March 28, 1973
To: John D. Bailey, Chairman
Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board
William F. Rolleston, President
St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.
From: John W. Griffin, Director
Historic St. Augustine Pr eervation Board
Subject: Theatre on Towers Lot.
I have seen the proposed plans for a semi-permanent outdoor theatre on the Towers
Lot facing St. George Street in the Restored Area and offer the following comments:
1. The installation possesses a degree of permanence not anticipated
from previous verbal communications.
2. The area involved is master-planned as an eventual entrance point
to the Restored Area, dependent upon acquisition of all or part of
the Peck property. With the present unavailability of the Fraser
property the future importance of this lot (vacant in Spanish times)
3. Excavation for placement of footings would obligate us to salvage
archeological excavations, if we are to be consistent in our
approach to the necessity of archeological clearance before further
alteration of the landscape. This would be both very costly and
time-consuming and could not be done prior to the desired construc-
tion date (estimated minimum 3-month project).
4. Since we are committed to reconstructing only what was present
in the past, the street side should not be a false front. It would
have to be a screening device which blends into the surroundings
but does not give a false impression of the historic past.
5. Length of time area to be used for theatre in relation to the
Greek Shrine project must be considered.
6. Possible visual incongruence with the steadily improving
appearance on St. George Street to a colonial aspect.
Mr. John D. Bailey
Mr. William F. Rolleston
March 28, 1973
The concept of street theatre as an adjunct to the total program is valid, if held
to proper perspective. Despite comments which have been made, I doubt very
much if street theatre was ever a part of the Spanish garrison village of St.
Augustine. Certain types of street festivals occurred, particularly during
Carnival, but the only colonial drama of which we have record was held in Govern-
ment House during the British Period. Therefore, street plays should not be
presented as something that was here in the colonial past, but would take their
proper place as an adjunct to interpretation.