The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum has been chosen as the recipient of a $8,000 grant awarded by the Americana Corner Grant Program. The award will allow the museum to begin a major restoration and preservation project on the 1798 coquina and tabby building.
It is one of only 31 coquina buildings remaining in St. Augustine.
The project will begin by carefully removing mildew on the lower part of the coquina walls. The mildew needs to be carefully removed by hand as power washing methods would destroy the delicate coquina. When the removal process is complete, this will then allow for annual protective coatings of limewash on the building exterior.
“Through the generosity of the Americana Corner Grant Program, we will continue restoring and preserving this very special house museum building for future generations to come.” said Stefanie Kite, operations manager of the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum.
The Americana Corner Grant Program assists organizations focused on telling the story of America from its founding era through its first century as a nation. Grant recipients include 67 organizations in 24 states. Learn more at americanacorner.com.
The Ximenez-Fatio House is a long-standing fixture of St. Augustine. It is located on Aviles Street, just south of the Plaza de la Constitucion.
Constructed in 1798 by Spanish merchant Andres Ximenez, the first floor of the home was originally used as a grocery store, tavern and billiards hall, while the second floor acted as a dwelling area for the family.
The property was kept in the Ximenez family following Andres’ death in 1806 but was purchased in 1830 by Margret Cook, who converted it into a boarding house. The home went on to be owned by two additional unmarried women, Sarah Petty Anderson and Louisa Fatio, over the next 50 years.
With the arrival of Henry Flagler and his luxury hotels in the 1880s, boarding houses were no longer fashionable, leading to the house being rented out as an artist retreat and various commercial businesses.
In 1939, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America In The State of Florida purchased, restored and furnished the home, opening it as a historic house museum for the first time on May 6, 1946.
The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday. Guided and audio tours are available. Groups and field trips can reserve tours in advance, as well. Special programming is presented throughout the year.
For further information, go to XimenezFatioHouseMuseum.org or call 904-829-3575.