Historic sites and buildings survey of St. Augustine, FL

Material Information

Historic sites and buildings survey of St. Augustine, FL
Adams, William R.
Steinbach, Robert H.
Scardaville, Michael C.
Nolan, David
Weaver, Paul L.
Place of Publication:
St. Augustine, Fla.
Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board
Publication Date:


This project was made possible by funds and services provided by Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, City of St. Augustine, County of St. Johns, St. Augustine Historical Society, National Park Service, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Comprehensive Employment Training Act.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text




William R. Adams

Robert H. Steinbach

Michael C. Scardaville

David Nolan

Paul L. Weaver

October, 1980






Clerical Assistance:

Michael C. Scardaville

Michael C. Scardaville
William R. Adams
David Nolan
Paul Weaver
Karen Harvey
Roberta Butler
Joseph Gushanas
Michael DeStefano
H.H. Stackhouse

Brian Bowman
Thomas Price

Robert H. Steinbach
Les Thomas

Judith Kelley
Nancy Lantz
Vera Hancock
Karen Carpenter
Beverly Stuart
Janet Holcomb
Elizabeth Galipeau

This project was made possible by funds and services provided by:

Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board

Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service

City of St. Augustine

County of St. Johns

St. Augustine Historical Society

National Park Service, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Comprehensive Employment Training Act


Acknowledgements . . . . . . . ... . . . v

Survey Criteria . . . . . . . . ... ...... vii

Survey Method . . . . . . . ... . . . . x

Cultural Resource Management in St. Augustine . . . . . 1

Developmental History of St. Augustine . . . . . ... 19

Built Environmnent of St. Augustine . . . . . . ... 62

St. Augustine in 1980 . . . . . . . .... . 62

Area Analysis of the Built Environment. . . . . ... 79

Analysis of St. Augustine Architecture . . . . ... .128

Architectural Site Maps . . . . . . . . ... .. .181

Recommendations . . . . . . . . ... . . . 204

Appendices . . . . . . . . ... ....... 214

I. Inventory of Buildings . . . . . . . ... .217

II. Inventory of Structures . . . . . . . ... .377

III. Inventory of Objects . . . . . . . . .. 378

IV. Inventory of Historical Sites . . . . . . .. 380

Bibliography . . . . . . .... . . . . . 381



Historical Base Maps

First Spanish Period (1565-1763) . . . .

Second Spanish Period Land Grants (1784-1821).

Territorial-Early Statehood Period (1821-1865)

Pre-Flagler Period (1865-1885) . . . .

Flagler Era (1885-1904). . . . . . .

Early Twentieth Century (1904-1917) . . .

Early Twentieth Century (1917-1930) . . .

Geo-historical Areas. . . . . . . .

. . . . . 20

. . . . . 22

. . . . . 25

. . . . . 28

. . . . . 30

. . . . . 32

. . . . . 33

. . . . . 80


A survey of this scope certainly involves the hard work and dedication

of many St. Augustinians. Aside from the professional staff of the Historic

St. Augustine Preservation Board and the specialists employed to under-

take some aspects of this project, the survey benefited from the full

cooperation of the people and agencies of the community. The staff and

directors of the St. Augustine Historical Society, especially Mrs. Jacqueline

Bearden, were always forthcoming with their time and with their knowledge

of St. Augustine's past and always opened their magnificent research collec-

tion to the survey research staff. It would not be inaccurate to state

that without the assistance of the Historical Society, the rich and vast

cultural resources of St. Augustine would not have been as comprehensively

and intensively documented as they were in this survey. Special recognition

and much appreciation is owed to Mr. Luis R. Arana, Historian at the

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, who kindly opened his research

files to the project coordinator.

Thanks are also due to the Office of the Circuit Court, in particular

Mr. Oliver Lawton, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and Mr. Hiram Faver, the

former clerk, who were always patient with our questions and incessant

research demands. The Tax Assessor's Office, moreover, was kind enough

to make its records available to the survey staff on an as-need basis.

City personnel and agencies also earned our appreciation, in particular

Mr. Bobby Jones and Mr. Alfred Triay of the Public Works Department, and

Mr. Jim Banks of the Building, Inspection, and Code Enforcement Department.

Mr. Tom King, editor of the St. Augustine Record, has been an invaluable

supporter of the survey and gleefully published information and historical

articles generated by the project. Community awareness of the survey is

due in large part to Mr. King and his professional staff. Mrs. Jeanette

Perrin, reporter for the Independent Traveler and ardent supporter of

local preservation activities, also kindly published several articles on

the survey and some research findings.

The people of St. Augustine deserve special mention here, for with-

out their support, this survey would have been far more difficult to do.

Many St. Augustinians opened their homes and shared information with us

about their houses and neighborhoods. By doing so, they added another

dimension to our knowledge of the Ancient City.

Michael C. Scardaville
September 1980


All surveys conducted in association with the Division of Archives,

History, and Records Management utilize the criteria for placement of

historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places as a basis

for site evaluations. In this way, the survey results can be used as an

authoritative data bank for those agencies required to comply with federal

preservation regulations. The criteria are worded in a subjective manner

in order to provide for the diversity of resources in the United States.

The following is taken from criteria published by United States Department

of the Interior to evaluate properties for possible inclusion in the

National Register.

Criteria for Evaluation

The quality of significance in Americanhistory,
architecture, archaeology, and culture is present in
districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects
that possess integrity of location, design, setting,
materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

(A) that are associated with events that
have made a significant.contribution
to the broad patterns of our history;

(B) that are associated with the lives of
persons significant in the past; or

(C) that embody the distinctive characteris-
tics of a type, period, or method of con-
struction, or that represent the work of
a master, or that possess high artistic
values, or that represent a significant
and distinguishable entity whose components
may lack individual distinction; or

(D) that have yielded, or may be likely to
yield, information important in pre-
history or history.

Certain properties shall not ordinarily be considered
for inclusion in the National Register. They include
cemeteries, birthplaces or graves of historical figures,


properties owned by religious institutions or used for
religious purposes, structures that have been moved from
their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings,
properties primarily commemorative in nature, and pro-
perties that have achieved significance within the past fif-
ty years. However, such properties will qualify if they
are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria
or if they fall within the following categories:

(A) a religious property deriving primary
significance from architectural or
artistic distinction or historical im-
portance; or

(B) a building or structure removed from its
original location but which is significant
primarily for architectural value, or
which is the surviving structure most im-
portantly associated with a' historic person
or event; or

(C) a birth place or grave of a historical
figure of outstanding importance if there
is no appropriate site or building directly
associated with his productive life; or

(D) a cemetery which derives its primary
significance from graves of persons of
transcendent importance, from age, from
distinctive design features, or from
association with historic events; or

(E) a reconstructed building when accurately
executed in a suitable environment and
presented in a dignified manner as part
of a restoration master plan, and when no
other building or structure with the same
association has survived; or

(F) a property primarily commemorative in intent
if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value
has invested it with its own historical
significance; or

(G) a property achieving significance within the
past fifty years if it is of exceptional

The Division of Archives, History, and Records Management utilizes

these same criteria in a somewhat less restrictive manner in selecting

sites to be placed in the Florida Master Site File. This allows the office

to record more sites of purely state and local significance than normally


would be included in the National Register. It should be pointed out

that the Florida Master Site File is not a state historic register, but

an inventory which is intended for use as a planning tool and as a central

repository of archival data on the physical remains of Florida's history.

Each individual site file in the Florida Master Site File could become

a permanent archival record upon the loss of, or irreversible damage to,

that particular site.

Because of the extent of the cultural resources of St. Augustine,

the survey staff decided to survey all extant buildings within the corpo-

rate limits of the city that, regardless of integrity, appear on the 1930

Sanborn map. One factor prompting this fifty-year rule was the need for

the city-appointed Historic Architectural Review Board to have architectural

and historical information on any building within the city before ruling

on a demolition permit. The majority of post-1930 buildings surveyed

were historic reconstructions in the Spanish or British Colonial style,

important contributions to the colonial ambiance of certain areas of the

old city. Other more contemporary buildings merited research because of

their architectural and/or historical significance. Master Site File forms

also were completed on those historical structures and objects that add to

the totality of the built environment.


In accordance with the survey criteria, 2,406 buildings, 17 structures,

and 21 objects were surveyed in the course of the two-year project. Each

was visited by either an historic sites specialist or an architectural

historian who filled in the architectural portion of the state Master

Site File form approved by the Florida Division of Archives, History

and Records Management. This portion includes the names of the architect

and builder, which in almost every instance was unknown, the style of

the building, and a detailed architectural description. The condition

and integrity of the building were also noted, as were any threats

to it, and at least one photograph was taken. Additionally, the legal

description, address, zoning, and name of owner of each building was

entered on the form. The field investigators also completed forms on a

number of historical structures and objects located throughout the community.

The effort to identify the historical associations of the buildings,

structures, and objects in a city so rich in heritage constituted a signifi-

cant portion of the survey. Historical research concentrated on three

major areas of study: subdivision development from colonial through modern

times, association of prominent people, social groups, and organizations

with individual buildings or neighborhoods, and construction or erection

date of buildings, structures, and objects. St. Augustine possesses a

vast documentary collection, and its accessibility in local repositories

like the St. Augustine Historical Society and the St. Johns County Court-

house facilitated research.

In most cases, historical maps and perspectives provided the basis

for determining the construction dates. The 1764 Puente and 1788 Rocque

maps were the most frequently consulted colonial maps, as were the 1833

anonymous and 1859-60 Dorr maps for the Territorial and Early Statehood

years (1821-1865). Two bird's-eye views, those of 1885 and 1894, provided

considerable information on construction dates and neighborhood develop-

ment, but it was the comprehensive series of ten Sanborn maps (1884-1958)

that provided most of the dates. In addition, research in colonial and

American deed records yielded some information on the construction of

buildings of pre-Civil War origin, and when documentary sources failed,

the study of architectural details made it possible to approximate the

age of these older buildings. The oral tradition about the age of various

structures invariably proved incorrect in those cases where it was possible

to check it against documentary evidence, with the oral tradition main-

taining an older date. As a result of all this research, a range of

possible dates for most structures was established, and for some an exact

year was determined. This information was included on the survey form

in the appropriate place, with either the exact date or the date at the

higher end of the date range being entered. In the latter case the en-

tire date range was included in the statements of significance. In the

few cases where it proved impossible to establish a solid date range, an

approximate date was entered with a c. for circa before it.

A total of forty city directories from 1885 to the present provided

much of the information about the historical associations of the building

as well as, in the case of early directories, the racial composition of

developing neighborhoods. The local newspapers and the seasonal social

tabloid, the Tatler, were excellent sources of site and building informa-

tion, although lack of time precluded newspaper research after 1901 and

Tatler research after 1908. These sources certainly can be exploited in

future research on the early twentieth century. The biographical files

of the St. Augustine Historical Society likewise yielded considerable

data on prominent people in St. Augustine's past.

Subdivision developmental studies touched upon a wide range of more

specific topics, including neighborhood histories and land use studies.

Colonial maps offered the first glimpse of land use patterns outside the

urban area, and Colonial and Territorial deed and legal records, such as

the Escrituras in the East Florida Papers, American State Papers, and

Spanish Land Grants in Florida, were the principal sources on late colonial

land grants. Landholding patterns were traced through platting dates in

two sources in the St. Johns County Courthouse: Deed Records and Subdivi-

sion Map Books. Newspapers, city directories, Sanborn maps, bird'.s-eye

views, the Tatler, and historic photographs, most of which are stored

at the St. Augustine Historical Society, all provided pieces to the over-

all study of subdivision and neighborhood development.

The results of the architectural and historical research were in-

corporated into a series of neighborhood histories as well as into state-

ments of significance on individual Master Site File forms. The archi-

tectural and historical significance of each building was treated separately,

although a description of the architectural character of the neighborhood

and the historical evolution of the subdivision were also included in the

statement of significance in order to place each building into its larger

historical and architectural context. Moreover, every scrap of historical

data in all statements has been footnoted, a necessary dimension in a town

where the writing and portrayal of history are essential to its continued

existence as a legitimate historical shrine.

For the purpose of easy reference, information on the style, date,

and condition of the surveyed sites was entered onto maps of the areas

covered. Symbols were used to represent the style, condition, and

chronological period of each building, with the history of St. Augustine


being divided into six periods for this purpose. These are: Colonial

(1702-1821), Territorial-Early Statehood (1821-1865), Pre-Flagler

(1865-1885), Flagler Era (1885-1904), Early Twentieth Century (1904-1930),

and Contemporary (1930-present). By placing each building into one of

these periods, it was hoped that the maps would exhibit the physical growth

of the city through its various social and economic phases.



Historic preservation is an imprecise term whose meaning embraces

the identification, protection, enhancement, and even interpretation of

a community's architectural, archaeological, and historic resources.

The phrase "cultural resource management" more appropriately describes

the process that we have, through usage, familiarly associated with

historic preservation in St. Augustine. Cultural resource management

has, consciously or unconsciously, been practiced here for more than two

centuries. In the American context, that is a very long time, be-

fitting the nation's oldest city. The experience of St. Augustine in

treating its cultural resources has not been unique, however. Like

other aspects of the city's historical development and architectural

growth, the concern for its cultural resources, and efforts to protect

them, chronologically accompanied the national experience.

Europeans occupied St. Augustine 415 years ago. Aboriginal

Indians inhabited the area for centuries before the Spanish conquerors

arrived. Documentary and archaeological evidence of both occupations

exists in abundant measure. Middens and other archaeological features

testify to the existence within the city of numerous Indian camp sites

and villages. Despite the intensive occupation of the little town for

the past four centuries the archaeological evidence of the earliest

Spanish settlers remains, to a large degree, surprisingly intact.

The architectural legacy of the city's past is much younger,

testimony to the impermanent quality of the earliest structures and to

St. Augustine's troubled history. The oldest surviving structure is

the venerable Castillo de San Marcos, constructed in the late seventeenth

century. Every other remaining colonial building originated some time

after 1702, when the British visited destruction on the city. Yet to

the extent that any evidence of so lengthy a period of intensive occu-

pation remains in a location that has experienced every imaginable

form of human and natural impairment indicates that some form of

cultural resource management has persisted over the centuries.

For the past fifty years efforts to identify, protect and preserve

the city's cultural resources have been assiduously pursued. Con-

troversy and misunderstanding have often surrounded those efforts.

Part of the usefulness of history is that it offers a perspective of

the present. Attitudes that developed over time shape our responses

today to the problems and challenges of managing the cultural resources

around us. It is accordingly instructive to review the history of St.

Augustine's historic resources.

Vestiges of the First Spanish Colonial Period (1565-1764) remain

today in St. Augustine in the form of the town plan originally laid

out by Governor Canzo in the late sixteenth century, and in the narrow

streets and balconied houses that mark "the St. Augustine style,"

which has attracted the notice of Anglo-Saxon visitors for more than

two centuries. That any buildings, even in greatly altered form, re-

main from that period is due primarily to the use for the first time

of masonry..materials,coquina and tabby, in construction. Wars, fire,

weather, and insects assured predominantly wooden houses in St. Augustine

a relatively short life. The more prosperous residents and the govern-

ment officials who built houses or office buildings in the eighteenth

century located them in the central part of town, close to the fortress.

Houses on the perimeter of the settlement were made of wood and consigned

to a short life.

Every remaining colonial period structure in St. Augustine has

undergone considerable change. This process began with the arrival

of the English in 1764. The St. Augustine Style did not appeal to the

English eye in the eighteenth century. The Spanish "consulted conven-

ience more than taste," wrote one English observer in 1769.1 Bernard

Romans complained in 1775 about the narrow streets, described the

church as "a wretched building," and regarded the town as "a fit re-

ceptacle for the wretches of inhabitants."2 The English accordingly

exhibited no esthetic compunction about altering the buildings to suit

their habits of domestic comfort, introducing glass windows, interior

fireplaces and of course, chimneys which they pushed through the roofs.

