THE LLAMBIA H OU SE
St. 4evmre Street
Undertaken by the
ST. AUGUSTINE HISTORICAL
PRESERVATION c& PESTCRATICN ASSOCIATION
STUART MOFETT BARNETTE
The restoration of the historic Lambias House
may be regarded as a pioneering venture in at least
three instances. It is (a) the first instance in St.
Augustine where a thoroughly professional approach to
the rpstorqtion of a historic building was undertaken;
(b) it is the first time the restoration of a house of
Spanish nri ;in in the South-Eastern part of the United
States has ever been attempted; and (c) it constituted
the initiation of che first major effort to organize
the scanty and widely dispersed historic documentary
mt'.crial on ?panish colonial architecture located in
the so'.th-esat rn United Staies. In the o-inion of the
author it iF truly a nmomnntus occasion, the importance
of vahich will not be recognized for some time to come.
It w1ll, I hope, merk the beginning of a scholarly,
professional approach by 7t. Augustinians to the cul-
tural problems and opporiunites for civic improvement
which confront that ancient and ..till charming city.
During my repeated visits to the historical archives
of the Librarv of Congress and the Hispanic Society
where I sought to supplement the research efforts of
-ur historians I was repeatedly advised that little was
knrwn eb-ut the architecture of colonial Florida. A
rich and promising op-ortunity awaits reseqrhists in
As in all ;l.oneering ventures mnny new and unexpected
obstacles were iet by those directing the restoration pro-
-ram. There i. no doubt that the solutions which v.ere
devised to overcome them can ,:nd ,.ill be improved upon
in future undertakings of this nqttutp.
The Llnmbias 'Tr:~ e re, toration mpy then be properly
regarded as -,,rTot'ing in the nature of a -ionumcnt to
the idr-ls an'-'o a-,i .. -,,'..ns of ih-',... ..ho r'oognl ze th-
culturail :n: economic v.l'u.e of t. ., ur. inol hi ucoric
nrchiLtectu ,e. 'Til.s w-or;: was in lbot}h ccmiplRc:d in the
face of con-
In view of the reference conditions the relatively
successful reTtortion of this building should be regard-
ed with considerable apprccivtion and pride. Local,
national, and oven '.nter-national esteem for the r-sults
of this undertaking vill, I believe, increase ',ith time
if the property .s ;-roperly ad:iini.ste-ed and maintained.
It can nnd sh-,u'.d b.cc-ni one of the fev. lovely cultural
oae.s thaUt r,,mrin in city presently f .-lingj rovingig
r-ins". Tho otent.l lly lev~-l; ,:reoi : ei-Rily be
made a regional pttrcction anc become a :.'ecca for those
wh' wish to *".'ijoy robreat from the T.y:'rmannie and c-'m-
inlsions wh'_ ch : ,(omproamiri thU' daily lives of :mot of us.
The potential -ivic service f'-cilities offered by the
S.,- "qbric of the house are many and v:ill, I
hope, he -drvntaeously exploited.
The foll.ow:'i.n r-- ,- 'houl i br recognized as a
docuirn'nt :.-:'king nnd r-'fl.ctin- q tr'ns i: :~ n l i '-riod
in thi- -nr4'n -' ti'^ of iC- -' rnd ''cii ie" o f b s-
to "lcrll: :ind! 1 ,t. \-~ ini ns. It 'ill frr ,one
d,'.l'r,,] -' v t' i .'. . 'ci. is
.. ...l.sel .Ct i ': 7.-i s '2 :-" f. ilitiF s
f ... L b fc 1. r" *:I" oh "'.' r 't '. ; 8<' tL r'n-cal
o.'. .... not r' o 't- cor .-ts will s. 1 ov.rlve," .'ninpgly and
unne cess a.:-' co 0:1 o ":l i c i.e. 1,.
'ie are- .'.,.,:ct ,-vid t s'-- ,,. - .n ; t. :, plen:::'.:nu
th-n, 1; heivvy rv1ponsibility o.f i.: pro-rmn r-.cocnize
th va' i, 1it .y of both such p L.ri 5tsal s. ',e therefore
offer both tho h'use as it ':iu h-'r restored and this
report as yrHsent-.ed t"h thU ri 'lelul feeling that
both c,--;lnono t-': Li.Lns or' -e .on ibi~l ste-'sardship
_v'^"i'h 'n -" c,,nscintl 1iously b.een di:-chl'-ied nn2, whV.ch has
a-inr'illy ,n;l:,loyevd nI] th flacilitJic n t our dis- osal.
S. 1. 3.
T', RESTnRR TIr'N OF TTT LLAMBIPS HPUSE
The following documentary re-ort is designed to substan-
tiate the architect'ss professional deductions and designs
which giulded the restoration of the historic Llambias
House on St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida.
The report contains a general account of the prob-
lems which confronted the St. Augustine Historical Fre-
serv'ciion and Restoration Association and their architect
Stuart Bprnette at the beginning of the program. Herein
are described the theories and methods which were employed
in solving them.
In the main, the contents of the report are restricted
to those matters which are of purely architectural nature.
This includes the "interpretation" of references to arch-
itectural characteristics found in historic documents and
of similar interpretation of Thysical architectural remains
made available to the architect by the Association or
itz agents. It in no way attempts to puthenticate The
source or character of the information so provided beyond
evaluation through the application of practical profess-
ional architectural experience.
All information pertinent to this subject which was
formally trFmnmitted to the ai t' .t ,h "; :..cinted
by the s iton t st t r ; -f h'tori
research, is included in the main body of this report,
in its Appendix, or in accompanying parcels.
Before any construction operation was initiated
which would in any way disturb the architectural evidence
in the building proper, a tentative policy was formulated
to guide the restoration program throughout its duration.
This policy which was finally adopted with the Restoration
Committee of the St. Augustine Historical Preservation and
Restoration Association was basically similar to that
recommended by, and generally adhered to, by the National
Park Service and other prominent restoration agencies.
In "essence" it may be defined as follows -
I. To survey and to prepare an accurate and detailed
record of the building as it existed prior to any struc-
II. The inauguration of an archeological and/or explora-
tory program designed to disclose any information of
importance in the environment of, or in the fabric of
the main building.
III. The institution of a program of historical research
to be conducted by appointees of the Association, designed
to uncover information of importance relating to the
character of the Llambias House and/or of buildings of
similar architectural character.
IV. The study and interpretation of the evidence so
disclosed, in the light of the architect's professional
background and previous association with historic archi-
V. The synthesis of the information resulting from the
aforementioned programs including: "recording", "archeo-
logical-exploratory", "historical-research", and "inter-
pretation". This synthesis to take the form of architec-
tural drawings permitting restoration.
VI. In connection with various stages of preservation,
repair, and restoration another page was taken from the
excellent policies advocated by the National park Service.
This has been stated as follows: "Better preserve than
repair, better repair than restore, better restore than
VII. It was decided that since the purpose of the restor-
ation was to serve as an educational program for the
Public, that when possible all restored features would
disclose the character of ancient building materials and
VIII. In view of the fact that the house would become a
"Public Building" certain practical compromises with
maintenance problems and "Tublic Safety" would have to
Since these compromises will no'doubt be immediately
apparent to students of early American architecture
it would be well to designate such features at once.
Included in this group are: (a) Frovision of electrical
outlets for emergency heat, light, and maintenance
equipment including a street light to serve night-time
public functions; (b) Added safety factors in material
sizing to insure safe usage by the Public; (c) Provision
for the access of large service vehicles to the garden
area by the provision of a gate for which no historical
precedent was found through research.
