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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: email@example.com. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles (left) presents a photo of the replicated Canos de San Francisco to Avilés Mayor, Santiago Rodriguez Vega, as part of the dedication ceremony for the new fountain held on February 24. Looking on is St. Augustine Commissioner George Gardner.
The City of St. Augustine has been busy on the construction of a fountain of similar design to one found in Avilés, a sister city in Spain and the birthplace of the city’s founder, Pedro Menéndez. The Caños de San Francisco, or Fountains of San Francisco, was built on the grounds of the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Visitor Information Center. The dedication ceremony was held February 24.
Famous as an Avilés landmark, the original fountain was constructed as part of a late sixteenth century public works project that brought fresh water into the city. Constructed decades after the founding of St. Augustine, and still functioning today, the Caños de San Francisco is one of Avilés most renowned historic landmarks. Click Here to read about the fountain (in Spanish) on the City of Avilés web site.
Key to the fountain’s replication was securing molds for the structure’s most distinctive feature: six stone carved faces with water spouts for mouths. Castings of the original masks were created and donated to the people of St. Augustine by the Mayor of Avilés, Santiago Rodríguez Vega during an official visit two years ago. Without the diligent efforts of Mayor Rodríguez, the project would not have been possible.
Since the early twentieth century, the sister cities of St. Augustine and Avilés have maintained close ties, exchanging official gifts and visits by citizens, public officials and students. In the 1920s Avilés presented St. Augustine with the casket and burial headboard of Menéndez, and in 1972 a statue of the founder, now in front of City Hall. In 1997, St. Augustine donated the anchor of the seventeenth century Spanish treasure ship, Nuestra Senora de Atocha, to the Anchor Museum Philippe Cousteau, on the Asturian coast near Avilés.
Located on the south side of the VIC, the new fountain includes an informational marker recognizing the significance of the structure and will contribute to the historic and cultural monuments that now occupy the grounds of the VIC, including the Old Spanish Trail Zero Milestone and the tile mosaic map at the VIC’s west entrance.
The fountain was constructed by the city’s Facilities Management Group, with the assistance of the Parks and Streets Division both in the Dept. of Public Works. For more information about this project, contact the Department of Public Affairs at 904.825.1004.
Pictures are the original Caños de San Francisco in Avilés (above) and the one replicated in St. Augustine (below).