March 6, 1974
Mr. George L. Milligan
Arthur Young & Company
737 Florida National Bank Building
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Dear Mr. Milligan:
This letter Is in response to yours
Sister's property in St. Augustine,
of February 19 regarding the Montgomery
and Mrs. C. D. Towers' intentions con-
First, it should be noted that in all sections of your letter, except
section (3) the proper agency involved Is the Historic St. Augustine Pres-
ervation Board rather than St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.
As indicated in the enclosed copy of a letter from the Division of Archives.
History and Records Management, a federal grant in the amount of $41,238
has been approved for the restoration of this property.
In direct response to the points enumerated In your letter:
(1) The Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board will develop
plans for the restoration and secure the approval of Mrs.
Towers before work commences. You will note that the plans
must also be approved by the National Park Service before
work can commence.
(2) Relating to deed conditions:
(a) We can understand the reason for the reverter clause,
but are wondering whether it will be acceptable to the
State of Florida and, since the property value is the
basis of the matching federal grant, to the United States
government. Perhaps this particular point should be
discussed with Mr. Clinton Coulter, Legal Counsel of
Secretary of State Stone. His Tallahassee number is
(904) 488-2263. Or, perhaps the assured federal funding
may serve to reduce the need for such a reverter clause.
(b) Discussions with
Mr. Coulter indicate that there is no
in either the life estate clause or the
Mr. Milligan -2- March 6, 1974
availability for use by surviving children not to exceed
a total of four weeks in each year. We would hope that
the required 12 days-a-year public access, which Is a
federal condition of the grant, could be on a regularly
scheduled basis and that family use could be worked
As a state property administered by the Historic St.
Augustine Preservation Board, grounds and exterior
maintenance would be provided by the Board in keeping
with standards for maintenance of historic structures
As a state property, it would be immune from taxation,
and would be covered under the state fire insurance
program. Privately owned contents, however, could not
be Insured by the State.
(c) It is also our earnest desire that this restored build-
ing stand as a memorial, in fact, even from the beginning
as a living memorial, to Mrs. Towers, and that this
should be suitably recognized at the site. However, in
keeping with the principle of naming a historic struc-
ture for its first owner, the "official" name of the
house is the "Juan Joaneda House". We do not believe
this is really a conflict, for the restored Joaneda
House will be a memorial to Mrs. Towers.
(3) The offer of the use of the upstairs of the Villalonga House
is a matter strictly between St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.,
the owner of the Villalonga House, and Mrs. Towers. Any for-
mal delineation of this arrangement should be handled through
Mr. William F. Rolleston, President of St. Augustine Resto-
With these comments, which are primarily ones of clarification, we are hopeful
that it will be possible to move rapidly toward the deeding of the property,
which as we have said, is a condition of the now approved federal restort1on
grant. Upon title being vested in this Board, we will move Immediately Into
the preparation of plans for submission both to Mrs. Towers and to the National
Park Service. Upon approval by both parties, we will move rapidly on the ac-
tual work of restoration in order to have the completed structure available as
soon as possible.
John 0. Bailey, Chairman
Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board
cc: Clinton Coulter, Department of State ,---.
William F. Rolleston, St. Augustine Restoration, Inc. h p97