IX. 'When the results of research failed to be specific
in the nature of recommendations and offered several
"possibilities" or "choices" of designs, the design which
promised to be most interesting to the Public was
generally incorporated in the restoration plans.
During preliminary conversations between the Assoc-
iation and the architect conducted prior to the signing
of the contract for professional services, the following
needs were agreed upon by both parties: (a) The need for
an architectural historian to conduct the program of
research and (b) The need for a "Clerk of the Works"
to superintend the procurement of building materials and
the execution of plans during the absence of the archi-
The committee informally assured the architect that
such service cr.onnel ..ould be made available.
Mr. Carver Harris acted as Clerk of the Works from
the initiation of the restoration in March, 1952, to
around May, 1954. Judge David R. Dunham accepted the
responsibilities for these duties from that date until
the completion of the work. During this period Mrs.
Eleanor Barnes was engaged to prepare a geneology of the
Llambias House fan ily and other owners of the property.
Mrs. Marion R. Moulds, librarian of the St. Augustine
historicall Society undertook to conduct the research
program and to provide the architect with documentary
information of an architectural nature. Only information
Ipossessed by ?rs. "oulds could pay appropriate tribute
to those who assisted her in this undertaking. The con-
tribution of Miss 'nily ilson, Mr. Ned Lawson, Mr. Albert
Manucy, and others were however of extreme importance.
Mr. Carver lanrris and Jr. Charles Olson took most of
the original photographs in this report. Mr. John Griffin
generously provided the author with reproductions of
photographs in documents owned by the St. Augustine
Mr. Fred Stone was in charge of building operations.
Te was ably assisted by Mr. Victor Guiseman, Mr. Phillip
McLeod, Mr. Louis Salano and many others.
Whatever degree of success the restoration and this
report achieves is due in great part to the interest
and cooperation of many public spirited citizens of St.
Augustine and especially the riembers of the St. Augustine
Historical reservation and Restoration Association.
ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY AND RECORD
On March 26, 1952, when the restoration program was
started the Llambias House was in verypoor physical con-
dition. It had been untenanted for a long time and neg-
lect and decay had taken their toll. Window panes were
broken or missing, blinds were damaged or had disappeared,
the original plaster stucco finish on the walls had been
patched and replaced with cement stucco, the street
balcony hRd been struck by passing trucks thereby weaken-
ing both balcony frame and coquina masonry supporting
the balcony beams, the chimney cap was loose and needed
pointing, floors and partitions were rotting as the.
result of dampness in short it was obvious that a pro-
gram of repair and stabilization alone would be a consid-
erable undertaking. (Plates 2, 3 4 )
However preliminary to the initiation of such a
program, a recording survey was in order. The architect
in a Preliminary Teport prepared at the behest of the
Association recommended that such a survey proceed any
form of restoration activity. Detailed architectural
records were therefore prepared of every feature of the
building as it existed on the date the program was ini-
tiated. This record included architectural notes covering
both early and late architectural features. The archi-
tectural records were supplemented by photographic
records and by samples of building materials and paint
Our search for evidence of the aforementioned
architectural features as well as for others, was grat-
ifyingly rewarding. I shqll fully describe the work
undertaken throughout the building and its immediate
environs, under the following appropriate headings.
LIMITATION OF EXCAVATIONS AND SCREENING TECHNIQUES
EMPLOYED IN EXCAVATION WORK
An area contained within a rectangle extending six
feet outside the main walls of the house was designated
for exploration using archeological techniques. This
area was excavated thoroughly to a depth of two feet.
The earth removed was carefully screened through /14"
mesh hardware cloth. The fragments of articles discovered
while seemingly of little importance were placed in the
possession of the Association. No unusual stratifications
of earth or other materials were observed during this work.
Several feet to the south and east of the late two-
story wing the remains of an old coquina-walled well were
discovered. By carefully removing the earth around the
remains a crumbling portion of a circular wall which
presumably originally carried above grade, was disclosed.
(Plate7 8). Careful examination of the masonry walls
showed evidence of continual abrasion on the inside of
these walls at a point nearest the house. This evidence
was interpreted as wear caused by water-filled well
buckets rubbing against the wall of the well-wall as these
buckets were drawn therefrom. It also provided the archi-
tect with information necessary to locate the walk between
house and well and to determine the radius of the circu-
lar architectural super-structure of the well which was
eventually restored as part of this well.
FILL It was a common practice when "elosing-up" domestic
IN WELL hazards such as are presented by open but obsolete
wells, to deposit household trash of a contemporary nature
in cavities thus presented. In the hope of exhuming evi-
dence of importance from the "fill" used in closing this
particular well, the material taken therefrom was care-
fully screened. The material which failed to pass a screen
of 1/4" hardware cloth consisted of miscellaneous fragments
of glass and china, an old cast-iron "iron" and an early
piece of architectural hardware. This latter itemrwas a
HARDWARE piece of blind hardware used to hold blinds
FOR BLIND in position against the wall. It was a real
"find". Its design identified it as probably being the
product of a local blacksmith. It was of a design which
was popular as early as 1820. It doubtless was used to
hold back blinds similar to the early examples remaining
on the house. When, during the process of restoration
operations no other evidence was uncovered which indicated
a different design might have been used, this oatch was
carefully reproduced and used wherever blinds were
replaced in the restoration. (Plate45).
The reference records were.accurate enough to permit
a detailed restoration of "any" feature of the structure
were it to be inadvertently or otherwise damaged or
destroyed and found later to be of importance in the
final restoration picture. Such records were also made
to enable the architect or the Association to refute
claims that might later arise crediting them with having
removed or destroyed architectural features of historic or
In addition all early or otherwise important
architectural features wiich might conceivably be damaged
or have to be removed and replaced, were marked with an
indelible symbol which would facilitate accurate replace-
GENERAL OBSERVAU ONS
In the Preliminary Report which the architect
prepared for the Association he identified the most sig-
nificant changes in the architectural evolution of the
Llambias House. A graphic conception of what it was
expected the final restoration would look like is shown
on Plate 5 This is a reproduction of an architectural
rendering prepared by the architect before the restoration
program was initiated.
While the similarity between this rendering and the
final restoration indicates that the architectural
appearance constituted a good "guess", it is equally
obvious that there is considerable disparity between
In presenting this report the author has taken the
liberty of recounting the respective phases of the
restoration in a sequence that is not strictly chrono-
logical. This liberty is taken to enable the reader to
follow more easily the "unfolding" of the evidence used
during this program.
THE ARCTTHOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE ARCHITECTURAL
It was recognized by all concerned that a thorough
and comprehensive archeological program was desirable.
However, neither monetary considerations nor appropriate
consideration for the time element involved,permitted us
to initiate such a program. Instead, in view of these
limitations, it was determined necessary to restrict the
geological limits of such investigations to an area six
feet outside the foundations of the building as it appeared
in 1953 when the restoration was started.
This program of preliminary investigation work may
then not be properly considered "archeological" in the
strictest sense of the word. It should be considered rather
of "exploratory" nature. It is believed, however, that
attention to the most important details of archeological
techniques were employed during this operation and to
the knowledge of the architect, no important evidence was
The Llambias House as it appeared in March, 1953,
seemed to lack architectural features supporting the
claim that at least "part" of it was built during the
first Spanish period. As the direct result of my assoc-
iation with the restoration of the Governor's Palace
in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and my studies of Spanish arch-
itecture in Spain and elsewhere, I had learned-to look for
certain architectural features characteristic of Spanish
architecture which were not superficially visible in
the Llamabias House.
