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St. Augustine Boarding Houses
Ximenez- Fatio House
20 Aviles Street
St. Augustine, Florida

Library of Congress
HABS No. FLA-116
NRHP 73002135
2nd Spanish
Architectural Information

A. General Statement
1. Architectural interest and merit:
"A home...representative of the era (Second Spanish Period, 1784-1821) is the
town house long associated with the
Fatio family. Built in the early 1800's, it plainly shows the influence of Spaniard,
English and American - as well as a growing family which caused rather drastic enlargement." (Albert Manucy,
Houses of St. Augustine, 1565-1821,
St. Augustine, Florida: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1962), p. 46.)

2. Condition of fabric: Well maintained as an historic house museum by the Colonial Dames.

B. Description of Exterior:
1. Number of stories:
Two-and-a -half stories, with two-story rear ell.

2. Number of bays: Six-bay front by seven bays (including rear ell).

3. Over-all dimensions: 50' - 9 1/8" (front) x 30' - 11" (main block); 15' - 7 1/2" x 50' - 10 78' (rear ell).

4. Layout, shape: Rectangular main block with a recessed, centrally placed rear loggia, and an extensive rear ell.

5. Foundations: Unobserved.

6. Wall construction: The data in the historic section of this report indicates that the main (front) section of the first
floor is made of fine
tabby (ormigon). The second floor and the first floor of the rear ell may be of the same material. (It
seems likely, however, that some of the construction of these sections may be of coquina masonry). All of these
surfaces are plastered. The rear
ell's second story is of frame construction with clapboarding on the south side (Cadiz
Street) and matched board siding on the rear (west side). This second story of the rear ell has a plastered wall surface
on the north side (under the gallery, which gives access to the four rooms). Generally the exterior surface of the house
is painted a light buff-cream color.

7. Structural system, framing: Interior partitions appear to be of both frame and masonry or tabby construction.

8. Porches: A cantilevered wooden frame balcony projects approximately 4 1/2' over Aviles Street. It has 4 5/8" square
wooden posts (chamfered above the railing), molded railings, and simple wooden
balusters [See balcony] (rectangular
in section). The flooring is of 5 3/4" boarding nailed with approximately 1/4 " opening between each. This porch has a
hipped roof. The central, two-tiered, "recessed" has a hipped roof. The central, two tiered, "recessed" rear
loggia also
projects approximately 7' into the garden. This "porch" is continuous with the two-tiered wooden gallery which extends
along the north (garden) side of the rear
ell. The loggia has a partially enclosed three-run wooden stairway to the
second floor. Near the western end (rear) of the ell gallery is a simpler, single-run, wooden stairway. The first level of
both the loggia and the gallery has 8" x 8" wooden posts with simple wooden "capitals" (which, in reality, are simply
several wooden pieces nailed to the posts approximately 1' - 7" below the framing of the second floor level). The
wooden posts of the second level of both
loggia and gallery are 4-1/2" x 4 1/2" with molded corners. At this level there
are also molded wooden railings and simple rectangular wooden
balusters. The flooring of the first level appears to be
tabby (a ground-level "terrace"); that of the second: wide, random-width board flooring in the recessed part of the
loggia, 7 1/4" wide board flooring in that section of the loggia that extends westward into the garden area, and
approximately 3 1/4" board flooring in the gallery. The second level of the gallery also has a 9 1/2" high molded, wooden
baseboard. Both loggia and gallery have shed roofs covered with shingles that appear to be cement asbestos.

9. Chimneys: The main block has two tall brick chimneys. One is located on the south slope of the hipped roof - next to
the single dormer. The second one is located on the front (east) slope of the hipped roof (near the northern hip). Both
have twentieth-century, metal "superstructures" or vent systems.

The rear
ell has two chimneys at the gable ridge. They are relatively large; they appear to be square in section; and
they are made at least partially of brick. Obviously the height of both was raised, since the middle joint of each has a
brick molding. Both are crowned by several twentieth-century metal stacks.

10. Openings:
a. Doorways and doors: The two Aviles Street entries have six-paneled wooden doors that have simple moldings. The
main entry door also has raised paneling. The majority of the other exterior doors are six-paneled, wooden doors with
simple moldings; none have raised panels, however. A few of these appear to be contemporary with the secondary front
entry. Others date more likely from the later nineteenth century. There is also a vertical board door, as well as a
six-paneled (four upper panels glazed, three-light transom over), wooden door in the northern section of the main block.
The doors from the main drawing room on the second floor to the front balcony and to the rear loggias are both double
wooden doors - each section three-paneled. All windows and doors have wooden trim, painted brown.

b. Windows and shutters: Six-over-nine light, double-hung, wooden sash set in simple molded wooden frames. The
exception to this is a six-over-six light, double-hung, wooden sash in the wall, which protects one side of the
stairway. With one exception there are no exterior shutters. (On the north side of the main section of the house there is
an exterior; louvered, wooden shutter). There are unpainted, wooden, interior shutters at several windows that have a
southern exposure - particularly in the rear ell. Since the house is open only once a week to the public, these evidently
were added after the restoration to protect the antique furnishings from the sun.

11. Roof:
a. Shape, covering: Both the main section and the rear ell have hipped roofs with slight kicks. The shed roofs of the
loggia and gallery continue the slopes of the main roofs. The front balcony has a hipped roof, the main slope for which
continues the slop of the main roof. All these roof areas are covered with what appears to be modern cement asbestos
tiles (an obvious change from the covering noted in the 1936 HABS drawings for the Fatio House.)

b. Cornice: Exposed wooden roof beams. Modern metal eaves trough and drain pipes.

c. Dormers: six wooden, frame dormers with gable roofs. These dormers have six-over-six light, double-hung, wooden
sash and clapboard siding. The covering is the same as the other roof surfaces.

C. Description of Interior:
1. Floor plans: The main structure in this case was a variation of the "St. Augustine plan" it had a loggia (open-sided
room) as an integral part of the plan, centered on the side (the rear, in this case)." The second-floor plan is similar.

2. Stairways: There are two staircases. Both are essentially exterior - one in the loggia, and one at the rear of the

a. Main stairway: Three-run, close-string, open-newel, wooden stair with turned wooden balusters (three per tread),
molded handrails, and turned newel posts. This stairway continues to the attic and has three runs, an open newel and
open string, square newel posts with partially beveled edges, rectangular wooden balusters, and slightly rounded
square handrails. In all features the stairway from the second floor to the attic is more simple than that from the first to
the second floor. The undersides of all runs are plastered and painted the light butt-cream color that all exterior walls
are painted. Under the first and second runs of the main stairway, however, are storage spaces with vertical boarding
painted brown and a single, four-paneled, wooden door.

b. Rear stairway: Narrow, single-run, wooden staircase with molded wooden handrails, square (molded corners) wooden
newels, and narrow rectangular wooden balusters (two per tread). The space under this staircase is enclosed with
vertical boarding (approximately 5 1/4" wide) for storage. A narrow wooden door made of three vertical boards and
battens is covered with what seems to be plywood. All woodwork on both staircases is painted brown.

3. Flooring: First floor - tabby floors; second floor - wide board flooring.

4. Wall and ceiling finish: All rooms have plastered walls. The main rooms are painted a soft green; the others are either
a light salmon color or white (in the rear ell).

5. Doorways and doors: A pair of wooden folding (two sections each) doors connect the central second-floor main parlor
with the southeast corner parlor. Each section, painted the light green of the walls, has three panels. A smaller doorway
to the northeast room has a similar door, with two sections only, however. The remaining second-floor doors are
wooden, four- and six-paneled with simple moldings; the simple wooden door frames are molded. The first floor, in
general, has six paneled wooden doors with moldings, and simple molded door frames.

In the British colonies, the 6-panel door was in vogue during much of the 18th century. Good examples of it are yet
found in St. Augustine, notably in the Fatio House (Albert Manucy,
The Houses of St. Augustine, 1565-1821)

6. Decorative features and trim: Both first- and second-floor rooms have simple wooden baseboards; those in the
second-floor parlors are molded. These parlors also have molded chair rails. The wooden chimney pieces all have
paneled pilasters and narrow board mantel shelves. The wide horizontal members of the fireplaces in the two
second-floor main parlor have projecting central sections.

7. Notable hardware: Mainly box locks.

8. Lighting: The major portion of the house has no electric lighting fixtures. The exception is the modern kitchen in the
rear of the ell. The entire house, however, is electrically wired - note outlets.

9. Heating: Fireplaces throughout.

D. Site:
1. Orientation and general setting: The Ximenez-Fatio House faces east on Aviles Street. Entry is directly from the street.

