Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: St. Augustine Town Plan
Title: The New National Historic Landmarks
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: The New National Historic Landmarks El Escribano, Vol. 7, No, 9
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: St. Augustine Town Plan
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Publication Date: 1970
Physical Location:
Box: 8
Divider: St. Augustine Town Plan
Folder: St. Augustine Town Plan
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
Saint Augustine Town Plan Historic District (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine
Coordinates: 29.892465 x -81.313142
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095517
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District.--City plan-

ning was an early feature of Spanish colonization in America,

St. Augustine is the earliest extant example of an European

planned community within the present continental limits of

the United States.

St. Augustine began its existence in September 1565 as

a military base. It was initially located within the impro-

vised fortification at the Indian village of Seloy (Nombre

de Dios Mission site). Then, the breakdown of friendly rela-

tions with the Indians forced the Spanish to move to Anastasia

Island. Here, within the walls of a wooden fort built in May

1566 and a successive one erected in July, the soldier-set-

tlers lived six years.

But in 1572 the unpaid soldiers mutinied and destroyed

the fort on Anastasia. Returning to the west shore of Matan-

zas Bay, they built houses south of the present plaza and

another wooden fort completely separate from the houses. Thus,

St. Augustine finally occupied its present location and, for

the first time, existed independently from the fortification.

As the permanent St. Augustine developed, it was influ-

enced by the "Royal Ordinances Concerning the Laying Out of

New Towns," issued by the Spanish crown on July 3, 1573. The

Boazio sketch shows that, by 1586, nine regular city blocks



had been formed by four north-south and four east-west

streets. The three land sides of this grid were free of

confining defense features. Then, the English came and

burned St. Augustine.

Rebuilding St. Augustine afforded another opportunity

to follow the provisions of the 1573 ordinances. In 1598,

the construction of a public market and a private house by

the governor delimited the east and west sides of the plaza

respectively. Later, the house became the official resi-

dence of the Florida governors. A mill and a hospital

were established elsewhere. And standard weights and meas-

ures were introduced.

St. Augustine was burned by the English again in 1702.

The reconstructed city, largely confined by defense fea-

tures, preserved the colonial town plan. Castillo de San

Marcos (built 1672-95) and the Cubo Line (1704-05), running

west from Cas'tillo to the San Sebastian River, limited ex-

pansion to the north. Likewise, the Rosario Line (1718-19),

running along present Cordova and San Salvador Streets,

enclosed the city's west and south sides respectively.

The original physical layout of St. Augustine is the

most distinctive feature of the old section of the city.

The section resembles a 16th Century colonial walled town

in any part of Spanish America. The resemblance is not

accidental; it stems from the town planning provisions of


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