Thursday, October 30, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 

Lost Jacksonville

A century ago, Jacksonville was the center of a highly progressive architectural community. Over time, we have become a conservative community with little regard for the importance of architecture in our urban landscape. Here is a collection of images showcasing several significant structures that no longer exist in the downtown area. A few came down in fires; others were replaced by larger structures. Most were simply torn down and replaced with parking garages and surface lots. Hopefully, one day reminders showing what we have lost will provoke our community to work harder to save what's left.

Published April 13, 2012 in History      177 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article



13. Lane Drugs - SE corner of Forsyth & Main (current location of metal parking deck)

14. Jacksonville Terminal - Prime Osborn Convention Center

15.

16. Houston Street Bordellos - Houston & Davis

17. Looking east down Adams Street - Intersection of Adams & Julia


 PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 NEXT 






177 Comments

civil42806

January 29, 2009, 05:26:09 AM
Great Photos.  But I wonder if most people in the city really consider themselves part of jacksonville.  My family has been here for a long time and have an mayor in the family line. I have worked downtown and lived in jax on an off for the past 50 years but still sort of consider myself a westsider.  One of the odd things is the chant that has started at jags games "Duuuuuvaaaaalll".  Almost as if the city itself is an afterthought.  Just throwing that out.

BridgeTroll

January 29, 2009, 07:11:51 AM
Love those historical photos... pic number 58 is centered on a theater.  The building on the far left is a "French Novelty Shop".  Hmmm.... :o

jbm32206

January 29, 2009, 07:41:02 AM
Good article, I just wished that each photo had the listing of what and where. It's really neat to see a glimpse of how it looked back then

heights unknown

January 29, 2009, 08:04:34 AM
If you've really been a part of Jacksonville and have lived here or even was born here, by seeing these pics and remembering most of what was from looking at these pics, it's clear that Jax could have been much much more; poor planning and failed planning on the part of our City Leaders past and present.

I think most of the buildings and developments in these pics would have been torn down anyway but we could have kept a good majority of them.  It's nice to really know who you are and where you've been, not dwelling on the past, but seeing all of this really tells you what Jax really is, was, but never lived up to its full potential!

Heights Unknown

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 08:07:33 AM
jbm32206, I'll go through it later today and add the name and location of buildings I know.  I'll also update information on names/locations revealed by other forum members.

jbm32206

January 29, 2009, 08:22:19 AM
Thanks....as it would be really great to know that info. I appreciate your hard work!

jbm32206

January 29, 2009, 08:25:38 AM
I don't know if most of the buildings would've been taken down....not when you look at most major cities, where they've worked all along at preserving their history and historic buildings. Jax has failed miserably with that and has shown little to no effort in keeping these old buildings and restoring them.

I'm from Philly, and I'll tell you...I'm proud that they kept so many of them, that they're still functional to this day

lindab

January 29, 2009, 08:49:55 AM
Great photos and a good reminder. Something like urban renewal fever took over in Jacksonville and many of these buildings, which had decayed a bit, were demolished for new and shiny. I read a book by an planner living in Norfolk, VA who said that their entire historic district was demolished that way.

riverside planner

January 29, 2009, 09:09:23 AM
BridgeTroll, French Novelty was a ladies clothing store that was quite popular through the 1980s.  It was not the least bit tawdry.

BridgeTroll

January 29, 2009, 09:25:49 AM
 :D  Thank you... It surely shows how meanings change over time.... :)

BridgeTroll

January 29, 2009, 09:28:20 AM
Here is some history of this Jacksonville based business...

http://www.frenchnovelty.com/c/AboutUs/About+Us.html

Our Company

Our company is a family owned business, started by the current owner's grandfather, in 1911, with a store in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. The first store specialized in fine handmade blouses, linens, and ready-to-wear garments. When the second store opened in the 1920's, also in downtown Jacksonville, it was named French Novelty, since many of the items carried were imported from France, which was considered to be the fashion capital of the world. Of course, "novelty" stood for new. The Mizrahi family still operates three French Novelty stores serving Jacksonville, North Florida and South Georgia for over 97 years with a reputation for unique, quality fashions, incredible values, and excellent customer service.

copperfiend

January 29, 2009, 10:02:11 AM
There is a building that every time I see a photo of it, I get sick thinking about it being torn down. I believe it is the old Post Office.

Johnny

January 29, 2009, 10:26:55 AM
Very disturbing... Some of those buildings are amazing. I wonder which were destroyed to build something new and which were just destroyed due to government incompetence. I can somewhat understand an owner from a time thinking he could build a nicer structure as it's not historical at the time and you have to keep with the Joneses, but city officials causing destruction is really unfortunate.

Ocklawaha

January 29, 2009, 10:30:55 AM
MOVING HISTORY?

Photo 60, Maybe the best shot I've seen of a Jacksonville Traction Company open-air streetcar. Today of course Tampa and several other cities have ONE. We had a fleet of them, and there is some very slim chance that at least one or two are built into a chicken coop, storage shed, or your own Florida Room. I anyone on these boards hear of metal in the walls, or roof, or down at so and so's is an old bus thing... SEND ME A PM!

Photo 61 , A good shot of the largest class of the Jacksonville streetcars. He is pointed to the right side o the photo - down the hill. (wonder if this is where the cursed blue bricks were?) These were called "Stone and Webster TURTLEBACKS" (Stone and Webster was a Boston Based streetcar and utility management company). Bigger then the current JTA buses, quiet and powerful - note the hill he is going DOWN! Dallas has 5. Some MAYBE with Jacksonville roots, but only one restored. The ride quality is superior to the Pearle Thomas (todays Thomas Bus) cars in New Orleans, and should be a DON'T MISS ride in DALLAS for all Jacksonville residents who visit.

BTW! JTA? MIKE? SCOTT? JAMES? MIKE? FDOT? JHS? HELLO...

Dallas has 5. Spell that FIVE turtlebacks. They need funds to help restore one more to their fleet.

Uh? THEY NEED FUNDS! WE NEED ONE OF OUR TYPE STREETCARS! HELLO!
(and YES I have talked with them and they are interested in some horse trading...shipyard assembly? Donations? Mr. Weaver... Where ARE YOU? Teal Blue streetcars would be historic BECAUSE our streetcar system allowed school children to "paint" streetcars in a coloring book... The favorite designs were put on the streets... who's to say we DIDN'T have a Teal Blue Streetcar.

Ah Shucks, A DESIRE NAMED STREETCAR.


OCKLAWAHA

copperfiend

January 29, 2009, 10:58:10 AM
Very disturbing... Some of those buildings are amazing. I wonder which were destroyed to build something new and which were just destroyed due to government incompetence. I can somewhat understand an owner from a time thinking he could build a nicer structure as it's not historical at the time and you have to keep with the Joneses, but city officials causing destruction is really unfortunate.

I found this:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/194

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 11:08:00 AM
I went back and added the building name, location, and present site use for most of the images.  This may answer a few of the questions raised above.

Jason

January 29, 2009, 11:11:48 AM
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

copperfiend

January 29, 2009, 11:13:42 AM
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

Not to mention department stores.

stjr

January 29, 2009, 11:35:16 AM
I have lived in Jax all my life and have sadly watched gradually as one by one many of these outstanding buildings have been destroyed.  Many of these buildings would likely be national landmarks today with their distinctive designs.  Not only is this a great loss to Jax, but to the state of Florida as, for many of the past decades, much of Florida's history was Jax, not Miami, Orlando, or Tampa.

As continues today, Jax leaders have lacked an appreciation for what is and what could be.  "Vision", "planning", "backbone", and "creative thinking" are little known concepts here.  Qualitative factors are dispensed with to just get things done now without consequences for tomorrow (just like the grand jury saying get the courthouse started without delay - with no comment about its shortcomings).

Jax has mostly lived with an insecurity complex - always trying to be the next "big city".  In the process to fast track growth at any expense, it has lost site of its character and has become a near soulless city having cast aside its ancestry and history.  That Jax has treated many of its assets as disposable has had the effect of often making the City itself disposable.  Its hard to feel attached to a physical environment that is plain, plastic, artificial, devoid of character, cold, incoherent, and absent of rooted history.

Doctor_K

January 29, 2009, 11:37:45 AM
I'm so glad so many of those great buildings were removed in the face of, and for the sake of, 'progress.'  It makes me ill to think all of those have been turned into surface lots and parking decks.  And yet we still hear that "there isn't sufficient parking downtown." 

(snort) 

Enfuriating.

GideonGlib

January 29, 2009, 12:36:51 PM
I remember one or two of these building and have heard of others from older family members, but seeing them together like this makes me very sad. How amazing was that post office building?

downtownjag

January 29, 2009, 12:47:08 PM
Great photo's, does anyone have old photo's of The Ambassador Hotel in it's prime?  I love that building and it seems to be salvagable... thanks

jeh1980

January 29, 2009, 01:38:44 PM
Very disturbing... Some of those buildings are amazing. I wonder which were destroyed to build something new and which were just destroyed due to government incompetence. I can somewhat understand an owner from a time thinking he could build a nicer structure as it's not historical at the time and you have to keep with the Joneses, but city officials causing destruction is really unfortunate.
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

Not to mention department stores.
I have lived in Jax all my life and have sadly watched gradually as one by one many of these outstanding buildings have been destroyed.  Many of these buildings would likely be national landmarks today with their distinctive designs.  Not only is this a great loss to Jax, but to the state of Florida as, for many of the past decades, much of Florida's history was Jax, not Miami, Orlando, or Tampa.

As continues today, Jax leaders have lacked an appreciation for what is and what could be.  "Vision", "planning", "backbone", and "creative thinking" are little known concepts here.  Qualitative factors are dispensed with to just get things done now without consequences for tomorrow (just like the grand jury saying get the courthouse started without delay - with no comment about its shortcomings).

Jax has mostly lived with an insecurity complex - always trying to be the next "big city".  In the process to fast track growth at any expense, it has lost site of its character and has become a near souless city having cast aside its ancestry and history.  That Jax has treated many of its assets as disposable has had the effect of often making the City itself disposable.  Its hard to feel attached to a physical environment that is plain, plastic, artificial, devoid of character, cold, incoherent, and absent of rooted history.

I'm so glad so many of those great buildings were removed in the face of, and for the sake of, 'progress.'  It makes me ill to think all of those have been turned into surface lots and parking decks.  And yet we still hear that "there isn't sufficient parking downtown." 

(snort) 

Enfuriating.
I remember one or two of these building and have heard of others from older family members, but seeing them together like this makes me very sad. How amazing was that post office building?

No disrespect to anyone...but you guys are NUTS!!!

Great article and a great look back at history. One question still remains. Why are we still hating on are current administration and the few administrations from 50 years ago up until now? I don't think that they wanted to destroy history as we always thought we did. They wanted to make something good of it to replace what is demolished. There were some projects that were promising, but at time the administration might have hit a big snag somewhere. Funds were not available as they thought it were and many of the project were dead and forgotten. They gambled and we lost. But sometimes it not their fault. They WANT to make things happening. But then there were a lot of times they did make something happened. A lot of those demolished building soon turn into modern skyscrapers. Jacksonville has gotten some height over the years. And yet we still murmur and complain and still mourning the lost of those other "treasures" from the past. And a few of them were just as condemned. Are we still dying in the yesteryears. That's got to suck! BIGTIME! I've seen a lot of surface lots and imagining what commercial space will they one day build replacing them with. I know we are missing some more skyscrapers and I think that the adminstration can still have the will power to fill in some gaps with we encourage them enough. We do need to save our history, but let's not die in the yesteryears. This is the time now to recover and rebuild what was once lost and to replace those surface lots with something.