Most prominent among the architectural characteris-
tics found in Spanish and Minorcan-Spanish houses are
the arcades, galleries and balconies which permit the
occupants to enjoy the cooling breezes yet be protected
from the hot rays of the mid-day sun. Both of these
features were almost invariably placed so that they
were physically inaccessible to persons in the street
without the express invitation of the resident. The
arcades and galleries were usually placed on the rear of
the house within a high garden wall. The balconies were
usually raised above the street so as to interfere as
little as possible with the passing Tedestrians, horseback
riders, and vehicles. Both galleries and balconies were
accessible from the second floor chambers. These archi-
tectural spaces were used as out-of-door living rooas.
They usually contained chairs and benches and inevitably
included cages for birds and pots for plants and flowers
which are so common in Spain. (See also page 1 in the
John Bartram's diary confirms the reasonableness of
the expectation that evidence of these architectural
features would be discovered and be identified as an
early fe-ture of this house. Bartram's remarkable document
provides us with one of the most valuable and presumably
accurate descriptions of St. Augustine as it appeared when
he visited it in 1788. Later in this report I will
identify those other features in the final restoration
which are also referred tolim in his description of the
early architecture of St. Augustine.
Excavations were then begun in the garden at the
east end of the house. Here was disclosed the remains of
a coquina curbing several feet long and approximately
four inches. wide. Such curbing apparently marked the
boundary of a flower bed or a garden walk. Curbing of this
nature was probably made from scrap taken from coquina
quarries or was made from discarded blocks of coquina
considered unsatisfactory for structural walls. Photographs
in the possession of the library of the St. Augustine His-
torical Society show several examples of this curbing
which may even have been cut especially for this purpose.
Some of these photographs illustrate curbing of consid-
No particular date has been assigned to this prao-
tice. Thephotographs in the library indicate that it
was used in the last half of the century but it doubtless
was used much earlier and is still used today.
Several photographs in this report will show how
this type of curbing was used as a border for the flower
beds and walks which were incorporated in the restoration
picture finally offered to the Public.
Further to the north and east the remains of what
appeared to be a coquina gravel pathway leading from the
street to a point about five feet south of the south-east
corner of the main building. It is believed that this was
a walk providing the principal access to the house through
the garden. On the basis of this evidence the entrance
wqlk and gate were located in the position they now
occupy as part of the final restoration.
MASONRY STAIR ENCLOSURE,
AND SECOND PLOOR GALLERY
The most important discoveries of all were of course
those which disclosed the one-time existence of what has
been identified as a stairway enclosure, arcade, and
gallery. A veritable sequence of discoveries confirmed
our expectation that such elements would be discovered
and identified as a part of the building during an early
stage in its development.
ARCADE The first of these substantiating discoveries
came when a portion of the floor of the 20th century wing
was removed to permit exploratory excavations at a point
where the wall was "expected" to be found.
STAIRWELL It was with considerable satisfaction therefore
when we almost immediately struck the foundation of a
wall confirming these expectations. It was eleven inches
in thickness (the Spanish measurement corresponding to
our twleve inch foot) and continued for about eight feet
in a line with the west wall of the house proper. (Plate ).
This wall was not bonded at the point where it Joined
the corner of the main body of the house. This indicated
of course that it was not built at the same time that
the main body. of the house was erected but was in all
likelihood a later addition.
PIERS We preceded to follow this wall and found
OPENINGS that about eight feet from the main building
it turned at a right angle eastward and continued in
that direction for a distance of approximately ten feet,
(Plate JO). At this point the footing was stopped by a
large square piece of coquina stone which appeared to
be part of what had once been a stone pier. (Plate 10)
At this point a row of brick stretchers laid flat and
placed side by side continued eastward in the same line
for a distance of six feet. (Plate 1). This row of
bricks was at that point interrupted by another large
square of stone.
This alternating pattern of brick border and stone
piers repeated itself three times (Platei it and 1)
and then when it reached a point opposite the east end
of the building turned abruptly north at a right angle
and returned to the house in line with the east wall of
the house proper. (Plate 14). This evidence seemed to
leave little doubt that we had discovered the foundation
of what was once the stairway enclosure arcade. Our
archeological evidence indicated that in the Llambias
House this had constituted a semi-enclosed living space
completely enclosing a stairway at the west end and pierced
by large openings flanked by stone piers at the east
end. This had at one time doubtless been an important
architectural element of the house and probably supported
a second floor gallery.
Further excavation disclosed the fact that between
FLOOR the brick border _nd the house proper a tabbly floor
had existed. (Plate 15).
The remains of a brick walk was discovered to the
south of the row of bricks at the west end of the series
WALKS of alternating brick borders and stone pier founda-
tions. (Plate It). This evidence was interpreted as being
the remains of a brick walk which presumably led from the
arcaded section of the house to the well and possibly
to other buildings which may have once stood within the
A search for evidence designed to substantiate our
belief that a gallery had once surmounted the stone
structure below was subsequently instituted.
The results of this search were also gratifying.
When the stucco was removed from the rear wall of the house
GALLERY evidences of floor and roof framing of an
early type were disclosed. At a point approximately ten
feet from the west end of the building the hand-hewn
plate surmounting the south first-floor masonry wall was
notched to receive a large wooden member entering from
the south. Thereafter a series of similar but smaller
notches appeared in the plate approximately four feet on
center. (PlateA4#). These may reasonably be interpreted
as mortises for floor framing members of an early gallery.
The first and larger mortise which appeared nearest the
west end was interpreted as accommodating a rough framing
member supporting the gallery fteia and the well stringers.
Since the spacing of the other floor framing members was
not close enough together to give the supported floor
boards adequate stability the need for transverse members
was recognized. The only additional members which could
be used would be purlin-type members. Purlins were used
extensively during the eighteenth and early nineteenth
Evidences of early roof framing for the gallery
area were discovered at the south ends of both the east
and west masonry walls of the main building at the upper-
most position on these walls. These were holes which had
obviously originally accomodated roof framing members.
Relatively late construction had also used.the same holes
to provide bearing for late roof members but the later
members were so light in section that much wedging and
plaster had to be placed about them to anchor them securely
in the walls. A thin coat of early lime plaster remained
in these large cavities and thus permitted us to determine
the approximate size of the original roof framing members
which occupied these positions. l~tes27, O, and L,3
show the restored members in place. Plate shows the
eighteenth century architectural precedent used in the
preparation of restoration drawings. Plate 3 and Plate 25
indicate the similarity between precedent and actual restor-
The removal of areas of late stucco immediately below
the holes mentioned above revealed holes in the masonry
which it is believed accomodated hand, foot, and inter-
mediate railings contemporary with prototypes popular
during the mid-nineteenth century. (Plate J ). This
*ldence was not followed in the restoration due to the
fact that the architect felt that unjustifiable confusion
would result from combining nineteenth century railings
and balusters in a gallery that otherwise was composed of
details peculiar to the eighteenth century.
A summary of the results of the exploratory work
which was conducted OUTSIDE the main section of the
building area and which has just been described is
shown on Plate 6. Plate 18shows a conjectural rest-
oration of the rear of the house which was maie upon
completion of the reference exploratory work.
EXPLORATORY WORK WITHIN THE BUILDING
FLOORS Exploratory work was then undertaken within
the walls of the main part of the building.
The late wooden floor was first removed and a floor of
modern concrete was discovered beneath it. When the
oonorete floor was removed beds of oyster shell which
might have once provided a sub-grade fill for an earlier
tabby floor was discovered. The character of the fill
lying "between" the concrete and the oyster shells con-
tained generous amounts of a poor grade of shell-lime.
