"Albert Manucy's book continues to serve as a catalyst for architectural preservation in St. Augustine and to inspire similar works elsewhere. His sketches, which explain this colonial architecture, delight as much as they inform. The book also serves as a gentle reminder to Yankees that Florida was civilized before the Puritans settled New England."--F. Blair Reeves, chairman, Historic Resource Committee, Florida Association/American Institute of Architects As architecture documents history, The Houses of St. Augustine records architecture, preserving and interpreting the history of housing in the oldest city in the continental United States.
The charming two-story house so distinctive to St. Augustine offers tangible evidence of Spanish settlement in the New World. Long before Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine, houses similar to the loggia-and-balcony houses of St. Augustine existed in his home province of Oviedo and in nearby Santander. The special feature of the casa Santanderina design, which Manucy calls the "St. Augustine Plan," is a roofed balcony over the street or the yard that anticipates the "Florida room" of this century. On both the north coast of Spain and the northeast coast of Florida, the porch excludes the cold wind and admits the sun in winter; it lets in the breeze and tempers the hot sun in summer.
Upon its first publication thirty years ago, this classic volume contributed to an awakening of interest in St. Augustine architecture; it continues to be the basic reference tool for colonial period restoration and for the ongoing archaeological and anthropological research in the city. In detailed drawings and nontechnical language, the book identifies basic house types and records their dimensions, construction techniques, materials, and design details from foundations to roofs. It has been the cornerstone that enabled the St. Augustine government to frame architecture guidelines for preservation and restoration of existing historic buildings, reconstruction of lost structures, and construction of contemporary homes in designs that are compatible with the historic architecture.
Albert Manucy worked for thirty-three years for the National Park Service as a historian, restorationist, and museum planner. He has written many books on architecture and history, including Seeing St. Augustine, a publication of the Federal Writers Project American Guide Series, and The Building of Castillo de San Marcos. He has received the Amigos de los Castillos silver medal from the government of Spain and awards from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and the Eastern National Park and Monument Association, and he was granted the Order of La Florida by the city of St. Augustine. Manucy was born in St. Augustine and has witnessed the loss of many historic houses. His incentive to write this volume came from the realization that St. Augustine architecture is unique and needed analysis in order to ensure accurate preservation and interpretation.
Published in cooperation with the St. Augustine Historical Society
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"If Florida History appeals to you, Albert Manucy's new companion to the Houses of St. Augustine, 1565 to 1821, titled Sixteenth-Century St. Augustine, will prove an invaluable resource book."
--West Orange Times (Windermere, FL)