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Ruins of Jacksonville: Annie Lytle Public School

Have a look inside one of Jacksonville's most endangered historic structures: Annie Lytle Public School Number Four.

Published October 1, 2009 in Urban Issues      160 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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Riverside Park School was originally a boxy wooden-frame school house built in 1891 with multiple additions (due to population increase) until it was considered a fire hazard and unstable. Duval County voters passed a one million dollar bond in 1915 to build more than a dozen new brick school houses. This one was first known as Public School Number Four but later was renamed Annie Lytle Elementary School, after its former long-time teacher and principal.

Construction was started in 1917, Designed by architect Rutledge Holmes, built by Florida Engineering and Construction Company, and Completed in 1918 . It cost over $250,000 and originally overlooked Riverside Park, before the construction of I-95 & I-10 isolated it in the 1950's.

In 1960 the last student passed through those front doors and the school was closed to the public. It was used for office space and storage after that before being condemned in 1971 and abandoned. It may have also been rented out to a catholic school for a year or two in the early 70s or late 60s but is not confirmed.



The dominant architectural feature of the school is a Neo-Classic pedimented portico supported by colossal Doric columns at the entrance. Time also has taken its toll on the Annie Lytle School. There was a fire in 1995, the roof on the auditorium caved in and the building has been vandalized for years. It has served as a shelter for the homeless, countless thrill seeking youths, paranormal investigators, gang activity, druggies, and rummered even a group of hippies long ago.

On October 29, 1999 Foundation Holding Incorporated purchased the property in order to build "Lytle Place Condominiums" in its place. Due to public outcry and pressure from multiple historic societies, Jacksonville approved historic landmark designation in 2000. It has sat in its current state of disrepair as I-95 & I-10 interchange was built only a few hundred feet from the second story windows. The cost of rehabbing the structure was deemed too much as compared to demolition and new construction so it is currently back up for demolition.

Many rumors surround the school that tell of murders, psychotic janitors, suicidal teachers, affairs, and explosions in the boiler room. Police reports only confirm that a rape did happen once the school was condemned and many different counts of trespassing, vandalism, and B&E have and continue to happen.

Let's take a look inside.














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160 Comments

riverside planner

October 01, 2009, 06:18:34 AM
Yes, I am told that it was briefly Central Christian School in the early 1970s.  My aunt was a student there.

BridgeTroll

October 01, 2009, 06:48:46 AM
Looks in pretty bad shape... :(

David

October 01, 2009, 06:57:56 AM
I've always thought the auditorium area would make a great live music venue.



I know it's probably not feasible financially, but out of all the possible uses for Annie Lytle, a club/music venue makes sense to me since most people wouldn’t want to live under a highway overpass. Or at the very least a cultural venue of some sort, museum etc.

blizz01

October 01, 2009, 07:40:23 AM
You could have the best Hall of Terror / haunted house there.  Ever.  Period.

Hurricane

October 01, 2009, 07:56:23 AM
It would make for one hell of a haunted house for Halloween!

dknighton

October 01, 2009, 08:07:39 AM
Why is it that Jacksonville can't embrace and cherish its historical buildings, instead of abandoning everything like an out-of-vogue strip-mall?  I totally agree that this would be a perfect location for a music/cultural/multi-purpose venue, but then again, this city wouldn't understand culture if it stood up and hit it over the head with a large-print, KJV Bible.

That's the legacy of Jacksonville....potential never fully realized.

vicupstate

October 01, 2009, 08:28:35 AM
Looks like one of those Detriot schools that was in the link in a different thread. 

There is a school VERY similiar to Lytle in Washington D.C.  that was converted into a Health Club.  Like Lytle it is within splitting distance of a raised highway.

It is popular, functional and totally cool looking.

YMCA, are you reading this ??

 

SunKing

October 01, 2009, 09:36:45 AM
Why would the Y want to go into there?

Ocklawaha

October 01, 2009, 09:44:37 AM
Bring that Skyway from Riverside Av to Roselle, and from Roselle make a sharp left coming in with one line on each side of the auditorium, second floor. Below that running crosswise under the Skyway, you create another
Rosa Parks, with streetcar pre installed. Lastly, revamp the diagonal sidewalk in Riverside Park, to accommodate pedestrian and bike traffic, brand it with a name like "Paseo Grande" (Grand Walk).

Inside the building, you do exactly as the others have suggested. Take the auditorium as a fantastic pup and theater. The rest of the building gets built out as TOD shops, art studios, craft and other unusual microbusinesses.

POOF, when the trains, buses and streetcars arrive the place would take off like Moody's Goose!


OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 09:49:41 AM
Ock and I had quite the day of it when we took about a hundred pictures of the interior.  Its also quite beautiful as well as these scarier photos!

Bob, did any of the really beautiful upstairs vistas come out?  Or the interior courtyard where the roof has collapsed?

