Mesa House. They may be useful in exploring subjects in the houses extensive history, or exploring the complicated changes that occurred to the architecture over time. They can also give families something to participate in together. There is only one other place this method is used at the Colonial Quarter, at a kiosk located next to the watch tower. Exhibits Exhibits may also be a good technique for the deMesa House. Much of the interpretation at the Colonial Quarter is constant, so changing exhibits may help develop interest and create repeat visitors. Historic furnishings. Currently historic furnishings in the de Mesa House are ineffective. This may be improved if different rooms were utilized to s howcase a specific lifestyle, though that method would likely need to be aided by an interpreter. Specific pieces could be chosen for various exhibits. For example, the St. Augstine Preservation Board aquired the Old Spanish Inn furnishings from G.H. Bath If that collection is still present at the Government House, the Colonial Quarter could loan specific pieces to create an exhibit about his preservation efforts.145 145 The Government House is where many collections of the St. Augustine Preservation Board are stored.
156 Demonstrations Originally, the Colonial Quarter was going to utilize multiple demonstrati ons onsite. This includes blacksmithing, a leathershop and the building of a Spanish ship. If enough staff were aquired to give demonstrations, they may be better placed in those areas which are currently under utilized. Demonstrations at the de Mesa Hous e may be useful, even if done on an occasional basis. Childrens play area There is currently one childrens play area at the Colonial Quarter. There is a childrens archeological dig area set up adjacent to the Spanish ship. It may be possible to set up a childrens play area in one of the north, first floor rooms. This room could have a dress up area, have replicas of toys from the American Territorial Period or have Colonial Quarter themed puzzles, books, or toys. Special educational events. There is ample opportunity for educational events at the de Mesa House and Colonial Quarter. They could include discussion groups on lifestyles not portrayed in everyday interpretation, lectures, special tours, play days, or book groups. Museum website. The Colonial Quarter has a website, through very little about the de Mesa Sanchez House is mentioned. The house is associated with the British Colonial Period section of the site, though the architecture is American Territorial. While additional informat ion could be added, there is also interactive potential such as games about the site, as well as virtual tours and historic photographs that could all aid the webs i t e in developing visitor interest. Summary The Colonial Quarter site and de MesaSanchez house have a long history associated with diverse people and lifestyles, as well as the preservation movement in St. Augustine. Planning interpretation that looks outside of strictly colonial history can
157 appeal to a wider audience. While the guided tour of the whole site functions, there is much left to be desired at the de MesaHouse. Developing different interpretive techniques and subjects can encourage visitors to stay longer and come back to the site.
158 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS Historic house museums are not reaching their full potential. Visitor numbers have been declining at these sites because stewardship organizations are not reaching their audiences through appropriate and interesting interpretation. These organizations need to look past what has traditionally been considered significant at historic sites to reach their guests on a personal level. Interpretive planning and implementation is the only way to address these issues. Stewardship organizations need to consider not o nly what they are doing now, but what they could be doing in the next five or ten years. As part of the interpretation plan, a database that includes every source that may impact interpretation should be created. This, at the very least, includes management goals, themes, and visitor profiles, and should address staffing, collection and financial needs. This database should constantly be growing as interpretation evolves on the site. By incorporating a sound understanding of a sites history along with visi tor interests and learning styles, and exploring the continuous evolution of interpretation with major stake holders, house museums can become relevant in their communities. This can be seen in the case studies explored in chapter four. While these sites have significant differences, each connects with its community through education and interpretation. Using the Framework Chapter five of this study analyzed the interpretation and history of the de MesaSanchez House at the Colonial Quarter. However, the guidelines used to make decisions about interpretive subjects and techniques could reasonably be applied to any house museum.