2. Outbuildings: A rectangular (33'-11" x 14' - 3 ") kitchen building with two rooms is located in the garden to the
northwest of the main structure. (The rear wall of this kitchen is almost in line with the rear (west) well of the rear ell -
only three feet from the ell's gallery.) The tabby and /or coquina structure, which may predate the main building, is
plastered and painted the same buff-cream color as the house. It has a relatively steep gable roof with modern cement
asbestos roof shingles. The framework of the roof is exposed in the interior. There are both a rear and front entrance to
the pantry (north) room. These entries have simple wooden frames and board and batten doors. The windows also have
simple wooden frames and casement windows (in swinging, five lights per section). Both gable ends also have windows
with six-over six light, double hung, wooden sash. All exterior woodwork is painted brown.

A small twentieth-century masonry garage with vertical board doors is located in the northwest corner of the garden. It
belonged to another domestic structure that formerly was situated on the property to the north of the Ximenez-Fatio

3. Landscaping: In 1958 the Colonial Dames purchased the property immediately to the north of their structure for
garden purposes. In general, the entire original garden area and the more recently purchased property are not a lawn
with random-placed fruit trees, palm trees, and bushes. There are also several flower beds and concrete walks. The
plantings include:
Japanese plum trees (loquat)
Parkinsonia trees
Grapefruit trees
Fig tree
Palm trees
Banana trees
Spanish bayonets (along the Aviles Street coquina garden wall).

Prepared by John C. Poppeliers
Architectural Historian
National Park Service
March 1965

Addendum to Fatio House

Present Owner: The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida

Present Use: Historic house museum

The following information was compiled by Mrs. Doris Wiles of the St. Augustine Historical Society on September 3, 1962
(with translations by Mrs. Eugenia Arana):

On what is presently our earliest record of property ownership in St. Augustine, the Juan Jose Eligio de la Puente map,
of January 24, 1764, the property at the corner of Aviles and Cadiz Streets is identified as No. 243 in Square V. On it
were two structures, which Puente describes as houses of ripio (tabby) belonging to Cristovel Contreras. Contreras was
a native of the Canary Island.

The British map by the engineer Jaems Moncrief, dated 1765, shows three buildings, two of which appear to be in the
same location as those of the Puente map, with a Dr. Pritchard as owner. Nothing is known of Pritchard, except that he is
probably the John Pritchard who left East Florida after the Revolutionary war and went to live in the Bahamas. Nor have
any other British owners been found.

In 1788, Mariano de la Rocque, Spanish engineer, made a map. Block 27 - No. 186 shows one building only, described
as the ruins of a masonry house, in bad condition; the lot and ruins in the custody of Luis Contreras. The location of this
ruin appears to be in the same location as one of the Puente and Moncrief structures.

Luis Contreras was the son of the 1764 owner, Cristoval Contreras and his wife Dorotes Anays, and was born in St.
Augustine on June 4, 1763, just at the time the Spanish residents were preparing to evacuate to Cuba. It appears as
though he may have returned to reclaim his property.

Two years later, in 1790, properties that had reverted to the Spanish Crown were listed for disposal by Governor
Quesada. This a lot only, in possession of one Francisco Roche. The public sale took place on April 8, 1791, and the lot
was bid in by Juan Hernandez, retained title until November 7, 1797, when he sold the lot to Andres Ximenez. On August
11, 1802 the governor confirmed title to the lot in perpetuity to Ximenez. No building is mentioned. This is emphasized
because earlier research indicated that the kitchen may have been one of these earlier buildings, but this statement is
not supported by the documents.

Meanwhile, Andres Ximenez had married Juana Pellicer, daughter of Francisco and Margarita Femanias. Francisco was
a master carpenter, and one of the leaders of the refugees from the New Smyrna colony to St. Augustine.

Andres and Juana had two sons and one daughter: Miguel, born in 1793, Jose born in 1796 and Rosa, born in 1798. At
an undetermined date between 1798 and 1802 Juana passed away, leaving Andres with three small children to raise.

On October 11, 1802, Andres made a will, which is recorded in
Escrituras. The St. Augustine Historical Society does not
have a complete copy of this first will, but the brief states that he owns the house he lives in with its lot, and a second lot
in front of it; that he has a mulatto slave, named Rosa, and that he operates a shop or store. His house was already built.

This second lot in front of his residence, mentioned both in the 1802 will and a later one made at the time of this death
in 1806, has caused much confusion, and only the full translation of the second will and all of its many supporting
documents and examination of the
Escritures, has clarified the matter.