Where did you find this guy's photos?

DavidWilliams

October 01, 2009, 10:00:32 AM
Encounter any ghosts, Stephen?

ac

October 01, 2009, 10:06:20 AM
Why would the Y want to go into there?
Why do they want to go in strip malls and office parks?

Ocklawaha

October 01, 2009, 10:26:23 AM
Don't know what file I stuck them in but it's got to be somewhere on the memory card... before the camera went skinny dipping at Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma. I'll see if I can recover them and maybe we could do another photo article.

OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 10:41:07 AM
No ghosts, David.

Just me and Ock on a discovery and reconnaissance mission.  Its actually a very beautiful building whose bones are as solid as bedrock.  The photographer in the series of photos above kind of went out of their way to play up the Blair Witch look of the place, but it looks like the carefully constructed ruins of an english garden through most of it.  The collapsed roof of the gymnasium has aired the place out and instead of the old smells of collapse and decay, there is a very wholesome air circulating.

The graffiti is colorful and ubiquitous all the way throughout, and the interior now posesses a very timeless ambiance despite the dilapidation.

Ive been in School Number 4 many times over the decades.  Ive seen it pass from abandoned to creepy.  It progressed onto dangerous and fully into scary.  Ive been there at night and over time it became a gothic setting where the sense of foreboding was palpable and you could hear the movement of unseen inhabitants in the pitch darkness.

That seems to have ended: whatever spirits the building used to house: Dread, fear, wretches hiding from the police and the outside world in the darkness have been exorcised by the clean light of day.

BTW, it was quite the sight to see the two of us hoisting up and crawling through broken windows to enter (Doug, if your reading, thanks for not shooting us!)

JoeMerchant

October 01, 2009, 10:51:00 AM
I've always thought the auditorium area would make a great live music venue.



I know it's probably not feasible financially, but out of all the possible uses for Annie Lytle, a club/music venue makes sense to me since most people wouldn’t want to live under a highway overpass. Or at the very least a cultural venue of some sort, museum etc.



I still think that this could easily translate into the P.S.1 of the south:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.S.1_Contemporary_Art_Center

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 11:19:26 AM

BTW, it was quite the sight to see the two of us hoisting up and crawling through broken windows to enter (Doug, if your reading, thanks for not shooting us!)
Not to be the wet blanket here but since this building is condemned as being way to dangerous for humans to be in, basically you guys were trespassing. Did you have the current owners permission to go inside? And if so, they had no right to allow you in.
Sorry Stephen. Even though the pictures are tremendous, that was really a foolish thing to do.
Just my two cents. Flame away.

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 11:22:48 AM
Thanks JBroadglide.  And it was wet blankety.

The current owner is Doug Milne, a friend of 22 years.

Luckily we neither burned the building down nor did we get hurt.  There arent any trespassing charges involved, but thanks for the helpful suggestion anyhow ;)

I wish we could take credit for the pictures featured, they werent from our foray.  I think we probably got better photos that capture the sad beauty of the place instead of the excellent scary ones that are featured.

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 11:31:48 AM
Steve, I understand Doug is a friend of yours. But if a Code Officer or a Police Officer had seen you its very likely you would have been faced with trespassing. Right now the cost to make repairs to bring that building up to code is well over 50% of the actual value of the building. I'm not talking historic value, because obviously there is that. I'm talking about the actual dollar value. And for that reason I just don't see it ever being upgraded to anything useful. I wish it could be because right now its a real eyesore on the city considering now that anyone who takes the high ramp from I-95 south onto
I-10 west is well over the rooftop and can really see how bad a condition its in. Don't get me wrong. I am in very much in favor of saving any historic structure if it can be done economically. Just don't see how thats possible with this building.

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 11:38:16 AM
Well thats a shame, JB!  You should spend some time on a historic restoration sometime.

The Klutho Apartments were in the same condition (actually worse) when Fresh Ministries rebuilt them.  Starting with something whose expense would be staggering in todays market (like all those hundreds of thousands of aged bricks that form the already standing walls) takes a huge chunk out of the expense of building.

Historic renovation on that scale isnt really more expensive (to use the same materials as made the building its usually less so) its just more difficult, because you have the logistics of working around already constructed portions.

The building could not only be saved, it could become a show place for less money than it would take to build a duplicate structure.

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 11:59:31 AM
Stephen you are correct. I am not an expert on historic renovation. I'm just relating facts as they are right now. If the current owners want to renovate that property and make it into a showplace I'm quite sure the city would stand back and let them have it. But this property has been in an Unsafe and Condemned state since at least 2001..Probably well before. But if the council person in that area or the Mayors Office starts pushing for Municipal Code Compliance to "do something about that eyesore", MCC would have no choice.
Like I said I personally am in favor of saving any historic structure if its feasible. My personal opinion, and thats all it is, my opinion, is that this structure is beyond saving..my opinion and a dollar will get me a coffee and McDonalds.