What they did not change they destroyed. John Bartram reported two

years after the arrival of the English that half the town had been torn

down for firewood.

For the first but surely not the last time St. Augustine was sub-

jected to the cultural bias that characterizes Anglo-Saxon opinion of

the Spanish and their works. In historiography this has been called

the "leyenda negra" or "black legend", a thesis propagated for centuries

by anti-Spanish historians, writers, and political leaders which holds

essentially that the Spanish administration of the Americas was oppres-

sive, corrupt and evil. The black legend provided a useful argument

for arousing the popular sentiment of Englishmen against the Spanish,

their rivals in the centuries' long struggle for supremacy of the New

World. Americans acquired the bias along with the language and culture

of the English. As we will see, anti-Spanish themes continued to

pervade the attitudes of Americans long after the Spanish and English

had departed. The black legend persists today in various forms, in-

cluding the tendency of historians to diminish the role of Spain in the

settlement and development of the United States.

In 1784 the Spanish returned to St. Augustine, which they continued

to occupy until 1821, when the United States acquired possession of

Florida. The first Spanish governor of that last colonial epoch found

the city in shambles, with "nothing presenting itself to the eye any-

where except roofless buildings on the point of falling, or, already

fallen, to the ground."5 In their remaining years the Spanish over-

lords of the city made a sizeable contribution to its architectural

legacy. The government constructed the impressive Basilica Cathedral

in the 1790's and residents built a number of substantial homes. St.

Augustine was still an outpost on the frontier's edge, but the frontier

was growing and fortunes were being made by residents engaged in trade

and commerce. There were about 200 houses in the city in 1796 and

300 when the Spanish departed for the last time in 1821.

Despite the considerable activity, the town retained the basic

configuration of Governor Canzo's plan and it continued to exhibit the

architectural characteristics that attracted Anglo-Saxon notice. Ex-

cept for the substantial dwellings of rich merchants and government

officials, much of the town reflected the rawness and temporary qualities

of a frontier village. The first American surveyor to enter the town

found it a "ruinous, dirty, and unprepossessing" place and he condemned

the Spanish for causing its "decay."6 Buildings soon began to suffer

from neglect. Abandoned mansions were often cannibalized for materials

used in building other structures.

A local minister, the Reverend Sewell, wrote about St. Augustine

that it "wears a foreign aspect to the eye of the American. Ruinous

buildings, of antique and foreign model...and a rough, tasteless ex-

terior...awaken a sense of discomfort and desolation in the mind of a

stranger." He said that the view of the city from a distance, entering

the harbor, "is decidedly pleasing. Its deformities - the narrow

streets, dilapidated buildings, with their projecting balconies -

are lost to the eye in the distance." He held out hope for a change

in the town more to his liking. "This ancient city is being transformed

into American features, both in its external appearances and customs of

the people."

A Baptist minister who visited the city in 1844 concluded that

St. Augustine "seems destitute of all ideas of civilized architecture"

and that the old Spanish homes, which he called "rat castles" were "only

fit for owl nests." Another visitor from the north estimated that there

were no more than a dozen residences in the town that "would be con-
sidered comfortable" in the north. According to most antebellum obser-

vers, only the poverty of the community saved many colonial houses from


A reversal of opinion occurred after the Civil War. A leisure

class developed with the money and appetite for travel. Many northern

contributors to the books and magazines which fed that appetite dis-

covered exotic virtue in St. Augustine. In a typical article titled

"Our Ancient City," one writer described St. Augustine as "a place of

more interest than any spot this continent contains. Here was Chris-

tianity first was held the ancient Spanish colonial court,

with its lords and ladies of high degree; and they tell me the buildings

still remain that echoed to the tread of knights in armor 300 years ago.

Here sir, is now a foreign city, at this day, with a foreign language

and customs in the possession of our great Yankee union. It is a won-

der sir, a great wonder! We keep it to show our sneering European

visitors, who say we have no past.... It has its ancient story, which

it has preserved in an unadulterated state."10

By the late part of the century the St. Augustine style, with its

walls abutting the street, overhanging balconies, and narrow streets,

had become a familiar theme in travel magazines and brochures. Buildings

were no longer described as dilapidated, but were now termed "quaint".

A typical comment was offered by Harriet Beecher Stowe: "The aspect of

St. Augustine is quaint and strange, in harmony with its romantic his-

tory. It has no pretensions to architectural richness and beauty; and

yet it is impressive from its unlikeness to any thing else in America.

It was as if some little, old, dead-and-alive Spanish town...had broken

loose, floated over here, and got stranded on a sand-bank."11

The site which attracted greatest attention was, then as now, the

Castillo de San Marcos, called Ft. Marion by its military owners. A

travel writer, Edward King, indignantly reported in 1875 that there had

been talk of demolishing the two-centuries old castle to make way for a

railway terminal. "Such vandalism would be a disgrace to us," he wrote

"the fort should be tenderly clung to."12 Although the magnificent fort

escaped outright destruction it suffered at the hands of tourists who

chipped away at its sentry boxes and portals for souvenirs., One observ-

er complained in 1886 that if some sort of protection were not estab-

lished the fort would disappear like "the relics of Mt. Vernon."13

The comparison with Washington's birthplace is intriguing, for only a

few years before Mt. Vernon had been the object of an early preservation


The economic potential of St. Augustine's historic sites became

apparent. "With a little enterprise on the part of the whole community,

St. Augustine can be made one of the most attractive of American cities,"
one writer observed in 1871.14 Such enterprise was not long in coming.

In the 1880's entreprenuer Henry Flagler made St. Augustine the southern

terminal for his railroad and, to accommodate the visitors it carried

in, built two large hotels. Flagler inaugurated a period of economic

prosperity fed by construction and tourism. Many of the wealthy people

who spent the winters in Flagler's splendid Moorish revival hotels built

homes for themselves in the city, creating fine examples of the pictur-

esque styles that dominated turn of the century architecture. Some,

like Flagler's hotels, were designed by prominent or soon-to-be promi-

nent architects.

The theme of industrial America was, as it still is, "progress,"

synonymous with "new." There was little sympathy for the cultural rem-

nants of the past unless they could be economically exploited. Some

surviving colonial structures were razed to make way for the buildings

constructed during the prosperous Flagler era. A part of one archi-

tectural legacy made way for another. An enemy even more ruinous was

fire. Widespread destruction resulted from conflagrations in 1887 and

1914. By the early twentieth century only some 50 of the 300 colonial

era buildings remained in the city. But an appreciation of the economic

and cultural value of St. Augustine's historic resources had developed.

This became evident in 1907 when a women's group successfully defeated

an attempt by the city to demolish the stone gate portals which stood

at the northern entrance to St. George Street. Interestingly, the

incident followed by less than a year congressional approval of the 1906

Antiquities Act, the first piece of national historic preservation legis-


The St. Augustine Historical Society, destined to serve for decades

as the historical conscience of the city, at this time began to involve

itself in cultural resource management. The initial objective of the

Society,formed in 1883, was to gather documents, maps, and books relating

to the city's history. Its collections have become an indispensable

source for the study of East Florida history in general and St. Augustine

in particular. The holdings were crucial to this survey. But the Society

also worked to preserve historic resources. One of its first acts was

to issue an appeal to the Secretary of War to take urgent action to pre-

serve Ft. Matanzas, a seventeenth century fortress astride the Matanzas

River, about 11 miles south of St. Augustine.5 Today Fort Matanzas is

a national monument, protected and maintained by the National Park Service.

In this period, the Society also began interpretive activities, securing

space in the Castillo de San Marcos where it set up a small historical

exhibit. It maintained the exhibit for 20 years, relinquishing the duty

in 1936 when the National Park Service took over management of the Castillo.

The most ambitious part of the Society's cultural resource manage-

ment activities has been the acquisition and rehabilitation of threatened

historic buildings and sites. This it began in 1918 with purchase of the

Alvarez House (Oldest House), which the Society still possesses and where

it continues to maintain an exhibit of St. Augustine history. Adjacent

to the museum is the Society's library. In subsequent years the Society

has purchased a number of other properties whose preservation it assured

through restrictive covenants attached to them on resale. In its annual

report for the year 1928 the Society's president emphasized its deter-

mination to continue preserving the city's historic landmarks in addition

to disseminating knowledge of St. Augustine's history.16

An appeal from the Society to the City Commission in 1929 for an

appropriation to maintain old cemeteries and "properly certified land-

marks" was refused.7 Preservation of the city's many historic sites

was self-evidently beyond the Society's limited means. Unfortunately,

the task was also beyond the means of even the city.

The Williamsburg restoration program, begun in 1923 under the

auspices of John D. Rockefeller, provided inspiration for the rescue of

historic sites. In 1935 St. Augustine Mayor Walter B. Fraser instigated

organization of a national committee to formulate plans to save what re-

mained of the physical history of St. Augustine and to develop its his-

toric and natural resources. Fraser approached the Carnegie Institution

of Washington to underwrite the effort. A preliminary meeting of a

national committee on October 26, 1936 in Washington discussed under-

taking a historic survey of the city. The committee reported that "the

historic setting should be faithfully preserved to the extent which

documentary evidence and other reliable data and research will permit."

A subcommittee was formed to provide information on the early history

of the city and to begin archaeological excavations. Fraser and the

President of the Carnegie Institution, John C. Merriam, agreed to or-

ganize a staff whose main purpose would be to direct and conduct the

survey. A second subcommittee was formed to develop recommendations

for future efforts.18

Verne Chatelain, formerly Chief Historian and Acting Director

of the Branch of Historic Sites and Buildings of the National Park

Service, was selected to direct the survey as a research associate on the

staff of the Carnegie Institution. The subcommittee that was to direct the

survey included prominent national scholars. In addition to Merriam and

Chatelain were Dr. Waldo Leland, Dr. Herbert Bolton and Dr. Francis Lingelbach.

Financing of the study was to be provided by the Carnegie Institution,

the City of St. Augustine, and the Works Projects Administration (WPA).19

The objective of the Carnegie-sponsored program was to "restore"

St. Augustine along the lines of the Williamsburg model. In the words

of Chatelain, the program was designed to reveal the life history of the

city and to translate the results into a plan of physical development.

Chatelain, who hoped to make St. Augustine a laboratory of history, ob-

served that the preservation of landmarks, narrow streets, and the

general picturesqueness of the City had been much discussed. "But one,

by one, we have seen ancient landmarks vanish. Streets have been widened

to take care of the modern demands of traffic. Apprehension and alarm

mark the attitude of all to cherish the ancient aspect of St. Augustine."20

The Committee began its work with a survey and collection of docu-

mentary materials in the National Archives in Washington and called for

the collection of East Florida Papers, or Spanish documents relating to

the early history of the area. Pictures and photographs were gathered

and photographs were made of existing historic buildings in the city.

A tentative bibliography of archaeological materials was compiled.

Chatelain pointed out that no reconstruction work could be done without

prior archaeological investigation of the site. Notes were taken on

interesting structural remains, including wells, arches, gardens, walls,

chimneys and so forth.

In 1936 the WPA established two historic surveys in St. Augustine.

The first of these was an historical records survey, a search nationwide

for records pertaining to the history of St. Augustine. The second was

a state archives survey, an effort to discover records throughout the

State of Florida pertaining to its history. Chatelain planned to incor-

porate results of these studies into his own survey.

Dr. Lingelbach declared that the study of history should not ignore

the recent past. He said that the Flagler era was part of a "fundamental

economic and sociological development in American history," and he urged

preservation of documents and architectural remnants of that era.

W.J. Winter, a former National Park Service archaeologist assigned to the survey

in St. Augustine, said that his survey was only the beginning of a

systematic study of archaeology in St. Johns County. "A complete his-

torical survey could include in its archaeological phase complete studies

of mounds and village sites," he said, adding that there were interesting

numbers of village sites in the city itself.21

World War II interrupted the ambitious program before it got much

beyond the planning stage. Very little physical work had been accom-

plished, although the city had enacted an ordinance to protect historic

landmarks. The ambitious research effort produced little. The histor-

ical findings were largely presented in a book written by Chatelain,

The Defenses of Spanish Florida. The archaeological program produced

no report and its data was scattered and lost. The most significant

result of the 1930's effort was the State of Florida's endorsement of

the restoration concept. In 1937 the Florida Legislature approved a

special act granting the County of St. Johns and the cities and sub-

divisions in it the power of eminent domain to protect historic sites

and landmarks. In the same session the legislature appropriated $50,000

to the St. Augustine Historical Preservation and Restoration Commission

for the purpose of acquiring, preserving, and maintaining historic
sites.22 The basis for strong state support of a cultural resource

management program in St. Augustine had been established.

Despite protests from members of the St. Augustine Historical

Society, federal highway planners in 1947 approved a scheme to construct

a four-lane highway along the bayfront, closely skirting the Castillo de

San Marcos. That was but one of the developments in a new era of fast

physical growth that threatened the remnants of the City's colonial past.

The Society purchased three colonial buildings in the early 1950's to

prevent their destruction. Notably, in 1951 it also became a member of

the National Council for the Preservation of Historic Sites and Buildings.23

Additional restoration and preservation efforts proceeded slowly.

The moribund Commission permitted a part of the state appropriation to

be used for restoration of the Llambias House, which was completed in

1955. With celebration of the city's quadricentennial anniversary but

a decade away, however, city officials and civic leaders called upon the

Governor of Florida, LeRoy Collins, for assistance in reviving the re-

storation concept of the 1930's and providing state support and direction

for the program. Working within the framework of the Florida Parks and

Memorials Association, Governor Collins named a special advisory committee

chaired by historian A. Curtis Wilgus to present recommendations to him.

The committee, which included Verne Chatelain, suggested a program that

resulted in legislation creating the St. Augustine Historical Restoration

and Preservation Commission, signed into law by Governor Collins on
June 19, 1959.24 This was the first major historic preservation agency

created in the state and was designed to exercise responsible management

of historic and archaeological resources that the blue ribbon committee

deemed to possess unique state and national value.

The statute provided for a seven-member board appointed by the

Governor "to acquire, restore, preserve, maintain, reconstruct, repro-

duce, and operate for the use, benefit, education, recreation, enjoyment,

and general welfare" of the people the "historical and antiquarian sites"

in St. Augustine and its environs. A governmental reorganization act in

1968 renamed the Commission the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board

and placed it under the administrative auspices of the Florida Depart-
ment of State.2

Employing the concepts formulated by the Carnegie-sponsored commis-

sion and using some of its research materials, the state commission pro-

posed to conduct a program of restoration or reconstruction of colonial

and territorial structures throughout the central part of the city.

Work in its early years was hastened to prepare for the 1965 celebration

of the city's founding. Historical and archaeological research conducted

by the staff and through cooperative programs with the University of

Florida and Florida State University located the foundations of colonial

buildings and provided the documentary basis for reconstruction or restor-

ation work. The Commission itself visited historic towns such as Williams-

burg and Old Sturbridge to gain familiarity with tested methods and ob-

jectives for a program of restoration.

In its first decade, the Commission and the St. Augustine Restoration

Foundation, Inc., a privately funded organization formed expressly to

participate in the restoration program, acquired 34 parcels of land on

which they restored or reconstructed 29 buildings. Those efforts were,

however, only part of the total number of such projects completed through-

out the city. A number of residents and private business organizations,

inspired by the concept, undertook projects of their own.

Interpretation of the historic sites that it developed in the first

decade of its existence became a focal point of the state agency's effort

in its second ten years. Still the restoration program continued and

between 1975 and 1980 five buildings, comprising a major section of the

east side of north St. George Street, were restored or reconstructed.

The number of such projects that have been completed within the city since

the inception of the program in 1959 is at this time close to 50.

In 1971, the Preservation Board succeeded in placing the portion

of the town that lies within the old walled city on the National Regis-

ter of Historic Places as a Landmark District. The City of St. Augustine

shortly after created five municipal historic districts and enacted an

ordinance to control architectural modifications and govern commercial

uses of buildings within them.

Throughout the two decades of intensive physical activity, research

continued and knowledge about historic sites and buildings in the city

accumulated. Archaeological investigation of the Arrivas House, the

first project undertaken by the state commission, was conducted by Hale

Smith of Florida State University. Dr. Smith's work established a precedent

for accurate research to support restoration efforts. In the early

1970's Dr. Charles Fairbanks of the University of Florida applied the "back-

yard archaeology" concept to study of the city's history, attempting to

define the lifestyles and social-habits of colonial residents. Since

then numerous sites have been excavated under the direction of Dr.

Kathleen Deagan, who has annually conducted the Florida State University

archaeological field school in St. Augustine, working in cooperation

with the Preservation Board and the St. Augustine Restoration Foundation,

Inc. One auger survey was conducted in 1976 and another in 1978 in an

attempt to define the location of early settlements.26

A similar systematic study of the city's architecture was needed.

While the work of restoration had focused on the colonial structures

in the city, including the research efforts of the Carnegie Institution,

there exist in the city hundreds of buildings and sites constructed

after 1821 that in most other municipal contexts would have excited pre-

servation activity. Moreover, efforts by the city's Historic Architec-

tural Review Board, formed in 1974, to enforce the municipal ordinance

governing historic districts were hindered by a lack of definitive know-

ledge about architectural styles and the historical relationships of

neighborhoods developed after the colonial period. And, as the decade

of the nineteen seventies advanced, St. Augustine experienced a renewed

era of growth that threatened the integrity of its cultural sites and

the ambience of its historic neighborhoods. Comprehensive planning for

management of sites and conservation of neighborhoods was a clear necessity.

But before the planning could begin, the data had to be gathered. With

that in mind, the Preservation Board appealed in 1978 to the Division

of Archives, History and Records Management of the Florida Department of

State for advice and funding assistance.

The 1966 National Historic Preservation Act called for the systematic

appraisal of the historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural

resources of each state. The Act established State Historic Preservation

Officers to fulfill the mandate. In Florida the responsible officer is

the director of the Division of Archives, History and Records Management.

His office administers the National Register program in Florida, prepares

the state historic preservation plan, distributes federal grants-in-aid

for preservation projects and surveys, and provides information and

assistance on preservation to local organizations. The State of Florida

charged the Division with responsibility to "locate, acquire, protect,

preserve and promote the location of historic sites, properties, buildings...

which have scientific or historical value or are of interest to the pub-
lic...." To carry out its federal and state responsibilities, the Di-

vision developed the Florida Master Site File, a compilation of architect-

ural, archaeological, historical, and graphic data pertaining to sites

in Florida.

The survey of historic sites and properties in St. Augustine was

accordingly performed with the financial support and professional assist-

ance provided by the Division, and the results will be incorporated into

the Florida Master Site File. But the survey will be most useful locally.

An inventory of this kind is the basis for any effective program to

manage or preserve cultural resources. Historic sites should not be

selected on the basis of arbitrary decisions, but according to established

criteria and documentation. The Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board

believes that its survey will provide for many decades to come a basis

for rational and thoughtful decisions by state and local governments and

by private organizations and residents in the management, preservation,

and conservation of the cultural resources in America's oldest city.


1. William Stork, A Description of East Florida with a Journal
Kept by John Bartram of Philadelphia, Botanist to His Majesty for the
Floridas (London, 1769), p. 8.

2. Bernard Romans, A Concise Natural History of East and West
Florida (New York, 1775); facsimile edition with introduction by Rembert
W. Patrick (Gainesville, 1962), p. 264.

3. William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphrey
Marshall, Description File, St. Augustine Historical Society Library
(hereinafter cited as SAHS).

4. A concise history of the "Black Legend" and a bibliography
is provided in Helen Delpar, ed., Encyclopedia of Latin America (New
York, 1974), pp. 79-80.

5. Vicente Manuel de Zespedes to Bernardo Galvez July 29, 1785,
East Florida Papers, Letters to Count Galves, 1784-1786, Bundle 40,
No. 90.

6. Charles Vignoles, Observations upon the Floridas (New York,
1823); facsimile edition with introduction by John Hebron Moore
(Gainesville, 1977), pp. 18-19.

7. R. K. Sewall, Sketches of St. Augustine (New York, 1848);
facsimile edition with introduction by Thomas Graham (Gainesville,
1976), pp. 11-12.

8. Lester B. Shippee, ed., Bishop Whipple's Southern Diary,
1843-44 (Minneapolis, 1937), p. 16.

9. Anon., A Winter from Home (New York, 1852), p. 12.

10. Anon., "Our Ancient City" Lippincott's Magazine (January,
1868), p. 100.

11. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Palmetto Leaves (Boston, 1873);
facsimile edition with introduction by Mary B. Graff and Edith Cowles
(Gainesville, 1976), p. 213.

12. Edward King, "The Great South," Scribner's Monthly (November,
1874), p. 15.

13. A. M. Brooks, Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes (Nashville, 1880);
facsimile edition with introduction by Richard Martin (Gainesville, 1978),
p. 198.

14. Charles H. Jones, Appletons' Hand Book of American Travel
(Boston, 1871), p. 173.

15. Minutes of the SAHS, July 18, 1911, SAHS Library.

16. Ibid., 1928 Annual Report.

17. Ibid., 1930 Annual Report.

18. St. Augustine Record, July 4, 1937. That issue was devoted
exclusively to the restoration program. Unless otherwise cited, facts
or material in this report pertaining to the 1930's program are derived
from that issue.

19. The State of Florida had begun archaeological research in
St. Johns County in 1935. The WPA program was designed to expand upon
the state activity. Some correspondence can be found in Archaeological
Reports, Carnegie Institution No. 38, SAHS Library.

20. St. Augustine Record, July 3, 1937. For a summary of the
Carnegie program's hopes and plans, see Eleanor Beeson, "The St.
Augustine Historical Restoration," Florida Historical Quarterly
(October, 1937), pp. 110-118.

21. St. Augustine Record, July 4, 1937.

22. A summary of the first 10 years of the St. Augustine Historical
Restoration and Preservation Commission is found in Bradley Brewer,
"A Synopsis of Restoration," unpublished manuscript, Historic St. Augus-
tine Preservation Board files.

23. SAHS, 1952 and 1953 Annual Reports, SAHS Library.

24. Brewer, "A Synopsis of Restoration."

25. Florida Statutes, ch. 266.

26. A summary of the archaeological work in St. Augustine is
provided in Kathleen Deagen, "Spanish St. Augustine: America's First
'Melting Pot,'" Archaeology (September 1980), pp. 22-30.

27. Florida Statutes, ch. 267.



From 1565 until 1763 St. Augustine was a classic example of a Spanish

Presidio military settlement. Under Spanish rule Florida never developed

into a heavily populated or economically self-sufficient colony. It con-

tained none of the attractions which brought settlers to other regions of

the Spanish colonial empire. There was no gold or other precious metal,

no highly fertile agricultural land, and no large and sedentary Indian

population available as a source of labor. Instead of a mining, agricul-

tural, or commercial settlement, the capital of Spanish Florida, St. Augus-

tine, became a point of departure for Spanish missionaries seeking to

Christianize Indians in surrounding regions. By 1600 missionaries began

the first European development of areas in North City and West Augustine

by establishing Spanish missions there. By 1763, however, only two active

missions remained, one in Model Land Company Tract and the other in North

City. A number of cultivated fields occupied large areas of both North

City and the Southwest Peninsula, although they were not necessarily

connected with missionary activity. In one such area a group of Canary

Islanders farmed land which had once been the site of Macariz Indian

Village and which today is the location of the northeast corner of Nelmar

Terrace Subdivision, the eastern portion of the grounds of the Florida

School for the Deaf and Blind, and the Southwest corner of Fullerwood Park


In addition to serving as a base for Catholic missionaries, St. Augus-

tine was a strategically important outpost in the Spanish Caribbean defense

system. Spain retained St. Augustine and the surrounding province of Florida

as a buffer zone against foreign intrusion into more economically valuable

areas of its colonial empire. The town served as a military base for pro-




1. HIGH WATER LINE (1860) 0
10. 16th CENTURY




1 1 0 Mp ISoLAND


20 "f ,
I bb,

testing the Spanish treasure fleet as it sailed homeward along the Gulf

Stream laden with gold, silver, and other valuable cargo. Because of

its strategic importance, St. Augustine was attacked at various times by

the English, the French, pirates, and residents of the British colonies to

the north. In order to prevent the occupation of the town, the Spanish

developed an elaborate system of defense, and the section which is now

North City was an integral part of this system.2

After Colonel James Moore burned St. Augustine in 1702 the Spanish

began building a series of defense positions and fortifications north of

the colonial city. They completed the Cubo defense line in 1704, the

Hornabeque, a second defense line, in 1719, Fort Mose in 1738, and the Fort

Mose defense line in 1762. Beginning in 1763 the British occupied St. Augus-

tine for twenty-one years. They maintained the Spanish defense positions in

North City, built three redoubts in the Southwest Peninsula, and connected

the colonial city with what is today West Augustine by operating two ferries

from the Southwest Peninsula across the St. Sebastian River. British colo-

nists continued cultivating tracts of land in both North City and the South-

west Peninsula, and an Anglican minister, John Forbes, became one of the

pioneers of West Augustine when he began farming a large land grant across

the San Sebastian River.

The Spanish reoccupied St. Augustine in 1784 and made several changes in

the city's defense system. During the first years of the nineteenth century

they abandoned the Hornabeque and replaced it with a defense perimeter

called Mil y Quinientos (Fifteen Hundred). The Mil y Quinientos was a

cleared area extending 1,500 varas (Spanish yards) or about three-quarters

of a mile north of the city gates. Within the Mil y Quinientos the Spanish

issued land grants with the stipulation that they be cleared of trees and

dense undergrowth which an attacking enemy might use for cover and that

/ "







7 '!




( '





only temporary structures made of wood or palmetto be constructed. The

Spanish also issued land grants north of the Mil y Quinientos and in the

Southwest Peninsula, West Augustine, Model Land Company area and Anastasia

Island and in all five sections grant holders constructed a number of

structures, including several dwellings. Grant holders cultivated most of

the land in these sections, and those in the Southwest Peninsula and West

Augustine became pioneers of the State's citrus industry by developing

some of the first commercial orange groves in Florida.

After the United States occupied Florida in 1821, an influx of its

citizens arrived in St. Augustine. In contrast'to the complacent atti-

tude of the Spanish, the great majority of these new residents were anxious

for development and hoped to transform St. Augustine and the surrounding

Florida frontier into some sort of productive enterprise as quickly as

possible. Many purchased land north of the city, in the Southwest Peninsula,

and across the San Sebastian River in what became West Augustine. Despite

the rapid exchange of land, the land holding patterns established by the

Spanish through their system of grants remained intact.5

During the 1820's the Board of Land Commissions for East Florida

reviewed the claims of all individuals in possession of Spanish land grants

in the Florida Territory. In 1830 the United States Congress, acting upon

the recommendation of the Board, confirmed title to everyone holding such

grants in and around St. Augustine. This decision maintained the conti-

nuity of land holding patterns between the Second Spanish and American

Territorial Periods, which even today influences the geographic layout of

late nineteenth and early twentieth-century developments. Several subdivisions

such as the Atwood Tract in the Southwest Peninsula and Masters Tract in

North City, for example, were originally Spanish grants, while the remaining

subdivisions in all other sections of the city developed from combinations

of two or more grants or from parts of individual grants.6

Despite the expectations of many, the economic boom of the early

Territorial Period was short-lived. The natural barriers--the shifting

sandbar blocking the narrow harbor entrance and the peninsular location--

which made St. Augustine so readily defensible under Spanish rule quickly

became impediments to trade and other forms of economic development. Large

cargo vessels navigated the channel of great risk and frequently ran aground

on the treacherous sandbar, and the area which became West Augustine re-

mained isolated from the colonial city until 1828 when a bridge was finally

built across the St. Sebastian River.

During the early 1830's most traffic between St. Augustine and outside

areas shifted from the port to the safer, if less direct, land route to

Picolata on the banks of the St. Johns River. The Picolata Road, however,

was little more than a modestly developed Indian trail, traveled by slow

moving wagons and stagecoaches. Lacking adequate transportation to the

agricultural regions of the interior, the former capital of Spanish East

Florida became isolated and declined in importance when compared with

the booming cotton producing areas of Middle Florida. North City, the

Southwest Peninsula, West Augustine, Model Land Co., and Anastasia Island

remained exclusively agricultural areas, and, with the exception of North

City, the areas continued producing a steady supply of oranges. Despite its

isolation, St. Augustine began developing one important sector of American

Territorial Period. Invalids seeking refuge from harsh northern winters

arrived annually, and promoters such as Forbes and Vignoles publicized St.

Augustine as a health resort. Even with the winter tourist trade the town

of St. Augustine and the sections surrounding it remained poor and relatively

unchanged until the Seminole War in 1835.8

The Seminole War brought mixed blessings to St. Augustine and the




7 /


I b,,






surrounding area. St. Augustine served as a base for troops preparing to

fight the Indians of the interior, and a steady commerce in military payroll

helped stimulate a period of economic prosperity. Furthermore, the United

States government created a real estate boom in Florida by promising a grant

of land to any volunteer over eighteen who enlisted to fight the Seminole

Indians. Land values greatly increased, and the town of St. Augustine began

expanding beyond its colonial limits. Peter Sken Smith, a General in the

Florida Militia, was the moving force behind most of the subdivisions develop-

ment occurring at this time. In 1838 Smith consolidated two Spanish land

grants known as the Noda Concession and created a subdivision called "North

City" in what today is Abbott Tract. Smith built a number of houses, and a

steam saw mill opened nearby. To the north William and Mary Ann Davis sub-

divided three former Spanish grants known as the Davis Range and began selling

lots. Smith also became the first developer in the Southwest Peninsula in

the late 1830's when he acquired Spanish land grants in an area which today

is the Dumas Tract. At approximately the same time Smith formed a partner-

ship with Augustas Poujaud, the owner of a large tract of land near the tip

of the Peninsula known as Buena Esperanza. In the early 1840's Smith and

Poujaud subdivided a portion of what became Keith and Buena Esperanza sub-

divisions and began selling lots. The boom that fueled such real estate

developments collapsed in 1842, leaving Smith and many other investors


The reasons for the collapse of. the boom were many. The Seminole War

disrupted staple agriculture in nearby areas when local settlers abandoned

their farms and fled to St. Augustine and other towns around the State.

Indians raiders destroyed the sugar plantations south of the city, ending the

only profitable slave labor enterprise in area. The war also prevented winter

visitors from making their seasonal migration. In addition, events beyond


the influence of the Seminole War hastened the decline of the local economy.

Since the British Period oranges had been one of the few marketable export

items produced in and around St. Augustine. In 1835 a major freeze killed

virtually all the fruit and destroyed many of the trees in northeast Florida,

and following an outbreak of citrus scale in 1840, only a few scraggly

orange groves remained. On a national level, the Panic of 1837 created a

national financial crisis, and many banks, including the only one in St.

Augustine, the Southern Life Insurance and Trust Company, suspended specie

payments. The panic did not create the optimistic attitude among local

investors which was necessary for rapid economic development. Furthermore,

when the Seminole War ended in 1842 and most of the Army units withdrew,

the artificial props which had supported St. Augustine's economy collapsed,

and the real estate boom ended. The chances for a quick recovery diminished

when a depression spread throughout the United States the following year.

During the 1840's and 1850's except for the development of the Douglas Plan-

tation and the Fairbanks homestead in North City, the Dumas Tract Homestead

in the Southwest Peninsula, and the first permanent settlement in West Augus-

tine, the three future sections of St. Augustine remained relatively un-

changed until after the Civil War.10

By 1865 St. Augustine was physically and economically in shambles.

