In early 1965, Elizabeth Towers, the only female member of the St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission at the time, spearheaded a project to develop the lot on the corner of Hypolita Street and St. George Street. She formed the Hispanic Garden Committee, all comprised of women, to bring the Spanish-style garden to life. They coordinated with local garden clubs and organizations to host teas, fashion shows, art auctions, and trinkets donated by the Spanish Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair to raise funds.
About 60% of the project was personally funded by Jessie Ball DuPont from Jacksonville who was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. The only two female landscape architects in Florida at the time, Drusilla P Gjoerloff and Lee W Schmoll were chosen to design the garden.
The plazoleta is modeled after Spanish gardens (see the Alhambra Palace) which took cues from Roman patios. Flowers fill the ceramic vases and the beds around the perimeter contain marigolds, palm trees, jasmine, cabbage palms, holly, and kumquats. The garden features lots of Spanish influence like an octagonal mosaic and a nod to water features common in Spain during the Moorish occupation. The pool in the center was converted to a planter in 1977.
A sculpture of Queen Isabella of Castile at the center was made and donated by notable artist Anna Hyatt Huntington, who is the first woman to have a public sculpture on display in New York outside of Central Park. Th
Medium type: Cast Bronze
Date created: 1961
Dimensions: 4' 1"