Governor's House Library

Governor's House Library Governor’s House Library is jointly managed by Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida and UF Historic St. Augustine Inc. on behalf of the state of Florida.

We really had to search our noggins for today's #MuseumAlphabet letter: "N" is for "nogging"! Nogging is a construction ...
04/20/2020

We really had to search our noggins for today's #MuseumAlphabet letter: "N" is for "nogging"! Nogging is a construction technique that uses bricks to fill the open space in a wooden frame. This is not at all common in Spanish colonial architecture, but was fairly common in British colonial architecture, so it makes sense that our example of this comes from the William Watson House on Charlotte Street. You can't see the brick work today, because it's been covered, but we promise the nogging's still there!

Happy Friday friends! Our #museumalphabet letter today is "M", which stands for "Moorish Revival"! This is a style of ar...
04/17/2020

Happy Friday friends! Our #museumalphabet letter today is "M", which stands for "Moorish Revival"! This is a style of architecture that was inspired by the Moors of Northern Africa who invaded and conquered Spain in the medieval era. They introduced elements of design found in countries with ties to Islam. Common characteristics include horseshoe arches, domes, and very intricate and colorful details.

Villa Zorayda Museum, our Moorish Revival building in St. Augustine, stands out among our Spanish colonial aesthetic. What's your favorite feature of this unique building? Share with us in the comments bellow.

We've made it halfway through our #MuseumAlphabet! Today, the letter "L" is for "loggia"! This architectural feature can...
04/16/2020

We've made it halfway through our #MuseumAlphabet! Today, the letter "L" is for "loggia"! This architectural feature can be found all around St. Augustine. A loggia is a gallery or room with one or more open sides, and is part of the house structure. Loggias are common features throughout the Spanish colonial homes of St. Augustine. Many of the best examples can be found in the reconstructed buildings of the Preservation Board!

This beautiful sketch shows the loggia of the Salcedo House on St. George Street (which houses Whetstone Chocolates). Discover more about this building on our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/property-spotlight-salcedo-house/

The letter "J" is here to support our #MuseumAlphabet. "J" stands for "joist" - which is a length of timber (or steel) s...
04/14/2020

The letter "J" is here to support our #MuseumAlphabet. "J" stands for "joist" - which is a length of timber (or steel) supporting part of a structure. Joists are typically arranged in a parallel series to support a floor or ceiling.

Today's example comes from the 1968 restoration of The Woman's Exchange of St. Augustine - Peña-Peck House on St. George Street.

Let's strengthen our #MuseumAlphabet with the letter "I" for "iron." This chemical element comes in many shapes and form...
04/13/2020

Let's strengthen our #MuseumAlphabet with the letter "I" for "iron." This chemical element comes in many shapes and forms in architecture - including "wrought" iron. It is a tough, malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, and easily welded material. So you commonly find wrought iron used in exterior decorative features - such as the door grilles for Mantanzas Theatre on Cathedral Place (now home to The Kookaburra and other local businesses).

Still curious about metal working in St. Augustine? Read more about blacksmithing on our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/forging-history/

Hey there super-sleuths, it's time to start looking for our next set of letters! See if you can find these architectural...
04/11/2020

Hey there super-sleuths, it's time to start looking for our next set of letters! See if you can find these architectural features from our #MuseumAlphabet in your own backyards and neighborhoods. To play along, download a copy of the scavenger hunt from our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/04/05/the-abcs-of-architecture-with-governors-house-library/

Each Saturday this month, we will share a new one based on the week's letters. Don't forget to share your finds with us 🔎

👏 Let's give a hand to our friends at UF Historic Preservation Program, who inspired our #museumalphabet letter: "H" for...
04/10/2020

👏 Let's give a hand to our friends at UF Historic Preservation Program, who inspired our #museumalphabet letter: "H" for "historic preservation"! You can find out more about the important work they do in St. Augustine (such as 3-D scanning the Paredes-Dodge House
on St. George Street) and around the world in our stories! We love having great partners like them to spread the importance of preservation and resilience in Northeast Florida.

And if you want to learn more about the origins of historic preservation in St. Augustine, check out our blog post about the early days of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/profiles-in-history-the-first-five/

It is time to pitch the letter "G" for "gable" in our #MuseumAlphabet. A gable is the portion of the front (or side) of ...
04/09/2020

It is time to pitch the letter "G" for "gable" in our #MuseumAlphabet. A gable is the portion of the front (or side) of a building enclosed by or masking the end of a pitched roof. You can see many examples of gables throughout St. Augustine - like this one on the Arrivas House (now home to The Panama Hat Company of St Augustine).

Does your house have a gable? Please share your gables with us in the comments bellow. 📷

While pouring over Governor's House Library for our #MuseumAlphabet, we found today's letter - "F" is for "fountain." Fo...
04/08/2020

While pouring over Governor's House Library for our #MuseumAlphabet, we found today's letter - "F" is for "fountain." Fountains are a piece of architecture that streams water into a basin (or jets it into the air) to supply drinking water or to add a decorative effect.