JaxByDefault

January 29, 2009, 01:40:07 PM
So, Jacksonville was once full of the Prairie Style, Art Nouveau, Key West / New Orleans Vernacular, Flagler Romanesque revival, and other architectural styles that now make other cities famous tourist destinations. In terms of sheer loss of U.S. buildings with distinctive historical significance, Jacksonville has to be near the top of the list. I do not know of another city that so systematically detroyed nearly every example of such distinctive local and regional architecture. It's no accident that Jacksonville now struggles to find an identity.





copperfiend

January 29, 2009, 02:01:54 PM
JaxbyDefault, you are correct. The sad thing to me is that the mentality of those in charge is the same now as it was 50 years ago.

I also think nationally that Jacksonville has a reputation as a "new city" along the same lines as Orlando or Las Vegas when in reality we have a rich history.

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 02:05:23 PM
We're probably near the top, but a few Southeast cities that come to mind are Norfolk, Charlotte and Tampa.  However, excluding Tampa, the other two have been able to overcome their mistakes from decades past.

archiphreak

January 29, 2009, 02:26:24 PM
Lakelander,
Do you have a map showing all of the demolished lots that you've found?  I'm planning a series of design charrettes and I think it would be interesting to take these abandoned lots that use to be sites of high density architecture and see what could be come up with for new solutions.  Let me know.  thanks.

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 02:42:03 PM
I do not have a map but since the locations are known, one could be created with ease.

Jason

January 29, 2009, 03:09:08 PM
Didn't the "Downtown Frankenstein" series have a lot of images showing all that's been demolished?

Could be a good start archiphreak.

heights unknown

January 29, 2009, 03:24:16 PM
Urban renewal?  What urban renewal? I wish there had been some kind of urban renewal or a semblance of it.  Most of these buildings came down in the 60's and on into the 70's and early to mid 80's; and guess what?  Parking lots graced where most of them stood for quite some time and there still are empty lots in downtown where some of these buildings stood.  I respectfully disagree with the urban renewal indication; but back in the day I was yearning for urban renewal in my beloved Jax and it really never happened.

If most of these buildings had not been demolished/razed, knowing Jax leadership, I wonder how long they would have remained empty until they were restored, refurbished or redeveloped?  I guess the leadership back then really didn't know what to do so they demolished them in hopes of someone coming along and spurring an "urban renewal."

Heights Unknown

jeh1980

January 29, 2009, 03:51:19 PM
Urban renewal?  What urban renewal? I wish there had been some kind of urban renewal or a semblance of it.  Most of these buildings came down in the 60's and on into the 70's and early to mid 80's; and guess what?  Parking lots graced where most of them stood for quite some time and there still are empty lots in downtown where some of these buildings stood.  I respectfully disagree with the urban renewal indication; but back in the day I was yearning for urban renewal in my beloved Jax and it really never happened.

If most of these buildings had not been demolished/razed, knowing Jax leadership, I wonder how long they would have remained empty until they were restored, refurbished or redeveloped?  I guess the leadership back then really didn't know what to do so they demolished them in hopes of someone coming along and spurring an "urban renewal."

Heights Unknown
Actually, I don't think we ever noticed that there was a little bit of urban renewal in downtown already. You just got to know where to look.

samiam

January 29, 2009, 04:58:27 PM
What was Jacksonville’s signature architecture before 1920? At one time I heard it was red brick with a white front porch. Does anyone have any info on this. 

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 05:06:24 PM
I would say Prairie School architecture.  It was pretty dominant during the building boom following the Great Fire of 1901.  The links below have images of local examples.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/288/120/

http://www.prairieschooltraveler.com/html/fl/fl.html

heights unknown

January 29, 2009, 05:22:41 PM
Well said stjr in your previous post about why Jax demolished most of its buildings and landmarks, well said. And this is exactly what has happened to Jax (I agree with you) and in my opinion; soulless, inferiority complex, mindless, mortgaging today for tomorrow; the consolidation thing in 1968 sums it all up relative to how Jax really thought about itself during that time; why consolidate?  I believe it was more than just cutting costs by bringing city and county governments together; I believe it had a lot to do with the city really losing it's focus, confidence, character, not to mention population and overall decline in just about every bit of infrastructure and sector of City government and leadership.

Heights Unknown

Keep It Wheel

January 29, 2009, 05:44:07 PM
i wish i could have experienced the jacksonville in these photos rather than the corporate monoliths i've grown up with.  i commute by bike through these areas of town everyday looking at the few remaining historical buildings, vacant and run down. one can only ask themselves, " why cant jacksonville be like ( insert another successful historical driven city )?" you know the cities im referring to (everyone has a favorite). i think the real tear jerkers however are the vacant lots and parking structures.     it goes to show how detrimental car dependency and poor public transportation really was and still is.  as annoyed as i am with the current state of jacksonville's downtown and surrounding areas, i am still delighted that i am in this city and am anticipating any change that will pull this city out the ruts it has been worn into.  the photos are for me and im sure other purveyors of my generation, a true inspiration of what has been and hopefully, what can be again.  thanks for the post. - J.O.B Zombie Bikes

stjr

January 29, 2009, 06:50:19 PM
I wonder what economic incentives and/or tax breaks are given for carrying, maintaining, preserving, and restoring historic structures?  There should be a process for designating structures for such programs.

And just like we have "greenbelt" status with respect to property taxes to help preserve agricultural properties, so should we have a "historic-belt" status for desired preservation targets to relieve the economic stress of carrying the properties' pre-rehabilitation improvements.   Many property owners may be tearing down vacant buildings that have no immediate prospects of resuse without major upgrades to alleviate being taxed on the square footage.  With a vacant lot, only raw land will be taxed.

Liability issues are also a concern with buildings.  Joe/Regency just tore down the structures at Atlantic and Hendricks to avoid such exposures until they are ready to build.

We need to make it cheaper and easier to carry historic building stock until its time for development and restoration arrives.

stjr

January 29, 2009, 06:53:50 PM
Well said stjr in your previous post about why Jax demolished most of its buildings and landmarks, well said. And this is exactly what has happened to Jax (I agree with you) and in my opinion; soulless, inferiority complex, mindless, mortgaging today for tomorrow; the consolidation thing in 1968 sums it all up relative to how Jax really thought about itself during that time; why consolidate?  I believe it was more than just cutting costs by bringing city and county governments together; I believe it had a lot to do with the city really losing it's focus, confidence, character, not to mention population and overall decline in just about every bit of infrastructure and sector of City government and leadership.

Heights Unknown



Heights, thanks for the support.  Now, if we could only get our concerns addressed!

P.S.  I plan to start new topics soon on another big opportunity missed by our leaders and one that is still available.

Ocklawaha

January 29, 2009, 09:11:56 PM
Quote
No disrespect to anyone...but you guys are NUTS!!!

I think you misunderstand a lot that is going on here. We are probably the largest collection of Jacksonville Lovers anywhere on the web. Most of us are professionals or retired professionals and many of those professions: Urban Planning, Development, Transportation have a direct impact on our city. But in order to make an intelligent decision for our future, we MUST learn to confess the mistakes that have taken place in the past and correct those developments.

Quote
Great article and a great look back at history. One question still remains. Why are we still hating on are current administration and the few administrations from 50 years ago up until now? I don't think that they wanted to destroy history as we always thought we did. They wanted to make something good of it to replace what is demolished.


No, they were realestate men and attorneys, or men otherwise invested in some local company whereby they could line their pockets. ANY businessman that went so far as to buy a site, invest millions in clearing it, then say, "Oop's, we hit a snag." would not survive in business. Sadly we have let them survive in the public sector.

Quote
There were some projects that were promising, but at time the administration might have hit a big snag somewhere. Funds were not available as they thought it were and many of the project were dead and forgotten. They gambled and we lost. But sometimes it not their fault.


Odd that this happened to Jacksonville, over and over and over, 60+ times just in this article, yet it didn't happen to this extent anywhere else. Are we really that stupid?

Quote
They WANT to make things happening. But then there were a lot of times they did make something happened. A lot of those demolished building soon turn into modern skyscrapers. Jacksonville has gotten some height over the years.


A lot? Hardly. You do realize that Jacksonville was a city of nearly 100,000 persons when Miami had 6 people in it. MIAMI! In the middle of the nations biggest swamp, got it in gear and left us in their dust. We are still making excuses, yes we have 6 or so "skyscrapers" that we have collected over the past 30 years or so, and sadly we tore down 12 to get them. Just recently Miami had 70 under construction, 70 in a City that WE FINANCED into being. Don't you think we got off track somewhere?

Quote
And yet we still murmur and complain and still mourning the lost of those other "treasures" from the past. And a few of them were just as condemned. Are we still dying in the yesteryears. That's got to suck! BIGTIME!


Yes we complain, many of those buildings would be national treasures today. We might have been San Francisco, or New Orleans, or even St. Augustine on steroids, rather we are a collection of half finished, short changed projects, with a few spotty success story's mixed in.

Quote
I've seen a lot of surface lots and imagining what commercial space will they one day build replacing them with. I know we are missing some more skyscrapers and I think that the adminstration can still have the will power to fill in some gaps with we encourage them enough.


Sorry Jeh, but this administration has no desire for anything more then pavement-concrete and oil. Our mayor can't run for reelection, so it really doesn't matter what he does for the next 2 years. Watch my words, he's going to sit and collect a check, reading to kids.

Quote
We do need to save our history, but let's not die in the yesteryears. This is the time now to recover and rebuild what was once lost and to replace those surface lots with something.

We can never recover what is lost, and if this group or groups like it doesn't blow the whistle on these fools nobody will hold them accountable. Moreover with the developers in charge, our once dense downtown is looking more and more like Regency Square by the day.

Jacksonville was like a fine polished apple, dense and sweet, unblemished in desirability. The developers are like a giant hammer. When the hammer strikes that apple, pieces fly all over the room, in between those pieces we have vacant space, empty lots, parking lots and homeless collections. Big Mistake, HUGE. 
OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 09:18:14 PM
Stjr, I'm looking forward to reading your new topics.

Quote
I wonder what economic incentives and/or tax breaks are given for carrying, maintaining, preserving, and restoring historic structures?  There should be a process for designating structures for such programs.

There are tons of incentive/tax credit opportunities out there.  Unfortunately, most don't know much about the programs.  I've learned about a few on my own and through the word of mouth from others over the years.  

Most of the old city (basically everything other than Riverside/Avondale and San Marco) is located in Empowerment and Enterprise Zones.  So there are several avenues to get incentive money or tax credits for both commercial and residential projects.

http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Business+Development/Business+Resources/Enterprise+and+Empowerment+Zones.htm

Downtown Jax Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund (page 15 of document)
http://www.coj.net/NR/rdonlyres/eyyvvqaqdpausg7nfdgqacnotnpzty2g4a6pw6dwopjh535sbpglypqi6yfgm4zsi7yb5hulgr7ktvw6qmhxnamzl5e/Incentive+Policy+7-29-02.pdf

Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties
http://www.coj.net/Departments/Regulatory+Boards+and+Commissions/Historic+Preservation+Commission/Tax+Incentives+.htm

http://www.coj.net/Departments/Regulatory+Boards+and+Commissions/Historic+Preservation+Commission/Appendix+D+Tax+Incentives+.htm

http://www.nps.gov/hps/tps/tax/

http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/pages/1074/files/fed.pdf

Other State and Federal Incentives:
http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Business+Development/Business+Resources/State+and+Federal+Incentives.htm

Personally speaking, its much easier to deal with the State and Federal government than it is with the city.  However, if you study all of your options early, there are ways to combine multiple programs to increase your savings.

stjr

January 29, 2009, 09:31:30 PM
Quote
There are tons of inventive/tax credit opportunities out there.  Unfortunately, most don't know much about the programs.  I've learned about a few on my own and through the word of mouth from others over the years. 

Most of the old city (basically everything other than Riverside/Avondale and San Marco) is located in Empowerment and Enterprise Zones.  So there are several avenues to get incentive money or tax credits for both commercial and residential projects.