It is therefore reasonable to asmsme that this may have
been the remains of a tabby floor.
FLOORS That a floor of concrete had originally
existed was proven by the vertical extent
of the wooden door frames and trim which extended isto
the late concrete floor. (Platee),
Part of a tenon remained on the reference door
frame. Apparently this tenon had been mortised into a
wooden shoe placed upon an early floor possibly the
original floor of tabby. By graphically reconstructing
such a method of construction we were able to determine
the elevation of this early floor.
FIREPLACE The estimated elevation of this early floor
was confirmed by the vertical location of the fragmentary
evidence of a brick hearth at first floor fireplace.
The size of the brick fragments of this hearth correa-
pounded to the aile of the bricks found outside the building
between the stone pier foundations. Obviously the refer-
ence hearth had been installed at or near the same time
the brick borders placed outside in the arcade openings,
had been laid.
No other information of importance or pertinence
was discovered during the digging below the level of the
floor. The excavations carried to the bottom of the footings
of the masonry walls of the house proper.
FIREPLACE It was'next decided to remove the late plaster
on the inside of the coquina walls to see if
the information so disclosed would provide us with more
information concerning the original door and window
openings in the masonry walls as well as other information
The removal of the late mantel-piece and the plaster
at the fireplace on the first floor showed that several
fireplaces had existed prior to the present one. In fact,
each new fireplace had become succeedingly smaller. (See
Plates L gj, and 3 ). The earliest fireplace was dis-
covered to have been constructed entirely of coquina
and originally had no architectural treatment of a dec-
orative nature. The relieving arch was of elleptical
form and composed of vousoirs of quite small size.
CACHE? Much excitement attended the examination of this
fireplace and the chimney serving it. At one point
it was thought that we had uncovered a hitherto undib-
covered secret cache. Our imaginations permitted us to
visualize the discovery of untold wealth from the galleon
of Spanish conquistadors. Unfortunately, our excitement
was unjustified. What we thought might prove to be a
cache turned out to be a patch closing a relatively
late stove thimble.
However several very significant finds were made
shortly after this incident which in the opinion of the
architect more than compensated for the previous disapp-
BARLY The first of these occurred when the plaster
OPENINGS was being removed from the masonry wall above
(SPANISH?) the fireplace. At one point (Platef2l the
plaster pointing in the stone joint looked peculiarly
smooth. A study of the stereotomy in this area (Plat*.b.
led to the prediction that an opening had existed at this
point prior to the construction of the fireplace.
This prediction proved to be correct for the "upper"
part of an early splayed-Jamb opening (Plate $1) was
disclosed when the plaster and masonry which had concealed
it had been removed. This opening was left exposed in
the final restoration to permit its examination by scholars
and others interested in early American architecture.
WINDOW Subsequently fragmentary evidences of "other"
OPENINGS early openings in the first floor walls of the
house were discovered. These openings had pre-
sumably been closed during subsequent remodeling operations
on the building. These openings probably constitute part
of the fenestration of the house during a much earlier
period. They were all carefully photographed and measured
but the reconstruction of this evidence uncovered consti-.
tutes a study far beyond that contemplated by the current
restoration program. Plates and show some of.
the evidence so disclosed. One of these openings was in
such poor condition that it was considered almost imposs-
ible to preserve it in place. The salvagable vousoirs were
therefore removed and carefully stored so that at same
STEREOTOMY future date the Association may re-erect
them as part of a later restoration program.
The stonework which surrounded two of these early
openings discovered in the south wall on the first floor
of the house were also left un-stuccoed to permit exam-
ination by students of early American architecture, his-
torians and others.
Another discovery of major importance was made after
we had removed the late plaster from the inside of the
south wall near the west end. At one point the pattern
of the coquina stone AND tabby masonry in this wall seemed
unusually complex. Large areas of this wall also appeared
to have been "laid-over" with plain mud or plaster with
a very low grade lime content. It was indeed such a "poor"
mix that it could be dusted away with a whisk broom.
LINE OF By continuing to carefully dust away this coating
STAIRS of mud the masonry pattern shown in Plate was
revealed. It will be seen that a very clear
pattern resembling steps is shown. The character of the
tabby below this line was not dissimilar enough to that
above to enable the author without benefit of chemical
analysis to determine which was the earlier. However the
fact that a large stone shown in the extreme right hand
edge of Plate 34had been artificially "notched" in such
a way as to provide a bed for a stone which, it is believed,
once constituted one of the steps in an outside stairway,
led the architect to graphically reconstruct an arcade
stair starting at this point and working downward to the
east, Following the general line indicated on the reference
photograph. It was found that such a graphic reconstruction
provided a stairway which would provide outside access
to the second floor and would (a) stay within the walls
tentatively identified as an early stair enclosure; (b)
provide a relationship between rises and treads which
would meet both the level of the arcade floor and also
the level of the second floor; (c) would locate the gal-
lery facia and balustrade at the point indicated as
probably original by the mortises discovered in the early
plate and in a position which would not interfere with a
second floor window opening discovered during the Prelia-
inary Investigation; (d) locate the lower run of steps
in a position which would not interfere with the restora-
tion of a first floor window located slightly above and
to the east of the lower run of stairs. The presence of
this last mentioned window was indicated in the masonry
and disclosed by the removal of plaster near the point
where the line of steps indicated in the masonry was
BEAMS During the reference Preliminary Investiga-
SECOND tion the author predicted that if the plaster
concealing the joists of the second floor were
removed it would be found that they were originally
exposed. Plates 40, show the various stages of con-
firmation resulting from exploratory work. Plate 39 shows
the beams completely revealed; the window referred to
in the previous paragraph restored; and the new lim.-
plaster on the wall which revealed the pattern of the
outside steps. A portion of the restored tabby floor also
appears in the lower right hand corner of the photograph.
BEAM The exposure of the early beams allowed us
SUPPORTING to study them to seek more information of an
FIREPLACE archeological nature. Our studies revealed
two more important pieces of information.
The second beam from the west end contained a notch
approximately five inches deep extending across its top
face for a distance of about five and one half fed .
Anyone familiar with mid-nineteenth century house con-
struction would immediately identify this notch as pro-
viding bearing for a wooden floor to support a brick hearth
for the second floor fireplace above. This notch was not
disturbed but was incorporated in the restoration of
the hearth. This evidence is quite visible to anyone who
wishes to see the justification for the size and con-
struction of the hearth restored to the reference
fireplace. This same evidence of course also justifies
the removal of the concrete hearth which served this
fireplace before the restoration program was started.
MANTEL The mantel of this second floor fireplace
FIREPLACE which was somewhat mutilated (Plate7 ) at
the time the restoration program was initia-
ted, was eventually carefully repaired. This mantel
resembled very closely one of those to be seen on the
second floor of the Patio House. Many of the mouldings
incorporated in both of these mantels seem to have been
run by the same knives. Perhaps one day research will
discover that the interior woodwork in both of these
houses was milled and installed by the same craftsman.
BRICKWORK The construction of the fire-PLACE indi-
OF 2ND FLOOR
FIREPLACE cated both by its design as well as by the
size of the bricks and means of supporting
the flat arch of the opening, that it was not installed
when the chimney was originally built. In fact this
fireplace makes use of the generous flue serving the
fireplace below, instead of providing a new flue. The
presence of an larger iron lintel above a lower one
(Plate 48) indicated that the original fireplace at this
point was larger than the one open when the restoration
started. This also accounts for the mutilation of the
bases of the mantel as shown on Plate47. Plate 4 shows
the mantel as restored.