Our featured fountain flowed in Ribera Garden in 1968. Read more about this fountain's historic garden on our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/govhouselibrary-gardens/

Today, we are elevating ourselves to the letter "E" in our #MuseumAlphabet. In architecture, "E" often stands for "eleva...
04/07/2020

Today, we are elevating ourselves to the letter "E" in our #MuseumAlphabet. In architecture, "E" often stands for "elevation." Architects create illustrations of buildings or portions of a buildings called elevations.

In this elevation, you can see southern side of Memorial Presbyterian Church USA in St. Augustine. Architects Carrère & Hastings created the drawing around 1890 as they designed the now iconic church.

Visit our blog to learn more about the art of elevations: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/elevating-the-art-of-architectural-elevations/

Like neighbors in a duplex, the letter "D" is next to "C." Today in our #MuseumAlphabet, we are looking at a historic du...
04/06/2020

Like neighbors in a duplex, the letter "D" is next to "C." Today in our #MuseumAlphabet, we are looking at a historic duplex in St. Augustine - the Pellicer-de Burgo House. You might better know this building as the Bull and Crown Publick House, but in fact, it is a reconstruction of a duplex from St. Augustine’s British Period (1763-1783).

Read more about the colonial duplex's builders and occupants on our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/property-spotlight-pellicer-deburgo-house/

We are really building up our #MuseumAlphabet today with the addition of the letter "C" for "coquina." Coquina is a soft...
04/03/2020

We are really building up our #MuseumAlphabet today with the addition of the letter "C" for "coquina." Coquina is a soft whitish limestone formed of broken shells and corals cemented together. Many structures throughout St. Augustine - including the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - feature this naturally occurring construction material.

Head over to our blog for more monumental history: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/castillo-de-san-marcos/

On the second day of our #MuseumAlphabet, the letter "B" is for "balcony"! A balcony is a platform that projects from th...
04/02/2020

On the second day of our #MuseumAlphabet, the letter "B" is for "balcony"! A balcony is a platform that projects from the wall of a building and is enclosed by a parapet or railing.

You can find our favorite balcony in St. Augustine at Government House. The King's Balcony over looks St. George Street and received its name from the royal visits of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía in 2001 as well as King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia in 2015.

Learn more about our building's governmental past on our blog: https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/a-birds-eye-view-of-history-the-balconies-of-st-augustine/‎

We are excited to bring you our #MuseumAlphabet, perfect for all ages - from those just learning their ABC's to those re...
04/01/2020

We are excited to bring you our #MuseumAlphabet, perfect for all ages - from those just learning their ABC's to those ready to explore the ABC's of St. Augustine's architecture.

We're kicking things off with (obviously) the letter "A". In St. Augustine, "A" is for the "arches" that support our buildings and bridges. Arches are curved symmetrical structures spanning openings. An arch's wedge-like blocks help distribute weight evenly, allowing for wider openings and larger structures. You can see several examples of arches at the Segui-Kirby Smith House - home to the Saint Augustine Historical Society - Oldest House Museum Complex

Where are your favorite arches in St. Augustine? Please share with us in the comments bellow.

Are you feeling a little bit of cabin fever like we are on this Monday? We have the perfect solution to give your mind a...
03/23/2020
govhouselibrary

Are you feeling a little bit of cabin fever like we are on this Monday? We have the perfect solution to give your mind a break from all the news! Click on the link below and try your hand (or computer mouse) at the puzzles that we've made out of some of our favorite photographs in the Governor's House Library collection. We'll be adding more and more each day, so keep checking back after you've done them all!

Free online jigsaw puzzle game

Out of an abundance of caution for visitors to both our public exhibits and our library, as well as our staff, we have m...
03/18/2020

Out of an abundance of caution for visitors to both our public exhibits and our library, as well as our staff, we have made the decision to close Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum to the public until further notice.⁠

Our patrons will still have access to a great deal of our material digitally on the UF Digital Collections Page (https://ufdc.ufl.edu/hsa1) We will still be sharing fun facts and historical content during this time, so keep an eye out for our posts here on Facebook! We hope you all stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times, and we hope to see you back in Governor's House soon!

Did you know that tomorrow is the 83rd anniversary of our building opening to the public? Back then, it was a post offic...
02/21/2020
Key to the Past

Did you know that tomorrow is the 83rd anniversary of our building opening to the public? Back then, it was a post office, and we still have one of the lockbox keys that was issued to a St. Augustinian back then. Check out our blog to learn more!

Tomorrow, February 22, is George Washington’s birthday, but it is also an important day in Governor’s House history; it’s the day the building we currently occupy officially opene…

We've got a lot of love for the Preservation Board's blacksmith; in addition to daily demonstrations for visitors to the...
02/07/2020

We've got a lot of love for the Preservation Board's blacksmith; in addition to daily demonstrations for visitors to the Restoration Village, he also made lots of tools and decorative pieces for all of the Preservation Board's properties! ⁠

Many of the blacksmith's tools and creations are part of our artifact collection today, and some of the tools are still used in the blacksmith shop at the Colonial Quarter. We spy a heart shaped piece of iron in this photo; do you? Head over to the blog (link in bio) to learn more about our blacksmith's ironwork.⁠

https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/forging-history/

Did you know that the Preservation Board constructed many of their buildings using historic building methods? Check out ...
02/05/2020
Wood you have ever guessed?

