Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Gonzalez-Alvarez House of St.Augstine Florida

One of these day I just may run out of places to talk about in historic St.Augustine. But I just could not pass up mentioning this home as it has 400 years of documented history and is the oldest home in the city.
The first home on this site was made of logs and had a thatched roof. It burned in the town fire of 1702. The next house built here, as seen above, had a tabby floor and coquina wall. At that time it had one floor. A family by the name of Tomas Gonzalez was believed to have lived in it then, proof of that was found in the local Catholic church books which has recorded the baptism of their child in 1702. That family lived in the home until the British occupied the city in 1763. It was then that the second story, as well as other alterations in the size and shape of the house, was built. For some time it was even a tavern, a room on the first floor shows what a bar room may have looked like back in the 1700s. It also portrays what a main room may have looked liked for the first Spanish dwellers of the home.
The British influence is very evident on the second floor where there are private rooms for sleeping and visiting. What especially impressed me about this house was that it was continually in use and fully occupied by people over the 400 year of its existence.
As we know from history, the British left St.Augustine in the late 1700s and the Spanish came back in. The Geronimo Alvarez family owned the home for 100 years after which it went to various occupants until it became a museum in 1918. Below is the entrance into the courtyard of the home as it appears today.

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