Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Fountain/Birdbath
Title: Preservation Board
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Preservation Board
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095533
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

August 18, 1983

Mr. Joe Pomar
Assistant City Manager
P. 0. Drawer 210
St. Augustine, FL 32084

City Manager's Office

Dear Joe:

On behalf of the Plaza Restoration Committee I would like to present a
report on the progress of the proposals that were made to the City last year
and provide further recommendations for work that might be considered by the
City during the forthcoming year. In view of the current budget hearings,
you may wish to have these at this time in order to assess the impact upon
the budget of the City should this work be completed.

We do wish to stress that this continuing restoration project has made
and will continue to make the Plaza de la Constitucion more historically
accurate in appearance, more visibly appealing, and more useful to residents
and visitors of the city.


Items to be removed:

(1) north and south raised planters, including the trash bin.
These planters are twentieth century additions which, by raising
the ground level, diminish the scale of the structure. The vine growing out
of the planters damages the old masonry.

(2) curved pipe rails at west end. The rails are a hazard and serve
little purpose.

(3) concrete tables and benches. The recent addition of these tables
was made without regard to the historic nature of the Market and regard as to
how the old tables were used on a daily basis. It is next to impossible to
play any four handed card game when the table is long and the benches located
on only two sides. The concrete benches are also cold in the winter.

Items to be restored:

(1) brick stairs on the north and south of the third bay.


MJJ. Gen. Henry McMillan (Rot.)

Jullo Grablel

uark E. Fetwell

Lawrence L. Lewis, Jr. John D. Bailey

George Firestone
Secretary of State

William R. Adams
Director :-


P.O. BOX 1987
(904) 824-3866

Norma K. Lockwood

Michael V. Gannon

Joe Pomar
August 18, 1983
Page 2

This modification will return the Market to the floor plan used after 1827
when four more stalls were added. It will also give greater access so that
during a festival there can be two food stalls with patrons served at the ends
and the center of the Market.

(2) paints. All wood is to be painted white. This includes the Market
furniture and the wood bars between the pillars. The iron bars should be painted
in a high gloss black. This provides a color scheme for the entire Plaza of
grey, white, black, and terra cotta.

(3) plaster. Exposed stone, but not the old plaster, should be replastered
with lime plaster. One need only look at the north front of Trinity Church to
see how visually jarring portland cement repairs are on old lime plaster walls.

Traditional Mortar Formula: 2 1/2 to 3 parts local sand
1 part of hydrated lime

Be sure all surfaces to be replastered are wet before plastering.

(4) furniture. After the benches in the third bay are removed so that the
stairs can be restored, the City has two options of what to do with the side
benches. First, the existing benches may be retained and painted white. Second,
simple pew-like benches that were in the Market after it ceased functioning as
a market, could be restored. The concrete benches and tables should be replaced
with simple wooden tables and chairs not unlike the tables that were used in the
Market for sale of meat and produce. Designs for this furniture which could be
constructed (and repaired) by City workmen, will be provided by this committee
upon request.


Items to be removed:

(1) all iron rails. A concrete rail will replace them.

(2) alligator pit fountain. Much of this structure remains in place, but
it is covered by a concrete deck and a planter. The restoration of the alligator
pit would be a simple matter which would provide a unique structure for the
tourist to view. We understand that maintaining an alligator in the plaza is
impossible, but a fountain with turtles could provide amusement.

Mr. Joe Pomar
August 18, 1983
Page 3

Items to be restored:

(1) alligator pit fountain. This project would entail some poured concrete
work in order to raise the west side of the pit to serve as a railing for the
stairs and as a base for the missing column. This column is still a stock item
and would cost about $250.00. The original plumbing may still exist, but some
plumbing will assuredly be needed. All concrete will match the existing shell-
aggregate base of the bandstand.

(2) lighting. Lighting is needed so that musicians can read music for
evening concerts and to reduce the chance of vandalism. An incandescent lamp
(such as in the Market) at the inside top of each column would provide a "period"
lighting effect. To provide more light a recessed down-light at the center of the
ceiling should be installed. The fountain in the alligator pit should have under-
water spotlights.


This committee is pleased with the recent removal of diseased limbs from
several oaks on the Plaza. Much more trimming of dead wood is needed. In several
areas of the Plaza, judicious thinning of the oaks would let more light into spots
where little or no grass is growing due to the shade. From time to time, the
City has a request to plant a memorial tree on the Plaza, this committee feels
that the tree should not be an oak. The Plaza is already too dependent upon one
species (Quercus virginiana). Moreover, if it were ever blighted the Plaza would
become bare. A common rule of thumb is not to use more than 20% of one species.

Suggested trees for the Plaza:

Phoenix dactylifera (true date palm)
Phoenix canariensis (canary island date palm)
Phoenix rupicola
Chamaerops humilis (european fan palm)
Washingtonia robusta (mexican washingtonia)
Washingtonia filifera (california washingtonia)
Trachycarpus fortunei (chinesewindmill palm)
Hickory any species
Hickory t
Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree)

^ -- -- -- --- -~'""' --I---I- ' """1"-""

Mr. Joe Pomar
August 18, 1983
Page 4

The Plaza Restoration Committee would happily assist in the selection of
a memorial tree and in its placement.

You may also wish to inspect the concrete walks throughout the plaza,
which in some instances are deteriorating.

On a more urgent note, it appears to us that the crack in the top of the
Constitution Monument is widening. It is probable that there is an iron pin
in the center of that monument that is deteriorating and causing the concrete
to split. Immediate efforts should be undertaken to determine the nature of
the structural damage and the cause for it and to take whatever steps are
necessary to repair the monument. We cannot over-emphasize the historical
significance of this monument. Along with the Castillo, it may be classified
as one of the two most enduring and notable links of this city and this state
to the colonial regime of Spain which so long invested the area. The monument
may well be, additionally, one of the oldest public monuments in the United
States. It is without a doubt the only monument of its kind erected by the
Spanish Government in the continental United States. Accordingly, it should
be viewed as one of the most historical trusts that the city possesses. Should
any inspection be made of the monument and plans made to repair the damage,
we would urge that you coordinate those efforts with Mr. Robert Steinbach of
the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, who has knowledge and experience
with structures of this kind and access to the historical informants who might
be able to shed further light on the problem.

If we can assist you further in all of these projects, please let us
know. May we end this letter by thanking the City Commission for the strong
support that it has given to the plaza restoration effort, which has already
done so much to return the significant part of our city to an historically
accurate and visually pleasing appearance. On behalf of the committee, I am

Silm rely,

William R. Adams



University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs