Don Ralmundo Arrivas House
44  St. George St.
St. Augustine Florida
Library of Congress
HABS Fla-55
GPS 29.896457,-81.313237
1st Spanish Period
Arravas House        
Francis Benjamin Johnson
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Photographer: Jack E. Boucher
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
August 1960
- Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
February 1965
Don Raimundo Arrivas House
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Photographer Jack E. Boucher
February 1965 REAR (WEST) ELEVATION -
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Photographer Jack E Boucher
February 1965
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County,
Photographer: Jack E. Boucher
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
August 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
February 1965
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County,
Photographer Jack E. Boucher
. Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
August 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
February 1965
- Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Photographer Jack E.  Boucher
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County,
February 1965
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Photographer Jack E. Boucher
From the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board Guide Book
This house is a restored structure that has been entitled the "Don Raimundo de Arrivas House," from
the name of an early owner. It is significant because its present architecture includes aspects of the
several different historical and cultural periods of St. Augustine life. Both the 18th and 19th centuries
are represented in the toal architectural form of this structure; Spanish, English and American
characteristics from those two centuries are apparent throughout the restored building. The house also
demonstrates the basic local construction methods of the past, thus presenting a plural cultural image.

The sequence of the development of the Arrivas House has been lost in antiquity. Archaeological work
brought to light the fact that the first structure on the site now occupied by the present Arrivas House
goes back to the 1650-80 period. The first discernible house was made of "
ripio," a shell-concrete wall
construction. Additional rooms were later added to the initial building, which ultimately was superseded
about 1725 by a
coquina structure on the same lines as the ripio house. A Spanish map designated
ownership by the Arrivas heirs and reveals one large L-shaped masonry house. The wooden second
story, with balconies, was probably added about 1788, and greatly rebuilt ca. 1829-30.

The restored structure that has been entitled the "Don Raimundo (or Raymundo) de Arrivas House" is
recorded in the Tax Rolls of St. Johns County as lot 21, block 12, of the City of St. Augustine. The St.
Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, a Florida state agency, purchased the
property on July 1, 1960, and currently owns the restored historic building and the lot that it is erected
upon. At this time the four rooms of the first floor of the house serve as a history and historical
restoration museum; the four rooms of the second floor house the business offices of the St. Augustine
Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, and the attic rooms of the third level of the house
provide lavatory and storage facilities.

The Arrivas House is significant historically because its present architecture includes several different
historical and cultural periods of St. Augustine life. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries appear in
the total architectural form of this structure. Similarly, the Spanish, English, and American cultural
influences of those two centuries are apparent in the recently restored building. The Arrivas House,
while revealing architectural features of its historic residents, also demonstrates the construction
techniques and materials that were employed in St. Augustine's building construction traditions of the
past. The house therefore presents a plural culture image of St. Augustine's architectural history, which
has been strengthened by the historic rehabilitation and preservation endeavors of the St. Augustine
Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission.

Physical History: The historical site of the Don Raimundo de Arrivas House can be successfully
delineated after the American acquisition of Florida, "but it is not clearly exposed before 1820. Before
that year St. Augustine properties were not carefully described nor clearly measured because of the
various measuring systems that were employed by the Spanish and British occupants of the old city.
Archaeology, architecture, and history may later co-operate more effectively to locate boundary lines

The Juan Blixiode la Puente Map of 1764- indicates that Don Raimundo de Arrivas owned two houses
on what is believed to be the current site of the restored structure that now houses the St. Augustine
Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, That map lists two stone houses for that lot while
the 1788 Mariano de la Rocque Man, which designates it under the ownership of the Arrivas heirs,
reveals one large L-shaped masonry house. The John de Soils and the James Moncrief maps of 1765
exhibit an L-shaped house on the same site, which conforms to the Rocque map's design of the Arrivas
House. Other late eighteenth and early nineteenth century descriptions, such as the Don Juan
Nepomuceno de Quesada's Property Assessment of 1791 and the 1800 Tax Assessment, refer to this
structure as a masonry house. Thereafter, historical descriptions of the property usually only recorded
the boundaries and limits of the lot on which the house stood.

Archaeological excavations on the site of the Arrivas House discerned that the building location had
a history that extended back to c. 1650-80. The early house was a tabby wall two-room building, and
after other rooms were added to the house, the structure was destroyed by unknown means, c, 1725.
Another house was constructed on the same wall lines as the ripio

In I960 archaeology uncovered the foundations of an earlier tabby structure in the position of the
northern of Puente's two structures, underneath (in part) the northern two rooms of the enlarged house
of 1765 and 1788. It seems possible that the British pulled down the northern building, enlarging the
southern one by adding two rooms to the north and three across the rear (west side), to the one-story

The three-room rear extension (its outlines shown by I960 archaeology) was removed at an
undetermined date (probably c. 1830) and was not restored in 1961. Rocque shows a two-story
building, and the architectural examination in I960 uncovered a slight extension of the exterior coquina
wall upward in a fashion which might have indicated a 1788 masonry second story, or merely a
parapet. In any event, the wood second story (with balconies) was possibly added prior to 1788 and
greatly rebuilt c. 1820-30, or added at that latter time. All its features are of this later date, and some of
1850-60, indicating a later refurbishing of the large main front room upstairs.

Original and subsequent owners:*
From 1650-80 to 1725 (the suggested periods of the existence of the tabby wall house) and from 1725
to 1762 the owners of the recently restored house are unknown.

1762 and for an unknown time prior to 1762 - Don Raimundo de Arrivas.

"Dona Antonia de Avero sobre reasumir sus casas y posesiones, con lo demas que de los autos
consta. Florida} Ano de 1793."

86 Folios No. 19, Bundle No. 320; City Lots; St. Augustine; Field Note Division3 Department of
Agriculture (Tallahassee), State of Florida.  And Charles W. Arnade, "The Avero Story: An Early St.
Augustine Family with Many Daughters and Many Homes,"
Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXXX, No.
1, July 1961.

1764 - Don Raimundo de Arrivas
Juan Elixio de la Puente Map and Index of St. Augustine, Florida, in 1764.)

1764 to unknown date - Jesse Fish (
Escrituras, Jan. 14, 1785, p. 105 and Jan. 16, 1784, Feb. 24,
1787, p. 117.)

1765-88 (?) - The "Spanish Adjutant" (As listed in the 1765
James Moncrief Map.)

1788 - Heirs of Don Raimundo de Arrivas (
Mariano de la Rocque Map and Index of St. Augustine,
Florida, in 1738

1791 - Heirs of Don Raimundo de Arrivas
Don Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada Land Inventory and Assessment of 1791.)

C. 1803 - Heirs of Don Raimundo de Arrivas (
Appraisal of c. 1803)

1815 - Tadeo de Arrivas (
Escrituras, Dec. 24, 1801, p. 159; Apr. 27, 1813, p. 43; Dec. 20, 1815, p.
202 v.)

*This chronological listing of owners concerns the probable owners who lived on the probable site of
the recently restored Arrivas House. According to the conclusions of this research effort, it is not
possible to claim that all these owners lived in the house that bears the present house's architectural
design. Also, it is essential to mention that this list is not necessarily complete. In the British Period
(1763-84), for example, only Jesse Fish and the "Spanish Adjutant" are listed as owners, and their
dates of ownership remain unknown.

1824 John Qates
St, Johns County Deed Book E, p. 16; pp. 46-49, May 1, 1824.)

1826 - Thomas Murphy
St. Johns County Deed Book G, p. 22, May 28, 1826.)

1826 - Alice (Oates) Cotter
St. Johns County Deed Book G, p, 22, May 28, 1826.)

1832 - Waters Smith
St. Johns County Deed Book I-J. p. 278, May 24, 1832.)

I836 - Dolly McLean
St. Johns County Deed Book M, p. 276, Dec. 1, 1836.)

1838 - Ellen Tucker
St. Johns County Deed Book 0, p. 387, Dec. 31, 1841.)

1841 - John Beard and Mary M. Avery, administrators of
Isaac W. Avery estate
St. Johns County Deed Book 0, p. 387, Dec. 31, 1841.)

I846 - Elza M. Nunes
St. Johns County Deed Book P, pages 116-17, Jan. 13,

1852 - Rhyndon G. Mays and S. B. Mays
St. Johns County Deed Book F, p. 274, June 18, 1852.)

1857 - Romalda Arnau
St. Johns County Deed Book Q, p. 130, Oct. 17, 1857.)

1869-71 - Antonia Arnau Genovar and Frank Genovar (husband)
Alma Owen Muldowney, C. B. Muldomey (husband), Wallace J. Owen and Paul A. Owen (heirs of
deceased mother Josephine Arnau Owen)

Antonia Arnau Genovar and Josephine Arnau Owen are
the only heirs of deceased mother Romalda Arnau
and deceased father Paul Arnau
St. Johns County Deed Book T, p. 76, Apr. 26, 1871.)

1911 - Joseph C. Libby and Gertrude Bravo Libhy
St. Johns County Deed Book 23, p. 12, Dec. 29, 19U.)

1918-19 - Peoples Bank for Savings, a Corporation of Florida
St. Johns County Deed Book 42, p. 366, Sept. 4, 1919.)

1920 - Morris Friedman
St. Johns County Deed Book 44. p. 203, Nov. 20, 1920.)

1925 - Caleb S, Zim (Mr. C. S. Zim purchased 21 feet of the frontage of block 12, lot 21. Zim's
purchased lot was 21 feet (North-South) by 126 feet (East-West).
St, Johns County Deed Book 57, p. 109, June 8, 1925.)

1926 - E. E. Boyce and V. J. Chauvin (These parties purchased
Zim's part of block 17, lot 21.) (
St. Johns County Deed Book 64, p. 542, Oct. 23, 1925.)

1933 - E. E. Boyce and V. J. Chauvin (These parties purchased
the north portion of block 12, lot 21.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 102, p. 67, Jan. 19, 1933.)

1944 - V. J. Chauvin (Chauvin purchased all of block 12,
lot 213 from the heirs of E. E. Boyce.)
(St. Johns County Deed Book 148. p. 552, Feb. 1, 1943.)
1946 - Judson C. Eubank (Eubank purchased north section of
block 12, lot 21.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 163, p. 5, Oct. 29, 1946.)

1946 - Judson C. Eubank and Chester W. Siegmund (Siegmund
purchased 1/2 interest in north portion of lot 21.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 163, p. 7, Oct. 29, 1946.)

1947 - Cecile H. Pope (Pope purchased south portion of
lot 21 fromV. J. Chauvin.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 164. p. 258, Jan. 17,

1948 - Faith Kurt Tiberio (Tiberio purchased south portion
of lot 21 from C. H. Pope.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 171, page 498, Jan. 28,

1954 - Walter B. Fraser (Fraser purchased south portion of
lot 21 from F. K. Tiberio.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 212, p. 384, Aug. 6, 1954.)

1955 - MacDonald Johnstone and Elizabeth S. Johnstone (The
Johnstones purchased south portion of lot 21 from
W. B. Fraser.)
St. Johns County Deed Book 217, p. 32, Feb. 23, 1955.)

Date of erection: The exact date of erection is unknown, but the house in its present form vras
probably finished in the late eighteenth century, c. 1770-90.

Architect and builder: The architect and/or builder of the original house remains unknown. The
restored version of the old house was built by the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation
Commission under the architectural direction of William A. Stewart.

Original plans: The original plans of the house are not available. The restored house, of course, has
architectural plans which are held by the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation

Notes on alterations and additions: The history of this building indicates that the house has
undergone numerous renovations, alterations, and reconstruction. From a seventeenth-century two-
room, tabby-walled, one-floor dwelling, the present three-story building has evolved through a history
of architectural transformation. Nevertheless, the present restored building probably reveals the
general balconied and two-story form that it has continued to exhibit since the late eighteenth century.
It is also important to mention that the dwelling has always shown a masonry or shell-stone construction

Old views: There are numerous late nineteenth and early twentieth century photographs of this
restored structure.

Source of information: The historical research on this report dealing with events prior to 1764 was
compiled primarily from Dr. Hale G. Smith's Final Field Report of  Archaeological Investigations of the
Arrivas House and a Preliminary Survey of Bloc}; 12, lots 22, 23, and 24. Information after that date
was extracted from the property transfer records of the St. Johns County Record Archives, the
Carnegie Record files, and other library sources of the St. Augustine Historical Society, and the history
files of the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission,

Likely sources not yet investigated: The University of Florida's P. K. Yonge Library's Stetson
Collection, Lockey Collection, and British Colonial Records could offer more material relevant to the
history of this house and other St. Augustine historic houses. The East Florida Papers collection in the
Library of Congress (Washington, D. C.) and the Bahama Islands Colonial Records might like-wise
offer information pertaining to St. Augustine historic houses and sites.

General Statement
During the process of investigating this house, over the course of this summer [I960], a number of
attempts have been made to visualize its condition at various times. Floors and sub-floor walls have
been dated archaeologically and suffice to show basic outlines at various periods.Maps and their brief
descriptive keys indicate the number of stories (though not with great consistency), the type of
materials, the owner and the general condition. Photographs are helpful, but only after about 1860 and
for the parts of a structure that they show. Inevitably the most convincing visualisation results when all
of these, together with a sense of historic occurrences and ownerships, are related to the remaining
fabric of the structure. In the case of this house, a large portion of the remaining fabric is a wood frame
second story. The most authentic restoration of this house would, therefore, attempt to represent its
condition when this story was in its original state.

For a time it was felt that the majority of this second story was the one referred to by Mariano de la
Rocque in the description accompanying his map of 1788, although he described it as "a house of
masonry, of a story" which corresponds with his description of other two story masonry houses. It was
felt that the brevity of his descriptions were subject to misinterpretation, that there was evidence of
some inconsistency on his part in other instances, that the lower masonry walls showed no evidence of
or capacity for a masonry second floor, that the second story framing corresponded with early British
practice, and that the evidence of a projecting balcony over the street coincided with 1760-80
descriptions of the city. However, all of these feelings v/ere put in proper perspective by the discovery
that much of the stucco lath was secured to the original frame with cut nails of a more recent origin.
The exact date of the particular type of cut nail used has not been determined but is presumed to be
around 1830. Fred Gjessing's report will provide further enlightenment on this. The determination of
the probable date of the second floor was a distinct disappointment to all who were concerned with this
project. Further efforts were made to construct a visualization which would have a masonry second
story and could be justified by some physical evidence. None of these succeeded in being sufficiently
convincing to merit serious comparison with the evolving [knowledge about the nature of the house with
its wood frame second story. These efforts seemed to underscore the recommendation of restoration
professionals, as expressed by Fred Gjessing and Earle Newton, that the best evidence should be
used. The drawings represent a serious attempt to show the building as it existed when the most
evidence was relevant. At that time it contained many parts of older structures just as it does today. It is
felt, however, that the period for which we have the most evidence, and to which it would be restored
on the basis of these drawings, was also the period of its highest development as a home for St.

First Floor
As indicated by the archaeological investigations and the character of the second floor framing, the
first floor consisted of four interior rooms (with plastered coquina masonry walls and partitions), an
arcade or loggia onto a south patio (with coquina piers or arches), a porch or loggia onto a north patio
(with wood posts), and a similar porch to the west. The floors to all of these areas except the west
porch and south patio were what is now the top-most layer of tabby. Due to grade conditions the west
porch floor was probably tabby as well, though none was found in this area and wall remnants there
seem to indicate the existence of a wood frame and floor at some period. The absence of tabby there
is presumed to be the result of destruction caused by numerous pipe trenches and other occurrences
which have left the ground in a very disturbed state. The wood frame and floor are presumed to have
existed during the time of the three west rooms shown on Rocque's 1788 map. A well was found just
west of this area. It is believed that the kitchen in use during the subject period will be found under the
present office and south of the well. A building shows in this location on the 1893  insurance map, and
people still living remember "the old stone kitchen" south of the well. Undoubtedly gardens and
outhouses existed to the west beyond the well.

The east wall of the house and the patios was located at the present street curb line. This was
determined by excavation at the northeast corner and by early photographs. The placement of the
curb has destroyed this wall to such an extent that further excavation, to attempt to locate door
openings, was not considered feasible at this time. Door and window openings have been located by
projection from photographs and adjustment to the earlier room uses (resulting in the abandonment of
a central door which shows in the earliest photograph). The size and type of these windows have been
made to match others which remain in the building and this also seems to correspond with
photographic evidence (although the photographs are not clear enough in this area to show convincing

The south wall of the south patio was incorporated into the north wall of the Rodrigues-Watkins House
in accordance with wall rights in 1760. It may be possible to determine something more of the character
of this patio when the present office structure is removed. The arcaded loggia portion of the house
which faces this patio is based partly on the memory of living relatives of the Arnaus, who lived in the
house during most of the 19th century, and partly on physical evidence. The second pier from the east,
which now supports the second floor fireplace, is a newer construction than the other piers and has
been deleted in the drawings. The other piers show evidence of having been cut square above a
certain level. This level has been used as the spring-line of the arches. A pier to replace the deleted
one has been placed in a logical position to form reasonably regular arches. A pier to replace the
deleted one has been placed in a logical position to form reasonably regular arches. It is possible that
this pier was also sculptured similar to the other interior pier as it exists today. This has been
considered relatively unlikely, however, due to the loss of strength this would entail and to the fact that
stucco remains on the sculptured portion correspond with that on later additions in other parts of the
structure (such as the west chimney base).

The location of stairs was a considerable problem. For a long time it seemed that there was no
evidence of stairs, other than those which had been recently built over the interior fireplace and a
curious floor framing condition at the southeast corner of the loggia. Parts of this framing seemed to be
veiy recent. We pursued this clue, however, and found (upon removing stucco on the adjacent pier)
the imprint of a stair carriage where the mortar of masonry in-filling had been extruded against it. We
then looked more closely at the earliest known photograph and were able to detect the railing around
the well for this stair. This has been further confirmed by Arnau descendants. We felt that there must
have been a stair up to the west porch second floor also. The 1893 insurance map indicated one on
the outside of the porch area leading up to the north. One of the Arnau heirs seemed positive that it
went down straight west from the stairs to the attic. No doubt both of these existed, but neither are
shown, for several reasons. The first is that the south wall projected somewhat to the west of the west
well of the house, and until a fairly recent date as no stucco is to be found on the broken ends
remaining. How far this projection extended is unknown. It is felt, however, that some functional object
must have existed near it in order to justify its intrusion into the porch area. The stairs shown seem to
be ideal for this. The second reason is that sheltered access to the upper rear area is preferable
(certainly for modern occupancy by the Commission) and that the possible sacrifice of authenticity for
this element is not a serious consequence.

The door and window openings from the arcade into the south rooms are all justified by physical
evidence. The eastern-most of these appears to have been in continuous use since the first coquina
structure. The central door opening has been squared-off in recent times but evidence of its former
beveled jambs is still visible. The westernmost opening was originally a door and was later converted
into a window. By correlation of the various coats of plaster it has been decided that it became a
window either before or during the time of the remodeling which included the construction of the wood
frame second story.

The west wall openings also appear to have been in use since the earliest coquina structure adjacent
to them. Both have been reformed several times and are now shown with beveled jambs and sizes
which conform to the remainder of the first floor. The fireplace and chimney have been determined to
be a later addition and have been deleted in the drawings. This determination was partly based on the
existence of stucco on the original wall against which the chimney base was built and partly on the
condition of the wood frame and stucco behind the second floor portion of the chimney. The door
openings now shown in the north wall also appear to have been in use since the time of the walls in
which they exist. This is borne out by the archaeological excavations at the easternmost door. This
door has been widened beyond its earlier condition and is now shown with its beveled jambs and
probable original size restored.

The westernmost door has not "been studied "below its present sill level; it is curious in its proximity to
the northeast corner and the west door, and also shows strange inconsistencies in the shaping of its
east jamb. Nevertheless, it has "been accepted;, "both-as a necessary access to the north patio during
the existence of the west rooms and, later, as a convenience which was maintained. The irregularities
in the east jamb are assumed to have occurred as a result of careless cutting and of the reconstruction
of the upper portion of the wall. The central opening, now shown as a window, actually exists, at
present, as a door. However, the previous window opening and frame are visually evident. The way in
which some of the coquina, around the window opening, are cut indicates that the window, too, was
probably built into an existing wall. This would have been consistent with the need for light after the
addition of the west rooms (prior to 1788). In any event, it seems to be logical as a window for the
house as remodeled with the second story addition.

The central fireplace was built against existing coquina walls and on top of the latest tabby floor
(apparently British period). There are a number of factors which indicate that it too was a part of the
remodeling which included the construction of the wood frame second floor. One of these is the angle
at which the beginning of the flue is constructed. As may be seen in the drawing of the reconstructed
fireplace group, this angle is ideal for directing the smoke from this fireplace into an upper cluster of
flues serving other fireplaces as well. Also, the placement of this fireplace in the corner is less than
ideal for this room, but does locate it so that a fireplace above will be centrally located on the interior
wall of the main upper room. The existence of such an upper fireplace, together with two smaller ones,
has also been verified. The upper closet and roof framing also correspond with these assumptions.
The trim indicated for all fireplaces presumes that they were built at the same time and that the trim
used would correspond with other trim used at that time, particularly for the second floor doors and
windows. The extent of this fireplace trim could be determined fairly accurately from smoke smudges
and other markings on adjacent surfaces.

Second Floor
The minor second story fireplaces were determined from the location of the attic stair partition and from
indications of their hearths. This evidence primarily occurs on the uncovered floor planking, but is
further substantiated by the charred condition of some lath and the ceiling framing for the attic stairs.
The trim for these two fireplaces is more speculative than for the others but seems reasonable. It was
felt that the later fireplace on the south wall, which still exists, was built to match these, and its trim has
been used as a model.

Much of the interior plaster is original and serves as a guide to the original room arrangement as
shown. Marks on the ceiling joists indicate that it too was finished with wood lath and plaster.

The original flooring, of wide wooden planks, also still exists in most areas, -though covered in some
places "by later flooring materials. Not only did this help in locating fireplace hearths, but it also served
to locate the doors between the west rooms. Under the flooring, in the west central area, beams were
found which had beaded edges and mortise cuts indicating a probable earlier use as exposed
beams under a flat roof. It is believed that they were cut from mulberry. None are now in the original
position and many have become unserviceable due to decay.

The southeast corner room and the east balcony are shown as indicated on the earliest known
photograph. This is consistent withevidence found in the walls, with railings which still remained on
the north porch, and with much of what is loiown of St. Augustine practice around the beginning of the
19th century.

The north balcony, or porch, size was determined from the condition of the ends of the continuous
beams which supported it. These also indicated the existence of an edge beam which was needed to
provide additional support from columns or posts. These wood posts were made to correspond with
those which would have occurred above by following the pattern shown in the early photograph.

The west porch is assumed to have corresponded with the north. At the southwest corner, there are
markings on the corner-post which indicate the terminus of a railing and which show the location of an
eave closure beam. The height of the eave beam corresponds with that on the south side of the east
balcony. By employing the photographic evidence as to roof slope and by assuming a ridge location
over the central interior beam, the west eave projection then corresponds with the depth of porch also
determined for the north side. It has been assumed that wall support for the floor beams was provided
by the large wood plate, though no physical evidence was found to justify this.

Most of the interior trim and many of the doors and windows were determined, by their paint coatings,
to be original materials. Where they were not of this nature, the drawings now show them restored to
this condition or one which matches it.

Attic and Roof
The existence of a former attic was suspected from the amount of space which would be available
under the roof indicated in early photographs and from the evidence of nails and planking on the upper
side of the ceiling beams in much of the eastern portion. This was later confirmed in conversations with
the Arnau descendants and by evidence of the stair to this attic. The location of partitions is a
speculation based on these conversations and the demands of logic. There is little physical evidence
observable at this time, though this may alter after the existing roof is removed. The window locations
are strictly speculative. As has been noted, the form of the roof has been derived from photographic
evidence. The covering of wood shinglesalso derives from this., from the practices then current and
from the 1893 insurance map. The framing method is one which was fairly common except in the way in
which the eaves were framed. The extended ceiling beam rafter connection has no known counterpart
in this area. It is., however, the only way to justify the absence of any indication of the use of another
method and maintain structural stability and consistency with other details. The collar beam above is a
detail frequently found in old St. Augustine structures, and accounts for the lack of evidence as to any
other kind of central support. It also creates the kind of attic space that corresponds most closely with
obtainable descriptions. It is not known how the attic was finished and we have simply assumed that it
too was plastered.

William A. Stewart [for the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission]
12 September I960

Recommendations Relative to the Arrivas House Reconstruction
In addition to the nature of the construction team, previously referred to, the following
recommendations are offered for consideration: I. A general clean-up of the premises should precede
any demolition or reconstruction. This should include:
a. A safety cage over the wall;

b. The removal of debris from the archaeological trenches;

c. Refilling the trenches with selected sand, except at a point adjacent to the south edge of the interior

d. Refilling by the fireplace with concrete containing fine aggregate (3000$, 7" slump);

e. Shoring the main floor beam on this concrete (preferably with a steel screw column);

f. Reshoring the easternmost interior door arch;

g. The removal of all debris from the premises (being careful to save large fragments of tabby and
coquina, doors, hardware and other items that may have significance for display or reuse);

h. Cutting weeds and policing the grounds;

i. Posting the property more adequately and providing some means of restricting access to the interior
of the structure;

j- Establishing a method and a place for cataloging and storing relevant parts of the structure to be
disassembled; and

k. Clearly defining a separate place for the temporary collection of the loose debris resulting from

II. Raze the front portion of the present office, being especially careful with the removal of the floor slab,

III. The entire second floor should be disassembled. The existing roof structure, and other portions not
indicated as being included in the restored building, should be discarded.

IV. Those portions of the coquina walls which are loose should be removed and reset. This refers
especially to the interior door arches.

V. New materials, to replace those discovered not to he reusable, should be modern equivalents of the
old (rather than imitations of them, regardless of how carefully contrived), such as;

a. Wood framing of stock mill lumber chemically treated and dyed for identification;

b. Wood trim, similar to above, but shaped to correspond with that which remains;

c. Coquina masonry set in portland cement mortar;

d. Portland cement stucco;

e. Concrete patching for the tabby floors; and

f. Modern glass, glazing compounds and paints; Note; The question of hardware seems to be the most
serious one in connection with this policy. At the least, the metal should be treated with contemporary
rust-proofing materials. This decision should also be influenced with the probable necessity of
incorporating modern lighting and other conveniences in the building. It may well be best to be honest
and consistent with all of these elements.

VI. Obtain expert advice on the landscaping of the patios and rear yard.

VII. Continue the photographic recording of all new aspects of the building, both as it is dismantled and
as it is rebuilt.

The uncovered second story wall framing will be of special interest.

William A. Stewart [for the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission]
12 September I960

Arrivas House
The recent efforts to determine and describe the one story version of the Arrivas House, as it may
have existed around 1730 or 40, are primarily based upon the following:

1. Archaeological studies;

2. Existing coquina walls;

3. Remnants of salvaged beams (re-used in the floor of the later second story); and,

4. Documentary descriptions (but not of this specific structure). Further archaeological work,
undertaken during this last week, reveals some items which have not yet been accommodated by the
latest drawings. These are:

1. The location of tv/o doors in the east (street) wall; and.,

2. The westward extension of the south main wall.

This last item poses a question which is not readily answerable. Also, no further light was cast on the
question of the character of the semi-enclosed space at the east end of the loggia. We are not
satisfied as to its probable use or in the manner in which it was roofed.

The absence of fireplaces and of some of the existing masonry columns is determined by evidence in
adjacent floors and walls. Window and door types are a combination of descriptive documents and
apparently logical use. In terms of their use in this building they are speculative.

The roof is based on the beam remnants and descriptive documents.Its height, and the height of the
parapet walls above it, are speculative. The same is true of the loggia roofs on the north and south

It is hard to believe that the family we know lived in the house at that time, could have been contained
in the structure shown. In addition to separate kitchen and out-house buildings, there must have been
at least one other structure. It is possible that this existed across the court to the north, or was a
westward addition of which only a portion of one wall remains. In any event, the building shown cannot
represent the whole story of the facilities present at that time. In conclusion, it should be pointed oat
that those who have worked on this problem are less satisfied with this version than they were
with the results of the previous investigation and the first plans based on them. Mr, Gjessing's sketches
of this "early" version correspond very closely to ours and may be considered identical in character.
Nonetheless., we are less sure of this character, (and the elements which compose it) and we consider
the results to be less distinguished or desirable. We can only say that they are as honest
as they can be at the present time.Oct. 24, I960

William A. Stewart [for the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission]

A. General Statement:
1. Architectural interest and merit: Architectural interest lies in the use of coquina masonry in the
Spanish colonial manner. Of particular interest is the use of coquina in the construction of flat arches
for two interior door openings. Additional architectural interest lies in the second-story addition with
its heavy timber wall framing,

2. Condition of fabric; The condition of the structure (prior to reconstruction) generally reflects neglect
and disrepair. Chipped plaster and bare stone patches are common. The framing members have not
been protected from weather or decay. Door and window trim has not been replaced where decay and
rot are evident.

B. Description of Exterior:
1. Number of stories: Two plus attic.

2. Over-all dimensions:
First floor—38*-9 l/2« (front) x 31»-11 3/4"
Second floor—38'-6" x 35"-11"

3. Foundations: Foundations are below grade; remnants of
previous oyster shell and coquina walls.

4. Wall construction:
First floor—Coquina masonry
Second floor—Wooden frame

5. Porches: Second-floor "balcony on the north is framed in wooden post and "beam construction.

6. Chimneys: There are three separate existing fireplaces and two existing chimneys.

The fireplace for which there is no chimney is located in an interior room of the house. This fireplace is
5'-8" x 3'-0" x 6'-9" high; is constructed of coquina, has a 4" x 4" x 5'-4" wood lintel, and is lined with
brick. There is no hearth other than the -tabby floor upon which the fireplace is set.

The chimney and fireplace on the west wall are of coquina to a level of 5'-0" above the second story
finish floor. Above this level the chimney is of brick.

The chimney and fireplace on the second story south wall is supported by a coquina pier. This rises
from the ground floor level -to a point six inches below the second story finish floor. The fireplace and
lower chimney are coquina; the hearth, fire chamber and upper chimney are brick.

7. Openings: The ground floor openings have, or show remnants of, wooden lintels and trim set into
bevels in the coquina walls. The second floor openings are framed in wood.

The doors are of wood with varying panel arrangements. The windows have wooden frames, and have
both singleand double-hung wooden sash. Since the windows were installed at different times, some
are sash weight operated and others are held open by pins.

8. Roof: The existing roof has a pitch of l/ll. Sloping from east to west. There is a 7'-6" projection of this
roof on the west. The roof area, excluding the projection, terminates at a parapet wall on the north,
east, and south. This parapet height varies from 3'-3" on the west to 7" on the east due to the slope of
the roof. The roofing material is built-up bituminous impregnated felt without gravel.

C. Description of Interior:
1. Floor plans: The ground-floor plan consists of three rooms and a semi-enclosed loggia. The loggia
is to the south and is enclosed on the east and above by the second-story addition.

There is a single room on the north which opens to the garden area on the north which opens to the
garden area on the north and west (rear) and to another room on the south.

Between the north room and the loggia there is another large central room which opens to the garden
on the west, the loggia on the souths and the street on the east. There is a fireplace on the west wall of
this room. A portion of this central room has been partitioned to form another very small room. It is this
small room that opens into the east end of the north room.

The second-floor plan consists of two rooms and a stair hall on the west and three rooms and a stair
well on the east. The stair hall is located between the central and northernmost rooms, on the west.
The stair well is located between the central and northernmost rooms, on the east. There is a fireplace
on the south wall of the southwest room.

2. Stairways: There are no existing stairways, but there is a stair well opening as described under "floor
plans," above.

3. Flooring: Finish flooring on the ground floor is tabby and/or concrete. Finish flooring on the second
story is longleaf yellow pine planking and strips laid in varying lengths and widths.