BALCONY The exposed first floor ceiling beam or
second floor joists, as one may wish to iden-
tify them, also contained some very important data on the
method of supporting the balcony overhmaging St. Francis
Street. By carefully examining Plated4 one may see in
the third beam from the top two holes piercing the old
beam dear its upper edge. Holes similar to those pierced
all these old beams except tt'ose at the extreme east and
west ends of the building. These were identified as holes
which permitted cantilever beams which pierced the wall
to support the balcony overhanging the street. The cor-
rectness of this assumption is supported by both historic
precedent offered by Spanish homes in the Old World as
well as the New, and by the size of the holes in the
masonry wall facing the street which it is believed ori-
ginally provided bearing and passage for such beams. The
extent of the horizontal sequence of the beams containing
these holes provided us with a reasonably accurate esti-
mation of the length of the original balcony. (Plate 2).
Plate4Cf shows the new restoration in place.
BALCONY We continued to look for further evidence con-
cerning this early balcony by studying the late
balcony and the main b-dy of the building immediately
I BALCONY The late balcony contained only one piece of
what is believed to have been part of the
original balcony. This was a piece of four and one half
inch by four and one half inch plate. It however contained
some valuable information which showed how such members
were spliced both at intermediate points and at the
corners. This member which contained the marks of a cir-
cular saw was hand-dressed on three sides. It also con-
tained evidences of its original coat of paint. The color
BALCONY was a red, sometimes identified as TUSCAN red.
COLORS On the soffit of the plate there were some ommis-
alons approximately four and one half inches square
located at equal intervals of about seven feet. These
were identified as marks locating the original balcony
posts. Such spacing however divided the total length of
the balcony into four equal spans. This evidence proved
BALCONY that the late "three"-bayed balcony had not in
its construction followed the earlier balcony
v.ry closely in the number and location of these posts.
The design used in the restoration however followed
this eqrly evidence very closely and employed a four-
BALCONY When the exterior stucco plaster at the ends
of the estimated original extremities of the
balcony were removed sealed holes in coquina masonry
were revealed. The shape of the holes and the plaster
anchoring them enabled us to approximate the shape,( Plait 5)
size end location of the hand and foot rails. There was
also discovered a wedge shaped hole with point placing
inward halfway between the upper and lower rails which
indicated that the earlier balcony had fitted the baluster-
panels with the classical motif shown on the house in
Plate 53. This obviously justified the rejection of the
latter vertical rectangular wooden balusters with which
most St. Augustinians are familiar. Plates 52 and 54
show the hand, foot, and intermediate decorative rails as
BALCONY It was not necessary to remove the late stucco
PITCH in this area to determine the angle of the roof
of the original balcony. If the reader will
examine Plates 55and 56 closely it will be noticed that
the back-band mouldings of the exterior window trim
are clipped at an angle which indicates that originally
the presence of a roof rafter and probably a plastered
ceiling had interrupted them at points where they are
clipped. Plates 57 and 58 show the roof restored. The
architect recommended that this balcony be sealed as
was the custom during the mid-nineteenth century and in
BALCONY conformance with the evidence in the building.
Representatives of the Association however
asked that the ceiling be not restored, in order to sim-
plify maintenance problems.
.BALCONY Plate 59 shows an interior view of the balcony
before it was restored. Plate 61 shows the
restored balcony. The flooring used was taken from the
interior flooring and was identified as being of mid-
nineteenth century character; this flooring was salvaged
from the old flooring found in the second floor chambers.
The method of r-ugh sawing and milling will be identified
by lumbermen as being peculiar to that employed in the
mid-nineteenth century. The floor framing follows the
construction indicated in numerous photographs and
drawings in the Historical Society library and presently
remaining in the balcony of the Fatio House.
PLASTER Upon the completion of exploratory work assoc-
LATHES iated with the balcony, a study of the lathes
and plaster on the second floor walls and ceilings
was undertaken. The first thing that was noticed when
the examination was begun was the presence of hand-split
lathes throughout the entire building wherever plaster
was not on masonry. It was impossible to identify the
age of these lathes by superficial examination. However
the nails used in applying them we-e cut nails of a type
in popular use during the first half of the ninetenth
century. When it became necessary to remove areas of
plaster which was supported by these lathes they were
all carefully salvaged and re-used in the final restora-
tion. An area of the wall in the west chamber of the
second floor was left unplastered to permit visitors
to the building to examine them. The time element and
scope of the research program did not permit a chemical
analysis of the plaster. However fragments of unburned
shell-lime indicated that it was manufactured before the
perfection of lime burning. This would allocate the
plaster also to mid-nineteenth century.
ROOF The next architectural feature coming under
our scrutiny was the roof. Of course the roof
covering had long since disappeared and been replaced
many times. Only a piece of one plate was hand hewn and
may have remained from the original hip roof. This was
at the east end of the building. All other roof members
contained marks of the circular saw and therefore may
be identified as having been cut after 1835.
ROOF A study of the plaster bed provided for this
plate indicated that it was originally set over
the inside face of the interior plaster. This was all the
information offered by the framing found in the building.
ROOF However we then went to the west chimney to see
if it contained any marks which might provide
some indication of the pitch of the early roof. Only one
piece of evidence was discovered here. This was a reglet
cut in the wall of the chimney and which contained a
piece of what is believed to be early flashing. The line
of the reglet did not correspond to the line of the
last roof. (Plate 60). It was located "above" the late
This evidence justified the conclusion that little
if any of a roof constructed prior to 1`35 remained on
In restoring the roof the precedent set by the English
during the late half of the eighteenth century was fol-
lowed. This called for all roof members to be hand-hewn
and set in a hipped roof at a forty five degree pitch.
It also called for the plate of the roof frame to be
set-"in" so that it would receive the interior plaster on
the inside face of the walls of the upper chambers and for
the exposure of the bottom beams of the roof truss. The
room was finally sealed by the floor boards of the attic
ROOF The reglet discovered in the chimney top was
interpreted as indicating the presence and
angle of "outriggers" on this early roof.
These outriggers were used by the English during the
eighteenth century throughout their colonies in the
West Indies and particularly in Bermuda. Their purpose
was two fold: first, to "kick" rain water running down
the roof slope away from the plaster face of the house
wall below, thus preventing excessive dampness within
the house, and second, to minimize damage to the roof
by hurricanes. These outriggers were made of lighter
sections Ilh'n l.thr mIin rof tj.mbers proper n-.. cou.l
therefore be blo'wn w .'.ay y Vtrenuous winds ca'uing turbu-
lence under the eaves w.ich micht in convrntiu n.l roof
constru-ction blow away -hr entire r-'of.
ROOF 'o evidence of roof dormers was contained in
the .'rrming of tih roof which wps replaced by
this r-'sto'-atin program. Howe.vcr attics of eqrly houses
were almost univerally rFc:(gni-ed by ;,u;eir owners as
"ovidrng vql-1ible str.-;e .fce. The lir-htin-. and
ventilation of such ~a srace ws the before very important,
':e the-efore decided to rrevi:le at leost one dormer to pro-
vide minimum lih117L nd v-ntilw.ti.n.
The Jormer 'wliich .vaSs incor- rated in the Llimbias
.*-HCe w:ps patterned after that presently existing in the
Sancheos 7TOu-c and aft-r ths-e so'.vn on numn.rous sketches
and phttograpths of building ,s in Lh, possession of the
-3t. Augustine Historic .l Society library. Flat roofed
dormn-s of this tyre ve -r -uit common in the rivhteenth
centur- houses throughouit the SEn!,glish Colonies.
