Government House - St. Augustine, FL
N 29° 53.558 W 081° 18.769
17R E 469797 N 3306929
Quick Description: Government House (built ca. 1710) has served as the residence/office of the colonial governors of Florida, a courthouse, military hospital, office building, and post office. It now houses a museum and the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 3/24/2012 5:06:23 AM
Waymark Code: WME233
"The Government House located at 48 King Street in St. Augustine, Florida, is a building constructed of coquina that served as the official governor's residence from ca. 1710 during the First Spanish Period (1565 -1763), the British Period (1763 - 1784) and until 1811 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, 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 of the American takeover of Florida 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."
"Government House located at 48 King St., is a stately Georgian Style stone mansion facing the 410-year old Plaza in the center of St. Augustine and occupies the site that throughout the colonial period (1565-1821) housed the residence and office of the colonial governors of Florida. The east wing of the present structure dates from 1710, when it was rebuilt following British destruction of the city in 1702. During the American Revolutionary War period (1763-1784), the British governors of East Florida ruled the loyal colony from this building, which was the scene of especially lavish parties under Governor James Grant.
Here, in 1821, the Spanish Governor turned over control of East Florida to the United States, ending the 256-year long era of colonial control. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), Government House contained a military hospital. For much of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century, the building served as a U.S. courthouse and customs house. In 1937, under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Government House was remodeled and enlarged for use as a U.S. Post Office.
The State of Florida took over the building in 1964 as the headquarters for its local historic preservation effort. An excellent museum was created on the first floor in 1991, displaying among other exhibits archaeological artifacts unearthed in the Ancient City, a recreated colonial era ship's hold, a prehistoric Indian canoe, authentic colonial weaponry, and gold and silver pieces from Spanish shipwrecks. The museum offers an informative introduction to the city's more than four centuries of recorded history.
In addition to housing a museum, Government House has a banquet room, the Sala de Montiano and an adjoining courtyard, which are popular locations for wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners. Throughout the years, Government House has provided the starting and ending point for Spanish and British re-enactment ceremonies."