The Civil War had cut off the seasonal tourist trade and further disrupted

local agriculture. Many homes stood abandoned and decaying, weeds covered

the streets, and the bridge over the St. Sebastian River to West Augustine

lay in ruins. In the first years after the war, St. Augustine retained a

backward economy whose growth was inhibited by geographic isolation, a

lack of marketable cash crops, and the absence of adequate transportation

facilities. In the Southwest Peninsula, however, during the late 1860's

former black slaves began settling a three block area west of Maria Sanchez



3. RAVENSWOOD (1874)
4. VAN NESS (1877)
5. ABBOTT TRACT (1877)
6. GREENO (1879)


/ .... EACH






Creek in the Dumas Tract. This settlement was called Africa and later became

Lincolnville, the predominately black neighborhood which now encompasses much

of the peninsula. Despite this development St. Augustine remained an isolated

backwater. While the population of Florida increased by one-third between

1860 and 1870, the population of St. Augustine actually declined reaching

a total less than that of 1830.11

An absence of adequate transportation stood as the major roadblock to

the development of St. Augustine. During the late 1860's the city's primary

link with the outside world remained the primitive stage route from Picolata.

The transportation problems of St. Augustine and other isolated regions of

Northeast Florida diminished during the early 1870's with the arrival of the

railroad. In 1870 the St. Johns Railroad completed a line from Tocoi to

St. Augustine and in subsequent years added iron rails and factory-built

locomotives. An even more direct line from the north, the Jacksonville, St.
Augustine, and Halifax, railroad opened in 1883.

The arrival of rail transportation marked the beginning of a new period

of prosperity for St. Augustine. During the 1870's the number of winter

visitors greatly increased, and in response to the growing demand for lodging a

number of hotels, including the St. Augustine Hotel, opened. West Augustine,

or New Augustine as it was then called, was a satellitecommunity, following

a separate course of development from the town of St. Augustine and sections

contiguous with it. In the Southwest Peninsula during the late 1870's develop-

ment continued in the Dumas Tract, and Bartolo Genovar, a local merchant,

created a second subdivision to the south called the Genovar Addition. Mean-

while in North City, Lucy Abbott began developing an area along Water Street

in the former subdivision of Peter Sken Smith, and to the north, William

Van Ness resubdivided the Davis Range and developed Van Ness Subdivision.

Along San Marco Avenue many wealthy northerners and other newcomers to town




1. Anderson (MLC) r
2. Garnett Add.
3. Masters Tract
4. Model Land
5. Rhode Add.
6. Sanchez Tract
7. Atwood
8. Carvers 1
9. Buena Esperanza
10. Paul Capo
11. Von Balson
12. Kingsland CA
13. Jackson
14. Llambias IS ANo
15. Clark Subd. S-
16. Dumas Tract 2 6
17. Sanchez, W. J.
18. Keith Subd. o

15 1






30 ,,
Oi ~

were building large Victorian homes.13

In 1883 General Isaac Crafts from Boston, Massachasetts purchased a

large tract of land north of Orange Street and to the west of the Abbott

Tract and two years later completed the San Marco Hotel. This five-story

building provided the lookout from which Henry Flagler viewed St. Augustine

and conceived the idea of converting it into a resort for wealthy northerners.

It should be remembered, however, that St. Augustine was prospering even

before Flagler began building the Hotel Ponce de Leon on December 1, 1885.

In North City Williams Addition was subdivided in 1883 and Rhode Addition,

Masters Tract, and Garnett Subdivision in 1885,' and in the Southwest

Peninsula Buena Esperanza was also subdivided in 1885. Whether these

1885 subdivisions were part of the pre-Flagler period of development or

were a spontaneous reaction to Flagler's hotel and railroad construction

plans is not clear. There can be no doubt, however, that Flagler's invest-

ments augmented the previous period of economic prosperity. From 1880 to

1890 the population of St. Augustine more than doubled, and the need for

housing greatly increased. Much of this housing developed in North City

south of the city limit at San Carlos Avenue and in the Southwest Peninsula,

and by the early years of the twentieth century, virtually all the land

in these two sections had been subdivided and contained large concentrations

of housing. Most subdivision development beyond San Carlos and in West

Augustine occurred during and after World War I.14

Despite the fears of many, World War I proved a boon to the local economy.

Many wealthy tourists who often travelled overseas instead came to Florida

and visited St. Augustine. Large numbers of military personnel stationed

throughout the state also visited the Ancient City and viewed its antiquities.

Many from both groups returned as visitors and in some cases made St. Augustine

their permanent or winter home. The Florida Land Boom rapidly followed World



(1904-1917) 1

1. Broadwell, W. J.
2. Dancy Tract
3. Marsh Lots
4. Wildwood Park
5. Leonardy
6. Anderson (WA)
7. Del Castillo
8. Bravo Park 16
9. D. H. Cherry 13
10. Seaside Heights
11. Burt
12. Fullerwood Park //
13. Hildreth Back Bay OATCHEE
14. Nelmar Terrace 12 ISLAND


2 NE3



,I ,



(1917-1930) '
I 122
1. Orange Park
2. Rambo
3. Genovar Add.
4. McMillan
5. San Marco
6. Hudnall 26
7. Andalucia Parque 1 4
8. Atcheson
9. Hernandez
10. Miramar
11. Williams Add.
12. Davis Shores OATCHE
13. Day Subd. ISLAND
14. Ft. Moosa Gardens
15. Miramar on Bay /
16. W. W. Dewhurst
17. Bayview /
18. H. E. Fulger 0
19. Gore ,r Norn


1 9.


I2 coNCH


20.. John Lindsay
21. San Marco Court i Il
22. Saratoga Lake
23. Colee \
24. Altaville
25. Keegan's Add. 4 4 ,-,
26. Superior Dairies
27. Kirkside

33 ,
\ Pr "'"

War I, and, although concentrated in South Florida, stimulated growth in

all areas of the state. In St. Augustine local real estate and construction

industries prospered, and the population nearly doubled between 1920 and

1930. Beyond San Carlos Avenue a number of subdivisions developed during

and after the war, the most important of which were Nelmar Terrace, Fuller-

wood Park, Hildreth Back Bay, and McMillan. In West Augustine, particularly

along West King Street,the first concentrated housing development occurred

during World War I. Later during the Land Boom a number of sections of

Whitney's Ravenswood were resubdivided and comprehensive subdivision develop-

ment began in the section of West Augustine south of Oyster Creek. In 1926,

when the Florida Land Boom collapsed, several large housing developments

were underway in both these areas.15

By 1930 all but scattered areas of North City, the Southwest Peninsula,

and West Augustine had been subdivided into blocks and lots. Housing con-

struction within North City south of San Carlos Avenue, in the Southwest

Peninsula and Model Land Company was nearly complete, and the remainder of

North City and West Augustine contained large housing developments. Since

1930 North City, the Southwest Peninsula, West Augustine, and Model Land

Company have remained predominately residential sections.

North City

During the First and Second Spanish periods and the British period, the

area known as North City was an important part of St. Augustine's system

of defense. In 1704, two years after General James Oglethorpe of Georgia

destroyed the city, the Spanish began constructing a series of military

fortifications stretching approximately two miles north of the colonial

city. The first fortification was the Cubo Line completed in 1706 and

situated at the present location of Orange Street. The Cubo Line consisted


of two redoubts positioned along a steep enbankment and moat stretching

westward from the Castillo de San Marcos to El Cubo, a wooden fort on the

banks of the San Sebastian River. In 1719 the Spanish completed a second

defense line called the Hornabeque or the Hornwork. The Hornabeque was

a ditch and fifteen foot high palisade running west from Macaris Creek

to the San Sebastian. The eastern section of the Hornabeque was in what

today is the northern portion of Abbott Tract, and the western section

cut diagonally through the present location of Rhode Addition, between

Cincinnati and Rhode Avenues. Approximately a mile and a half north

of the Hornabeque was Ft. Mose, completed in 1738. Mose, a fortified

community for free blacks, was located along the marshes of the North River,

east of what is presently Saratoga Lake Subdivision. By 1762 the Spanish

constructed the Ft. Mose defense line southwest from the fort of the

"Dangerous River Crossing," a small fort at the San Sebastian River where

hostile Indians crossed when making raids on the city. At this fort the

Spanish completed the northern defense perimeter by constructing another

fortification known as the Estacada de las Dos Millas (The Two Mile

Stockade).16 The stockade eventually became part of the George Fairbanks

homestead and today is the site of the Florida East Coast right-of-way west

of McMillan Subdivision.

During the early eighteenth century the Spanish government, as part of

defense construction effort, began clearing the land north of the city of any

trees or dense undergrowth. Several mission villages and agricultural

communities south of Ft. Mose assisted in this effort, while providing

staple crops for the city. During the 1750's a group of Canary Islanders

established an agricultural colony north of the Hornabeque at the abandoned

site of the Macaris Indian village. Documents from the Second Spanish

period described the approximate location of Macaris as stretching north-


ward along North River from the northeast corner of what is presently

Nelmar Terrace Subdivision, past the grounds of the Florida State School

for the Deaf and Blind, to the southeast corner of Fullerwood Park. During

the British Period the site of the former Indian village became known as

the Macaris Plantation, and after the Spanish reoccupation in 1784, this area

formed the land grants of Francisco Fusha and Juan Segui. During the American

Territorial Period (1821-1845) Thomas Douglas acquired Macaris and con-

nected the southern section into part of the Douglas Plantation. This

section eventually became the northeast corner of Nelmar Terrace while

the remaining section to the north became part of the Deaf and Blind

School grounds and Fullerwood Park Subdivision.17

Only one Indian village remained north of the colonial city by the

end of the First Spanish Beriod. The village of Nuestra Senora de la

Leche contained a coquina mission chapel and was located in what is pre-

sently the northeast and north central portion of Abbott Tract. During the

British occupation the La Leche Chapel was converted into a hospital but

was again used as a chapel after the Spanish returned to St. Augustine in

1784. Aside from discontinuing the Spanish mission system, the British

did little to alter the area north of the city. They maintained the

fortifications and continued producing staple crops. They also constructed

the King's Road through the area to Cowford (Jacksonville) and eventually

to the St. Mary's River.18

Agricultural development in the area between the colonial city and

Ft. Mose became much more extensive in the Second Spanish Period. By 1791

there were three clusters of field houses north of the Hornabeque. Two

were in the vicinity of the abandoned Macaris Indian Village and the third

was located at what is today the southern section of Miramar Subdivision

and the eastern section of the Fountain of Youth property.19


An area extending 1,500 varas (Spanish yards) from the Cubo Line re-

tained its strategic importance to the defense of St. Augustine. The Spanish

government granted land in this section, known as the Mil u Quinientos

(Fifteen Hundred), to local residents with the stipulation that they clear

all trees and dense shrubbery, plant nothing but low-lying staple crops, and

build only small thatched or wooden structures which could be easily burned or

dismantled in case of attack. The date when the Mil y Quinientos was officially

proclaimed has yet to be discovered, although evidence points to the first

decade of the nineteenth century. In 1791 the Hornabeque was still intact,

but by 1796 it was overgrown with weeds and beginning to deteriorate. A

suitable replacement needed to be found. In 1807 Governor Enrique White

conveyed twelve of the nineteen Mil y Quinientos grants, and it was

probably at this time that the Mil y Quinientos originated as a defense


After the United States acquired Florida in 1821, an influx of American

settlers arrived in St. Augustine, many of whom purchased land north of the

colonial city. Despite the change in government and the rapid exchange

of land, the Spanish landholding patterns persisted. During the 1820's

the federally appointed Board of Land Commissioners for East Florida held

hearings to determine the title rights of all individuals in possession of

grants in the Mil Quinientos and the area immediately to the north.

In 1830 the United States Congress, following the recommendation of

the Board, confirmed clear title of all the owners of land grants in

what became North City. This decision maintained the continuity of land

holding patterns between the Second Spanish and American Territorial

Periods. Futhermore, the Spanish land grants became the framework from

which the subdivisions of North City developed. As in the previous four-

teen years these grants after 1821 were initially used as tracts of farm -

land. But beginning in 1839 when Peter Sken Smith subdivided two former

grants known as the Noda Concession, the subdivisions of North City developed

in areas which were originally Spanish grants. Moreover, boundaries between

grants often became the logical choice for the location of many of the

thoroughfares in North City. These thoroughfares are San Marco, Rhoide,

Cincinnati, Matanzas, San Sebastian, and San Carlos Avenues; Castillo Drive

and Isla Drive South; Waldo, Joyner, and Mulberry Streets; and State Road 16.

Finally, the boundary of the Mil y Quinientos became San Carlos Avenue and

formed the northern city limit of St. Augustine until 1923 after which
recently developed subdivisions to the north were incorporated into the city.

After 1838 the Noda Concession and the Davis Range (north Abbott Tract

and south Heade Tract), a small adjacent subdivision, collectively became

known as "North City." No further subdivision development occurred north of

the colonial city until the late 1870's. During the Territorial period

several large farms were located on former Spanish grants, including

the homesteads of Jose Mariano Hernandez and George Fairbanks and the

plantation of Thomas Douglas. This section of St. Augustine remained

primarily an agricultural zone until after the Civil War. Beginning with

renewed growth in Abbott Tract in the late 1870's, subdivision development

spread throughout the former Mil Quinientos. Williams Addition was sub-

divided in 1883, Rhode Addition, Masters Tract, and Garnett Additions in

1885, and Kingsland Addition in 1887. While development of these sub-

divisions intensified after the arrival of Henry Flagler in 1885, it must

be remembered that the tourist-oriented local economy had been on the up-

swing since the completion of rail lines to St. Augustine in 1870 and 1883.

In 1883 General Isaac Cruffs began building the large and beautifully decorated

San Marco Hotel north of Orange Street, and the following year the state

of Florida acquired land in the Gianopoly Tract which would eventually


become the grounds for the State School for the Deaf and Blind. Further-

more, many Northeners and other individuals largely from areas outside St.

Augustine were constructing large Victorian homes along both sides of San

Marco Avenue. Henry Kingsland and Martin J. Heade, both from New York

City, and Henry Rhode from Cincinnati, were among the newcomers who

constructed such homes and later subdivided the land surrounding them.22

By 1900 nearly all sections of North City south of San Carlos Avenue

were subdivided and contained concentrations of residential housing. The

inhabitants of this area represented a wide variety of social and ethnic

backgrounds. In addition to the recently arrived residents from the North,

Blacks had began settling the northern section of Abbott Tract along Pine

and Osceola Streets and Bernard Street in Masters Tract. Many businessmen

and professionals occupied homes in another section of the Abbott Tract

along Water Street. The portion of North City beyond San Carlos Avenue

was, however, relatively untouched by the boom of the 1880's and 1890's.

Several real estate investors, particularly in the Railway Tract (now

Nelmar Terrace), attempted to develop subdivisions, but a lack of efficient

transportation and an ample supply of land closer to the city frustrated

their efforts. Not until World War I and the Florida Land Boom did sub-

divisions begin to fully develop north of San Carlos. Three of the largest

were Fullerwood Park subdivided in 1914; Nelmar Terrace, subdivided in

1915; and McMillan Subdivision, platted in 1922.23

Although small areas developed after 1926, substantive land and housing

development was complete in North City by the end of the Florida Land Boom.

Since 1930 most subdivisions in North City have retained their residential

character, although commercial districts along US 1 and San Marco Avenue

form the two major traffic arteries through area. Over time, a steadily

increasing number of gas stations, fast food restaruants, laundromats,


and other commercial establishments have encroached on residential areas

and have displaced many of the oldest and architecturally significant

structures in North City, particularly those along San Marco Avenue. At

present North City remains a mixed commercial-residential section of St.


Southwest Peninsula

When the Spanish left St. Augustine in 1763, the Southwest Peninsula

was an area used primarily for small scale farming. The Spanish cleared

and cultivated most of the peninsula but, relying on natural obstacles

such as rivers and marshes, constructed no defense positions similar to

those in North City. Scattered throughout the peninsula were several

structures which were possibly houses or barns for sheltering livestock or

storing farm implements. A 1763 map shows the site of the abandoned Palica

Indian village extending along Maria Sanchez Creek from what is today the

southeast corner of Atwood Tract through Genovar Addition to the rorth-

east corner of Keith Subdivision. The map also indicates a second village

site called Pocotalaca which contained the ruins of a chapel and was

located in the southeast portion of Keith Subdivision and the eastern

portion of Buena Esperanza.24

The British undertook a vigorous public works construction program

in the southwest peninsula during their twenty-one year occupation of St.

