Government House (St. Augustine)

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Government House as seen from what is now the Plaza de la Constitución during the Civil War era.
Government House
Government House, 2011

The Government House is located at 48 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida, adjacent to the Plaza de la Constitución. The building, constructed of coquina, served as the governor's official residence from ca. 1710, throughout the First Spanish Period (1565 -1763), the British Period (1763 - 1784) and until 1812 in the Second Spanish Period (1784 - 1821).

The east wing of the building dates to the original construction between 1706 and 1713, directly to the west of the house was the westernmost boundary of St. Augustine which was defended by the El Rosario Redoubt, a coquina fortification that was part of the Rosario Line, a defensive line which extended from Cubo Line which extended to the Castillo de San Marcos. During the British Period the house was the official residence of the British royal governor of East Florida James Grant (1764 - 1771) who received among his guests Daniel Boone who was in East Florida to inquire about land purchases,[1] and his successor as governor, Patrick Tonyn. The last governor to use the house was Enrique White during the Second Spanish Period, who died in 1811.

By the time Florida joined the United States in 1821, the building was in ruins with only the walls remaining. It was redesigned by architect Robert Mills the designer of the Washington Monument incorporating the pre-existing walls.

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Government House was used as a military hospital. After the American Civil War the building was used as a U.S. courthouse and customs house. In 1937, as project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Government House was enlarged and extensively remodeled for use by the U.S. Postal Service.

The State of Florida received title to the building in 1964 and used it as the headquarters for its local historic preservation effort. A history museum was created on the first floor of the building in 1991.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In the footsteps of Daniel Boone By K. Randell Jones p. 109
  2. ^ St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Historical Guide By William R. Adams
  3. ^ A Guide to Historic St. Augustine, Florida By Steve Rajtar, Kelly Goodman

External links[edit]