Actually, Lake, I think you will find that Riverside/Avondale and San Marco are outside of the federal Empowerment and State Enterprise zones.  These zones were mainly set up to bring expanding businesses into distressed and low income neighborhoods with the hopes new jobs for area residents would be created.  They offer next to nothing in the way of motivating historic preservation.

Likewise, I have found that most other so called incentives are one time hits to encourage similar business expansions or moves to the City.

What I was referring to was the more mundane reduction in carrying costs, on a ongoing basis, so that the property owner isn't forced to sacrifice what is there for instant rewards that offer little long term satisfaction.

P.S. I just posted one of my new topics about the Fuller Warren Bridge.  I welcome your comments there.

thelakelander

January 29, 2009, 09:42:36 PM
Yes, Riverside and San Marco are outside of zones.  So basically, every other neighborhood in the old city is in the zone.  While they aren't set up to allow one to sit on property long term, they are helpful in making projects involving historic buildings feasible, especially the federal historic tax programs.  Philly has a successful tax abatement program to encourage development in older built out areas, but its not specifically designed for historic structures.  Any idea how Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah or even St. Augustine keep their buildings from coming down?  Is there a special program or do those cities just have the balls to not allow useless demolition?

Coolyfett

January 29, 2009, 09:45:38 PM
Lake, man I am closing my eyes trying to imagine all of these corners and blocks and some of them just don't seem right...The angles in the pics are very confusing man. How are you getting the street names just from the pictures alone? Thanks for showing the Windsor Hotel, I don't think that place had much mention. I guess it would be too much work to take the same picture from the same angle, but it is really confusing trying to figure out where the photographer is actually standing when these picture were taken. Also seeing these pictures raises the value of The Carnegie, The St. James Building, The 3 buildings on Laura (Bisbee & friends), Union Terminal, DVAL Building & a few others that came up when these were up. I would also say the Modern Sites need to extensively photographed. Places like The Landing, Jax Stadium, Vet Arena, AT&T Building, etc who is to say what will happen to those buildings in the next 100 years, those pictures would become great for the future generations of Metro Jax types. I know you have many of your flicks archived. How interesting would it be for someone in 2109 looking back at the flicks you took today?  ;)

stjr

January 29, 2009, 10:41:59 PM
Quote
Any idea how Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah or even St. Augustine keep their buildings from coming down?  Is there a special program or do those cities just have the balls to not allow useless demolition?

My impression from visiting these cities is that most, if not all, value their history so much as to prohibit designated historic structures from being removed or modified, at least externally, since it can impact the ambiance of their historic districts.  I think people in Jax would be stunned to see how restrictive these areas are on "messing with history"  ;)

My emphasis on the reduction in carrying costs was to address times such as we are in now where it may be next to impossible to redevelop an historic property due to it's failing economic feasibility (i.e. no way to make your money back) or unavailable financing.  This would require you to carry the property for an extended period until better times arose.

jeh1980

January 29, 2009, 11:37:38 PM
Sorry Jeh, but this administration has no desire for anything more then pavement-concrete and oil. Our mayor can't run for reelection, so it really doesn't matter what he does for the next 2 years. Watch my words, he's going to sit and collect a check, reading to kids.


We can never recover what is lost, and if this group or groups like it doesn't blow the whistle on these fools nobody will hold them accountable. Moreover with the developers in charge, our once dense downtown is looking more and more like Regency Square by the day.

Jacksonville was like a fine polished apple, dense and sweet, unblemished in desirability. The developers are like a giant hammer. When the hammer strikes that apple, pieces fly all over the room, in between those pieces we have vacant space, empty lots, parking lots and homeless collections. Big Mistake, HUGE. 
OCKLAWAHA
[/quote]
I could understand...I think  ::). But aren't we a bit out of line concerning our mayor and his administration, though. I know that he needs to do a better job. But thinking that the Mayor just sitting and collect check and reading books to kids and thinking that he's not caring about what we want for downtown is an insult. Yes, I said it. An insult. It would seem as though we all want to see Jacksonville comeback. I want to see Jacksonville comeback. That's why I still have high hopes for this town. But when it comes to seeing other pictures of other cities (i.e. New York, Toronto, Buffalo, etc.), we somehow start to talk about being sick to our stomachs or being sad or getting jealous and envious thinking that Jacksonville would've have a mayor and administration like they have and why ours ultimately suck. It's amazing that there are still some of us holding on to the past and wishing it would've been the same like it was today. For once, you are correct about one thing: we can never recover what was lost. Knocking down some of the old buildings that would've been important landmark today maybe not be a good option. But that doesn't mean that we won't EVER recover. We still have two more years before John Peyton steps down from his position. I think for some of us, it's not going to be fast enough. Oh, well. Him and his adminstration is still running things. BUT I do know that until he and his administration leaves, they will still have no choice but to do a better job than what they are doing if the city wants to bounce back and become what it supposed to be. Forgive me if you think I'm out of line, but that's what how I feel.  >:(

Ocklawaha

January 30, 2009, 12:00:45 AM
JEH, No forgivness needed man, your opinion counts too. I just wanted you to see a bit through our eyes as city professionals, and many world travelers on this site. We don't give up...EVER. But we do look back fondly at our recent and now lost past.

I am one of the oldest folks around this site, and I've been hammering on the JTA and transit since my "SKYWAY WARS" back in 1980. Still hold my ground... WE NEED RAIL!

You sound like a younger person, and if so, you should be commended on your love and support of your city. Keep it up and come join us.


OCKLAWAHA

zoo

January 30, 2009, 09:17:36 AM
Just as tragic as what has been lost is what is being designed now!!! Many comments have been made on this site regarding KBJ, the courthouse, renovations of historic buildings that don't fit with the urban fabric (Haverty's), etc.

When I think about this, I get so angry about the GOB network in Jacksonville that keeps the assignment of important projects/contracts going to the same designers over and over again. I am particularly disgusted by Daniel Davis' effort to work into the City bid process an over-weighting of the "proximity to Jacksonville" element of the bid.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that Jacksonville wants to keep work local when it can, but I believe the more important weighting, most of it, should go to TALENT. I'm not saying there isn't talent in this market - far from it. All I'm saying is Mr. Davis, and Jacksonville, are on a course to enable the languishment of our local talent through gifting assignments, rather than helping it to grow in a competitive environment.

If there were a threat of greater or deeper talent pools from elsewhere getting Jacksonville assignments, maybe Jacksonville firms/contractors would do more to ensure they can attract, and continue training, their local assets.

In this type of market-based environment, all boats have to RISE to remain competitive. Instead, in Jacksonville, it's protect our own to its detriment and mediocrity. Shame on Daniel Davis and the GOB network that still reigns here.

SunKing

February 03, 2009, 09:48:17 AM
Food for thought.  Jacksonville has suffered from poor leadership as has any city but blaming "leadership" one only needs to look in the mirror as Mayor Peyton ironically enough just recently suggested.  Lots of blame flying around but all I read on this post is a bunch of griping and complaining. 

I know that there are folks here that have committed time, talent and treasure to bringing commuter rail to our beloved city.  I have read some fine postings supporting it and if it ever does happen it is through the relentless efforts of these individuals.

Have any of you whiners out there actually decided to take on the restoration of one of these structures?  Put your money and efforts where your mouth is.  I am not talking about charettes!  The last thing anyone wants to hear is how they are supposed to spend their money!  I am talking about making something actually happen.

Hey, I love these old structures too and have been involved in quite a few of these projects myself, so it burns me up to hear all this talk and no action.  Instead of bemoaning what is lost why not save what is still here.  I am not talking about slapping a historic designation on it or incentives either.  This takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears my friends.

You want leadership?  Just look in the mirror.

stephendare

February 03, 2009, 01:04:39 PM
Jason, how hard would it be to create a google 3d map of old jacksonville?

stephendare

February 03, 2009, 01:07:54 PM
Food for thought.  Jacksonville has suffered from poor leadership as has any city but blaming "leadership" one only needs to look in the mirror as Mayor Peyton ironically enough just recently suggested.  Lots of blame flying around but all I read on this post is a bunch of griping and complaining. 

I know that there are folks here that have committed time, talent and treasure to bringing commuter rail to our beloved city.  I have read some fine postings supporting it and if it ever does happen it is through the relentless efforts of these individuals.

Have any of you whiners out there actually decided to take on the restoration of one of these structures?  Put your money and efforts where your mouth is.  I am not talking about charettes!  The last thing anyone wants to hear is how they are supposed to spend their money!  I am talking about making something actually happen.

Hey, I love these old structures too and have been involved in quite a few of these projects myself, so it burns me up to hear all this talk and no action.  Instead of bemoaning what is lost why not save what is still here.  I am not talking about slapping a historic designation on it or incentives either.  This takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears my friends.

You want leadership?  Just look in the mirror.

I have participated in a few of the restorations myself, Sunking.  It is blood sweat toil and tears my friend.  Many of the posters here are also springfield riverside san marco restorationists as well so there is a lot of investment represented.

The current problem is that the buildings needing saved are in the hands of people uninterested in action, the City itself being one of the worst offenders.

Action is needed, thats for sure.

By a simple pen stroke, the City could allow the buildings to be occupied and renovated and breathe new life into the historic elements of the city.

stjr

February 03, 2009, 01:40:38 PM
Have any of you whiners out there actually decided to take on the restoration of one of these structures?  Put your money and efforts where your mouth is.  I am not talking about charettes!  The last thing anyone wants to hear is how they are supposed to spend their money!  I am talking about making something actually happen.

To do something for love is admirable.   However, many people may have the love but not the time, abilities, or financial resources.  Also, "lovers", acting alone, are not likely to get anything done on a grand scale or coordinated basis.  They need more help.

Further, the benefits of historic preservation are enhanced greatly by creating an historic "environment" that heightens the senses and envelops us with a greater appreciation of what it was like to experience some past time.   [Movie scenes are intended to be historically accurate in every detail - they don't just throw in a few token period pieces and leave it to you to convert modern images into past objects.] These environments also create additional financial "value" much as is accomplished when, say, a bunch of entertainment venues cluster together to create a destination district. 

Admirable and necessary as historic preservation is, to achieve it on any scale successfully, it will still take making the "numbers work".  Due to the risks and added costs of restoring an existing building vs. building new, this likely means, at least initially, financial assistance and/or incentives (the carrot).  To create a proper, or at least a threshold, environment (which yields additional financial motivation per above) takes regulation (the stick).  Both take people buying into the concept (leadership).

While a private-public partnership is necessary, usually it will be the public/government side that needs to take the first step as this is, by far, the hardest rock to move.  This has never happened on a focused, large scale, and consistent basis in Jacksonville.

stephendare

February 03, 2009, 01:42:31 PM
Lake, do we have a solid enough foundation of photos to be able to reconstruct downtown from the street level before the 'redevelopment' turned into 'redynamiting' ?

Jason

February 03, 2009, 01:43:34 PM
Jason, how hard would it be to create a google 3d map of old jacksonville?

A fairly accurate map would be extremely tough.  But a simplistic 3D block image at the old structures using the available images and aerials wouldn't be too bad, just time consuming.

samiam

February 03, 2009, 01:47:02 PM
The city of Jacksonville does very little to assist homeowner in the restoration of there house. I have seen cases where a house was a boarding house or rental property for years. the owner had a dumpster delivered and started working on restoring the house and within 2 weeks the city safety Nazis slaps a condemned sigh on the house. all the while making smart @ss comments and laughing to them self's while doing it

stephendare

February 03, 2009, 01:49:29 PM
thats usually the result of one of the neighbors filing a complaint with the city.  In springfield and riverside its a problem.  The slumlords are hunky dorey, but the restorationists are just pirannha chow.

Ethylene

February 03, 2009, 01:54:49 PM
The City was officially informed last week that it will get a little over $26 million in funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Those funds will be used to help area developers rehabilitate abandoned and foreclosed properties.

from: http://jaxdailyrecord.com/citynotes.php

Granted this won't help the city's center but can/should be leveraged to maximum advantage in our historic communites!

stephendare

February 03, 2009, 01:58:30 PM
http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg/

Here is a link to the actual department website on the grants.