Augustine. They built a causeway, lined with a series of structures,

leading to a ferry landing on the San Sebastian River which today forms Kings

Ferry Street. To the north they built a second ferry landing at Bridge

Street which connected the city with the Ferry Tract across the San Sebastian.

The British also built three redoubts which the Spanish later renamed El

Paso de Solana (the Solana Pass), Reducto de la Primera Feria (The Redoubt


of the First Ferry), and Reducto de la Segunda Ferria (The Redoubt of the

Second Ferry). The Solana Pass redoubt was located at the southeast corner

of Buena Esperanza subdivision, and the First Ferry and Second Ferry re-

doubts near the intersections of Bridge, Kings Ferry and Ribera Streets

respectively. 25

After 1784 the Spanish government built a fourth redoubt (not named)

in the southeast corner of Buena Esperanza subdivision and issued land

grants to at least four individuals--Joseph Bosquet, Gaspar Papi, Bartolome

Suarez, and Martin Hernandez-- in the northern portion of the peninsula,

just south of Bridge Street. Two others, Francisco Marin and Bernardo Sequi,

claimed large tracts of land in the southern portion of the peninsula, but

neither deed records nor Spanish documents indicate whether these tracts

were in fact grants or whether they had merely been occupied and developed

by squatters. As in North City, Spanish grants and other tracts of land

formed the framework around which future subdivisions developed. The

Bosquet, Papi, and Suarez grants became Dumas Tract; the Hernandes Grant

became Atwood Tract; the Marin Tract became Genovar Additions; and the

Segui Tract became Keith and Buena Esperanza Subdivisions. In addition,

Bridge, Riberia, St. Francis, DeHaven, Kings Ferry, Lovett, and Cerro

Streets were once boundaries of Spanish grants. Furthermore, the six

grant holders in the Southwest Peninsula were among the pioneer commercial

citrus growers in Florida. They planted a series of orange groves which

extended from Bridge Street south to the northern section of what today

is Keith Subdivision. During the British Period Jessie Fish on Anastasia

Island and others around the city had produced and exported oranges, and the

growers in the Southwest Peninsula maintained this tradition. Historians

usually cite Douglas Dummitt as the first commercial grower in Florida,

but the Spanish and British actually pioneered the state's citrus industry.26


By 1821 the Southwest Peninsula contained a number of structures.

The western portion of the Bosquet grant was the location of the Redoubt

of the First Ferry; the Suarez grant to the east contained a house and

several smaller structures; further south the Marin Tract included a house

near Maria Sanchez Creek; and the Segui Tract at the southern end of the

peninsula contained a house and cleared fields. After 1821 many among

the influx of newcomers from the United States purchased land in the South-

west Peninsula. The peninsula, however, remained under citrus cultivation

until after the Civil War when comprehensive subdivision development began

spreading throughout the area. In fact, the Keith family grew oranges in

what became Keith Subdivision at least until the winter of 1894-95 when

two severe freezes destroyed groves throughout the state and effectively
ended the citrus industry in North Florida.

The first attempt to develop the Southwest Peninsula into a residential

area occurred in 1838 when Peter Sken Smith subdivided the eastern section

of the Bartolo Suarez grant and began selling lots. By 1839 Smith had con-

solidated the Suarez Grant with the former grants of Joseph Bosquet and

Gaspar Papi. He also divided part of the Papi and Bosquet grants into

blocks, although he continued growing citrus on them. During the early

1840's Smith became partners with Augustus Poujaud, the owner of a thirty-

five acre portion of the tract formerly belonging to Bernardo Segui. Shortly

thereafter, Smith and Poujaud subdivided the northern and eastern sites of

the Poujard property and began selling lots. Both these attempts, however,

were short-lived, because Smith and Poujaud overextended themselves finan-

cially and lost most of their property and investments during the depression

that followed the end of the Seminole War in the early 1840's.28

The area which Smith subdivided in the 1830's eventually became the

Dumas Tract, and by 1860 a sawmill was located just west of the Dumas

Tract on Mill or Riberia Street at the end of Bridge Street. Just after

the Civil War the first comprehensive subdivision development occurred

in the Southwest Peninsula when Bartolo and Eliza Weedman began selling

lots to newly freed blacks in a three block area in the southeast corner

of the Dumas Tract. This settlement was called Africa and was the genesis

of Lincolnville, the primarily black neighborhood which now occupies most

of the Southwest Peninsula. In 1879 Bartolo Genovar, a local merchant,

began developing Genovar Addition; the St. Augustine improvement Company

directed by William Warden, a millionaire from Philadelphia, subdivided

Buena Esperanza in 1885 and Atwood Tract two years later; and Harriet

and Benjamin Keith from Boston, Massachusetts subdivided Keith Subdivision

in 1901. Again, as in North City, many of the developers of the Southwest

Peninsula were originally from the north. By 1930 subdivision development

within the Southwest Peninsula was virtually completed, and since that time

the area has remained almost exclusively residential except for a commercial

district along north Washington Street and Central Avenue.29

West Augustine

During the British occupation of Florida, Ravenswood and all the

subdivisions of West Augustine were part of a large tract of land be-

longing to Anglican Minister, John Forbes. The Forbes tract extended

south beyond Oyster Creek to a site called Mount Forbes, where several

structures and a series of cultivated fields were located. In 1785, a

year after the Spanish reoccupation of Florida, the portion of the

Forbes property north of Oyster Creek became the possession of two brothers,

Francisco and Juan Triay, both farmers born in Ciudadella, Minorca.

Francisco and Juan Triay apparently cultivated their purchase fairly inten-

sively because they produced enough agricultural goods to support themselves,

four other relatives, and fifteen black slaves. In 1794 the Triays received

official recognition of their claim, which they exchanged four years later

for land belonging to Jose Peso de Burgo at a place called Governor Grant,

nine miles north of St. Augustine. At the time of the exchange the pro-
perty which Peso de Burgo received contained approximately 1,000 acres.3

Don Jose Carlos Peso de Burgo was born in 1760 in Corsica and was

possibly related to Charles Adidre Pozzo di Burgo, a fellow Corsican and

contemporary and rival of Napoleon Bonaparte. After arriving in St. Augus-

tine Peso de Burgo became a prosperous merchant and the owner of half

interest in a commercial sailing sloop. On his 1,000 acre tract he developed

orange groves and built a plantation home. When he died in 1819, Peso de

Burgo owned four houses, an orange grove, several plantations, and fifteen

negroes, making him one of the wealthier men in St. Augustine.3

On October 22, 1822 Maria Mabrity de Burgos, the widow of Jose Peso

de Burgos, and her children conveyed the 1,000 acres, known as the Ferry

Tract, to Proper Viel and Francisco J. Avice. The transaction included

all the "homes, edifices, buildings, improvements and groves" contained

within the grounds. Less than two years after purchasing the Ferry Tract,

the business relationship between Avice and Viel deteriorated, and they

were forced to take their differences to an arbitration board. The board

ruled that Avice and Viel should dissolve their partnership, sell their

mutually held land, and split the proceeds of the sale between them. In

1826 Peter Porrier, a trustee appointed by the board, sold the Ferry Tract

to Thomas F. Cornell; but following several transactions, Francis J. Avice
reacquired the tract on October 6, 1830.3

Francis Avice retained the 1,000 acre tract, which had become known

as the Avice and Viel Grant, until 1837 when he sold it to Colonial Francis

Littlebury Dancy. Francis Dancy was born in Tarboro, North Carolina in


1806 and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Dancy later married Florida Forsyth Reid, the daughter of Judge Robert

Raymond Reid, a chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and territorial

governor of Florida from 1839 until 1841. Dancy also served as Mayor of

St. Augustine from 1838 until 1840. After 1837 the 1,000 acres became

known as the Dancy Tract, an area which includes all the subdivisions of

West Augustine north of Oyster Creek within the present city limits.

Ravenswood is by far the largest of these subdivisions.

The history of Ravenswood as an area separate from the Dancy Tract

dates from Christmas Day, 1850 when Francis Dancy sold James R. Harham

374 of his 1,000 acres. In March, 1865 Harham sold the 374 acres tract

to Ann D. Greeno, the wife of George Greeno, a grocer and liquor dealer

who, beginning in 1879, served a three year term as mayor of St. Augustine.

The Greeno property, which became known as the Greeno Tract, included a

small section south of the present location of King Street and west of

Broadwells Subdivision and extended north to an area just below the con-

temporary city limits. On April 18, 1870, Ann and George Greeno conveyed

the Greeno Tract to John F. Whitney of New York City, New York. The pur-

chase included a second large tract to the north, which contained ten lots

in Section Twelve and fifty acres in Section Seven. These two parcels

are located north of Sections Thirty-nine and Forty-one, which presently

mark the boundaries of the Dancy Tract and form in part the northern extent

of Whitney's Ravenswood Subdivision.34

John Whitney, a relative of Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton

gin, was a native of Boston, Massachusetts where he began his career as a

journalist. Whitney first came to St. Augustine in 1858 and in 1870 esta-

blished the St. Augustine Press, a local newspaper with subscribers throughout

the nation. Four years after establishing the Press, Whitney subdivided a

portion of the Greeno Tract into fifty by one-hundred lots which he sold for

sixty-five dollars each provided the purchaser agreed to build and occupy

a house rather than hold the property for speculation. Another stipulation

Whitney made was that sales would be restricted to Northerners. These

restrictions coupled with the fact that there were other areas of develop-

ment closer and more accessible to the city, caused Whitney's Ravenswood to

develop much more slowly than planned.35

Ravenswood later became the location of a number of more recent sub-

divisions. The pre-1930 resubdivisions include Jackson Park, 1888; L.A.

Bovees, 1905; Hudnall Replat, 1923; E.L. Osteen, 1925; Isle del Rio, 1925;

John Lindsley, 1926; H.L. Fulger, 1926; Gore, 1926; and Osceola Acres, 1926.36

The history of Wildwood Park and Daniels Subdivisions as areas separate

from the Dancy Tract began in November, 1851 when Colonial Francis Dancy

sold a thirty-five acre tract south of the Tomoka Road (King Street) to Mrs.

Emily Southwick, a native of Virginia. According to Richard Speissinger

in his History of New Augustine, Mrs. Southwick and her husband Lyman were

the pioneer settlers of the West Augustine section of the city. After the

purchase the Southwicks built a two-room log house with a coquina fireplace.

The house was located approximately one hundred feet south of Daniels Street

at 23 West Avenue (now U.S. Highway #1). Lyman Southwick, who farmed and

kept cows on his property, eventually became a private in the Army of the

Confederacy and was killed during the Civil War.37

In 1871 Emily Southwick sold Arenta, or Wildwood Park as it was also

known, to Manning Daniels from Metuchen, New Jersey. Daniels soon developed

a fine grove, containing almost 1,000 bearing trees and producing Japanese

plums, persimmons, figs, pomegranates, and other exotic fruits. In 1872

Daniels built a large three-story mansion surrounded by a broad veranda and

a yard filled with a variety of flowers and plants. On the eastern border

of Wildwood Park, along the banks of the San Sebastian River, were the remains
of aSpanish redoubt or earthenwork still surrounded by a moat.3

In 1904 Manning Daniels subdivided a section of Wildwood Park and in

July of the following year sold Daniels Subdivision along with the remainder

of Wildwood Park to Frank M. Clark. Five days later Clark resold the pro-

perty to Eugene E. West, a real estate developer from Jacksonville and owner

of the Wildwood Park Development Company. The Wildwood Park company sub-

divided the remainder of the Daniels property in 1905 and began selling

lots in Daniels and Wildwood Park Subdivisions in 1911. The construction of

U.S. Highway #1 through the heart of Wildwood Park and Daniels Subdivisions

brought intense commercialization to the area And resulted in the displace-

ment of many residential dwellings. Today Wildwood Park and Daniels Sub-

division are located in a mixed commercial-residential area and provide an

example of subdivision development during the Florida Land Boom.39

Bravo Park, Leonardy, and Broadwell Subdivisions all developed from

a tract of land which Colonel Francis Dancy sold in 1869 to Cipriana Bravo,

the wife of Cristobal Bravo, and Eulogia Rogero, the wife of A.D. Rogero.

The tract was located west of the widow Southwick's property and extended

south from the Tomoka Road to Oyster Creek. Three years after the sale,

the Bravos and Rogeros partitioned their mutually held property into two

sections. Cristobal and Cipriana Bravo received four acres at the eastern

margin of the original tract, bordering an area which had recently become
the property of Manning Daniels.

Cristobal Bravo was born in St. Augustine, the son of a Spanish army

officer. During the Seminole War, he served in the Florida Militia and

was the acting Mayor of St. Augustine at the time of the Union occupation.

On his section of the tract partitioned with the Rogeros, Bravo developed

a large orange grove, containing 200 bearing trees and about 500 seedlings,

and grew guava trees, figs, and other types of fruit. He also built a


large dwelling- house which included several outbuildings. In 1886 Cristobal

Bravo died, and Dr. Franklin Marsh, a local physician, acquired and sub-

divided the Bravo estate. Although lot sales began in 1888 the earliest ex-

tant structures date from 1910.41

The section of the partition belonging to Eulogia and A. D. Rogero

eventually formed Leonardy and Broadwell Subdivisions. In 1874 A.D. Rogero,

at one time tax assessor of St. Johns County, sold part of this section to

Ignacia and George Leonardy. The Leonardy's subdivided their purchase in

1886 and began selling lots. However, the Flagler housing boom failed to

reach Leonardy Subdivision. On February 27, 1883, the Rogeros sold the remainder

of their West Augustine property, including an orange grove, to Charles

and Mary Terry of Waterville, New York. Two years later Charles Terry sold

his half interest in the orange grove and surrounding land to William T.

Broadwell, a nursery owner who had become the husband of the former Mary

Terry. Broadwell did not subdivide his purchase until 1909.42

The remaining section of West Augustine is located south of Oyster

Creek and contains all or part of three Spanish land grants. The eastern

portion of the Antonio Huertas grant borders Oyster Creek and the San

Sebastian River and extends along River Road to South Dixie Highway which

it follows south to just below Florida State Road 207. Antonio Huertas,

a Protestant, was born in 1752 in Ronda, Granada, Spain. On October 20,

1813, Huertas received a grant of 800 acres from the Spanish Governor,

Kiderlan. Exactly how he used his grant is not indicated by any of the

available documentation. The Huertas grant contains six pre-1930 sub-

divisions-- Van Balsam, 1886; Llambias, 1888; Seminole Park, 1923; Rollins,

1924; J.A. Atcheson, 1924; and Bayview, 1926.43

Southeast of the Huertas property was a grant belonging to Martin Hernandez.

Martin Hernandez was the same individual who owned El Naranjal, the Spanish

grant which eventually became Atwood Tract Subdivision. Hernandez, a native

of Minorca, was chief carpenter of the royal works of fortifications. His

son, Jose Mariano Hernandez, was a prominent citizen of St. Augustine during

both the Second Spanish and American Territorial Periods. On May 21, 1798,

Martin Hernandez received a twenty-acre grant, which he cleared, fenced,

and cultivated. He also built three structures prior to the American occu-

pation in 1821. The Hernandez grant extended west from the San Sebastian

River to what is today South Dixie Highway and south from River Road

to a line below but parallel with State Road 207. The Spanish ferry landing

was located in the Hernandez Grant, opposite the Kings Ferry Road which

formed the southernbouxndary of El Naranjal. During the 1920's the Martin

Hernandez grant was subdivided into Hernandez or Andalucia Park Subdivision.

