Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum plans St. Augustine site


The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is expanding its footprint in the Nation’s Oldest City with the purchase of the historic Sanchez House at 105 St. George St. in St. Augustine.

Karpeles Manuscript Library Inc. CEO Mark Karpeles and CFO Cheryl Alleman, who are the son and daughter of the museum founder, the late David Karpeles, paid $4.5 million for the property in January. The sellers were Michael and Pamela Pounds, Richard Pinto and Mary Dee Stensgaard.

Realtor Amy Alloways of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty represented the buyers of the transaction.

“We are thrilled that we found the perfect location for the Karpeles Manuscript Library on St. George Street,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty President Ann King. “Our company was working with Cheryl Alleman at Karpeles. Although the property wasn’t up for sale at that time, we searched out and found an owner in a prime location who was willing to sell. Choosing the best location for a commercial real estate purchase takes thoughtful consideration and the right team to help meet the buyer’s goals.”

The interior renovations for the new full-size Karpeles Manuscript Library museum are underway with an opening planned in the summer.

Built in 1809, the Sanchez House spans more than 3,800 square feet and is located near the Columbia Restaurant. The building was previously the home of Sunburst Crystal and Far East Traders.

The Karpeles Manuscript Library currently operates a Mini Museum at 106 St. George St., which is across the street from the new location. It is the smallest walk-in museum in the United States. The Mini Museum encompasses about 100 square feet in St. George's Row, a collection of indoor shops and restaurants. It displays reproductions of documents from the Karpeles collection, including a collection of original drawings from early Disney films.

Founded in 1983 by David and Marsha Karpeles, the Karpeles Manuscript Library archives contain one of the largest private collections of historic documents and manuscripts in the United States, with more than 10,000 pieces totaling about a million pages, in the categories of literature, science, religion, political history, exploration, music and art. To make the collection more accessible to the general public, all Karpeles museums are free to visit, and the collection rotates between its museums three times per year.

There are nine Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums in the United States including the two St. Augustine locations and a location in Lake Mary, which is the museum’s headquarters. A Jacksonville museum, located at 101 W. First St. in Springfield, closed in January 2023 after 30 years.

For more information about the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums, go to karpeles.com.

For more information about Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, go to FloridaNetworkRealty.com or FLNetworkRealty.com.