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BY JESSICA O’REILLY AND KYLA MAYER
PHOTOS BY MATTHEW GANE
Lynda and Fred Hathorn are a retired couple who embody the creative, artistic side of St. Augustine, and their home certainly reflects their love of the town as well. The couple married 24 years ago and instantly fell in love with St. Augustine during their vacations to Florida. Lynda reminisces, “It was a very quiet, very peaceful place, you know. You’d go to the beach and you’d go downtown, and it was just, ‘Wow!’ It’s so gorgeous.” They bought a beach condo on Anastasia Island in 2002 and officially moved down to Florida when they retired in 2006. “We loved our condo,” Lynda says, “but we thought maybe we’d like a house again someday. Fred said he wanted a garage, so we had to go get a house with a garage!”
Rather than buy a house, the Hathorns built their own unique St. Augustine home downtown. Lynda calls the home her “art project,” and Fred comments that “it’s the biggest art project we’ve ever undertaken.” The couple have a deep love for art, traveling, dance, and gardening, all of which is deeply integrated into their house. They have many decorations, pieces of furniture, and artwork from all around the world. Some of the places they have traveled include Europe, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Caribbean. Many of the pieces throughout the house are from places like Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Honduras, giving the home’s décor a Spanish Revival feel. The architecture of the home reflects a Spanish hacienda style, full of European influence, with local materials decorating the interior. Much of the couples’ new artwork is from local artist Denis Pellerin. Fred says, “One of our goals [for the house] is to start buying some local artwork that reflects St. Augustine. We’re really just now getting into that, and Denis was nice enough to loan and offer us so many pieces that we have subsequently purchased.”
In addition to incorporating their love of art and travel, Lynda and Fred also made sure to include a ballroom in their home and garden areas in the backyard. The ballroom is a beautiful, 1,200 square foot oak-floored room, perfect for parties and dancing, and holds a baby grand player piano. The garden is exquisite and large, as well. Lynda loves to garden and is a master gardener in Virginia and Florida. Just a small number of her plants include two orange trees, a fig tree, a loquat, herbs, roses, gardenias, ice plants, blue daze, lantanas, and mallows.
Lynda and Fred are active participants in the St. Augustine community. Lynda has been a member of the Hibiscus Garden Circle for ten years and likes to take art classes, and they are both deeply involved with the St. Augustine Ballroom Dance Association and take regular tap dance and ballet classes at the River House, just a five-minute walk from their downtown home on St. George Street. As soon as Lynda and Fred moved to St. Augustine, they became integrated into the town through architecture, aesthetic, and culture. Their deep appreciation of the community is strong, and their lovely home reflects that.