159 The first efforts to preserve the de Mesa House began in the mid1950s. Since that time knowledge of the sites history has b een growing. What is known about the site now encompasses over fifty years of research and interpretation. While it is unlikely that all stewardship organizations will have access to the same amount of information on their site, they should work with historians to continuously expand their knowledge. The more indepth the knowledge of a historic site becomes, the more diverse and interesting an interpretation could be. In choosing which stories to tell, interpretive organizations must look at the histor y of the site, whether that story is being told elsewhere, and how their visitors can make connections with the information presented to them. The analysis in chapter five includes a flowchart for how interpretive organizations can use information about their history to generate ideas for interpretive themes and subjects. Visitor connections are impacted by how a story is told onsite. The tangible objects, such as exhibits or furnishings, should connect with the intangible, stories and concepts presented. There are pros and cons to each interpretive method. Stewardship organizations should consider each while making decisions regarding interpretation. A variation of interpretive techniques is ideal; however, each method requires its own upkeep and training of house museum staff. While the analysis of the de Mesa House demonstrates how a stewardship organization can formulate new ideas about their interpretation, further actions should be taken for successful implementation. As ideas are generated, major s takeholders should become involved. Interpreters should consult with staff and volunteers, as they are the people who must engage with visitors. A house museums governing board,
160 foundation, and executive director should look at the logistics of hiring additional staff and the costs of creating new interpretation and reflect upon how new interpretation furthers the organizations goals and objectives. Furthermore, potential visitors should be included in the decision making process. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and existing information about visitors in the region. Local teachers should be contacted as well. If the house museum depends heavily on school group visitation, stewardship organizations should consider how changing interpretation would affect these visits. Limitations There were several limitations to this study. First, while the study attempts to address the role of interpretation plans, few interpretive materials could be obtained. Some stewardship organizations view interpreti ve plans as proprietary documents and are reluctant to share this information. Another possible reason these materials are difficult to obtain is because they encompass such large amounts of information. As explained in chapter three, some stewardship organizations create an interpretation database that includes any document influencing interpretation, as opposed to reducing the information they have into one document. Secondly, while the case studies used in this research offer a variety of house museums additional types could have been included. There is a range of styles and significant time periods represented. However, no modern house museums were included in this study. Additionally, these case studies were primarily located in the northeast and southeast regions of the United States. It is possible that by including more types of house museums, or house museums in different geographical locations, that additional interpretive subjects or techniques could have been discovered.
161 Thirdly, the analysi s in chapter five of this study does not represent the whole interpretive planning process. The research completed on the de MesaSanchez House provides a good starting point for its interpretive planning. The next step in implementing a plan would include meetings and interviews with major stakeholders. Future Research This thesis can aid stewardship organizations in the first steps to creating successful interpretation at their house museum. Using the information presented here, an organization can identify what issues their house museum is facing; begin an interpretive plan that looks current, annual and long term goals; and develop possible interpretive stories and techniques. This research could be expanded by addressing the roles of major stakeholders in the interpretive planning process. Additionally, guidelines for how and when to address each stakeholder group during the interpretive planning process would be beneficial to stewardship organizations. While interpretive planning can help house museum visitation, this may not be sufficient for all sites. Stewards hip organizations that simply cannot afford to make changes necessary may need to explore other options. In these cases research that addresses how these organizations can form partnerships with other museums, or be adaptively used as community spaces, wil l allow for the continued use of these sites by the public. Closing Remarks While there are many challenges to creating a desired visitor experience at house museums, these sites are well worth the time and effort. In many cases generations have worked t o preserve and protect the cultural heritage represented
162 though historic homes While the survival of these sites is significant so is public appreciation. By attracting visitors house museums receive funds to preserve the structure, memories and education on site. Appropriate interpretation insures future survival. E xperiencing a house museum in a meani ngful way allows visitors to gain an understanding of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.
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175 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Amber Caton was born in Rochester, New York. Amber is the daughter of Rick Caton and Heidi Caton, and has a younger sister, Brandi Caton, and younger brother, Stephen Caton. Amber graduated from Palmyra Macedon High Sch ool in 2008. Wh ile obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Kansas State University her interests in preservation grew. In the spring of 2012 Amber participated in the Kansas State submission for the National Park Services Parks for the People Competition From February until June 2012 she interned at the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office, entering site documentation into the Kansas Historic Resource Inventory. Amber began her m aster s studies a t the University of Florida in historic p reservation in fall of 2012. In the spring and summer of 2013 she took on a research position to document and analyze the repurposing of the Joaneda House at 57 Treasury Street in St. Augustine, Florida for special events and interpretation. In the summer of 2013 Amber began an Internship with the Deering Estate in Miami Dade County, creating a historic furnishing plan. In spring of 2014 she began an internship with the Bowne House in Flushing, New York creating and interpretation plan. Upon graduating with her Master in Historic Preservation, Amber hopes to continue working with interpretation and reuse issues at historic sites.