Although Ximenez has purchased property across Aviles Street in November, 1791 from Antonio Palms, he had sold it in
February, 1800, to one Mariano de Lasega. How, then, could he mention it in his will as part of his estate, in 1802 and
again in 1806? Because he had repurchased it from Lasaga on July 27, 1801, to be paid for in two years, and no deed
appears in the
Escritures because he evidently had not finished paying for it prior to his death!

On April 10, 1806, Andres Ximenez made a second will, and on April 17 he died. He states that he is a widower, and
names his three children, all minors, as heirs. Santos Rodriguez, storekeeper at the fort, and Gregorio Suarez, assistant
pharmacist of the Royal hospital, were named executors. His estate, Ximenez declared, consisted of the house in which
he lived, with its lot, and another lot, bounding his residence on the front and with the street between them, on the north
by the lane that goes to the Marina and east and north by Don Manuel Solana; one mulatto slave named Rosa, 35
years old, and he said that he had a 'tienda de comestibles' or general merchandise store 'en la citada casa' --- in the
mentioned house. From the inventories and appraisals, it appears possible, however, that the store was in one of the
buildings to the rear of  and possibly connected to the dwelling.

"There is an inventory of the merchandise in the store, some stone that he had either for sale or some other purpose,
his furniture, his china and crystal, and his belongings of gold, silver and other metal; his house, two storehouses,
kitchen and outbuildings, and separately listed, a fairly large stone kitchen with a chimney and a small wooden house in
the rear (interior) of the second lot. The little house measured only 17-1/2 feet x 12 feet, and 7 feet high. There was a
wooden fence.

This is mentioned because this lot is described in previous research as having no buildings on it. After Andres death,
the little wooden house 'la casita' was being rented to Marcelino Espinosa, a mulatto, who had also purchased some
items at the sale of Ximenez' belongings (see Mr. Beeson's translation).

The main house, where Ximenez lived, was of stone, two stories high. The number of second floor rooms is not clear,
but it had a sala, or parlor, with a chimney, and a comedor, or dining room. The lower floor was of ormigon, similar to
tabby but much finer. It had 15 doors, 16 windows (some of the doors would have been interior), partitions of wood, and
a stairway with banisters and railing and a cupboard below. The roof was of wood with four dormer windows (techo con
4ventanas). No balcony or gallery is mentioned. Since the house now has 5 dormers, 3 in front and on each on the
north and south, a balcony on the east as well as other differences, it appears that extensive changes and alterations
were made by some owner between 1806 and the time of some of the early photographs of the house. This is not
unusual, during a span of many years.

In addition to the house, two stores or storehouses (almacenes) are described as being on the same lot. The first
storehouse was of stone, had a shingle roof and floor of ormigon. The second, which appears to have been joined in
part to the first, was also of stone, had a stone chimney, but the floor was wood and the roof of split pine shingles.
Further evidence that they were joined together in some way is that the doors and windows, 3 of each, were counted as
being in one building. There was also a ladder (escalere de mano). Reviewing the types of merchandise handled by
Ximenez, it is possible to believe that the larger of these two buildings, the one with the ormigon floor, could have been
his store, and the other a sort of warehouse.

There was the kitchen, also of stone, with a chimney and oven, and a shingle roof. Wherever a chimney is mentioned, it
is assumed that there was also a fireplace. The kitchen had 3 doors and 3 windows. No 'slave quarters' are mentioned.

Last but not least there was a wooden privy and wash shed, with a wooden fence, and a stone well. And on the south
side there was a stone wall (Cadiz Street).

It appears that all of the merchandise in the store, as well as the furnishings of the house were sold. Don Ventura Boix
was the buyer of the bulk of these effects, and shortly afterwards he rented the lower floor of the house, while William
Cook rented the upper portion. Various other individuals purchased one or more items as will be seen by the document
translated in 1960 by Mr. Kenneth Beeson.

As requested in his will, Ximenez was buried in an especially made shroud of the Order of St. Francis. His coffin was built
by Antonio Llambias. The three children were outfitted in black for the period of mourning, and temporarily, after their
father's death, were cared for by Gregorio Suarez and his wife Maria Pellicer, their mother's sister.

The youngest boy, Jose, had been apprenticed to Monsieur Desmouliens, a French tailor. This gentleman was also one
of the purchasers at the sale, his name being phonetically spelled 'Demole' by the Spanish scribe. Eventually, Francisco
Pellicer, the grandfather, took over as guardian of the children.