4. Wall and ceiling finish: The coquina wall finishes, which are in bad condition, vary between
(1) coquina,
(2) burnt-lime plaster,
(3) brown-coat plaster,
(4) lime plaster,
(5) cement stucco.

The frame wall finishes are of lime plaster on the interiorand cement stucco on the exterior.

5. Doorways and doors: Interior doors are similar to exterior.

6. Trim: The trim is wood throughout. The ground floor is a fairly recent accumulation of primarily
square-edge makeshifts. The western portion of the second floor is eased edge trim bordered by a
continuous crown mold. The eastern portion has fluted jamb and head members with
paneled plinth-type corners.

7. Hardware: Most existing hardware is not particularly noteworthy; however, remnants of shutter hinge
pins and an old strap hinge were found. Also, one door had an old case lock on it, bearing the English
manufacturer's coin. This probably dates from the early 1800 period.

8. Lighting: Wiring and lighting are provided by conventional "BX" and "Romex" cable, leading to ceiling
light sockets of the pull-string type.

9. Keating: Heating is provided only by means of open fireplaces. Further information may be found
under "chimneys," on page 16 of this report.

D. Site:
1. Orientation and general setting: The north wall of the house faces 9-1/2° west of magnetic north.
The main facade (east) of the house faces and is directly on St. George Street. The west side opens
onto a rear yard, and the south side abuts a store building (soon to be removed). The house is
unoccupied at present.

2. Outbuildings: Other structures exist on the property but bear no historical relationship to the house

3. Walks, driveways: Remnants of tabby patio paving occur on the north side of the house,

4. Landscaping: The rear yard contains a well (uncovered by archaeological excavators). The lot is not
landscaped at present.

5. Enclosures (fences etc.): None at present.

Prepared by William A. Stewart, Architect
for the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission
August I960

Notes from Drawing #1
Portions of the ? and coquino masonry of this house were built c. 1725. In 1745 the house was
occupied by Don Raimundo Arrivas and his family, by 1766 the house had been expanded to include
three rooms on the west side. The house remained in the hands of the Arrivas family except for the
period of the British occupation of St. Augustine until 1864 at which time it was purchased by John
Coates. The wood second story was probably added in 1830s by persons now unknown. In 1857 the
house was bought by the Arnell family.

These drawings were commissioned by the United States National Park Service and purchased with
funds in 1960 from the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission Herbert B.
Wolfe, chairman, Earle W. Newton Executive Director, Douglas R. Okht, Executive Manager,
Archtectural work was performed under the supervision of Wm. A. Stewart, Architect; by Herbert L
Banks, Donald J. Conway, and John E. Jarvso Jr. Architecture students from the University of Florida.

Archaeological Excavation Final Report 1960
The archaeological excavations undertaken during the summer of 1960 for the St. Augustine
Restoration and Preservation Commission were not intensive or extensive enough to give the full
development sequence and cultural picture of the area investigated.

A trench system was inaugurated that would cross section the house from north to south and east to
west (this allowed examination of each of the doorways.

The la Rocque map indicated a rear southwest wing to the Arrivas House it was also included in the

One south wall showed five building periods
Period 1 Shell piers (fire remains after)

Period 2 First coquina wall that contained a doorway directly opposite the eastermost doorway between
Room A and B. This stage also was represented by the east coquina pier.

Period 3 Two coquina piers in the western half of the south wall.

Period 4 Central pier to support second story fireplace.

Period 5 Low wall of coquina inserted between east and west piers.

The top floor was laid down after 1907 since an United States of America half-dollar of this date was
discovered under this floor.

In the stratum directly above the sterile soil had a date from 1700-1725 period or later. The presence
of Puebla Polychrome, San Luis Polychrome and San Augustine Blue on White.

There were artifacts also found dating from 1630-1700. Olive jar sherds were found of a pre 1750 type.

The house mentioned on the de Rocque map was destroyed by fire as was evidenced by the red
oxidation of the tabby and the foundation stones. After the fire the house was not rebuilt.
Al Manucy on Second Story
Vice-President Lyndon Johnson speaking from balcony of house
Location of house in relation to the Castillo
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1960
- Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street,
Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Historic American Buildings Survey
P. A. Beaudoin, Photographer
September 1960
Don Raimundo Arrivas House,
44 South George Street,
Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
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St. Augustine Rebounds
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Canova deMedicis House
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Gonzalez Alvarez House
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Warden Castle
Garcia Dummitt House
Don Pedro Horruytiner House
Huertas-Canova House
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DeMesa-Sanchez House
Father Miguel O'Reilly House
Bishops House
Archtectural Styles and Periods
Gaspar Papy
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Tovar House
Pardes Segui MacMillan House
Don Manuel Solana House
Structure List
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