West Augustine also includes the eastern portion of the Felipe

Solana Grant, located southeast of the Hernandes grant. Solana received

100 acres June 11, 1791, from Governor Quesada. He cleared and cultivated

the grant which was called Solana's Ferry. Upon receiving the original

grant, Solana petitioned for additional fifty acres to help support the

eight members of his family and his eleven negro slaves. However, none

of the records consulted mention confirmation of this second grant. When

Manuel Solana died in 1821, his 100-acre tract became the possession of

one of his heirs, Bartolo de Castro y Ferrer. The Solana Grant even-
tually became part of Seminole Park Subdivision, a post-1930 development.

Model Land Tract

The St. Augustine residential neighborhood lying between Orange and

King Streets and extending west from Cordova Street almost to the San Sebas-

tian River retains, in spite of some commercial encroachment on its fringes,

a high measure of historical integrity. Quiet and well shaded, with homes


and churches dating back in most cases from sixty to more than eighty years

ago, it complements the older part of the city just to the east.

The area is sometimes remembered as the Model Land Company tract, and

indeed this company and its founder, Henry M. Flagler, by their land operations

from 1885 to the 1920's, determined its present character. Before Flagler's
advent the area as a whole had few human habitations. An 1883 map shows

only four frame and stone structures for the entire area, and an 1859-60 map

showed but a slight increase in the number of houses.46
There had been some changes by 1885. There were about a dozen houses

along Orange Street on the northern edge, most clustered near the old Roman

Catholic cemetery- on Cordova Street. There were four residential structures

just south of the cemetery on the west side of Cordova. A small hotel, Sunny-

side House, was at the southeast corner, at the site of the former Ponce de

Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) near what is now King and Cordova Streets.

Facing King Street was the imposing residence of a prominent local citizen,

Dr. Andrew Anderson, who was to plan, with Henry Flagler, an important role

in the area's development. On the west, San Sebastian River, side, there

were no structures at all. Near the center of the area stood another stately

residence, the Ball Place, described by Sidney Lanier in 1875 as "one of

the handsomest residences in Florida."48

Sparsely settled though it was, the tract in the early 1880's was

being put to good economic use. Lanier and others speak of the "lovely"
and "splendid" orange groves on the Anderson and Ball estates.. There were

numerous orange groves on the northern edge of the tract as well.50 Long-

time residents remember that until the first decades of this century cows

grazed near a dairy at the northwest corner of the tract. Waterfowl were

hunted in the marshy western third of the tract, west of today's Riberia


The reason the area resisted urban inroads for so long are not far to

seek: the western part was low-lying as was much of the eastern part.

Maria Sanchez Creek reached well north of King Street along what is now

Cordova Street, and marshy ground extended to near the center of the tract

where the old Spanish powderhouse stood. A local citizens group iih 1821

recommended to the newly sovereign United States Government that it sell the
powderhouse lot, inter alia because of the lowness of the ground.52 There was

little population pressure on land in the mostly depressed economy of pre-Flagler

nineteenth century St. Augustine, but what there was found its outlet north

and southwest of long settled areas, where the ground tended to be higher

and lot prices lower.

Militating also against urbanization of the tract was its pattern

of large holdings. We have mentioned the Anderson, Ball and powerhouse

properties. The northern half of the tract was similarly held by a few

owners, thus effectively discouraging any landholding aspiration of those

with limited capital.

St. Johns County land records document property ownership back to

the Second Spanish and British periods. If we start with the most northerly

holdings and work southward, we have:

-The Tolomato lands, a rectangular swath 524 feet wide, bounded

roughly by today's Orange and Saragossa streets and extending from Cordova

west to the San Sebastian River. County records take these lands' antece-

dents back to 1764 when Jesse Fish, the British period land operator, ac-

quired them from Juan Jose Elixio de la Puente, "excepting only the burying

ground belonging to the Catholic Church of St. Augustine.53 The southern

half of the Tolomato lands eventually came into Andrew Anderson's hands;

this portion was partitioned in 1889 by Anderson and Flagler, leaving Flagler

with the southern quarter of the original lands.

-The Gobert and Rodriguez de Cala lots. The smaller of these two

lots was bought by Charles Gobert from Dona Isabel Ridaveto in 1807; it

fronted about 400 feet on today's Cordova street, between Saragossa and

Carrera, but relative to other holdings was quite shallow. Most of this

lot, after passing through several owners, was bought by Flagler in 1885.54

The larger lot, owned by Pedro Rodriguez de Cala around 1821, passed

eventually to Anderson, who conveyed it to Flagler in the 1889 partition

-The Old Powderhouse Lot, 10.29 acres, 117 feet on Cordova near

Carrera, broadening to 330 feet as it extended to the San Sebastian

River. The U.S. Government, to whom title had passed from the Spanish

Crown, sold the property to Flagler in 1886.

-The Ball Place, about 184 feet on Cordova between today's Saragossa

and Valencia Streets, more than doubling as it stretched to the San

Sebastian River. Owned by Josiah Smith when Florida became a territory

and later by his son, diplomat-scholar T. Buckingham Smith, it passed

through others to Frances Ball, who sold it to Flagler in 1885.57

-The main Anderson estate, roughly from Valencia to King Streets and

from Cordova Street to the San Sebastian River. In 1831-32 the Flagler

associate's father, the elder Dr. Anderson, had bought the three adjacent
strips, totaling 14.25 acres, which formed the main estate.58 Anderson sold

theeasternmost block to Flagler in 1885 for the Ponce de Leon Hotel,5 and

in 1887 he sold to Flagler what would become the westernmost residential

block, from Riberia to Malaga Streets. The two city blocks in between remained

for a time in Anderson family hands.

It was, all in all, a propitious real estate situation that awaited

Henry M. Flagler in St. Augustine in 1885. He had to deal with only a

few owners to obtain his first and principal hotel property and lands

adjacent to it and, as events were to prove, these owners were more than

ready to do business with him. Flagler had come to St. Augustine for the

first time in 1884 for a honeymoon with his second wife. He liked the town

and the couple returned the following winter, ostensibly to vacation.

According to one of his biographers, however, he had more on his mind than

holidays.60 Within a few weeks, in the spring of 1885, his thinking had

crystallized about entering the hotel business in St. Augustine: he had

met Andrew Anderson; he had consulted architects and constructionexperts;

and with Ander son.'a help.. he had begun to buy land. Anderson became,

effectively, Flagler's land agent during the crucial early days of the

enterprise. He not only sold Flagler the land for the Ponce de Leon

Hotel and other large parcels to the west and north, he also assisted

in the purchase of other properties, coping with many vexing title pro-

blems in the process.6

In the midst of the land speculation that followed his arrival on

the scene Flagler felt impelled to reassure one correspondent, "I have

no desire to speculate in St. Augustine property; I only want to buy

certain property which will be needed for the new hotel.62 Speculation

may not have been Flagler's motive, but in fact his acquisitionsin the

city north and west of the hotel were extensive, approximately forty acres,

and far exceededany apparent requirements of the hotel.

Flagler's ownership of the quadrangle, Orange-Cordova-King-San

Sebastian River, never became complete. The northern tier of city blocks

along Orange Street remained in the hands of other (except the northwest

block, which Flagler interests acquired piecemeal). On the south, the

center blocks, as we have noted, remained at the disposition of the

Andersons. Nevertheless, by the early 1890's Flagler possessed an impor-

tant block of property. He began to develop it immediately but the pace

of development, particularly of residential properties, was to fluctuate


From 1885 to about 1895 Flagler's own entrepreneurial and personal

interests were paramount. During the first decade he built, within the

quadrangle, the Ponce de Leon Hotel, the Presbyterian and Methodist

churches, his winter home, "Kirkside", and a large red brick steam

laundry for his hotels. During this period also, and up until 1903, he

made scattered sales of rather spacious lots (by modern city standards)

in the vicinity of the hotel and the churches, usually to well-to-do

winter residents or to senior officials of his'organization.

More systematic commercial exploitation of the Flagler properties

may be dated from 1903 when, in a single transaction, he conveyed to the

Model Land Company title to about thirty-seven acres north and west of the

Ponce de Leon Hotel.63 Model Land had been incorporated in 1896 to handle

Flagler's extensive Florida land holdings, estimated to total about two

million acres, most of which had accumulated by virtue of grants provided

by Florida law to the railroad builder. 64

Under Model Land's aegis the pace of land sales quickened, continuing

at livelier though fluctuating rates until the early twenties when that

part of the area destined to be in residential housing was almost entirely

committed to that purpose. (Here we except the subdividing ca. 1950 of

the Kirkside estate and of the hotel laundry lot across Riberia Street

from it). From an annual average of five property sales (usually lots,

but occasionally houses as well) in the period 1903-05, sales declined to

four annually in the period 1906-10,roseinl911-15 to five again, jumped in

1916-20 to thirteen annually, and then fell back to less than five annually in

1921-25. 6There was almost no residential construction in the area during

the thirties and early forties; it was only after World War II that the

remaining scattered Model Land lots were filled.

After Model Land assumed control of the Flagler properties the lots

sold tended to be narrower and shallower than they had been previously.

Model Land, particularly in the second decade of the century, seemed to see

itsvocation increasingly in providing land for the housing of workers,

especially those who were coming to St. Augustine to work in the newly

established central offices and shops of the Florida East Coast Railway.

Most intensive development was in the western tier of blocks from Orange

to King Streets, adjacent to the railroad offices and some of its shops.

In this strip three new one block streets, Lemdn, Almeria and Oviedo,

were cut to make the smaller lots possible.

The accelerated development of the teens and the twenties should not

obscure the fact that, relative to some other residential area of the city,

the Model Land property for three decades after Flagler's initial acquisi-

tions in the mid-1880's was developed for residential purposes at an almost

glacial pace. The south side of Orange Street, for example, filled in by

the early 1900's with residential housing at a time when Flagler's large

holdings adjacent to the south were trickling into individual hands at the

rate of four or five lots a year. One may surmise Flagler originally in-

tended a neighborhood of large, gracious homes on capacious lots that would

complement his luxury hotels. This was achieved to some extent in the

immediate vicinity of the Ponce de Leon Hotel, but ultimately economic

and social realities dictated that the tract be filled out with more

modest residences. The Flagler boom was over by the turn of the century.

St. Augustine was destined to become not a winter Newport for the elite, but

a resort for the middle class.

One result of the deliberate development of the area is that, while

the story of Flagler and the Model Land Company north and west of the Ponce

de Leon Hotel is an important part of the total picture of the city's neigh-

borhood development around the turn of the century, its yield in terms of

homes built before 1900 is slender. One house in a class by itself, of course,

is Andrew Anderson's home, "Markland", whose cornerstone was laid in 1839.6

But "Kirkside", immediately west of the Memorial Presbyterian Church and

Manse, has been razed. The Ball mansion, praised so highly by Sidney Lanier,

was torn down in 1962. For many decades in the Flagler era and afterwards it

was, with alterations, the Barcelona Hotel on the northeast corner of Sevilla

and Carrera Streets.

The mode of development of the Flagler holdings was not, however,

without its ultimate benefits for those who lived there. Construction

spread over many decades helped to contribute to the diversity of the

area. Model Land did not administer its properties with the discipline

we find in the development of modern subdivisions. Architectural con-

formity was not required. The size and shape of lots varied considerably,

as did the social and economic status of the residents. By the early

1930's the marsh and orange groves of fifty years before had been trans-

formed into a neighborhood comprising:

-about 260 residential structures

-a large residence on spacious grounds

-a large luxury hotel

-two smaller hotels

-several rooming houses

-a large YMCA building complex

-five churches

-a cemetery (which had existed since the eighteenth century)

-immediately adjacent to the area on the north, an elementary and
junior high School

-a hotel laundry

-a community welfare distribution center

-a well-equipped playground for smaller children

-the city's public high school

-several large vacant lots ideal for baseball

All this, and only a short walk downtown, or to the railroad station.

The modern large city or suburban resident will surely find much to envy



1. Pablo Castello, "Piano del Presidio de San Agustin de la
Florida, y sus Contornos." July 21, 1763.

2. Charleton W. Tebeau, A History of Florida (Coral Gables, 1971),
pp. 29-42.

3. Castello, "Plano del Presidio'"; John Cambel, "A Sketch of St.
Augustine Harbor." February 28, 1780; Charles Vignoles, "A Plan of the
Harbour, Town, and Fortification of St. Augustine, Florida." c. 1821.

4. American State Papers; Public Lands, 5 vols. (Washington:
Duff Green, 1834), V: 14.

5. Thomas Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine: The Anderson
Family and the Ancient City, 1821-1924 (St. Augustine, 1978), p. 9.

6. Clements, Benjamin and J.B. Clements, "Plan of the City of St.
Augustine, East Florida." May, 1834.

7. Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine, pp. 31-33.

8. Ibid., p. 51.

9. Ibid., pp. 41-42 and 158-168.

10. Ibid., pp. 37-42.

11. Ibid., pp. 132-135.

12. Ibid., pp. 151-153.

13. Ibid., pp. 153-156.

14. Ibid., pp. 167, 178, 191-204.

15. Ibid., pp. 219-222.

16. Castello, "Plano del Presidio."; Rogers C. Harlan, "A Military
History of East Florida During the Governorship of Enrique White, 1796-
1811." M.A. thesis. (Florida State University, 1971).

17. Castello, "Piano del Presidio."; American State Papers, V: 58, 37,
414; Works Project Administration, Spanish Land Grants in Florida, 5 vols.
(Tallahassee, 1940), III: 152; V: 62-64.

18. Castello, "Plano del Presidio."; Cambel, "A Sketch of St. Augus-
tine Harbour."; Charles Loch Mowat, East Florida as a British Province,
1763-1784 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943), p. 68.

19. Mariano de la Rocque, "Plano General de la Plaza de San Agustin
de la Florida, y sus inmediaciones." December 24, 1791.

20. American State Papers, V: 414; Rogers, "A Military History of
East Florida," pp. 187-189.

21. Benjamin Clements and J.B. Clements, "Map of the City'of St.

22. St. Johns County Courthouse, Map Book 1, p. 103; Deed Records,
Book 2, p. 26; Book AAA, p. 510.

23. Ibid., Map Book 2, pp. 14 and 51; Map Book 3, p. 36.

24. Castello, "Plano del Presidio de San Agustin de la Florida, y
sus Contornos."

25. Cambel, "A Sketch of St. Augustine Harbour."; Ramon de la Cruz,
"Plano del Presidio de San Agustin, en la Florida Oriental, con las en-
tradas de sus Barras, Rios, Canos, Cienegas que lo circuyen." n.d.;
Rocque, "Plano General de la Plaza de San Agustin."

26. Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, pp. 70 and 78;
Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine, pp. 36-38.

27. Vignoles, "A Plan of the Harbour, Town and Fortifications of
St. Augustine, Florida."

28. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book N, pp. 131
ans 135; Book O, p. 76.

29. Ibid., Book U, p. 439; F.W. Dorr, "San Augustin (sic) and
Vicinity, East Florida." 1859-60

30. American State Papers, III: 708; Vignoles, A Plan of the
Harbour, Town and Fortifications of St. Augustine, Florida."; Biographical
File, St. Augustine Historical Society.

31. East Florida Papers, Escrituras, Bundle 363; 1793 Census, St.
Augustine Historical Society.

32. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book AA, p. 3; Book
E, pp. 23-27; Book F, p. 303; Book I-J, p. 10.

33. Ibid., Book M, p. 411; Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine,
p. 267.

34. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book P, p. 343; Book
Q, pp. 333-334; Book S, p. 259; St. Augustine Examiner, Sept. 8, 1866.

35. Wanton S. Webb, Webb's Historical, Industrial and Biographical
Florida (New York, 1885), p. 200; Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine,
p. 154; St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book U, p. 692.

36. HSAPB House Inventory List.

37. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book P, p. 252;
Webb, Webb's . Florida, pp. 201-202; Richard Speissinger, Early
History of New Augustine (St. Augustine, 1948), p. 25.

38. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book T, p. 159;
Webb, Webb's . Florida, pp. 201-202.