Cool post, ethylene.

samiam

February 03, 2009, 02:21:51 PM
I seems all grants are geared toward the rich and the lower income people. there is no way the middle class can get ahead. wish I could.

SunKing

February 04, 2009, 09:52:53 AM
Its not just money, Samiam,  it is "blood sweat and tears" as stephendare put it.  It is also a tremendous risk.  And that is my point entirely, I have done quite a few renovations myself, I love historical buildings.  But it is a disincentive to anyone willing to make that sacrifice to have to put up with a bunch of folks with their hands in their pockets with nothing to share but an opinion.  A code enforcer is just doing his/her job, not that I like it anymore but there is a difference.

I didn't have any money,(I still don't btw) but there is a lot of opportunity downtown right now.  Prices are depressed lenders are reeling with this toxic inventory.  If this is a passion, don't just sit on the sidelines, make it happen.

samiam

February 04, 2009, 01:08:05 PM
I am currently working on my second historical house since 2005 the one I currently live in is an apartment building that i converted into a single family house built in 1911. The next one is an ex boarding house built in 1908. What makes it difficult for a middle class guy like me is there is not that much incentive to take on multiple projects. If there was federal, state or city incentives the historic districts would become a show place in no time. If the incentives where in place more people that know how to restore these historic property would be inclined to take on more than just there own house. I for one took on a second project just to made my little corner of the world better and when that second house is done I will probably take on a third

SunKing

February 04, 2009, 01:55:03 PM
Nice work then.  Sounds like you are doing your part.

I will tell you that the best thing that a city can do is raise taxes on derelict buildings.  Simple as that.  Less incentive to buy and hold which is the main problem downtown.  If I am an investor and I can buy a building downtown and keep a low tax basis, I have less risk just sitting on it than someone that spends money rehabbing, leasing, paying expenses, only to get dinged by the city.  They will tell you that the historic designation holds taxes for 10 years, which it does but it is a pain in the ass!  Just hold the taxes for 10 years anyway.  Or raise taxes on unimproved buildings and lower them for improved.

thelakelander

February 04, 2009, 01:59:36 PM
In Tampa, this led to the demolition of several historic buildings.  It was cheaper for property owners to sit on surface parking lots than continue to pay on old derelict buildings.

samiam

February 04, 2009, 03:03:41 PM
I believe that the way to improve and save historic building is to reward action (new concept in modern America) in the form of incentives for anyone. Include the middle class as well, we are the ones paying most of the taxes. Don,t limit the grants to lower income. a person has the ability to pay more out of packet if they make more. If you have restored a historic building you know it is not a cheep endever and not for the weak of heart, It will nickle and dime you to death. I do not believe penalizing the large property holders will save any of the historic building in Jacksonville, but if an individual has a history of buying building and holding on to them, not improving them then maybe they should be forced to sell at fair market value.

lindab

February 04, 2009, 04:58:32 PM
This is a really interesting discussion. We are seeing this in the case of Public School #4, Annie Lytle School.

The school is neither abandoned or foreclosed but it is derelict and an attractive nuisance to vandals especially young kids. The property has been undeveloped for over 20 years. If the taxes went up on the place, it would be a goner.

If it weren't for citizens who care about historic preservation coming to council meetings,cleaning debris, removing graffiti, mowing lawns, nailing up window coverings, & calling the cops on trespassers, this place would be dust. No laws, no organizations, no grants are saving this building presently.

stjr

February 04, 2009, 07:38:25 PM
Quote
I will tell you that the best thing that a city can do is raise taxes on derelict buildings.  Simple as that.  Less incentive to buy and hold which is the main problem downtown.

Quote
In Tampa, this led to the demolition of several historic buildings.  It was cheaper for property owners to sit on surface parking lots than continue to pay on old derelict buildings.

The same point I made in my previous posts on this thread.  Refer back to my comments about greenbelt/history-belt status.   No one owns/holds a structure just to sit on it forever.  They either want to tear it down and build anew or reuse it when the time is right.

Lowering the carrying costs on an un-restored building will allow the owner more patience in deciding its future and/or the ability to wait until the times are right to justify the risks and costs of a restoration.   This beats tearing it down just to remove the higher improved tax value but otherwise mostly worthless (prior to restoration) building and replacing it with a revenue raising parking lot at lower taxes.

jbovinette

February 10, 2009, 08:00:53 AM
I wish I was able to see these old buildings. I never really got the chance to see these. I'm only 28 and since i've been coming to Jacksonville I can only remember the tearing down and the construction that has continued for as long as I can remember. It's sad that they are all being demolished. Those buildings said so much about Jacksonville and the growth of the south and the tourism of Florida. Im so happy that the Jacksonville Terminal was spared.

Ocklawaha

February 10, 2009, 09:33:52 AM
Nice work then.  Sounds like you are doing your part.

I will tell you that the best thing that a city can do is raise taxes on derelict buildings.  Simple as that.  Less incentive to buy and hold which is the main problem downtown.  If I am an investor and I can buy a building downtown and keep a low tax basis, I have less risk just sitting on it than someone that spends money rehabbing, leasing, paying expenses, only to get dinged by the city.  They will tell you that the historic designation holds taxes for 10 years, which it does but it is a pain in the ass!  Just hold the taxes for 10 years anyway.  Or raise taxes on unimproved buildings and lower them for improved.

This is also exactly why untold thousands of miles of railroad were abandoned between 1960 and 1990. They couldn't afford to continue to pay taxes on land, interstate commerce, transportation, and school districts, if the lines fell below a certain level. So we simply lost them. Today we are spending BILLIONS to rebuild many of those same lines.

Watch the old Seaboard Route along North Main all the way to Savannah (it's also mostly abandoned) but being the shortest route, bet this is where the high speed rail will be laid out.


OCKLAWAHA

mtraininjax

March 17, 2009, 12:31:47 AM
Number 50 shows the great downtown post office on the left side. It was a shame to tear it down for a bank building....

stjr

May 05, 2009, 01:54:53 AM
Here is another view of the Germania Building on Riverside Avenue, Brooklyn:

barberofdeville

June 28, 2009, 05:57:44 AM
Makes me want to cry. WoW downtown JAX was beautiful. Reminds me of Louisville...well before they tore down all those buildings.

Ocklawaha

June 28, 2009, 10:28:09 AM
I wish I was able to see these old buildings. I never really got the chance to see these. I'm only 28 and since i've been coming to Jacksonville I can only remember the tearing down and the construction that has continued for as long as I can remember. It's sad that they are all being demolished. Those buildings said so much about Jacksonville and the growth of the south and the tourism of Florida. Im so happy that the Jacksonville Terminal was spared.

Great avatar jbovinette. Welcome aboard!  wish I could walk all of you through a movie of that terminal when it was live. They tore down much more then remains today as it contained much more then the headhouse station (the big 1919 vintage - so called Prime Osbourne). There were hundreds of platforms, tunnels, extra buildings, interlocking towers every where... Beaver Street Tower lasted until your lifetime, but Myrtle Interlocking was even larger then today's "Amshack". There was St. Johns Interlocking tower, Roundhouse, Shops, Coach yards, the Railway Post Office with it's own back in tracks, and the Worlds Largest RAILWAY EXPRESS station. JIA has never seen the day when it was half as busy as Jacksonville Terminal. We REALLY dropped the ball when we allowed Amtrak to dictate stops and location, and allowed the railroads just to take it all down. 

An average of 15 MILLION passengers a year came through that station in it's lifetime... They're all "flying" through Orlando today. Yesterday while in Mickeyville, I watched the Silver Meteor at the platform with 300+ passengers on and off... Thinking all along, HOW STUPID CAN WE BE??


OCKLAWAHA

Flipside

June 28, 2009, 12:02:39 PM
Did anyone know that Ocklawaha Valley Railroad is Florida's Lost Railroad? In fact, Robert Mann not only knew this but launched a fan club in its honor in 2007. As of this date, he is still its only member.

“A railroad history, big plans, great route, all combined to make this the little train that couldn’t fail.  Evil forces, empires, nabobs and just plain dumb bad luck, made it the little train that couldn’t win”.

Apparently, the Ocklawaha Valley Railroad also has a fan club that can't win.

Ocklawaha

June 28, 2009, 12:53:59 PM
WELCOME ABOARD FLIPSIDE!

http://ocklawahavalley.ning.com/


BURBANK FLORIDA, the station isn't shown, and talk about loss, someone just tore down the old gingerbread church within the last 10 years... It WAS a home. Burbank was part of the huge land company promotion of "colonys" anchored to the RR.

THAT was the whole idea... hee, hee. I didn't think it would draw a soul, as not even the railroad nutz in Florida have a clue about that most interesting line. OOPS blew my cover.

Of course anyone can join, but don't expect any fan trips or newsletters. The site is updated as I uncover more of the weird twisted story of this line. One of the latest twists is the CORPORATION COMMISSION reports the company was "active" until 1974!  If you want to hike it, it's got several great entry points and the old Rodman site is now a preserve, they are very proactive presservationists and love guests. Word of warning, that preserve has Rattle Snakes longer then the OV trains, better wait till COLD weather.


OCKLAWAHA

heights unknown

June 28, 2009, 06:53:57 PM
What a travesty, crown jewels 80% of them and demolished, torn down, obliterated for the sake of parking lots (most of them) and failed developments or plans.

Heights Unknown

mtraininjax

June 30, 2009, 08:58:33 AM
Quote
Makes me want to cry. WoW downtown JAX was beautiful. Reminds me of Louisville...well before they tore down all those buildings.

Yes, we did have some great buildings at one time, but the problem is not the buildings, its the people. When the people stop using the buildings, they become outdated, eyesores, maintenance begins to lag and they are seen as expendable.

The lesson is to go see the buildings in exhistence, celebrate them with others. City Hall is still alive because the City leadership chose to use it and save it. Same for the Haverty's building.

Forget about saving what is already down, worry about saving what still remains and is not in the public favor.

nonamegrl

July 08, 2009, 10:00:04 AM
Just so everyone knows... the mayor is threatening to get rid of ALL of the city's efforts for historic preservation if the tax increase isn't approved...

this could rid the city of landmarks, historic districts and a loss of anything and everything else that's left of Jacksonville's hey day.

nagrom73

February 05, 2010, 11:21:36 AM
I could be mistaken, but the picture of the Mason lodge you have appears to be the Mason Lodge at the NW corner of Broad and Duval, built in 1913, which is still standing. Did the original get moved? Were there two?

Timkin

June 19, 2010, 02:24:47 AM
It is just heartbreaking to look at all of the beauty that once stood and was mindlessly razed... City Hall for the Haydon Burns Library??  Forgive me if I cannot appreciate the "Fin Wonder"  but this building was just incredible.  I know not only Jacksonville , but practically no other large city would have saved all of these, but had we saved even 20 % of them,  We would sure have a much better look into our past, coupled with modern.  Now all we have are pictures and memories. I guess that is good.. but it just makes me sick that decisions to raze these incredible structures to replace them with Glass /Concrete structures that have no particular style is just sad....do not know any other way to put it. 

 We cannot afford to demolish any more of our past, folks.

SightseerLounge

June 22, 2010, 01:28:17 AM
Wasn't there a Wendy's Downtown? Talk about lost Jacksonville!!!!!

Wacca Pilatka

June 22, 2010, 08:26:54 AM
It is just heartbreaking to look at all of the beauty that once stood and was mindlessly razed... City Hall for the Haydon Burns Library??  Forgive me if I cannot appreciate the "Fin Wonder"  but this building was just incredible.  I know not only Jacksonville , but practically no other large city would have saved all of these, but had we saved even 20 % of them,  We would sure have a much better look into our past, coupled with modern.  Now all we have are pictures and memories. I guess that is good.. but it just makes me sick that decisions to raze these incredible structures to replace them with Glass /Concrete structures that have no particular style is just sad....do not know any other way to put it. 

