Founded by Spain in 1565, fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the United States. Only the Castillo de San Marcos, which was completed in the late seventeenth century, survived two centuries of periodic attacks by British forces to remain an important historic feature today.
Though there were over three hundred original buildings when Florida achieved statehood in 1821, only thirty-six of these remained by 1965. It was while the city celebrated its four hundredth anniversary that the state committed to helping restore remaining buildings. The city of St. Augustine now manages the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum and is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and interpreting the rich and fascinating history of this gem.
This architectural tour of St. Augustine includes beautiful photographs and histories of:
• The Genoply School House, the oldest schoolhouse in the United States.
• The Pena-Peck House, built by order of the King of Spain in 1750 and passed down through generations of the Peck family until 1932.
• Basilica Cathedral, one of the oldest Catholic religious buildings in the United States, built in 1797.
• Flagler College, built as the Hotel Ponce de León in 1888, the first U.S. structure to use poured concrete, interior planned by Louis Tiffany.
• Dozens of painstakingly restored, preserved, and reconstructed buildings.