SThe Preliminary Report which I had prepared for the
Association had .previously identified the majority of
the windows, doors, mantels, blinds, sash and other archi-
tectural millwork as well as see hardware as being of
mid-nineteenth century origin.
Except for sporadic studies of isolated parts of
the building this in the main concluded the exploratory
work on the architectural fabric of the building.
In the meantime as has been mentioned before, Mrs.
Marion Moulds, Librarian of the St. Augustine Historical
Society library, was conducting a research program designed
to uncover information concerning the architecture of
early St. Augustine. The information transmitted to the
author is contained in the Appendix of this report.
Despite the unselfish devotioh of this lady to a
truly difficult task it is only realistic to recognize
that little new information of material value in restoring
this particular building resulted from these efforts.
At the same time Mrs. Eleanor Barnes was preparing a
geneology of the owners of the Llambias House. Again I
am sincerely and regretfully obliged to say that these
studies proved of little value to the architectural
restoration of this house.
There is little doubt however that the effort of
these individuals has supplied St. Augustine historians
with the nucleus of a study which heretofore has been
almost entirely ignored. Despite the scarcity of the
information disclosed which was pertinent to the Llambias
House, much information of probable value to future his-
torical studies is contained in these reports. The value
nf a "professional approach" to problems such as these
in which so many have so unselfishly participated, is
alone noteworthy and salutary.
It is also only fair to point out that historical
research on the Llambias House was for both of these
individuals only a collateral responsibility.
Therefore in the interest of progress it was nec-
essary for the architect to share the responsibility for
historical research normally assigned to historians.
Fortunately the result of the combined efforts of us all
were productive enough to keep the work progressing
at a reasonable, if not gratifying pace.
The exploratory studies of the Llambias House proper
had in the meantime given us much information of value.
We were from the results of both these studies able to
summarize these "finds" as follows.
The character of the masonry walls of the first floor
contained evidence of early openings which incorporate
a stereotomy design that is almost without identification.
Such designs cannot be identified as belonging to any
particular period of culture. They have been used since
time memorial and are in use today.
Only two bits of evidence seem of value in estimating
the age of the openings.
The first and most important of these is the size
of the rabbets in the masonry. These are of such a size
as to preclude the possibility that they may have origi-
nally accomodated double-hung sash. In the opinion of the
architect they could only accommodate casement sashes or
wooden grills similar to those described by John Bartram
in his description of St. Augustine. However the height
and width of the opening precludes the possibility that
it was either a casement sash or a double-hung window.
The second piece of evidence Is the presence of splayed
jambs. While these are quite common in Spanish houses and
in many eighteenth century houses in the English Colonies
in American they were virtually abandoned in the nineteenth
century in domestic architecture.
In the opinion of the architect these openings
originally contained grills similar to those shown on
Plate A.This is a design that is definitely of Spanish
origin. It was found in an early house in Cuba.
The fact that a definite break appears in the masonry
around the first floor fireplace opening and the fact
that the r mains of a window opening still appears above
itindicates that the chimney is of laber origin than is
this and other splayed-Jamb openings in the masonry. P//eC
In his diary John Bartram says that fireplaces were intro-
duced in St. Augustine by the English after 17`3. It is
therefore probable that these openings belong to the FIRST
PERIOD Spanish house.
The architectural character of the old beams which
now support the first floor are without sufficient
architectural character to identify their period. The
architect believes that they may well have formed the
supports for the first, and probably the flat, roof of
the original house. Facilities for identifying the age
of the wood of these members by scientific analysis was
not at the disposal of the architect.
There is little doubt in the light of the informa-
tion that was disclosed by the archeological work that an
arcade supported gallery ending in a stone enclosed
stairway once formed part of this house. That such houses
were once familiar in St. Augustine as late as 1876 is
supported by sketches reproduced in that year in the
New York Daily Graphic. (Plates 4 and65).
That this arcade, gallery, and stairwell feature was
constructed at a date later than was the original house
there is little doubt since neither the footings or wall
above,of the stair well was bonded into the stonework of
the main building.
Documentary information supporting this theory is
presented by maps in the possession of the St. Augustine
Historical Society library. All the maps prepared before
1788 show the building in block form as an extended
rectangle. However the rectangle indicating the building
on a map prepared by Mariano de la Roque in 1788 more
nearly approaches a square and clearly indicates the
addition of a long architectural element running entirely
across the south side of the building. This element is
of the same relative size and shape as the foundations
excavated and which the architect tentatively identified
as that of an arcade, gallery, and stairwell.
Since de la Roque's map was prepared after the first
British occupation of St. Augustine these architectural
elements may reasonably be attributed to the English.
A survey of English architecture in the West Indies con-
ducted in 1923 by Prof. John S. Humphreys of Harvard
produced the photographs shown on Plate6$. It is a
picture of Glasgow Lodge built in St. George, Bermuda,
circa 1760. Not only does this photograph show an arcade
surmounted by a wooden gallery but one can define a chim-
ney top similar to that which was eventually restored in
the Llmbias House.
That arcades of Aimilnr architectural character
once existed in St. Augustine i testified to by numerous
sketches and photogrP. h; presently in the files of the
Historical Society library. Unfortunately our histor-
ians have been unable to date most of this information.
Two of these have been reproduced and are shown on Plates
and Although thesh sketches were rmde in 1876 these
houses were at th'-t date identified as "old" houses.
Accompanying the sane set of sketches were other
closer views of semi-enclosed architectural spaces which
it is rea-onable to presume were made of the same houses.
These sketches are reproduced and presented as Flates 66
and 68. Both of these sketches indicate balusters of crude
shape. while e such bluasters may in fact have been used
they certainly are not in character with the otherwise
handsome architectural features indicated by the artist.
Likewise they Pre not similar to other blusters usually
produced or designed by Englishmen in either domestic or
colonial architecture. It is the opinion of the architect
thnt the artistic limitation of the artist who prepared
these sketches precluded reasonably accurate indication of
the typo of balusters which were actually incorporated
in these structures.
'o reinforce this opinion we started studying St.
Augustine's oldest buildings.
In the Fatio House there is an exterior stairway
and a single gallery front reinining from an early period.
These architectlrql fe-tures are by local historians
credited e- being psrt of the original house reportedly
built during the nineteenth century. The architectural
characteristics of most of the millwork in this house
substantiates this claim. However the author believes
that the design of the reference stairway and the gallery
post do not do so. If they "were" fabricated and installed
during the tineteenth century architects will recognize
that they were certainly copied from designs more pecu-
liar to the late eighteenth century. The closed string
handrail and tie baluster contours and other details
support such a theory.
The architectural character of the reference details
as well as accounts contained in John Bartram's diary; the.
graphic plan of the Llambias House in Mariano de la Roque's
map of 1788; and the size and shape of the brick found in
the architectural remains led me to accept the conclusion
that the arcade, gallery, and stairwell, and chimney and
fireplaces of both the Fatio and Llambias Houses were
originally built by the English. I therefore began
studying prototypes built b' the English elsewhere in
A survey of the historic architecture of Charleston,
South Carolina, failed to provide information of impor-
tance. My theory had received no support in the way of
concrete examples. All examples of historic architecture
on the mainland south of Charleston were equally unin-
formative. I therefore turned to a study of the islands
in the West Indies settled by the English.