 We cannot afford to demolish any more of our past, folks.

The real killer in the loss of City Hall is the destruction of its four "lunettes" representing the destruction of the Great Fire and the city's subsequent reconstruction and growth.  There are great pictures of these at the front of Bob Broward's "Architecture of Henry John Klutho," but it's very sad that these only survive in photos.

Charles Hunter

June 22, 2010, 09:02:18 AM
Wasn't there a Wendy's Downtown? Talk about lost Jacksonville!!!!!

Yes, it was on Main, think it was replaced by the new library.

fieldafm

June 22, 2010, 09:05:28 AM
Wasn't there a Wendy's Downtown? Talk about lost Jacksonville!!!!!

Yes, it was on Main, think it was replaced by the new library.

It was actually replaced by the Police and Fire building.  When that particular building opened up, there was a Firehouse Subs on the street level at that same corner, but that has since closed as well.

fsujax

June 22, 2010, 09:20:42 AM
The Wendys was at Duval and Main, Popeyes was on Adams at Hogan, BK was at Forsyth and Pearl, Krystals was at Ocean and Forsyth! talk about missing the those places now, makes me hungry!

Captain Zissou

June 22, 2010, 09:46:57 AM
The Wendys was at Duval and Main, Popeyes was on Adams at Hogan, BK was at Forsyth and Pearl, Krystals was at Ocean and Forsyth! talk about missing the those places now, makes me hungry!

That's insane.  What was the timeline for all of those things leaving?  I remember Firehouse and BK, but none of the others.  Wow, people used to be able to grab quick food after 5 downtown.  Not Anymore.

stjr

June 22, 2010, 12:43:16 PM
The Wendy's did a booming business in the late 70's and early 80's, for sure.  It was a "new building" built on a corner lot wedged into older existing buildings on the two non-street sides.  It had a narrow drive-through in which, as I recall, you entered from Duval, and exited on Main.  Making that 90 degree turn at the corner tucked in between the buildings definitely required your full attention!

Wacca Pilatka

June 22, 2010, 12:56:56 PM
The Wendys was at Duval and Main, Popeyes was on Adams at Hogan, BK was at Forsyth and Pearl, Krystals was at Ocean and Forsyth! talk about missing the those places now, makes me hungry!

Free-standing locations or storefronts?

subro

June 22, 2010, 01:05:27 PM

There was a Firehouse subs storefront downtown that closed as well.

fieldafm

June 22, 2010, 01:12:34 PM
The Wendys was at the corner next to the old Rhodes Furniture/Army-Navy Surplus Building(always stopped to eat at the Super Bar whenever we would go to the Hayden Burns Library).  The Burger King was inside the Greyhound station.  I don't recall the Krystals.  When did that close?

Larry's leaving downtown was a very sad day!

Timkin

June 22, 2010, 02:27:06 PM
Just so everyone knows... the mayor is threatening to get rid of ALL of the city's efforts for historic preservation if the tax increase isn't approved...

this could rid the city of landmarks, historic districts and a loss of anything and everything else that's left of Jacksonville's hey day.

 This would coincide with the long running mentality of Jacksonville Government.  We need to get of of the Mayor.

jbroadglide

June 22, 2010, 02:35:59 PM
Just so everyone knows... the mayor is threatening to get rid of ALL of the city's efforts for historic preservation if the tax increase isn't approved...

this could rid the city of landmarks, historic districts and a loss of anything and everything else that's left of Jacksonville's hey day.
Do you have something to back that statement up? I keep a pretty close eye on the news and theer has been nothing mentioned that I have seen.

danno

June 22, 2010, 02:43:39 PM
Wan't the Krystal at Forsyth and Ocean where the Sub place is now?

fsujax

June 22, 2010, 02:52:38 PM
i remember seeing all of them Downtown, most of them closed by the mid 1980s (I am not that old). They were all in storefronts, except for the Wendy's. Popeyes was on Adams St, you can see whats left of their original sign. It changes names every few years. Correct, the old Krystals is now a sub-place, used to be Larry's Subs....hard to believe a Larry's or Firehouse can't make it Downtown.

fieldafm

June 22, 2010, 02:55:18 PM
Oh, yeah ok I remember the Krystals there now! 

danno

June 22, 2010, 03:52:10 PM
My dad used to tell us the ol'

"Went to the Florida Theater for a triple feature on a Saturday, had Krystals and a Coke with change left over for the bus fare home"

fieldafm

June 22, 2010, 11:09:01 PM
The Wendys was at Duval and Main, Popeyes was on Adams at Hogan, BK was at Forsyth and Pearl, Krystals was at Ocean and Forsyth! talk about missing the those places now, makes me hungry!

That's insane.  What was the timeline for all of those things leaving?  I remember Firehouse and BK, but none of the others.  Wow, people used to be able to grab quick food after 5 downtown.  Not Anymore.

Another place that didnt work out downtown before it even started was Moon River Pizza.  Was supposed to be next to where Chew is now.  Danny B wound up opening in Murray Hill instead.  Turned out to be a great move by them, but another what if...

thelakelander

June 22, 2010, 11:18:05 PM
The Loop was also supposed to open a block away in the Lerner Shops building (across the street from the Carling).  That died when the building's construction plans were indefinitely delayed.

Overstreet

June 23, 2010, 08:30:24 AM
I was working downtown when Wendy's closed. It was the quality of the service that closed Wendy's.

stephendare

June 23, 2010, 08:32:22 AM
I was working downtown when Wendy's closed. It was the quality of the service that closed Wendy's.

Towards the end it was horrible, overstreet.  Very rude and unclean in that place.

fieldafm

June 23, 2010, 09:34:59 AM
The Loop was also supposed to open a block away in the Lerner Shops building (across the street from the Carling).  That died when the building's construction plans were indefinitely delayed.

Good call, forgot about the Loop.

Although, Chicago Pizza at the Landing has been a great addition to the core imo.  Good deep dish pizza(half off with coupon M-Thur, good queso dip, Bold City on tap and GREAT outdoor seating with a beautiful view!

fieldafm

June 23, 2010, 09:36:49 AM
I was working downtown when Wendy's closed. It was the quality of the service that closed Wendy's.

Towards the end it was horrible, overstreet.  Very rude and unclean in that place.

Quote
Towards the end it was horrible, overstreet.  Very rude and unclean in that place.

I think it was me taking advantage of the Super Bar.  My dad and I destroyed some AUCE tacos for $4  :)

stephendare

June 23, 2010, 09:43:04 AM
I was working downtown when Wendy's closed. It was the quality of the service that closed Wendy's.

Towards the end it was horrible, overstreet.  Very rude and unclean in that place.

Quote
Towards the end it was horrible, overstreet.  Very rude and unclean in that place.

I think it was me taking advantage of the Super Bar.  My dad and I destroyed some AUCE tacos for $4  :)

When they still had the super bar it was awesome, field.  It was a gathering place for all the douglas anderson kids as a matter of fact.  They cancelled the bar and then it just went to hell in a handbasket.  I think they had special problems with their drive thru, and if I remember there was some sort of gunplay between the drive thru person and the front counter cashier that ended in tragedy.

fieldafm

June 23, 2010, 09:55:00 AM
Quote
some sort of gunplay between the drive thru person and the front counter cashier that ended in tragedy.

Unfortunately, that seems to be a problem in Wendys throughout Jacksonville.  :-[

Case in point, the now closed Wendys on St Johns Bluff.

stjr

June 23, 2010, 04:16:32 PM
Mugs, Iaeysu (sp?), Morrisons, and a Southern-style restaurant on the second floor of the Schultz Building (name escapes me at the moment) were other early 80's hangouts as was Three Brothers on the third floor of Iveys department store (now, JEA).

Charles Hunter

June 23, 2010, 04:43:29 PM
... and the Jean Ribault restuarant on the 2nd floor of Sears ...

stjr

June 23, 2010, 06:34:11 PM
... and the Jean Ribault restuarant on the 2nd floor of Sears ...

...with a large wall mural by artist Lee Adams depicting his landing.  (However, I believe this restaurant closed, at the latest, in the 70's as the Sears store was already closed by or before about 1980.

billy

June 23, 2010, 06:35:37 PM
The first Wendy's I remember was on University near Powers.

thelakelander

July 23, 2010, 06:28:07 PM


Here is a great view of Forsyth & Newnan in 1972.  One can't help but notice the four story buildings across the street from the Florida Theatre that no longer exist.

Wacca Pilatka

July 23, 2010, 06:30:46 PM
... and the Jean Ribault restuarant on the 2nd floor of Sears ...

...with a large wall mural by artist Lee Adams depicting his landing.  (However, I believe this restaurant closed, at the latest, in the 70's as the Sears store was already closed by or before about 1980.

What happened to the mural?  I remember seeing a mid-to-late 90s T-U article about how it was discovered and rescued but don't recall its fate.

Wacca Pilatka

July 23, 2010, 06:31:31 PM
What a fantastic picture, Lake.  Thank you for posting that.

Timkin

July 23, 2010, 10:09:38 PM
That is an awesome picture Lake. Though I get nauseated at the thought of how many pieces were destroyed for surface parking or some other unimportant reason.  Also note the Rhodes Furniture in the upper left which is now gone. Its sickening.

Bativac

July 24, 2010, 10:24:22 AM
That is an awesome picture Lake. Though I get nauseated at the thought of how many pieces were destroyed for surface parking or some other unimportant reason.  Also note the Rhodes Furniture in the upper left which is now gone. Its sickening.

I was standing under the Skyway track with a small crowd the morning they demolished the Rhodes Furniture building. I'd never actually seen a building in downtown Jax being demolished, and I had grown up seeing that one, so I wanted to be there to see it one last time. Talk about sad. The general mood of the group was almost like a funeral service.

Jaxson

July 24, 2010, 12:33:56 PM
I watched as the old Robert Meyer Hotel building was imploded to make way for the new federal courthouse.  I was working across the river at the Prudential Building.  It was eerie...

Jaxson

July 24, 2010, 12:37:46 PM
Speaking of various eating establishments, what is up with Fuddruckers?  I recall that they were supposed to open up at the Landing, but have been delayed for almost an eternity!

thelakelander

July 24, 2010, 12:42:52 PM
Fuddruckers won't be coming to the Landing.  That project died a long time ago.

Jaxson

July 24, 2010, 12:43:27 PM
Fuddruckers won't be coming to the Landing.  That project died a long time ago.

Damn!

Thanks, lakelander, for the update, though!

Timkin

July 24, 2010, 03:42:49 PM
Am I mistaken or did Fuddruckers go under?  I thought I read somewhere that they filed for Bankruptcy..

I saw Rhodes, The Robert Meyer, the Mayflower, and most recently, the Jacksonville Coliseum go down.  The Coliseum was not one of my favorite buildings, but i still hated to see it go .

stjr

July 24, 2010, 06:13:28 PM
Am I mistaken or did Fuddruckers go under?  I thought I read somewhere that they filed for Bankruptcy..

Yes, see the MJ thread at:  http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,8379.0.html

Timkin

July 24, 2010, 10:36:49 PM
A shame.  great Hamburgers

Ocklawaha

July 24, 2010, 11:50:14 PM
Timkin, the real shame is "Herman's" out at Grand Junction in the NW side. Herman owned a tiny old southern beanery and every railroad crew and truck driver in the south knew about it.  Herman served the meanest Hamburger steak in the South, and also offered a full menu from the old days of fountains and drug stores. I really don't know when Herman retired or died, but his legacy lives on in thousands of train crews and trucking employees. Always a smile, and a couple of dollars bought a REAL meal, DAMN I MISS HIM. Anyone that even thinks they remember, it was that tiny old double entry screened door place on the north side of Old Kings Road just above NW of the Norfolk Southern Crossing. THAT is a hamburger joint to feel remorse over the loss of.