39. St. Johns County Courthouse, Map Book 1, pp. 111 and 133; Deed
Records, Book 9, pp. 248-249; Book 17, p. 195; Book 21, p. 384.

40. Ibid., Deed Records, Book S, p. 160; Book T, p. 521.

41. Ibid., Book S, p. 160; Book T, p. 521; Book LL, p. 609; Webb,
Webb's . Florida, p. 196.

42. American State Papers, V: 376, 378, 399; St. Johns County Court-
house, Deed Records, Book HH, p. 146; Map Book-l, pp. 61-62; Map Book, pp.
37-38; Map Book 4, p. 29; Biographical File, St. Augustine Historical

43. American State Papers, IV: 160, 202, 268; St. Johns County
Courthouse, Map Book 3, pp. 14, 26, 60.

44. Spanish Land Grants in Florida, V: 112-113.

45. "Copy of a Plan of the City of St. Augustine, Florida with Some
Additions for the Year 1833."

46. Dorr, "San Augustin (sic) and Vicinity, East Florida." 1859-60.

47. H. Wellge, "View of the City of St. Augustine, Fla." 1855.

48. Sidney Lanier, "St. Augustine in April," Lippincott's Magazine,
XVI (November, 1875), p. 540.

49. Elias Nason, Chapin's Handbook of St. Augustine (St. Augustine,
1884), p. 11.

50. St. Augustine Record, October 21, 1934, interview with Mrs. E.F.

51. Ibid., interview with Charles Hopkins, Sr.

52. Clarence Edwin Carter, ed., The Territory of Florida, 1821-1824,
vol. XXII of Territorial Papers of the United States (Washington, 1956),
p. 203.

53. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book L, p. 87;
Charles S. Coomes, "Tolomato Cemetery," El Escribano, 13 (October, 1976),
pp. 107-138.

54. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book B, p. 36; Book
EE, p. 320.

55. Ibid., Book PP, p. 17.

56. Ibid., Book 4, p. 182.

57. Ibid., Book EE, p. 116; Barcelona Hotel File, St. Augustine
Historical Society.

58. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book I-J, pp. 345,
349, 369..

59. Ibid., Book FF, p. 197.

60. Sidney Walter Martin, Florida's Flagler (Athens, 1949), pp. 103ff.

61. Ibid., p. 110.

62. Ibid., p. 108.

63. St. Johns County Courthouse, Deed Records, Book 5, p. 471.

64. Martin, Florida's Flagler, pp. 239-240.

65. In addition to the 150 or so sales in the Model Land Co.
Subdivision during the 1903-1925 period, the Model Land Company was the
seller in about 160 transactions beyond the area in the city and county.

66. Graham, The Awakening of St. Augustine, p. 73.



The built environment of St. Augustine is unique for a state in which

its most rapid phase of development has taken place within a relatively

short period of time in the twentieth century. The built environment is

unique, moreover, for a nation in which most development has a definite

Anglo or northern European tradition. The built environment of St. Augus-

tine represents the evolution of 400 years of change, with each major

period, Spanish, British and American, contributing a thread to the cur-

rent urban fabric.

St. Augustine still exhibits the first town plan in the United States

and has buildings and structures dating from the late seventeenth century.

The remnants of the city's Hispanic past traditionally have given St.

Augustine its appeal to visitors and scholars from all parts of the United

States, Latin America, and Europe. Post-colonial development, most evident

in the monumental late nineteenth century buildings designed by some of

America's foremost architects, has contributed to St. Augustine's diverse

architectural heritage as has the Restoration Area, San Agustin Antiguo,

in which the colonial legacy of the city and state is represented and

interpreted within a viable, living community.

St. Augustine in 1980

1. Town Plan

Much of the ambiance of St. Augustine is the result of the colonial

town plan, an irregular checkerboard pattern of streets that was designed

for the needs of the city's inhabitants centuries ago. Although the early

governors and settlers modified the 1563 and 1573 royal ordinances regulating

the laying out of settlements in the New World, the urban plan of the

colonial section of St. Augustine nevertheless resembles hundreds of

other town plans throughout Spanish America. The plaza, narrow thorough-

fares, and smaller blocks of the sixteenth-century plan have survived rela-

tively intact in the area south of the plaza to Bridge Street as have

the street patterns of later colonial growth. The town plan encompassing

maximum colonial development, the urban area enclosed by the early eighteenth-

century defense lines, was designated in 1970 as a National Historic Land-

mark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Patterns of colonial development, however,, exerted a powerful influence

on development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well. Although

the Spanish confined their urban activities to the area between present-

day Orange, San Salvador, and Cordova Streets and the bayfront, the town

plan that evolved outside the colonial city was a function of the sub-

dividing of homesteads that the Spanish governors granted in the late

eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As a result, many subdivisions

and street patterns correspond closely to the boundaries of late colonial

land grants. A number of streets outside the colonial city also date from

the late colonial period, including Kings Ferry and Bridge Streets (British

Period) and San Marco Avenue (Second Spanish Period). Because of these

persistent developmental patterns, the St. Augustine town plan, as seen

in its entirety, best exemplifies the colonial heritage of the city.

2. Buildings

The most tangible aspect of the built environment is evident in the

numerous old buildings situated throughout St. Augustine. The survey

identified 2,356 buildings that had been constructed before 1930, the

standard fifty-year rule adopted by the National Register, and another

fifty more recent buildings were included because of their architectural

and/or historical merit. St. Augustine may have the greatest density of

pre-1930 buildings in the state of Florida. Almost one-half of the build-

ings in the city are fifty years or older, a figure which would be sub-

stantially higher if the hundreds of residences and businesses in the two

essentially post-World War II developments, Davis Shores and Ravenswood,

were excluded from the total. Many neighborhoods, particularly in the

Southwest Peninsula and the southern section of North City, consist almost

entirely of pre-1930 buildings, and modern intrusions generally are limited

to their perimeters.

Table 1 shows that 73.9 percent of the buildings surveyed were con-

structed in the twentieth century, 25.1 percent in the nineteenth century,

and less than 1 percent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As

seen in Table 2, thirty-five buildings have survived from the colonial

period. The Castillo de San Marcos, the nation's oldest masonry fort, is

also the oldest extant structure in St. Augustine, having been built

between 1672 and 1695. Despite historical and contemporary claims to the

contrary, no domestic structures survived the 1702 destruction of the city

at the hands of the invading South Carolinians. Thirteen buildings date

from the late First Spanish Period (1702-1763), one building from the

British Period (1763-1784), and twenty-one buildings from the Second Spanish

period (1784-1821). (See Appendix V). Research conducted during the survey

was able to document the existence of four additional heretofore unknown

colonial buildings, those at: 35, 53, and 71 Marine Street and 173 Avenida

Menendez. Although later modifications obscured their colonial origin,

documentary and on-site research confirmed their antiquity. Through the

application of strict criteria and additional research, a number of buildings

formerly recognized as colonial were subsequently discovered to be of




Date Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total

17th 1 1
(0.3) (0.1)

18th 21 21
(6.7) (0.9)

19th 134 7 43 207 161 42 9 605
(42.9) (14.3) (16.9) (32.2) (23.0) (11.0) (13.4) (25.1)

20th 156 42 212 436 538 339 58 1779
(50.0) (85.7) (83.1) (67.8) (77.0) (89.0) (86.6) (73.9)

Totals 312 49 255 643 699 381 67 2406

NOTE: The lower number refers to percentage; upper to the number of surveyed buildings.











W. Agt. A. Isld.

Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City


12 1 2 3
(3.8) (0.4) (0.3) (0.4)

48 3 56 34
(15.4) (1.2) (8.7) (4.9)

72 11 60 196 158
(23.1) (22.4) (23.5) (30.5) (22.6)

114 36 190 383 498
(36.5) (73.5) (74.5) (59.6) (71.2)

31 2 1 2 6
(9.9) (4.1) (0.4) (0.9) (0.9)

312 49 255 643 699

The lower number refers to percentage; the upper to the number of









5 1
(1.3) (1.5)

46 9
(12.1) (13.4)

326 57
(85.6) (85.1)


381 67

surveyed buildings.

nineteenth or twentieth century origin, including Government House (1935)

and the Canova-Dow House at 46 Bridge Street (c. 1840).

Only eighteen buildings built in the Territorial-Early Statehood

Period (1821-1865) have survived, two-thirds of them within the colonial

city area, although it must be remembered that relatively little new con-

struction took place in St. Augustine during these years. However, those

at 22 and 23 Water Street and 19 Joiner Street in Abbott Tract, 115 Bridge

Street in Dumas Tract, 102 King Street on the former Anderson estate, and

9 Central Avenue on the former Foster estate represent the oldest buildings

lying outside the boundaries of the walled city area and, as pioneer

buildings and homesteads, set patterns for subsequent development in their

respective neighborhoods. A list of all extant buildings from this pre-

Civil War Period is found in Appendix VI.

The 147 buildings built in the two-decade recovery from the Civil

War form the first significant cluster of buildings outside the colonial

city, particularly in subdivisions like Abbott Tract and the eastern portion

of Dumas Tract. Almost 23 percent of the building surveyed were constructed

during the Flagler era, St. Augustine's economic and cultural renaissance

of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1885-1904). St. Augus-

tine's best examples of post-colonial architecture are found in this period,

especially in the 1885-1899 span, as wealthy northerners filled the monumental

hotels and churches and built stately residences in the colonial city area

or immediately to the west in Flagler's Model Land Company Subdivision.

Other subdivisions containing a high concentration of Flagler era buildings

include City of St. Augustine Blocks 46A-C and E-J, Masters Tract, Garnett

Addition, Abbott Tract, Williams Addition, east Dumas Tract, Atwood Tract,

Genovar Addition, and Buena Esperanza.

Two-thirds of the surveyed buildings were constructed between 1904 and

1930, although over 62 percent of these date from the Boom Period following

the First World War. Most of the buildings in the 1917-1930 period were

built either in new subdivisions in outlying areas such as Fullerwood and

Nelmar Terrace or in neighborhoods such as Rhode and Carvers subdivisions

that first developed in the Flagler era, but were never extensively built-

up after the money and dreams departed the Ancient City. Twenty-eight of

the fifty post-1930 buildings were built in the 1960's and 1970's by the

Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, the St. Augustine Restoration

Foundation, Inc., and the St. Augustine Historical Society as historic recon-

structions in areas within the colonial city. The remaining twenty-two

newer buildings were either owned or occupied by prominent personalities,

such as actor Richard Boone, or possessed sufficient architectural merit,

such as the Neoclassical Revival school building at 47 Orange Street.

A stylistic breakdown of the 2,406 surveyed buildings is seen in Table

3 and is discussed in detail in the section "Analysis of St. Augustine" on

pages 128-80. Eighty percent of the buildings could not be described in

terms of any well-defined architectural style and were therefore listed as

Frame or Masonry Vernacular. These buildings represent a wide range of types,

from the one-story simple frame house to the two-story residence with exten-

sive decorative gingerbread and from the basic concrete block rectangular

shell to the massive brick tobacco factory. The next two most common styles

are, not surprisingly, Bungalow (4.8%) and Mediterranean Revival (4.7%),

the most popular types being constructed throughout the city during the

Florida Boom Period. Fifty-five buildings (2.2%), all located within the

colonial city, are built in the Spanish Colonial style, although thirty

are indigenous to colonial structures and twenty-five are found on historic

reconstructions. A related style, the St. Augustine Colonial Revival, was

quite popular in the 1960's and early 1970's as property owners remodeled



Style Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total

Frame 139
Vernacular (44.6)

Masonry 22
Vernacular (7.1)

Bungalow 17

Mediterranean 23
Revival (7.4)

Garage 13
Apartment (4.2)

Spanish 56
Colonial (17.9)

Colonial 3
Revival (1.0)

St. Agt. 20
Colonial Rev. (6.4)

Queen Anne

















Revival (1.3)







































TABLE 3 (cont.)

Style Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total



Spanish Ren.


o Gothic

Venetian Ren.
































TABLE 3 (cont.)

Style Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total

Greek 1 1
Revival (0.1) (0.1)

Octagon 1 1
(1.5) (0C1)
Romanesque 1 1
Revival (0.4) (0.1)

Neoclassical 1 1
Revival (0.4) (0.1)

Commercial 1 1
(0.4) (0.1)

Totals 312 49 255 643 699 381 67 2406

NOTE: The lower number refers to percentage; the upper to the number of surveyed buildings.

twenty-two older buildings (0.9%), almost all within the colonial city,

into Spanish-looking structures. Fifty-three Colonial Revival buildings

(2.2%) are still standing throughout St. Augustine, but more commonly in

Model Land Co., Abbott Tract, and Fullerwood Subdivisions. Quite sur-

prisingly, St. Augustine has only 15 surviving Queen Anne Style buildings

(0.6%), most of which are modest examples of the style, despite the

popularity of the style during Flagler-era growth. Perhaps one explanation

is that many of the well-to-do Northerners regarded their homes here merely

as winter cottages and temporary quarters as Flagler pushed his way south

towards warmer clime.

In addition to the colonial buildings, St. Augustine architecture is

best known for its few, but highly significant Flagler-era churches, hotels,

and residences. The monumental Hotel Ponce de Leon, Alcazar Hotel, and

Grace United Methodist Church, all designed by Carrere and Hastings, are

the three classic examples of Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture in

the country, and the contemporary Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church and

original Manse, also designed by Carrere and Hastings, are outstanding

examples of Venetian Renaissance Revival architecture. The nearby Ancient

City Baptist Church, built at the same time, is done in the interesting,

though less flamboyant Romanesque Revival style. All these grandiose

buildings are located within or next to Flagler's Model Land Company Sub-

division which lies immediately to the west of the colonial city area.

The eight Moorish Revival buildings from the Flagler era form perhaps

the largest collection of this style in the country and range from the

simple at 33 Old Mission Avenue to the ornate at 83 King Street and 174

Avenida Menendez to the monumental at 95 Cordova Street (Cordova Hotel).

Other styles also evident from the Flagler years include two Second Empire

buildings (8 Arenta Street and a remodeled colonial residence at 279 St.





















S.E. Pen.










M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City

191 576 635
(74.9) (89.6) (90.8)

8 42 39
(3.1) (6.5) (5.6)

29 9 7
(11.4) (1.4) (1.0)

14 7 4
(5.5) (1.1) (0.6)

8 1 11
(3.1) (0.2) (1.6)

1 1
(0.2) (0.1)

1 4
(0.4) (0.6)

A. Isld.




W. Agt.





















TABLE 4 (cont.)

Use Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total

Entertain. 2 3 5
(0.6) (1.2) (0.2)

Industrial 1 1 2 4
(0.2) (0.1) (0.5) (0.2)

Scientific 1 1
(2.0) (0.1)

Other 1 1
(0.6) (0.1)

Totals 312 49 255 643 699 381 67 2406

NOTE: The lower number refers to percentage; upper to the number of surveyed buildings.

George Street), three Italianate buildings (22 Granada Street, 34 St.

Francis Street, and 20 Rhode Avenue), and one Octagon House (62 Light-

house Avenue).

St. Augustine has a smattering of other noteworthy nineteenth and

twentieth century styles, most particularly Carpenter Gothic (the best

example is at 232 St. George Street), Gothic Revival (223 and 241 St.

George Street), Tudor Revival (57 Weeden Street and 22 East Park), Greek

Revival (65 Fullerwood Drive), Commercial (FEC Offices at 1 Malaga Street),

Mediterranean Baroque (161 Cordova Street), Neoclassical Revival (47 Orange

Street), and Mission Revival (20 Dufferin Street and 24 Fullerwood Drive).

The present uses of the surveyed buildings is seen in Table 4. The

three most common were private residences (84.5%), commercial (7.5%), and

apartments (2.9%), followed by churches (1.3%), educational facilities

(1.2%), and museums (0.9%). The twenty-three museums, a large number

for a town of the size of St. Augustine, is related to the traditional

history-tourist function of the city. Most legitimate museums are located

in the Restoration Area on north St. George Street, around the St. Augus-

tine Historical Society complex along St. Francis Street, or in a several

block area from the colonial city.

