The two-story Victorian-modeled residence at 29 Cuna was constructed somewhere between the years 1899 and 1904. The property appeared on the University of Florida’s insurance map completed in the year 1904. The original home had two brick stucco chimneys, a gable roof and was planned in an L shape model. Over the years the property has undergone major remodeling and frame modifications – including a third level and an elevator in recent years.
Remodeling over the years of the former vernacular building to its Spanish and Colonial Revival appearance included modification of the roof line, eliminating the overhang at the ends of the slopes and under the eaves to produce simple lines. A wooden balcony continues to overlook the courtyard and a masonry wall (later added) now surrounds the property.
An arial photo of St Augustine’s Colonial city district in the 1950’s shows the property beside three other houses modeled very similar – one sitting where the entrance of the parking lot of Toques Place is today.
The residence at 29 Cuna was first constructed by Bernard Masters, a wealthy cattleman and business man who built numerous houses in the North City section of St Augustine and on Cuna Street. His granddaughter occupied the residence for many years. Members of the Masters family descend from Minorcan colonists who migrated from New Smyrna Beach, Fl to St Augustine in 1777. Other occupants of the home over the years include: Mrs. J.F. Guilmartin, superintendent of the Women’s Exchange, and William W. Haskell, branch manager of the Jacksonville Journal.