I even made a railroad inspection trip to NJ once where the guys with me pointed out every look-alike old southern store and suggested it as "Herman's #2" or "#3" etc...


OCKLAWAHA

Timkin

July 24, 2010, 11:56:01 PM

You would not , by any chance have pictures of "Hermans" , would you?

Another set of pictures I cannot seem to dig up , no matter where I look, is ones of Annie Lytle , when she was an open School House. SURELY, somewhere out there, someone has pictures... but i ll be damned if I can find them.

distantkarma

April 17, 2012, 06:49:09 AM
Picture #10, the large 4 story with the triple porch was the YWCA Building.  How did we ever lose that great old church on the corner of Monroe & Hogan?

nomeus

April 17, 2012, 11:38:56 PM
what a bummer :(

Old Jim

May 03, 2012, 08:34:43 PM
Ock, the store was Mobleys.  Herman either owned it or worked there and the hamburgers and cherry cokes were the best I have ever had. It was on Old Kings Road right beside the Southern shops in Grand Crossing.

Noone

May 03, 2012, 09:05:10 PM
Just as tragic as what has been lost is what is being designed now!!! Many comments have been made on this site regarding KBJ, the courthouse, renovations of historic buildings that don't fit with the urban fabric (Haverty's), etc.

When I think about this, I get so angry about the GOB network in Jacksonville that keeps the assignment of important projects/contracts going to the same designers over and over again. I am particularly disgusted by Daniel Davis' effort to work into the City bid process an over-weighting of the "proximity to Jacksonville" element of the bid.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that Jacksonville wants to keep work local when it can, but I believe the more important weighting, most of it, should go to TALENT. I'm not saying there isn't talent in this market - far from it. All I'm saying is Mr. Davis, and Jacksonville, are on a course to enable the languishment of our local talent through gifting assignments, rather than helping it to grow in a competitive environment.

If there were a threat of greater or deeper talent pools from elsewhere getting Jacksonville assignments, maybe Jacksonville firms/contractors would do more to ensure they can attract, and continue training, their local assets.

In this type of market-based environment, all boats have to RISE to remain competitive. Instead, in Jacksonville, it's protect our own to its detriment and mediocrity. Shame on Daniel Davis and the GOB network that still reigns here.

+1

Timkin

May 03, 2012, 10:05:44 PM
Couldn't tell you about my thoughts on any of the book. Mine have so far not arrived.  I'm sure it will be great though.

thelakelander

May 03, 2012, 10:15:24 PM
All the pre-orders are in the hands of the USPS and should be arriving to their destination by Saturday.  Timkin, check your PM.

Timkin

May 03, 2012, 10:25:56 PM
Thx, Lake.

pwhitford

May 24, 2012, 10:25:04 AM
Today in Florida history from the Florida Historical Society:

In 1880 Florida's first telephone exchange opened today in Jacksonville. Southern

Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company opened with 34 subscribers.

Just throwin' it out there...

Ocklawaha

May 24, 2012, 11:39:06 AM
Ock, the store was Mobleys.  Herman either owned it or worked there and the hamburgers and cherry cokes were the best I have ever had. It was on Old Kings Road right beside the Southern shops in Grand Crossing.

Yeah, THAT IS IT! Absolutely the finest mom and pop style eatery in town for decades. And who wouldn't miss the wooden front porch and the squeaky screen doors?

BackinJax05

June 01, 2012, 12:47:27 AM
Thanks for including the Heard National Bank, and especially the old Robert Meyer Hotel. Robert Meyer was a "modern" building, but like all the old buildings - it was thoughtlessly demolished.

100 years from now people will be commenting about the lost architecture of BellSouth, Helmut's pencil, and Wells Fargo/Independent Square. Hope Im still alive to see Helmut's pencil imploded.

Timkin

June 01, 2012, 04:18:38 PM
Thanks for including the Heard National Bank, and especially the old Robert Meyer Hotel. Robert Meyer was a "modern" building, but like all the old buildings - it was thoughtlessly demolished.

100 years from now people will be commenting about the lost architecture of BellSouth, Helmut's pencil, and Wells Fargo/Independent Square. Hope Im still alive to see Helmut's pencil imploded.



I hope I am alive to see them all imploded.  Add to that, the "New" Courthouse, the Federal Courthouse, and the Jail.   

BackinJax05

June 01, 2012, 11:41:27 PM
Thanks for including the Heard National Bank, and especially the old Robert Meyer Hotel. Robert Meyer was a "modern" building, but like all the old buildings - it was thoughtlessly demolished.

100 years from now people will be commenting about the lost architecture of BellSouth, Helmut's pencil, and Wells Fargo/Independent Square. Hope Im still alive to see Helmut's pencil imploded.


Me too!


I hope I am alive to see them all imploded.  Add to that, the "New" Courthouse, the Federal Courthouse, and the Jail.

BackinJax05

June 01, 2012, 11:48:55 PM
A great set of pictures. Its sad to see how much has been bulldozed or imploded in the way of "progress".

Here's a question for the lover in all of you:

If these buildings were still standing, which one(s) would you take your lover (opposite or same sex) to for a romantic rondezvous??

As for me? We'd do every room in the old Robert Meyer, AND the pool deck. Followed by the roof of the Heard National Bank building.

Next I'd go by myself to pay the ladies of Houston Street a visit. (What happens on Houston Street STAYS on Houston Street)

The old Robert Meyer might take awhile. That was a big hotel. ;)

Timkin

June 02, 2012, 06:20:35 PM
A great set of pictures. Its sad to see how much has been bulldozed or imploded in the way of "progress".

Here's a question for the lover in all of you:

If these buildings were still standing, which one(s) would you take your lover (opposite or same sex) to for a romantic rondezvous??

As for me? We'd do every room in the old Robert Meyer, AND the pool deck. Followed by the roof of the Heard National Bank building.

Next I'd go by myself to pay the ladies of Houston Street a visit. (What happens on Houston Street STAYS on Houston Street)

The old Robert Meyer might take awhile. That was a big hotel. ;)


Id go to all of them ;)  but my favorite , I guess Id have to say, is the Post Office Building. :P

BackinJax05

June 02, 2012, 08:47:16 PM
Up in the clock tower. A whole new way to rock around the clock! :D

Ocklawaha

June 02, 2012, 10:37:36 PM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.

Timkin

June 03, 2012, 01:28:12 AM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.




The 1504 Needs to be protected from further deterioration from the elements.  I CANNOT believe the City cannot at least Cough up a  "Carport" type building to park the Locomotive under. Depressing when blocks away sits a multimillion dollar courthouse .  Something is wrong with this picture.

BackinJax05

June 03, 2012, 10:02:08 PM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.

Sex with a locomotive?? Why didnt I think of that! :)

1504 would sure beat a blow up doll. LOL

BackinJax05

June 03, 2012, 10:05:04 PM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.




The 1504 Needs to be protected from further deterioration from the elements.  I CANNOT believe the City cannot at least Cough up a  "Carport" type building to park the Locomotive under. Depressing when blocks away sits a multimillion dollar courthouse .  Something is wrong with this picture.

So true. And dont forget the Seaboard Coast Line pullman sleeper on Bay Street, incorrectly named Orange Blossom Special. She sits slowly rusting away, too. But the olive drab paint hides it better.

Ocklawaha

June 03, 2012, 10:28:22 PM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.

Sex with a locomotive?? Why didnt I think of that! :)

1504 would sure beat a blow up doll. LOL

Hey, it's the only machine ever created by man that not only responds to human touch, many machines can do that, but a steam locomotive breathes, inhales, exhales, heats up, sweats and has a raging inferno in its fire box. Yeah, I'm in love! LOL!

The Pullman is just another sad story in our rush to be the 'authentic' version of Orlando's plastic world. Orlando has 'a train' at Church Street Station, so Jacksonville has a locomotive and Pullman to decorate our temple of transportation turned garden show mecca. Doesn't matter what train the Pullman came off of? Doesn't matter that it's not properly restored? Who cares about fake lettering? This isn't a museum exhibit is it? Nobody would expect us to do it right and thus create an attraction would they? Why have an attraction when we can use it like a Christmas Bulb on a oak tree? Think anyone will know the difference? Imagine the thousands that have passed by and exclaimed, 'a train! a train!' isn't that good enough? Isn't Jacksonville 'good enough'? Do we really want to continue to be known as the city of 'good enough?'

Don't worry boys and girls, some consultant told the convention center people that if we recklessly threw some trains around the building, it would thus be 'authentic.' The consultant no doubt, couldn't tell a locomotive from a caboose, THANK GOD that he didn't get us a deal on some 4 wheel European wagons... what an exhibit THAT would be all lettered 'Atlantic Coast Line.' 

Timkin

June 03, 2012, 11:06:48 PM
Perhaps we need to take matters into our own hands, as  kind hearted volunteers do from time to time, and go show the old Locomotive some love.  I would chip in on paint for it.  10 of us or more could do much to improve the  1504.  Anything is better than the city letting the thing sit there in the sun and elements and deterioration.   There is no good reason the city should object or stand in our way of doing something to improve the 1504.

BackinJax05

June 04, 2012, 03:29:21 AM
Well I'd be screwed, because I couldn't possibly get the 1504 steam locomotive up in that hotel suite. She'd be great for a really hot night but I guess I'll just have to dream about it.

Sex with a locomotive?? Why didnt I think of that! :)

1504 would sure beat a blow up doll. LOL

Hey, it's the only machine ever created by man that not only responds to human touch, many machines can do that, but a steam locomotive breathes, inhales, exhales, heats up, sweats and has a raging inferno in its fire box. Yeah, I'm in love! LOL!

True! AND steam locomotives never get tired or have headaches. (However, they ARE high maintenance and thats a headache of its own)

The Pullman is just another sad story in our rush to be the 'authentic' version of Orlando's plastic world. Orlando has 'a train' at Church Street Station, so Jacksonville has a locomotive and Pullman to decorate our temple of transportation turned garden show mecca. Doesn't matter what train the Pullman came off of? Doesn't matter that it's not properly restored? Who cares about fake lettering? This isn't a museum exhibit is it? Nobody would expect us to do it right and thus create an attraction would they? Why have an attraction when we can use it like a Christmas Bulb on a oak tree? Think anyone will know the difference? Imagine the thousands that have passed by and exclaimed, 'a train! a train!' isn't that good enough? Isn't Jacksonville 'good enough'? Do we really want to continue to be known as the city of 'good enough?'

As for the Pullman, restored it would make a great guest house or private car - if Amtrak certified.

The "train" at Church Street Station is gone. Yes, I know it was a fake ACL, too. (or was it SAL). As I recall it was sold to a private collector. Its a good thing, too. Sitting in the worst part of Orlando it was subject to lots of vandalism. I rode past it a few times on the Silver Star and couldnt help noticing tagging on the cars, along with broken windows, and holes punched in the floors. Makes me think of the poor caboose sitting & rusting out at Bruce Park, but thats another story.

At least the Pullman here hasnt been vandalized yet. Or maybe it has. I havent been down that way in awhile.

Don't worry boys and girls, some consultant told the convention center people that if we recklessly threw some trains around the building, it would thus be 'authentic.' The consultant no doubt, couldn't tell a locomotive from a caboose, THANK GOD that he didn't get us a deal on some 4 wheel European wagons... what an exhibit THAT would be all lettered 'Atlantic Coast Line.'

JerryS

July 06, 2012, 08:22:15 PM
It's so sad to see those old building gone.  During the years of 1956 thru 1958 I was an usher at the Florida theather and I also rode  bike delivering  telegrams for Western Union.  I remember the train station leaving on the train for Chicago going to navy boot camp.  There was no mall back then every thing was down town. The only movie houses that I knew of back then on the west side was the lake shore, fairfax,edgewood and the Murray Hill and of course the Normandy drive Inn. Currently I live in Ocala and my wife and I drove to Jax the first time I have been back in twenty years.  I couldn't believe how far blanding blvd goes out.  When I was a kid as soon as you crossed cedar creek  the road was two lanes and you were in the boonies.  The only time anybody went to Orange Park back then was to buy beer on Sunday.  Well so much of my rambling from an old fart.