Despite the age of St. Augustine's buildings, only 4.3 percent are

listed in deteriorated or non-habitable condition, although many of the

733 buildings listed in fair condition exhibit obvious decaying tendencies

and could fall into disrepair if not properly maintained. (Table 5) The

majority of dilapidated or semi-dilapidated buildings are located in low

income areas in either the Southwest Peninsula (Lincolnville), West Augus-

tine, or in certain neighborhoods in North City. The highest percentage

of buildings listed in excellent or good condition are found in the more

economically viable sections of the community, including the Colonial City



Condition Colonial S.E. Pen. M.L. Co. S.W. Pen. N. City W. Agt. A. Isld. Total

Excellent 13 8 5 7 1 34
(4.2) (3.1) (0.8) (1.0) (0.3) (1.4)

Good 232 38 185 308 486 225 61 1535
(74.4) (77.6) (72.5) (47.9) (69.5) (59.1) (91.0) (63.8)

Fair 59 11 58 273 186 142 5 734
(18.9) (22.4) (22.7) (42.5) (26.6) (37.3) (7.5) (30.5)

Deteriorated 8 4 57 20 13 1 103
(2.6) (1.6) (8.9) (2.7) (3.4) (1.5) (4.3)

Totals 312 49 255 643 699 381 67 2406

NOTE: The lower number refers to percentage; upper to the number of buildings surveyed.

area, Southeast Peninsula, Model Land Co., and Anastasia Island.

3. Other Features

St. Augustine of 1980 consists of more than streets and buildings.

Other, lesser known features of the urban landscape also contribute to the

totality of the built environment. Without these structures, objects, and

historical sites, St. Augustine would lack some of its important historical

attributes and would lose much of its charm and ambiance.

a. Structures

St. Augustine possesses a iumberof highly significant structures, most

particularly the 1808 coquina City Gate, the former main entrance through

the Cubo defense line; the 1872 Lighthouse on Anastasia Island; and the

1926 Bridge of Lions spanning Matanzas Bay. Although the City Gate, owned

by the National Park Service, is in a good state of preservation, the other

two structures currently are threatened with either deterioration in the

case of the Lighthouse or demolition or severe alteration in the case of

the Bridge of Lions. A proposed new bridge across the bay would not just

spell an end for the bridge, but the increased traffic it would bear would

pose a serious threat to the integrity of the colonial town plan in the

plaza and contiguous areas.

Several historic walls also merited documentation in the course of

the survey. The seawall, parts of which may date to its original con-

struction in the mid-1690's, is the most prominent, although three old

house wallssouth of the plaza are highly significant. The south wall at

214 St. George Street (Horrutiner House) is the only extant colonial tabby

wall in St. Augustine, and part of a tabby house section can be seen in

the coquina property wall that enclosed the mid-eighteenth century Cavedo

House at the southwest corner of Cadiz and Aviles Streets. The coquina

wall that surrounds the northern portion of the St. Joseph's Academy lot

was constructed out of rubble from a two-story house that stood on St.

George Street near Cadiz Street and served as a school in the late colonial

period and again as a school for freed blacks after the Civil War. Another

relatively unknown feature is the massive coquina base underlying Monson's

Motor Lodge at the corner of Treasury Street and Avenida Menendez which

was part of the Rodriguez-Leslie House built in the mid-eighteenth century

and, as the Vedder Museum, destroyed by fire in the late nineteenth century.

A list of other structures surveyed in the course of research is found in

Appendix II.

b. Objects

As seen in Appendix III, the objects which contribute to St. Augustine's

built environment are generally of more recent origin than the structures,

with only one object, the Constitution Obelisk, dating from the colonial

period. Several were erected later in the nineteenth century, including

the Dade Massacre monuments (1842) in the National Cemetery, the Confederate

War Memorial (1872) in the plaza, the Pell Horse Fountain (1887) next to

Government House, and the fountain (1899) behind Government House. The re-

mainder were built in the twentieth century with erection dates clustering

around both World Wars and the Restoration boom period of the 1960's and


Most of the twenty-one statues, memorials, and fountains are located

in or near the plaza and lend considerable visual pleasure to the down-

town area. A second cluster is found at another well-visited site, the

Mission of Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue.

c. Historical Sites

The seven historical sites surveyed represent a broad range of St.

Augustine history, beginning as far back as the 1565 Menendez landing

place and subsequent Indian mission site and the 1740 battery site that

Oglethorpe set up on Anastasia Island during the siege of St. Augustine, and

ending with the Flagler-era park in west Model Land Co. that fronted the

now demolished railroad station. Eighteenth and nineteenth century ceme-

teries constitute the rest of the historical sites listed. The old,

weathering gravestones and landscaping of these cemeteries contribute to

the overall historical ambiance of the town and continue to attract visitors

daily. The colonial Catholic Tolomato Cemetery, the oldest visible ceme-

tery in St. Augustine, is situated just outside the walled city area, and

the Protestant Public Burying Ground, erroneously called the "Huguenot

Cemetery," is located just to the north of the colonial city. The National

Cemetery at the southern end of the National Guard complex and the La Leche

Cemetery at the Mission Grounds are two other pre-Civil War cemeteries

within the city of St. Augustine.


The complexity and diversity of the cultural resources of St. Augustine

require an area analysis of the built environment. For such purposes, the

city has been divided into seven principal geo-historical sections which

share certain physical characteristics as well as similar historical and

developmental patterns.

1. Colonial City

The Colonial City is the section of St. Augustine that was enclosed

by the early eighteenth century defense lines and is listed as a National













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Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. As best

seen on the 1764 Puente map, the colonial urban area is bounded by present-

day Orange Street on the north, Cordova Street on the west, San Salvador

Street on the south, and the bayfront on the east. As a whole, the Colonial

City represents the most diverse and most comprehensive concentration of

historical and architectural resources in St. Augustine, with tangible

remains from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. A total of

281 pre-1930 and 31 post-1930 buildings were surveyed throughout the

Colonial City.


Collectively, the buildings within the Colonial City, as one would

expect, are the oldest in St. Augustine. Whereas only 26 percent of the

surveyed buildings in the city date from before the twentieth century,

almost 50 percent in the Colonial City were built in the seventeenth,

eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. (Table 1) The greatest range of

architectural styles also are evident in this section of St. Augustine,

particularly along the entire length of St. George Street. Only 45

percent of the buildings are listed as Frame Vernacular, compared to 75

percent for the entire city. (Table 3) Moreover, one-half of the Moorish

Revival and Carpenter Gothic buildings, one-third of the Queen Anne

structures, and all of the Gothic Revival buildings fall within the old

city area. Examples of Italianate, Second Empire, and Mediterranean

Baroque also can be seen.

Despite this architectural diversity, the most prominent style next

to the vernacular is related to colonial or Spanish-looking architecture.

Almost one of every three surveyed buildings are designed in an Hispanic

style: 18 percent as Spanish Colonial, 6 percent as St. Augustine Colonial

Revival, and 7 percent as Mediterranean Revival. As will be discussed below,

this Hispanic ambiance does not pervade the entire Colonial City, but is

concentrated in several blocks or on a number of streets. The old city

area has its share of Bungalows (5%), but curiously, only 1 percent of

all surveyed structures are designed in the turn-of-the-century Colonial

Revival style, a style more popular in the new subdivisions, such as

Model Land Co., opening up during the Flagler era.

As a reflection of the downtown business district, the Colonial City

area, compared to the rest of St. Augustine, has the lowest percentage of

private residences and, conversely, the highest percentage of commercial

structures surveyed. (Table 4) This section of the community also has the

greatest concentration of buildings used for museum and military purposes.

With the exception of the buildings on Anastasia Island, those within the

Colonial City are the best maintained in the city as only 22 percent are

listed in fair or deteriorated condition, well below the city-wide percentage.

(Table 5)

For purposes of detailed analysis, the Colonial City is divided into

six subareas that share certain historical and architectural features and

other characteristics. A breakdown of the data discussed below is found

in Table 6-10.

Area I: Orange Street to Hypolita Street
(69 pre-1930 and 20 post-1930 buildings surveyed)

a. Historical Development

The northernmost section of the walled colonial city was bounded in

the eighteenth century and nineteenth century by the Cubo defense line and

the City Gate on the north and in the eighteenth century by the Rosario

defense line, present-day Cordova Street, on the west. This area first

developed in the late seventeenth century as the city expanded northward


from its earlier settlement south of the plaza. All structures were

destroyed in the 1702 siege of the city, those generally north of Cuna

Street by the Spanish to establish a clear field of fire from the fort,

and those south by the invading South Carolinians. By mid-century

buildings had been rebuilt mainly along St. George and Spanish Streets,

and a number of them still stand on St. George: Avero, DeMesa, Arrivas,

and Rodriguez-Sanchez Houses. During the British period, the Minorcans

generally settled in this section of town, and it remained the "Minorcan

Quarter" well into the nineteenth century. New construction continued

in the Second Spanish Period (1784-1821), with four extant buildings and

structures dating from this era: Paredes-Dodge, Triay, and Genopoly

Houses (the latter also called the Oldest Schoolhouse) and the City Gate.

By the mid-nineteenth century, development expanded westward along Hypolita

and Cuna Streets. The post-Civil War years brought intense commerciali-

zation to part of Hypolita and all of St. George Streets as the main

thoroughfare became lined with shops, boarding houses, and large hotels.

The areas off St. George Street remained essentially residential, and

Spanish Street became by 1900 one of several predominantly black neigh-

borhoods outside Lincolnville, having its own school and church in the

southernmost block of the street. St. George Street underwent major

changes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the

construction of the massive concrete city hall at the corner of Hypolita

Street and with the demolition of colonial structures and the erection of

brick commercial buildings. This section of the street gradually deteri-

orated into a depressed business district. Since 1959, the Historic

St. Augustine Preservation Board, in conjunction with the St. Augustine

Restoration Foundation and private citizens, has restored and reconstructed

twenty-five buildings along St. George and Cuna Streets as part of a movement

to recognized the city's disappearing colonial past. Several of the Board's

buildings are operated as part of a living-history museum, San Agustin


b. Architecture

This section of the Colonial City, located immediately to the south-

west of the Castillo de San Marcos, has been the major area of restoration

efforts over the past two decades and is one of St. Augustine's leading

tourist attraction areas. The principal architectural ambiance of this sec-

tion is Spanish or British Colonial in nature with almost 40 percent of

the surveyed buildings designed in Colonial or St. Augustine Colonial Revival

styles. Restorations and reconstructions line most of St. George Street.

Elements contributing to its colonial ambiance include buildings constructed

at the street line, walls lining the street, overhanging balconies, and

ornamental rejas. Streets outside the Restoration Area, particularly on

Cuna, Spanish, and Charlotte Streets, have a large number of Frame Vernacular

post-colonial buildings, generally built between 1865 and 1904, although

the one at 46 Spanish Street dates from the early Territorial Period.

Avenida Menendez, formerly Bay Street, has become a modern commercial street

dividing the Restoration Area and the Castillo. The area generally retains

the colonial street patterns, though there have been major alterations

around the City Gate and bayfront. This section is bounded on the east

by the bayfront and seawall, long a famous scenic attraction.

c. Uses, Condition, Problems

A relatively balanced combination of residential and commercial uses

are found in this area, and, because of the Preservation Board's museum,

almost one-half of all the museum buildings in the Colonial City are located

here. Despite the extensive restoration and reconstruction work that has

taken place, the area suffers from the largest collection of buildings in

the Colonial City listed in either fair or deteriorated conditions. This

is primarily due to the numerous nineteenth century wood frame buildings on

the fringes of the Restoration Area. Traffic is limited in the area and

banned on St. George Street, but there are still serious traffic and parking

problems because the area is so heavily traveled. Because of the commercial

value of the land, there are continuing pressures for new development which

is not always in conformity to historical antecedents.

Area II: Hypolita Street to Cathedral Place (excluding Plaza frontage)
(41 pre-1930 and 2 post-1930 buildings surveyed)

a. Historical Development

This section of the walled colonial city traditionally has been one

of the main commercial and hotel districts in St. Augustine since the mid-

nineteenth century. The area was first developed in the late seventeenth

century as the colonial community expanded northward towards the newly-

completed Castillo de San Marcos. The entire city was destroyed in 1702

by the invading South Carolinians, but by mid-century, the Rosario defense

line had been erected along present-day Cordova Street and numerous resi-

dences had been rebuilt on all streets, particularly between Charlotte

Street and the bay. By the end of the colonial period (1821), this area

was one of the most densely populated in the city, and a number of build-

ings from the Spanish era have survived: Fornells, Sanchez, Burt, Joaneda,

and Espinosa-Sanchez Houses. In the Territorial Beriod, the huge Florida

House was constructed along Treasury Street between Charlotte and St. George

Streets, and the Methodist Church was located immediately to the north on

Charlotte Street. The post-Civil War years brought intense commerciali-

zation to St. George, Charlotte, and part of Hypolita Streets. The Magnolia

Hotel on St. George Street and the County Courthouse on Charlotte Street

were also constructed in the late nineteenth century. By this time Spanish

Street had become one of several exclusive black residential neighborhoods

outside Lincolnville with its school on the Dragoon Barracks lot and its

own church south of the Magnolia Hotel. The bayfront was a residential

area with several boarding houses, and a bathhouse and yacht club pro-

jected into the bay from the seawall. This section of the colonial city,

particularly the blocks between the bay and St. George Street, was ravaged

by major fires in 1887 and 1914, and consequently it has one of the lowest

percentages of nineteenth century buildings within the old city. The

older structures lie along Spanish Street and the west side of St. George

Street south of Treasury Street, two areas untouched by the devastating


b. Architecture

Buildings in this section date from colonial to the present, although

most (61%) were constructed in the twentieth century. This area, moreover,

has the fewest colonial buildings within the Colonial City. No one style

has a visual dominance, but a combination of Spanish Colonial, St. Augustine

Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival, accounting for forty-four per-

cent of the surveyed buildings, contribute to an Hispanic theme, different

though from the Spanish Colonial theme dominant in the Restoration Area

to the north. An interesting Moorish Revival facade on St. George Street

further adds to this southern European ambiance. Charlotte and Spanish

Streets, however, have retained a late nineteenth-early twentieth century

look due to the cluster of Frame Vernacular buildings there. Because of

the commercial nature of this section, there are relatively few Frame but

many Masonry Vernacular buildings. With the exception of Avenida Menendez,

the late seventeenth century street pattern generally has remained intact,

and the area boasts the narrowest street in the city: Treasury Street east

of Charlotte Street. This section is also bounded on the east by the

scenic bayfront and seawall area.

c. Uses, Condition, Problems

This area and in particular St. George Street is still St. Augustine's

leading commercial center as testified by the fact that almost one-half

of the surveyed buildings are used for commercial purposes and that businesses

outnumber the combined total number of private residences and apartments.

As a business district, it is faced with traffic and parking problems, the

result being that large areas have been leveled and blacktopped for parking

lots. The streetscape has been damaged by the destruction of landscaping

and the putting of the backs of buildings on public display. A once-famous

colonial stretch on the east side of Charlotte Street, for instance, is now

mainly taken up with the backs of motels and other commercial establishments.

Because of more recent construction, about 70 percent of the buildings are

listed in good or excellent condition, and none are listed as deteriorated.

Buildings in fair condition are located in clusters of late nineteenth century

Frame Vernacular structures along Charlotte and Spanish Streets.

Area III: Plaza Area
(10 pre-1930 and 2 post-1930 buildings)

a. Historical Development

The concept of a plaza or public square has been central to Spanish

urban planning in the New world since the late sixteenth century. According

to 1563 and 1573 royal ordinances, the plaza was to function as the principal

recreational and meeting area in the community and was to be surrounded by

the most important governmental and ecclesiastical buildings. The St. Augus-

tine plaza dates from this period, although only one of the stipulated

buildings, the Governor's Mansion, actually fronted the plaza before the

early eighteenth century. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,

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