The Oldest Mansion in Florida is More Than 100 Years Old and Just as Beautiful as the Day It Was Made

Florida is a state rich in history and culture, and one of the best ways to experience it is by visiting some of the oldest and most beautiful mansions that have survived the test of time. Among them, there is one that stands out as the oldest and most historic house in the state: the González–Álvarez House, also known as The Oldest House.

The History of The Oldest House

The Oldest House is located at 14 St. Francis Street in St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental United States. The house has a construction history dating back to about 1723, when it was built by Tomas González y Hernández, a Spanish soldier and royal accountant. The house was originally a one-story coquina stone structure with a thatched roof and a detached kitchen. It was later expanded and modified by successive owners, including the British merchant Joseph Peavett, who added a second story and a wooden balcony in the late 18th century, and the Minorcan farmer Juan Genoply, who added a shingle roof and a coquina kitchen in the early 19th century.

The house was acquired by the St. Augustine Historical Society in 1918, and has been preserved and restored as a museum ever since. It is believed to be the oldest surviving house in St. Augustine, and one of the oldest in the nation. It is also a National Historic Landmark and a part of the Colonial St. Augustine Historic District.

The Features of The Oldest House

The Oldest House is a remarkable example of colonial architecture and craftsmanship, as well as a reflection of the diverse and complex history of Florida. The house showcases the influences of Spanish, British, and American cultures, as well as the contributions of the Native Americans and the Minorcans, who were settlers from the Mediterranean islands of Minorca, Mallorca, and Ibiza.

The house features original and period furnishings, artifacts, paintings, and documents that illustrate the lives and stories of the people who lived there. Some of the highlights include a rare 18th-century map of St. Augustine, a 19th-century piano, a collection of antique firearms, and a portrait of Francisco Pellicer, a prominent Minorcan leader.

The house is also surrounded by a beautiful garden that contains native and exotic plants, such as palm trees, roses, jasmine, and oleander. The garden also has a well, a cistern, and a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the city.

The Significance of The Oldest House

The Oldest House is more than just a historic house; it is a living museum that offers a unique and authentic glimpse into the past of Florida and the nation. It is a place where visitors can learn about the history, culture, and heritage of St. Augustine and its people, from the colonial era to the present day. It is also a place where visitors can appreciate the beauty and charm of the oldest and most historic city in the United States.

The Oldest House is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and military, $5 for students, and free for children under 6. Guided tours are available every half hour, and special events and programs are offered throughout the year. For more information, visit The Oldest House Museum Complex or call (904) 824-2872.

Conclusion

The Oldest Mansion in Florida is more than 100 years old and just as beautiful as the day it was made. It is the González–Álvarez House, also known as The Oldest House, a historic house museum in St. Augustine that showcases the history, culture, and heritage of the oldest city in the nation. It is a place worth visiting for anyone who loves history, architecture, and beauty.

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