Ocklawaha

July 06, 2012, 11:36:05 PM
Yeah, and when I was in school (JEB Stuart - Today) we had Pritchett's Kitchen right at the Cedar River Bridge, and Lum's hotdogs, boiled in beer... The first time I ever saw what would later be called 'N' scale trains, was at the old Pic-N-Save on Blanding. My best friend in school, Matt Skeins father owned the House of Bargains stores and they had a big one on Blanding. Do you remember Coopers Hardware?

ronchamblin

July 07, 2012, 01:31:01 AM
Ock… do I remember Cooper’s?  When we moved from Baltimore to Jax in ’49, I was seven and Cooper’s Hardware was renting a space on the west side of Wesconnett Blvd about 150’ north of 103rd.  It was the closest thing we had to a Home Depot back then.  Western Auto was to some degree the neighborhood hardware.  For us tinkerers and builders, Sears downtown was a help.  I sensed that the Cooper fellows loved their work. 

 
There were no malls and no convenience stores until the mid to late fifties.  There were the occasional country stores, small but having good variety.  They all smelled the same, an interesting mix of clothes, hardware, snacks, sodas, tobacco, and damp wood floors.  To buy something substantial, one had to go downtown. 


Apparently Cooper sold to Gunning sometime in the sixties, and Gunning built a new spot, and moved across the street.  I recall that upon selling to Gunning, one or two of the Cooper fellows bought land in Brazil, to farm or something.  But something happened in Brazil, perhaps the government at the time took what the Coopers had so they fled the chaos, moving to Middleburg.   


Many of the people moving into the area in the forties and fifies were building houses themselves, as we did on the south end of Firestone Road.  Our first winter in Jax was in a partially completed house my father built.  I don’t recall any building inspections back then.  Everybody used the black four volume Audel builders set for carpentry and other building help.  My father’s co-workers at the shipyards would help with the electrical work.  Apparently my father got no help on plumbing because in the eighties I found a sink where he used a 1/2"  iron pipe for the drain.  It always clogged.  Everything was iron pipe.  There was no PVC, copper, plywood, or sheetrock.  The 4’ x 8’ wall panels were a kind of brown fiber material, which one could easily tear with hands, of about ½” thick, with a thin white painting surface.  All lumber was cut and drilled by hand.  No electric saws or drills.         


For about a year, we had a roof, but no walls.  On the outside we had the occasional wood cross member to strengthen the entire structure.  For wind and blowing rain protection we had surplus military canvas on the outside walls, which flapped in the wind.  We had a small potbelly wood stove which would glow red.  We huddled around the potbelly that first winter.  After about a year of canvas, we had siding in the way of tar paper or felt covering the outside 1 x 6 lumber.  We were somewhat poor, but we kids didn’t really feel it.  We had plenty to eat, having a good garden and chickens and other animals.  Most others on Firestone were like us, although some seemed to approach rich persons, having the occasional new auto, and a brick house.  Our first TV was about 1953.  It was of course black and white, and always rolled and fluttered just when you were watching something interesting.  We didn’t have Internet.   


Ricker Road was dirt south of Morse Ave until the early sixties.  Morse Ave was dirt from Firestone to Jammes until the early sixties.  Seems like Ricker was dirt from 103rd north to Old Middleburg until the late fifties.  What am I saying.  At some point they were all dirt.   

BackinJax05

July 08, 2012, 01:02:12 AM
Yeah, and when I was in school (JEB Stuart - Today) we had Pritchett's Kitchen right at the Cedar River Bridge, and Lum's hotdogs, boiled in beer... The first time I ever saw what would later be called 'N' scale trains, was at the old Pic-N-Save on Blanding. My best friend in school, Matt Skeins father owned the House of Bargains stores and they had a big one on Blanding. Do you remember Coopers Hardware?

I LOVED Lum's hot dogs. There used to be one on Merrill Road, near Cesery. Back then both roads were 2 lanes. Pizza Butt (hut) was next door. Merrill Road Center was (& still is) across the street. It had an Eckerd Drug Store & Winn Dixie as anchors.

The closest Pic-N-Save was at Town-N-Country, next to Pantry Pride, which was next to the theatre, which was across from Waltz Restaurant. ;D Years later, Pic-N-Save moved to a larger store in the strip. Pantry Pride remained for a few more years.

Today all of it is gone. Merrill Road Center and Town and Country remain, empty shells of what they once were.

WmNussbaum

July 08, 2012, 01:21:08 PM
I'm posting this mostly for my own benefit as a record. Page 7, photo 41 is the Clark Building which had one of the last open cage elevators in town as far as I know. It was not air-conditioned. The owner also owned Oriental Gardens  just south of San Marco on the Southside.

The storefront right on the corner - Gus Panos produce - was later occupied by Lowe's Cut Rate Drugs.

The building was torn down in the mid- to late 60's.

WmNussbaum

July 08, 2012, 01:33:37 PM
Many posts to this forum and others on MJ bemoan the loss of the old buildings. But I think many of the posters who rail against the demolitions also favor the growth of the City. I think the two views are at least somewhat inconsistent. Take the courthouse for example - not that the old one is exactly an architectural masterpiece. It served well for 50+ years, but now the city has grown and needs something considerably to serve for the next half century or so. Given its size, structure, and location, for what can it be used? If it is torn down, will its loss be decried 25 years later?

So it is with many of the buildings that were demolished - certainly the government buildings and all the small buildings. The only way for the downtown to grow was either to take down the old and build the new, or, if the old were left in place, to spread out geographically. A larger downtown area, in my opinion, would not be a good idea - it's too big as is.   

ben says

July 08, 2012, 01:36:32 PM
I'm posting this mostly for my own benefit as a record. Page 7, photo 41 is the Clark Building which had one of the last open cage elevators in town as far as I know. It was not air-conditioned. The owner also owned Oriental Gardens  just south of San Marco on the Southside.

The storefront right on the corner - Gus Panos produce - was later occupied by Lowe's Cut Rate Drugs.

The building was torn down in the mid- to late 60's.

Does anyone know where to find some history on Oriental Gardens? I was born and raised there--lived there for over 20 years--but outside of a few phrases like "this road used to be Oriental gardens" and "some guy owned this land and tourists came here"--can't find anything.

thelakelander

July 08, 2012, 02:43:58 PM
I'm using my cell to make this reply, so I can't cut & paste the link. Type "Oriental Gardens" in the MJ search engine (I swear it works for paste front page articles).

thelakelander

July 08, 2012, 03:52:32 PM
The only way for the downtown to grow was either to take down the old and build the new, or, if the old were left in place, to spread out geographically. A larger downtown area, in my opinion, would not be a good idea - it's too big as is.   
Growth also can come in the form of adaptive reuse of existing structures.  It's a huge mistake to live and plan by a motto that requires demolition for growth. Such a strategy not only destroys a community's sense of place but its culture and history as well. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Jax has done and when new development fails to materialize, you're left with nothing but parking lots.

WmNussbaum

July 08, 2012, 07:29:04 PM
We're left with parking lots because private enterprise has not yet come up with a use for the area that makes enough financial sense to risk an investment of some sort. Look, Lake, if you owned a building that was empty and was bleeding tax money thanks to the property assessment, and was not adaptable for modern uses, what would you do? Keep it, or knock it down, stop some of the bleeding and wait for better times or the concept worth the investment risk?

What exactly does "adaptive reuse" mean for downtown buildings that have outlived their original purpose? What would you put into the old Rosenblum's building at Adams and Hogan, or the tall building adjacent to it (the name of which I do not know)? They're available.

Too many folks in MJ want property owners to ignore fiscal reality in the interest of preservation. That's a nice wish list, but those folks ought to quit spending other folks' money for them. Maybe we should pick a building in distress _crumbling, taxes delinquent, etc. - and take up a collection to keep them in "adaptive reuse" shape so they don't end up down.

Timkin

July 08, 2012, 11:47:50 PM
^ So you propose to just bulldoze every empty structure, and add to the vast wasteland of parking lots in downtown? What a great improvement.

I'm not spending your money. I am spending my own.. on a building and property I don't own , in an ATTEMPT to save it. .. and looking for solutions to save it ,that do not require the use of 'your' money (or the tax-payers). We are not all arm-chair quarterbacks. Some of us are actually out there trying to find viable solutions.  Wish people like yourself could show appreciation for that, but that would probably be too much to ask.

Are you doing anything in this regard,or just taking issue with those of us who wish to see these places re-purposed? (certainly sounds that way,at least).   So, Fiscal reality in your opinion would be to continue to demolish , as we have done for at least  a half century? (at a phenominal rate, I might add)  Would love to know what the tab was for all of that, PASSED ON TO THE TAXPAYERS!!  I guess that is a different kind of "Bleeding" , so its okay...It makes for good business for demolition companies, but I don't see how it  is beneficial to anyone else.   

As to a building that could not be adapted to some/ ANY modern use, name ONE, please.  And please help me  to understand WHY that building could not be adapted to a modern use.

Too many people in this city have dismissed  the value of our historic fabric. Period.  That, in part is why we now deal with and are trying to restore and revitalize the Shell of what was once  a vibrant City/Downtown.





thelakelander

July 09, 2012, 12:06:55 AM
We're left with parking lots because private enterprise has not yet come up with a use for the area that makes enough financial sense to risk an investment of some sort.

This statement is very inaccurate.  Unfortunately, the majority of downtown's buildings were torn down in anticipation of new development that never happened.  Three great examples are LaVilla, Sugar Hill, and Brooklyn.  Several of the structures in these areas were occupied and structurally sound when they were torn down.





Quote
Look, Lake, if you owned a building that was empty and was bleeding tax money thanks to the property assessment, and was not adaptable for modern uses, what would you do? Keep it, or knock it down, stop some of the bleeding and wait for better times or the concept worth the investment risk?

I do own buildings and the thought of tearing them down has never entered my mind.  I'd sell them before I'd pay to demolish them.  Also, what building isn't adaptable for modern uses?  Do you have a specific example in your mind?

Quote
What exactly does "adaptive reuse" mean for downtown buildings that have outlived their original purpose?

It means a May-Cohens becomes City Hall, a Carling transforms from a hotel to an apartment complex, the Metropolitan Lofts goes from office to housing, Churchwell goes from a warehouse to lofts, a gas station becomes a restaurant/bar, a former cannery in Riverside becomes a warehouse of art studios and galleries.  You can accommodate growth through the better utilization of existing buildings and infill where appropriate.  Heck, I had lunch yesterday in a downtown Knoxville microbrewery that was originally a hardware store.  Adaptive use of existing structures has been happening across the globe for centuries.  There's no reason, more adaptive reuse can't become a stronger fixture of Jacksonville's future growth patterns for both downtown and the rest of the city.

Quote
What would you put into the old Rosenblum's building at Adams and Hogan, or the tall building adjacent to it (the name of which I do not know)? They're available.

There are a lot of uses that could work in those buildings.  The larger question is if their asking prices are reflective of what the market will bear?

Quote
Too many folks in MJ want property owners to ignore fiscal reality in the interest of preservation. That's a nice wish list, but those folks ought to quit spending other folks' money for them. Maybe we should pick a building in distress _crumbling, taxes delinquent, etc. - and take up a collection to keep them in "adaptive reuse" shape so they don't end up down.

You'd be surprised to see how many people participating on these forums are actually property owners, many of which who have preserved and restored various structures in their professions and lives.

Ocklawaha

July 09, 2012, 01:17:22 PM
the Pantheon in Rome has been in continuous use as a church or temple since it was built in about 126 CE.

The Maison Carre is older, having been built circa 16 BC. It's the best really complete temple from the classical world that still exists, and it was turned into a Church, too. It still functions as a museum.

