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This building is the colonial Marin-Hassett House; .
S reconstructed on its original foundations. The main -'
portion and first wing are of early Spanish masonry
-construction (the Marin house), with an attached wing,
from the English or second Spanish period reflecting -
the mixedarchitecture characteristic of the late 18th
century. (Hassett house).
The house -exemplifies an upper-class home of the
times. Made principally of coquina (a natural shell -
rock, quarried locally) it is covered inside and out
with plaster to keep out moisture. Fireplaces up -
stairs and down were added during the British occu -
pancy. The downstairs hearth is -covered with glass ,
"*:. allowing the visitor to see the earlier foundations 18
inches below the present floor level.
To appreciate the significance of this structure,
a brief account of the background of its owners may
Prove helpful. Early maps show that on this site
S stood a stone house belonging to Antonia Marin. Dur-
ing the British period (1763- 1783) the house was pur-
S chased in 1766' by a James Box, who was once the
S colonial Attorney General. Later the property came
S into the hands of Stephen Haven. When Spain regained
control- of Florida Mr. Haven, in 1785, sold to a.
Francisco Entralgo, and he to Father Thomas Has -
sett in 1787.
Thomas Hassett was an Irish priest appointed-to
serve the Minorcan colony in St. Augustine. He was
S deeply involved in the welfare of the Minorcans and"
in 1786, due to his profound interest-'in education -
took a census of the Minorcans, Italians and Greeks '
_as well as their Negro dependents, for whom he es.
: tablished the first free school in what is now the,-.
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EXHIBIT OF PRE-COLUMBIAN ART
In the three exhibition rooms on the ground floor
may be seen a display of pottery, textiles, metal -
work, stone carving, assorted ornaments, and utili-
tarian objects, found intombs. All were made before
the arrival of Europeans in the New World. The old-
est, a netted textile, dates from about 600 B. C.
Grouped according to the country where found, the
S- items represent early cultures in Peru, Ecuador,
Colombia, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Most are part
of the Restoration collection, some were lent by in -
S terested local citizens.
In the front room, in addition to the artifacts in
-'_cases and on the walls, there are two special fea-
tures: on the left in the wall-case-is a group of re-
Sproductions in miniature of the famed "San Agustin"
'K colossal stone statues from southwest Colombia in
S South America; the originals often nearly 9 feet in
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height. Beyond them is a small room in which has
been reconstructed a replica of a tomb of the Paracas
culture from the south coast, of Peru, complete with
The center room features in the large case some
gold, silver, and copper jewelry and ornarnents,all
very old, from Ecuador.
The rear gallery contains a variety of stone statu-
ettes from Costa Rica, carved in lava rock. Of in-
terest to the ladies are two sewing and weaving kits
--small baskets found in women's graves, surroun-
ded by their original contents: like the framed tex-
tile fragments on the Walls, these are from ancient
Contemporary "Popular Arts"
of the Latin American countries.
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The reconstructed Marin -Hass'ett House serves
S-today as a.Pan American Museum.- Purchase of the,,
site and rebuilding of the dwelling were achieved-"
through the generous donations of American corpora- -
tions doingbusiness in LatinAmerica. Their express- .-
desire for use of the building was to exhibit art ob -
jects from all Latin American countries.
The garden to the south is in the fashion seen in
both Spain and Latin America, linking the building
to the Spanish Exhibition Center across the street. ;
The area is designedand landscapedasa small plaza
called a "plazoleta". The dominating feature is the
statue of Queen Isabella in the center, sculptured by -
Anna Hyatt Huntington whose interest in the Hispanic
-world is well known. The statue and garden symbo -Z
lize the link of Spain, the mother country, with her -,
erstwhile colonies. The garden has been made pos- .-- .%
sible by -the generosity of the late. Mrs. Alfred I.
duPont, supplemented by contributions from garden
clubs and other organizations. The landscaping-was :
accomplished by the Women's Garden Clubs of Flor -
; ;ida. _In the late 18th century a vegetable plot and or -
chard occupied this land, cultivated by Father
Art exhibits of Hispanic origin are housed in the
b: -building the year round. Those on the ground floor '
Share changed periodically (see insert), but the dis i
Splay.of Spanish colonial painting, sculpture, and
minor arts on.the second floor is semi- permanent. -.
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Upstairs the first room which the visitor enters ';
,. contains a Spanish antique wedding-gift rug and leather
: '-." covered travel-trunk. Surrounding them on the walls "2
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and in niches are polychromedwooden religious sta -
tues and oil paintings from Mesdco and Guatemala, '
dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. In the cor -
ner opposite the entrance stands the figure of St.
SAugustine, after whom this city was named.
The second room contains a showcase of assorted
LatinAmerican colonialartifacts, also from the 17th
;r.*,- to 19th centuries, plus more religious statues and
S paintings from Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. All are
.-.' -products of local craftsmen in those countries, fol-
lowing techniques .used byartists in the mother coun-
-try of Spain.
" .. ..
Owned by: St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.
S HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE
Division of Cultural Affairs
''i- Department of State
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