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Urban Parks: Treaty Oak Park

Located in the heart of the Southbank, Treaty Oak park is a 2.76 acre refuge of historic greenery in a landscape filled with concrete, steel and asphalt.

Published August 6, 2008 in Neighborhoods      18 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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Jessie Ball duPont Park, home of the Treaty Oak, is located in the Southbank area. An amusement complex known as Dixieland Park, which included most of the site, opened in 1907.

In the 1930’s, the Garden Club, Mrs. Jessie duPont, and a Times Union reporter, Pat Moran, began efforts to preserve the tree. Moran coined the name Treaty Oak while writing a fictitious story about how white settlers and Indians met under the tree to sign peace treaties.

Mrs. duPont and the Alfred I. duPont Foundation purchased the land containing the tree around 1934 and donated it to the City in 1964. The City acquired the remainder of the property between 1964 and 1971, the year the park was named in honor of Jessie duPont (1884-1970), an ardent philanthropist and part-time Jacksonville resident. Through the efforts of the City and private groups and individuals, a major project was completed in 1995 to preserve the tree and enhance the park. Currently there are plans to enhance the park and protect the tree.

http://apps2.coj.net/parksinternet/parkdetails.asp?parkid=70




 

 

  





 











 

While Treaty Oak is a unique greenspace, it is severely underutilized because of a lack of connectivity with the surrounding land uses.


 


 



 

 

 

 



 

 

Jessie Ball DuPont Park (Treaty Oak Park) is located at 1123 Prudential Drive, just east of the Southbank's Main Street viaduct.

Written by Ennis Davis








18 Comments

Charles Hunter

August 06, 2008, 06:18:51 AM
Great pictures!

How did you get all those pics without including the half-dozen homeless folks who are normally under the tree? 

And it is these guys who might explain part of the reason for the lack of use.  Whenever my friends and I walk through the park (in the middle of the day), we do not take our time crossing under that beautiful tree.

thelakelander

August 06, 2008, 08:58:58 AM
There were no homeless out there that day.  Which was a big suprise. 

JeffreyS

August 06, 2008, 09:06:14 AM
I attended a wedding at the oak and the wedding party band and caterers were in full renaissance dress. The tree made quite a setting.

Wasn't the fictitious story made up to protect the oak when cutting it down was being planned.

Jason

August 06, 2008, 09:30:46 AM
Hands down, my favorite tree on the planet.

Every time I see that oak I can't help but think about all it has seen.

rjp2008

August 06, 2008, 10:17:23 AM
It's too bad the surrounding development has made the park a complete afterthought. Perhaps in time, the park will be expanded by transforming nearby parking lots. Ideally the whole Prudential drive area all the way to the river should have been preserved as a massive park.

Charles Hunter

August 07, 2008, 06:07:12 AM
I attended a wedding at the oak and the wedding party band and caterers were in full renaissance dress. The tree made quite a setting.

Wasn't the fictitious story made up to protect the oak when cutting it down was being planned.

That sounds like quite a wedding.  Bet it was fun (and hope it wasn't in mid-summer!).

On the other point, be nice if some big bucks person would come along, buy the Suddath building, level it and expand the park.  Hey, I can dream, can't I?

I-10east

August 13, 2008, 12:27:51 PM
I agree with Jason, That's my fav tree; Just like the "Big Jim" is my fav steam whistle. Me, my Mom, and brother have pics in front of Treaty Oak, and the Ritz Theatre. What's goin' on with the Big Jim? It hasn't gone off in a while. Jax should've taken the "Whistle theme" for it's city slogan, instead of "Where FLA begins"; It kinda goes wit' our country roots. Oh well. Treaty Oak Rules!!!!

Ocklawaha

August 13, 2008, 06:16:51 PM
Calliope Style?

Big Jim is a steam whistle that has moved around town several times over the last 100 years, he still sounds off every day at 5 or 6 pm and can be heard from Hemming Plaza. It is currently on top of the Citiy water plant at 1st and Main.

You made me wonder what-if on a Jacksonville theme played on a steam whistle, and DAMNED if I didn't find one! So Ladies and Gentlemen, without any futher adu, I offer you a clip of

"FREEBIRD" (the un-official song of the city that SHOULD be official)

As played by a Steam Calliope organ (a collection of steam whistles attached to a keyboard) about the riverboat Natchez:


http://thecreoletomato.com/news/steamboat-natchez-calliope-plays-free-bird/

OCKLAWAHA

I-10east

August 13, 2008, 09:02:54 PM
^^^Sounds like you gotta plan Ock :)
Are you sure that the Big Jim is currently blowing at it's reg times(7am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 5 pm)? One time recently My Mom, and I went to watch it go off, but it didn't.

Lunican

August 13, 2008, 11:54:12 PM
Big Jim goes off at 7am, 12pm, 1pm, and 5pm, but only on weekdays.

Charles Hunter

August 14, 2008, 06:17:22 AM
Calliope Style?

Big Jim is a steam whistle that has moved around town several times over the last 100 years, he still sounds off every day at 5 or 6 pm and can be heard from Hemming Plaza. It is currently on top of the Citiy water plant at 1st and Main.

You made me wonder what-if on a Jacksonville theme played on a steam whistle, and DAMNED if I didn't find one! So Ladies and Gentlemen, without any futher adu, I offer you a clip of

"FREEBIRD" (the un-official song of the city that SHOULD be official)

As played by a Steam Calliope organ (a collection of steam whistles attached to a keyboard) about the riverboat Natchez:


http://thecreoletomato.com/news/steamboat-natchez-calliope-plays-free-bird/

OCKLAWAHA

That was .... different!
But shouldn't the City Song be "Feebird"?

I-10east

August 14, 2008, 09:24:37 AM
Big Jim goes off at 7am, 12pm, 1pm, and 5pm, but only on weekdays.

Thanks Lunican. I always get the time (8am) confused for 7am. I updated it; The Big Jim used to blow on Saturdays long time ago, but it doesn't anymore. Yes, it currently only blows on weekdays. 

JeffreyS

August 16, 2008, 08:23:47 AM
One of our skyway stops should be named for the Treaty Oak.

Keith-N-Jax

October 24, 2008, 02:54:57 AM
That's a good idea Treaty Oak Station ;)

billy

October 24, 2008, 07:44:13 AM
Whipping Post!

Ocklawaha

October 24, 2008, 12:07:16 PM
Treaty Oak or perhaps "Dixieland Park".

OCKLAWAHA

dougskiles

January 10, 2011, 09:11:06 PM
Somebody asked about the work at Treaty Oak Park recently - can't remember which thread.  Here is what the city sent me.  Not much of a change other than new sidewalks from what I can tell.  Less is more in this park - the tree is enough of an attraction.

Thea59

November 22, 2013, 11:33:15 AM
My boyfriend used to play in this tree when he was a young boy. Now, he's 67 years old! :)
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