Theatre_of_Marcellus, Julius Caesar started building it; it was first used for performances in 17BC, finished 12BC, used variously as a theatre, then fortress, then residences.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is a public house in St Albans, Hertfordshire, which is one of several that lay claim to being the oldest in England, 800 years.  It currently holds the official Guinness Book of Records title, but Ye Olde Man & Scythe in Bolton, Greater Manchester has claimed it is older by some 234 years.

Qufu Confucius Temple (Kong Miao).  The Temple started as three houses in the year of 478 BC, the second year after the death of Confucius, in continuous use, today it's a museum of culture.

A few years back, Dutch architects Merkx + Girod converted a Dominican church into one of the coolest bookstores ever, the Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht was built in 1294.

Temple of the Flourishing Law) is a Buddhist temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji, or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as seminary and monastery both. It was built in 607 burned then rebuilt in 711.

The Pickman house in Salem MA. was built in 1664, it serves as the nations oldest continuously operated museum today.

Gonzalez-Alvarez House in St. Augustine, built in 1723, adaptive reuse as a museum.

Bottom line, with every brick that comes down/came down in Jacksonville, we lose irretrievable history. There is just no reason for our city to continue this destructive course.

WmNussbaum

July 13, 2012, 05:40:27 PM
Lakelander makes good points about adaptive reuse, but it isn't in the cards for every old structure in downtown. How are we going to house workers for big businesses if we don't get rid of some of the old to make way for the new? Spread out and make downtown even larger than it already is? And we do want to grow, don't we? I'm also sorry some of those places are gone - the GW and Mayflower and Seminole hotels for example - but after they were no longer viable as hotels, and when, at the time, there was absolutely no way, that they could successfully be converted to apartments or condos, what was supposed to happen? I guess the answer is to just let them sit until times change. That's what is happening with the Laura Street Trio, and the result is that we have 3 eyesores crumbling in front of our eyes, and no one stepping up to the plate to do anything - no one other than fly-by-nighters, like Kuhn, that is.

Well maybe we can all be accommodated. You're right that there a hellva lot of parking lots around downtown, and if someone wants to build a big building, it should be easy to assemble the parcels to enable it. Not that it's going to happen any time soon what with all the space now available and a lackluster economy.

City Hall, the Carling and 11E are achievements (even if they are not, in the case of the last two, financial successes yet), but I'm sure that some of the places torn down were not candidates for adaptive reuse. For example, Genovar (sp?) Hall is quite historic, I'm told, but it's a piece of crap that is too far gone to anything with in my opinion. (It's also a good example of City Hall having its head up its ass in making a business deal.)

Last comment. Lake, it's nice that you would rather sell your buildings than tear them down. Who wouldn't? But sometimes there is no answer to the question, "To whom?"

thelakelander

July 13, 2012, 06:25:06 PM
Tearing down a building still cost money. Depending on the size of your urban lot, when considering building to current codes, you may be better off with what's already there.

Timkin

July 13, 2012, 10:42:22 PM
Was there even an attempt for conversion on the GW, or the Mayflower? or the Seminole for ANY use?  Probably not.

Id rather look at a crumbling Laura Trio than another vacant, trashy grass and weed infested lot.  Any day.

Genovar's hall is a monumental example of the City having their heads up their ass.  And I agree that it is probably too late for it.  The three shot gun houses adjacent to it are just as bad or if it is possible, worse.

It fascinates me that when it comes to demolition , the City seems to have (or can access)  endless resources of money.  We cannot seem to pull off saving or reviving anything, practically.  I feel certain if the The St. James Building was not purposed to become City Hall , it would have followed the way of The Robert Meyer and many adjacent buildings.

I would love to know what the City has expended for demolition of buildings ( and never replaced them with anything) .  It would no doubt be a staggering figure.   Probably enough to revive the Laura Trio and quite a few other places in our Downtown area.

I hope we get it right and turn this around while there still remains structures that are savable.

BackinJax05

July 14, 2012, 01:37:44 AM
^I was only 11 when the Mayflower was imploded. As I recall, the prevailing attitude was "Out with the old. In with the new"
I also seem to remember Hizzoner Hans Tanzler pushed the plunger to set off the dynamite.

I'd rather look at a crumbling Robert Meyer than what stands there now. The Meyer, with its rooftop pool & underground garage would have made awesome condominiums. I would have bought one.

As sad as it was to see the Mayflower collapse on itself, in all fairness I like the design of the CHARTER/SOUTHERN BELL tower (its original name). Those sawteeth are cool.

It was even sadder for me to see the Robert Meyer collapse from the middle, then see the North & South ends fall in simultaneously.

thelakelander

July 14, 2012, 07:37:48 AM
Someone asked about the GW?  It was torn down shortly after it closed.  It never had a chance like many of the buildings during the 70s and 80s.  That was a very dark period for historic building fabric in Jacksonville and across the country in general.

Timkin

July 14, 2012, 05:28:28 PM
I'd rather look at a crumbling Robert Meyer than what stands there now. The Meyer, with its rooftop pool & underground garage would have made awesome condominiums. I would have bought one.

Agree.  I hate that all the Grande Hotels were imploded.  Seriously doubt any consideration was given any of them for some reuse.   

This mentality has not changed very much in recent times. :(

BackinJax05

July 14, 2012, 08:26:36 PM
^^ Its too bad the GW and/or RM couldnt have been recycled into other hotels. Who knows?

If the GW had not been torn down, MAYBE Omni could have recycled it AND built a new hotel on the same block or across the street. (Renaissance Vinoy, St. Petersburg) The old and new buildings look great together.

OR they could have recycled the RM and saved a bundle in construction costs. (Omni/Parker House, Boston)

Dont get me wrong, I like the Omni. Im only thinking of how they could have made things even better.

Timkin

July 14, 2012, 10:35:31 PM
Some post that we can't save every building in Downtown. Totally agree. Point is they have saved hardly ANY, compared to the Gems previous administrations razed.. For better than a half century it has been out with the old and in with more surface parking. Bravo!  Nice change.

Yep...can't save em all.

thelakelander

July 17, 2012, 08:57:30 AM


Speaking of reusing older buildings, Aloft is opening a new hotel in the old Orlando Utilities Commission in downtown Orlando.  Like the City Hall Annex, its a mid-20th century highrise.  If it were here, our history has shown that we'd be clamouring for demolition as soon as the doors were locked.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-07-15/business/os-cfb-tourism-0716-20120715_1_luxury-hotel-hotel-rooms-new-downtown-hotel

http://www.thedailycity.com/2012/07/aloft-hotel-in-downtown-orlando.html



Instead of being demolished, the 44-year-old building was sold for $2.9 million.  Aloft's developer will spend $20 million on the conversion.  OUC moved out of the building in 2008.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2011/09/02/former-ouc-building-to-become-hotel.html

tufsu1

July 17, 2012, 09:19:34 AM
great example Lake....the same could be done with our City Hall Annex or the old JEA building!

WmNussbaum

July 17, 2012, 09:27:13 AM
Not a great example, Lake. Orlando is tourist mecca - more hotel rooms than maybe even New York. Hotels can survive in Orlando, but not Jackson - giving a nod to Ron. I hope someone can come up with a use for old City Hall and maybe the courthouse, but I would not invest money in a project that was converting City Hall to a hotel. Would you?

The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

thelakelander

July 17, 2012, 09:30:06 AM
^When is the last time you've been to Orlando?  Downtown Orlando is not a tourism mecca.  Nevertheless, the example is to show that old buildings can be reused for other uses.  The reuse of structures can happen in Jacksonville just as much as it can happen in Orlando or Savannah. Don't get so caught up on the exact reuse. You shouldn't be so down on the potential of your community.

Ocklawaha

July 17, 2012, 09:39:43 AM
Back in post #154 I listed a selection of buildings built in ancient times and still in use today. If the Qufu Confucius Temple (Kong Miao) built in 478 BC can find a new use as a museum of culture, there is simply no excuse for the dynamite mentality in Jacksonville.

What kind of culture doesn't remember and honor their history? Extinct ones!

tufsu1

July 17, 2012, 10:02:33 AM
The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

What year was that?  has Jacksonville changed at all since then?

thelakelander

July 17, 2012, 10:07:37 AM
1982 to be exact. Roughly 30 years ago.

Tacachale

July 17, 2012, 10:11:35 AM
WmNussbaum, you are right that not every building is going to find a reuse, and that sometimes buildings are demolished to put in something new. But you ignore the fact that many, many buildings can be and are reused, and that many buildings have been demolished for no gain whatsoever.

One way to look at it is that empty buildings have far more options than empty lots: they can be refurbished, adapted to a new use, or torn down and replaced by something new. On the other hand, empty lots require entirely new construction. Given this, how exactly are empty lots more beneficial or responsible?

fieldafm

July 17, 2012, 10:18:05 AM
Not a great example, Lake. Orlando is tourist mecca - more hotel rooms than maybe even New York. Hotels can survive in Orlando, but not Jackson - giving a nod to Ron. I hope someone can come up with a use for old City Hall and maybe the courthouse, but I would not invest money in a project that was converting City Hall to a hotel. Would you?

The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

The group of investors Mr Nussbaum is referring to was led by Preston Haskell in 1980 around the time the Prime Osborne was being constructed.  They along with the downtown merchants (rightly) lobbied for the convention center to be located closer to the core (aka taking advantage of clustering) and re-furbished the Robert Meyer into the Holiday Inn City Center to cash in on this convention center business (whose parking garage would later be flooded for nearly a decade after it closed).  When the Prime Osborne site was selected, the downtown merchants pursued legal action and this at least partially led to the construction of the Jacksonville Landing.

The hotel was closed in 1982, so hardly a great example of anything referanced in your post.  Besides, land use and preservation of buildings for future reuse has absolutely nothing to do with the financial viability of a particular use.  You can't arbitrarily pick winners and losers in the marketplace by deciding 'well, no idiot will have the cash to redo this b/c our town is just a perpetual loser so let's just tear this thing down'.

As Lake mentioned, DT Orlando is not at all a tourism spot (that's centered around Kissimmee and the International Drive area).  However land use policies are certainly more favorable to pedestrian scale there and as a result Orlando's downtown has an enviable mix of foot traffic and retail presence.   

fieldafm

July 17, 2012, 10:34:52 AM
If Tallahassee just tore down this relic of a building along Monroe and Tennessee Streets that was abandoned for years...



you would have never gotten this:










If they just tore down this old, tired cigarette factory in Durham




you would have never gotten this:









BackinJax05

July 20, 2012, 12:40:42 AM
great example Lake....the same could be done with our City Hall Annex or the old JEA building!

That would be perfect for the old City Hall. A pool could be built somewhere on the property, and the 15th floor, with its awesome balcony, would make a great clubhouse.

BackinJax05

July 20, 2012, 12:42:48 AM
The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

What year was that?  has Jacksonville changed at all since then?

Condos might work today. Oh wait. A bunch of short sighted morons imploded the building back in 98. Never mind :'(

Timkin

July 20, 2012, 01:33:28 AM
The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

What year was that?  has Jacksonville changed at all since then?

Condos might work today. Oh wait. A bunch of short sighted morons imploded the building back in 98. Never mind :'(

^ We can hope the same fate does not happen to the Ambassador.  A great location, very savable, and a perfect fit for residential.  Unless of course the city decides we need additional vacant lots .

BackinJax05

July 20, 2012, 02:36:54 AM
^^ At least the Ambassador wouldnt have to be imploded. Its within reach of a crane & wrecking ball. (said sarcastically)

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 17, 2014, 03:12:35 PM
Cool pics!
View forum thread
Welcome Guest. You must be logged in to comment on this story.

What are the benefits of having a MetroJacksonville.com account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on stories that interest you.
  • Stay up to date on all of the latest issues affecting your neighborhood.
  • Create a network of friends working towards a better Jacksonville.
Register now
Already have an account? Login now to comment.