Did you know that the Preservation Board constructed many of their buildings using historic building methods? Check out our blog to learn more about the carpentry and woodworking that brought the Restoration Village to life!

“Wood” you have ever guessed that carpenters built Crucial Coffee Cafe by hand? The Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board employed traditional woodworking skills on the wood frame s…

It's February! This month, we'll be showcasing some of our favorite artifacts in the collection, from the cool to the do...
02/03/2020

It's February! This month, we'll be showcasing some of our favorite artifacts in the collection, from the cool to the downright weird. We're kicking it off with a very special item that holds many stories of Florida's history. Can you guess what it is? Head over to the blog to see if you're right!⁠

https://governorshouselibrary.wordpress.com/?p=684

We're closing out January with a little history on our own building; Government House! Learn more about its significance...
01/31/2020
Government House

We're closing out January with a little history on our own building; Government House! Learn more about its significance to St. Augustine on the blog. And stay tuned for our February series coming next week!

Did you know that St. Augustine is laid out in accordance with the typical Spanish town plan? This means that each town should feature a large plaza area in the center of the town, flanked by a rel…

We're covering the Segui Kirby-Smith House, better known as the St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library, on th...
01/17/2020
Segui-Kirby Smith House

We're covering the Segui Kirby-Smith House, better known as the St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library, on the blog! Learn more about the varied history of this building and its inhabitants.

This house in downtown St. Augustine currently acts as the Research Library for the St. Augustine Historical Society. Bernardo Segui built the coquina house there around 1805. Bernardo Segui was a …

Did you know that the Ponce de Leon Hotel opened on this day in 1888? Learn more about Flagler's hotels in St. Augustine...
01/10/2020
Henry Flagler's Hotels : The Ponce de Leon and the Alcazar

Did you know that the Ponce de Leon Hotel opened on this day in 1888? Learn more about Flagler's hotels in St. Augustine on the blog today!

We know them today as Flagler College and The Lightner Museum and The City of St. Augustine’s City Hall, but not so long ago these large structures housed some of America’s wealthiest v…

Today we're spotlighting our neighbors to the east, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine! The current building has be...
01/08/2020
Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

Today we're spotlighting our neighbors to the east, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine! The current building has been standing since 1797, but the roots of the church go all the way back to St. Augustine's beginnings.⁠

Head to our blog to learn more about this beautiful and historic landmark, and its important place in our city's history :)

Today we’re looking into the history of our neighbors, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. The seat of the Diocese of St. Augustine and “America’s First Parish”, this R…

Governor's House Library's cover photo
12/10/2019

Governor's House Library's cover photo

2 days left until the Governor’s House exhibition is open! What’s your favorite landmark in St. Augustine?
12/10/2019

2 days left until the Governor’s House exhibition is open! What’s your favorite landmark in St. Augustine?

3 more days! If you still don’t have plans for December 11th, make sure to stop by and check out “Post from the Past”!
12/10/2019

3 more days! If you still don’t have plans for December 11th, make sure to stop by and check out “Post from the Past”!

Can you believe it? 4 more days!
12/10/2019

Can you believe it? 4 more days!

We’re officially halfway through the countdown! 5 more days until the opening of “Post from the Past” on December 11th f...
12/10/2019

We’re officially halfway through the countdown! 5 more days until the opening of “Post from the Past” on December 11th from 3-5 pm!

6 more days left until the opening of “Posts from the Past”!  Fun fact: did you know that St. Augustine has the “narrowe...
12/10/2019

6 more days left until the opening of “Posts from the Past”! Fun fact: did you know that St. Augustine has the “narrowest” street in the U.S.?

There are only 7 days left until the opening exhibition of “Post from the Past”! We can’t wait to see everyone there!
12/10/2019

There are only 7 days left until the opening exhibition of “Post from the Past”! We can’t wait to see everyone there!

Address

Get Directions 48 King St
Saint Augustine, FL
32084

General information

The Governor's House Library managed by the University of Florida intends to educate, inform and provide updated information on library activities and to support and promote objectives for these activities through its social media site. All comments are made by Governor's House Library designees. This site is not a public forum. Social media users may share ideas through commentary that is consistent with and furthers the objectives of the library's posts and the University of Florida reserves the right to remove any comments that do not fall within this purpose.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(904) 770-3249

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Governor’s House Library

Our collections here at Governor’s House were created by the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board, a state agency that operated from 1959-1997. Its mission was to restore and reconstruct downtown St. Augustine to more accurately reflect its Spanish colonial heritage. The Preservation Board was sundowned in 1997, but its legacy lives on through the University of Florida and UF Historic St. Augustine, Inc. Governor’s House Library tells the story of St. Augustine’s built environment and documents how much our city has changed in the last 60 years.