GALLERY Finally I ran upon the design of a gallery
BALUSTERS post built by the English on the island of
Antigua in a dockyard once commanded by Lord
Nelson. This post is almost identical with the ones remain-
ing at the Fstio House. Not only are the posts in this
example and the Fatio House similar but a marked similar-
ity may be observed in the shape of the balusters remain-
ing in both the structures. These examples in Antigua
exist in the gallery of the Officers' Quarters near the
drydock in English Harbor. These quarters have been iden-
tified by an English architect, A.W. Acworth, as having
been built in 1746.
These similarities are indicated in the accompanying
photographs. (Plates 7f, 73 ,74). The success with which
they were incorporated as part of the Final Restoration
of the g-llery posts, rails, and balusters in the Llambias
House, may be udged from the accompanying photograph.
(Flate 74 .
GALLSRY The stairway between the arcade and the gallery
was in general, based ppon the same evidence.
This evidence was modified only by the evidence uncovered
by exploratory work which indicated that at least the
first run of steps was probably of stone bearing 6n the west
wall of the main house.
A map dated around 1850 which was discovered in
Tallahassee by Mrs. Moulds contains a sketch of the floor
plan of the Llambias House which would indicate that half
of the west wall of the stairway enclosure remained at
that time. This evidence leaders one to believe therefore
that only the trim of steps which was flanked on the west
by the section of wall indicated as remaining at the time,
was of stone. Had the entire stairway been built of stone
as were those described by Bsrtram it is likely that evi-
dences of the second run would have appeared in the arch-
eological remains or house remains as late as 1880 and
been indicated on the reference map. The second run of
sueps was therefore constructed of wood and the space
underneath treated in the typical fashion of the period.
GALLERY The details of the shed roof of the gallery were
also modeled after an approximate English proto-
type to be found in an early home called the "COCOON" in
Warwick, Bermuda. The date the cocoon was built is still
the subject of disagreement. However architects and his-
torians, according to Prof. John S. Humphreys of Harvard,
agree that it was constructed prior to 1750. r/ fdA i3
GALLERY- The windows restored to the stairway enclosure
WINDOWS are typical examples of features of this type
built throughout the colonies by the English
during the last half of the eighteenth century.
GALLERY No evidence of the kind of facing which was
originally incorporated as the outside skin of
the south wall of the second floor of the main house
remained at the time the restoration was started. Sev-
eral considerations however recommended its restoration
as a frame wall.
The first of these was the fact that we had two doors
and an early window complete with existing frames which
were over a hundred years old. To -Tomove these and
replace them with new openings based on conjecture seemed
unjustifiable. To change or remove these items would
destroy the unity of the interior architectural features.
Since an early plate still supported the mid-nineteenth
century studs of this wall it is reasonable to assume the
earliest wall may also have been of frame.
It was therefore decided to finish the exterior of
the wall with sheathing of an early type to be found in
St. Augustine. The feather-edged boards which appear on
the east face of the exterior wall of the Oldest House
under the balcony was accepted as the nearest local
exampt' of such a finish. This type of wall facing was
also popular during the eighteenth century in rural areas
of other southern states as well as in New England.
ARCADE The restoration designs of the arcade with its
ARCHES stone piers and arches were based on a combina-
tion of eighteenth century English precedent
in Bermuda, seventeenth century Spanish precedent in
Puerto Rico and Cuba, at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano,
and an undocumented precedent in St. Augustine. (Plates ,76-7TST
It willbe noticed that the piers in the restored
arcade of the Llambias House do not have chamfered edges.
This is because I believe that these chamfers were not
part of the original design. I believe that they were
introduced after the sharp arrises which they originally
contained had been knocked-off by domestic accidents or
SEAT IN A seat of Spanish design was included in the
restoration to assist in the completion of the
"picture". Such seats were described by Bartram in his
diary. The only such seat (of Spanish origin) which remains
in this country w.th which the author is familiar is shown
on Plate85. This originally stood in the arcade of the
Mission of San Juan Capistrano in California, built in
1776. A coquina base was incorporated in the Llambias P/Vk ~d
House seat instead of brick shown in the photograph
because Bartram's diary described the ones he saw as
having been built of stone, and because it is probable
that this material was more readily available at the time
than was brick.
INTEI'R In restoring the woodwork on the interior of
the building all such items as were in sound
condition were replaced exactly asthey were removed.
Only in a few instances was it necessary to replace
such millwork. Several window sash were replaced and also
the two doors leading from the chambers to the balcony.
These were copied from early ones remaining in the house.
HARDWARE At the beginning of the restoration program
only one lock remained which could be identified
with the mid-nineteenth century interior door on which it
was mounted. It was however possible to determine the size
and character of the first locks which had originally
been placed on these doors by studying the marks of such
locks left under the successive coats of paint. This evi-
dence was carefully recorded and locks appropriate to
the period were manufactured placing the keyholes, keepers,
and knobs where the holes in the doors indicated they had
originally existed. The size of the box also corresponded
to the evidence left on the door which provided this in-
LOCKS Mr. Elmer Pratt of the W.C. Vaughn Company of
Boston, Mass., identified the evidence as indi-
cating that these locks were made by a local blacksmith
after English precedent. He also identified t'em as typi-
cal of the period 1840-1860. The Vaughn Company made much
of the hardware used in the restorations at Williamsburg.
BUTTS Originally cast iron butts were used on there doors
but the cost of reproduction of such items was
considered prohibitive. It was therefore considered
appropriate to use brass butts of a design similar to
those of the cast iron originals. Cast iron butts were
also popular in the mid-nineteenth century.
SCREWS All interior hardware was installed using point-
less screws as was the practice during the
reference period. Wve were of course obliged to use modern
tapered screws and cut off the points.
A "general summary" of my professional opinion
regarding the architectural development of the Llambias
House which will in the main be supported by architec-
tural findings and some historic documents may be out-
lined as follows.
A. The original house as my deductions indicate, it
probably appeared when built by the Spaniards is shown"
by Plate This house was a one room, one story, flat-
roofed building built entirely of coquina rock. It was
originally floored with tabby and heated by braziers.
The windows were probably unglazed, guarded by wooden
grills and protected by heavy wood shutters. It is pro-
bable that few architectural changes were made in its
appearance until 17'3.
B. Y:ith the coming of the English, major changes such
as illustrated on Plate were wrought in the archi-
tecture of this building. A second story with probably
two chambers was added. A chimney with the fireplace on
the first floor was incorporated. The shuttered and
grilled windows were replaced with windows of smaller
size with glazed, double-hung sash. A steep shingled
roof of English character surmounted the remodeled build-
ing. It probably had at least one flat roof dormer to
ventilate the attic-storage space.
In addition to the above "improvements" an arcade,
gallery, -nd stair were added on the rear. It is probable
that more elaborate gates and fences were also incor-
porated at this time.
C. It is my opinion that during the late eighteenth
century or early nineteenth century a major catastrophe
occurred at this house. Documentary evidence supports
this assumption by stating that it was stripped of wood-
work before 1791 and was reported to be in "poor" condi-
tion in 1812. Probably most of the "supposed" damage
occurred in the upper and south sections of the building.
It is possible that the roof and the dtuds in'the frame
wall on the qouth side of the second floor were burned
off. It is also possible that the corner pier of the
arcade collapsed due to its poor design. Such piers and arches
wh'ch were built by men who were not professional build-
ers eventually had to be reinforced by buttresses such
as is shown on Plate tonprevent such collapse.