The eldest son, Miguel Valentin, went to Santa Clara, Cuba, and married Juana Andrea Vila on December 8, 1816.
Because they were of both second and third degree of blood relationship (she was the daughter of Don Juan Vila and
Dona Teresa Famania) they received a dispensation. The ceremony of the veil took place on February 18, 1817.

No marriage has been found for the other son, Jose. Rosa married Juan Bucheny of St. Augustine sometime between
1819 and 1827.

In 1819, grandfather Francisco gave an accounting of the remainder of Andres Ximenez' estate, and stated that the lot
(across the street) had already been sold - no date or purchaser given for 90 pesos.

The three children eventually disposed of their shares of the property and subsequently it came into the possession of
Miss Louisa Fatio in 1855. She held it for about 20 years until her death. After considerable litigation, it descended
through her heirs to Mr. D. R. Dunham, who sold it to the present owners.

During Miss Louisa's time the house became quite famous as a winter residence and one of its most well-known visitors
was Miss Constance Fenimore Woolson.

However, it appears that the name of Ximenez is more closely connected with the property over a longer period of years,
and should be honored. It also appears probable that Andres Ximenez built both the house (original) and the kitchen,
sometime between 1797 and 1802. Ximenez was a man of some means, and he states in his will that all of his estate had
been accumulated since his marriage to Juana Pellicer.

Additional historical information is given in a display at the Ximenez-Fatio House. The following chronology is extracted
from this display. No source is indicated; however, the nature of the information indicates that it is based on
documentary research. Guides at the house have indicated that the Colonial Dames, the present owners, have this
documentation, or at least copies of it, in their possession.

- On January 7, 1825, Joseph Ximenez conveyed the property by warranty to
Francis Gue for $770.00.

- On February 1, 1825, Francis Gue conveyed the property by warrant deed to Margaret Cook for $700.00.

- In 1827 John Buchina and his wife, Rosa Ximenez, conveyed their one-third interest in the property by warranty deed
to Margaret Cook. It was stated that Rosa had inherited this interest from her father, Andres Ximenez.

- In 1830
Gabriel W. Perpall, attorney-in-fact for Miguel Ximenez, conveyed a one-third interest in the property to
Margaret Cook for $640. Perpall had recorded his appointment as attorney-in-fact in Deed Book H on page 502 (St.
Johns County Records).

- In 1838
Margaret Cook, widow of Samuel Cook conveyed by warranty deed the property to Sarah P. Anderson, widow
of George Anderson for $4000.00.

- In 1855 Sarah P. Anderson conveyed the property by warranty deed to Louisa Fatio (daughter of Don Francisco
Felipe Fatio) for $3000.00

- In 1875
Louisa Fatio died and in her will the property was devised to her heirs, from whom David L. Dunham obtained
the title. When he died his interest went to his wife, Lillie O. Dunham, whose son David R. Dunham acquired the property
at her death.

In 1939 the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida purchased the property from David
R. Dunham.
- Repairs and restoration - 1941-42.

- In 1958 the Society purchased the property immediately adjacent to the north. This property was known as the Pfeiffer
The following 8 pictures are from Francis Benjamin Johnson taken in 1937.
Library of Congress
The following pictures are from HABAS in 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
J. Erwin Page, Photographer
Feb. 23, 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
J. Erwin Page, Photographer
Feb. 23, 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
J. Erwin Page, Photographer
Feb. 23, 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
J. Erwin Page, Photographer
Feb. 23, 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
J. Erwin Page, Photographer
Feb. 23, 1937
Historic American Buildings Survey
Jack E. Boucher, Photographer
June 1958
Property information below is from the
Ximenez-Fatio House - Schedule of Title and Use, 1973
Herschel Shepard Project Files
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
Year 185-
St. Augustine from 1920s to WWII
St. Augustine from WWII to
Casa Amarylla
St. Augustine Rebounds
Sequi-Smith House
Villa Flora
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Arrivas House
Villa Rosa
Canova deMedicis House
Ximenez-Fatio House
Villa Zorayda
Gonzalez Alvarez House
Seavy House (Union General)
Warden Castle
Garcia Dummitt House
Don Pedro Horruytiner House
Huertas-Canova House
(Prince Morat House)
DeMesa-Sanchez House
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Bishops House
Architectural Styles and Periods
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Sanchez-Burt House
Tovar House
Pardes Segui MacMillan House
Don Manuel Solana House
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