D. Around 1840 it is probable that the house was re-
novated and remodeled as it appears in Plate At this
time a new roof with a flatter pitch was installed, the
gallery and arcade were rebuilt eliminating the arches
but retaining the stone piers and substituting posts,
rails, and balusters similar to that now on the restored
balcony, for the vertical balusters and heavy rails
and posts incorporated in the restoration. This reconstruc-
tion may have included a stairway of later design. The
interior trim including the present doors, second floor
fireplace and mantelpiece, larger windows, frames and trim,
and a street balcony were probably als~ installed pt that
time. There is little doubt that the plastered ceilings
were included in this work. A local blacksmith was doubt-
lessly employed to nmke new door h* rdware similar to that
which appears in the restoration.
These conclusions are supported by the character of
the architecturall woodwork remaining in the building.
That no major additions existed at this time in addition
to those which were recorded in de la Roque's map of
1788 is attested by an Insurance Map (1893) in the poss-
ession of the Historical Society,
E. Between 1910 and 1917 apparently the architectural
spaces restored as a stairwell in the present buildings
were enclosed and used as interior chambers. It is also
probable that the straight run of steps removed during
the restoration was installed. (Plate ). Some of this
evidence is also contained in an insurance map of 1910
and 1917owned by the Historical Society library.
F. Another insurance map (1924) in the reference lib-
rary files shows that by that date the !ing which was
razed during the restoration program was in existence.
Plate shows the house ,s it probably appeared at this
By swinging up thn -heet of paper backing the sketches
made on acetate one may superimpose each of the sketch-
elevations and sketch-plans on the other. By so doing
it is possible to graphically follow the probable architec-
tural development of this house.
GLAZING AND FAINTING
GLASS The glass in the mid-nineteenth century sash was
left as found and where such glass was broken or
missing, it was replaced with modern single thickness
glass. This was because glass of the type used during
the reference period, ws not procurable locally or
However in the window sash located in the mid-
eighteenth century stair well enclosure we used crown-
glass because this glass was available commercially
through a West Virginia concern who is manufacturing it
for Colonial Williamsburg. It is almost identical in
appearance with window glass made in England during the
eighteenth century and exported to English colonists
F~INT It was possible to determine the colors of
INTERIOR original paint used on all interior wood trim.
This was accomplished by removing portions of
the successive coats of paint until the unpainted wood
was exposed. Samples of each successive paint used
may be seen at various points throughout the building.
Apparently all woodwork excepting the doors was painted.
The doors we found,had been stained.
BLINDS AND The color of the window sash, sills, trim,
TRIM and blinds was determined in the same manner.
The colors of each original finish were in
all these instances carefully matched in the repainting
BALCONY As has been mentioned before, some indication of
the original color which had been applied to
the lintel-plate of the balcony was discovered when study-
ing a fragment of what is believed to have been part of
this original member. It was however necessary to determine
the colors used in the decorative panels commonly occupied
The most reliable source of such information was
finally identified as the paintings made by Miss Emily
Wilson during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
It is unlikely that verbal or documentary descriptions of
colors employed at that time could present information
regarded as satisfactory.
In determining the appropriate color for the eigh-
teenth century arcade, gallery, and stair well, we relied
upon historical precedent found in other historic homes
of this period as well as evidence offered by N.F. Little
and by some other writers on this subject. It is common
knowledge that sash during this period were painted red
lead and window frames when new were painted white. Sub-
sequent paint colors were usually lead grey or blue.
.. .- .... --
Since the blue used at that time was frequently stained
with indigo, a commodity raised in Florida by the Min-
orcan Spaniards, this color was used on the feather-edged
boards on the gallery walls as well as on the eighteenth
century window frames.
WHITE All accounts concerning the domestic life of the
Minorcans give considerable space to their fondness
for whitewash to brighten both the interiors and exteriors
of their homes. It was therefore considered appropriate
to whitewash surfaces which could be expected to "hold"
such applications. Such surfaces were of course those
which had been plastered and were in a relatively pro-
PRESERVATIVES All wood members which were left unpainted
and which were exposed to dampness or
other conditions which might threaten their longevity
were treated with wood preservative.
COMMENTS ON GENERAL
CHARACTER OF MATERIALS AND
EMPLOYED IN THE RESTORATION
Throughout the restoration, historical precedent
dictated the choice of both building materials and con-
struction techniques when such items were visibleto the
Public, and were economically feasible. Hand-split
shingles, hand-hewn roof trusses, hand-riven lathes,
hand-made brick, hand-planed boerd surfaces, hand-run wood
and stone mouldings, hand-forged hardware, etc., were
incorporated in The building as it stands today. The cost
of reproducing balusters, newel posts, gallery posts and
rails, and a few other items was considered prohibitive
however and it was felt that the machine-made items
would be acceptable if the Fublic was correctly informed
concerning their identity.
A few hand-made nPils were used in the restoration
but the cost of these items proved to be exhorbitant.
We therefore used hin'e-cut nails in locations where
they would be prominent and "worked-over" the heads to
duplicate the appearance of the hand-made product.
The practices of the early "wood-joiners" were prac-
ticed throughout the job. The mortise and tenon was used
wherever its use wa: dictated by historic precedent. We
even secured some ancient moulding planes to "r@n" the
mouldings on so lid frames and elsewhere where such a
practice was common.
GATES Exploratory excavations provided no information
AND regarding the one-time presence of gates, walls,
and fences beyond that which was exposed above
grade. Efforts of the research staff to locate informa-
tion regarding early precedent were unsuccessful.
However in Reynold's Standard Guide published in
1885 there appears a picture of the gate shown on Plate f7
The architectural character of this gate indicates that
it. features are peculiar to a period around 1820.
However its details are vague and a closer examination
might identify it as being of much earlier design. The
panels or shutters closing the barred area is reminiscent
of English gates of an earlier period.
Since however this was by Frchitectural analysis
identified as the oldest St. Augustine gate of which
there is knowledge, it was copied and installed as part
of the Llambias House restoration. Originally a wall and
gate "surround" was suggested by the architect but in
compliance with a request by members of the Association
alternative schemes were prepared. The one finally de-
cided upon was based on several gates at eighteenth
century houses in Bermuda. The similarity between the soil
conditions, building materials and nationality of the
colonists in the opinion of the architect justifies the
use of Bermuda-English designs when mainland precedent
is unavailable. (PlateSO).
In the Bermuda example the spreader is missing.
These spreaders were necessary to prevent the shallow
foundations of the masonry from permitting the gate posts
to "lean" into the opening provided for the gate. Early
photographs in the library of the Historical Society
show that such spreaders were used in gates that once
were installed at the Cathedral and the old Hospital.
The curvilinear treatment of the wall where it meets
the main body of the house was based on the precedent
indicated on Plate 9. The house shown could not be
identified but is believed to have stood at the corner
of Treasury and Charlotte Streets. (Plate 79). Many
English houses of eighteenth century origin employ the
treatment. The picket-surmounted wall at the west end
of the house follows a precedent that was used by the
English during the mid-eighteenth century. Apparently
such a combination of wall and pickets was used around the
property of the Episcopal Church in St. Augustine for
it appears in Rev. Moulton's sketches (Plate&Z) and
also in a painting owned by Mrs. Lindsley.
In the APPENDIX will be fount a series of miscellaneous
Plates which were of insufficient interest to include in the
main body of the report but which may "later" prove valuable
in evaluating the restoration. In general the consist of photo-
graphs taken of the same architectural element "before" rest-
oration ana "after" restoration.
These plates as well as the information included in this
Report will offer eloquent testimony of the care and painstaking
attention to detail that went into the restoration of this fine
Stuart Moffett nmette
Architect for he Restoration
College of Architecture
Ithaca, New York