JoeMerchant

October 01, 2009, 12:09:19 PM
It does not look beyond saving at all to me, really the roofs could even be built by incorporating a secondary structure system, and not even bear on the existing walls or structure, although the walls look to be in pretty good shape in the pictures.

Would it be cheaper to build a new building on the site and demolish this one? Perhaps.  But not to the quality of this one.

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 12:12:21 PM
It does not look beyond saving at all to me, really the roofs could even be built by incorporating a secondary structure system, and not even bear on the existing walls or structure, although the walls look to be in pretty good shape in the pictures.

Would it be cheaper to build a new building on the site and demolish this one? Perhaps.  But not to the quality of this one.

Exactly Jason.  Not to the quality of this one.

It would probably be even cheaper to tear down the structure and build mud huts or a thrilling adobe structure out of clay that we could import from Big Talbot Island.

But when people talk about cheaper to tear down and 'build a new building' they never mean "of the same quality" They mean one of these cheap ass, staple construction, easily destroyed jobs.

Bewler

October 01, 2009, 12:40:20 PM
Exactly... It would be cheaper if we all drank tap water and ate boiled rice for the rest of our lives.
I mean why "waste" hard earned money unnecessarily on more expensive food and drinks that taste delicious?

Same principle applies here.


basically you guys were trespassing.

And pot is illegal.

David

October 01, 2009, 12:55:18 PM
and so is jaywalking.

stug

October 01, 2009, 01:43:10 PM
Steven and Ock ... if you ever go in again, bring me!
I had an opportunity to go in once several years ago before it was fenced off (yes, illegally ... don't rat me out, jbroadglide!) and totally chickened out. I'm a sucker for a good supernatural scare, but I was slightly more terrified of the corporeal denizens within. I could live without a rusty shank to the gut.

Dog Walker

October 01, 2009, 01:46:11 PM
The City has not and will not enforce any code violations against Doug Milne.  He has not and will not spend any money or effort to secure the school or its grounds.  The roof over the auditorium collapsed in 2002 because he would not repair a leak in the roof that caused the support trusses to rot.

All of the work to clean up the grounds and secure the building in the past two years has been done by volunteers led by Timkin, who sometimes writes on this forum.  The amount of work he has done almost by himself is astonishing.  Because of back and shoulder injuries he can no longer do this heavy work.

The building is structurally quite sound.  The walls are solid masonry that is over two feet thick in places.  The floors are poured concrete.  The interior walls are hollow clay tile.  The stairs are concrete.  The roof is mostly metal.  All of the wooden elements of the building, windows & doors, are deteriorated.  The plaster covering on the walls is damaged and covered with graffiti.  

The building is shaped like the letter E laid on its side.  The auditorium is the middle stroke of the E.  The wings on either side have a double row of rooms on the bottom floor and a single row of rooms on the second floor so there are two roof top terraces on the wings.  The building was built before air conditioning so the light that comes into the building is fabulous.  From the floor of the auditorium to the roof is about twenty-five feet high.  It is a great space and the acoustics could be made wonderful because of the high ceiling.

The building is owned by a non-profit LLC which only owns the building and has no other assets.  The property is owned by a for-profit LLC.  Both are controlled by Mr. Milne.

lindab

October 01, 2009, 01:52:16 PM
Stephen, you are very right about the quality of the historic construction. Despite the obvious scary paint job on the interior and the vandalism there is so much integrity in the structure that renovation is still a good option. Try Photo-shopping those pictures to remove the graffiti and look at the features that remain. Historic restoration is never cheap because it is so hard to replicate the detail work of past times. However, once it is done the value to the structure and to the community is greater than the cost of the work.

Here are the pluses of Annie Lytle which get overlooked almost everytime:
1.With the exception of the auditorium roof, the structure is concrete with walls that are several feet thick. Sound transmission through roof and walls is minimal.

2.Although the windows are shot to hell, if they were replaced with double paned windows, you would have no problems with noise. We are the closest neighbors to PS #4, live at ground level in a historic mixed use building with the expressway merge ramp about 200 yrds. away and have solved our noise problem the same way.

3.The entire upstairs facing on the back courtyard is windows all along the corridor. It faces north and lets in a beautiful light. It creates a gallery across the back hallway.

4.The school property is large. It goes back to the end of the block.

5.Staircases are pretty destroyed but still retain lovely arches. Your photos capture some of that.

6.The auditorium and upper gallery are well designed for performances. They have the charm of a small intimate stage and seating.

7.My favorite feature is the front facing connection to Riverside Park. You can walk down those grand steps, under the expressway and enter Riverside Park. It is the best asset of the building.

It is hard to be nonchalant about the amount of willful neglect this property has received from the owner. Do you know what kinds of risks kids are taking to get into the building to add to the graffiti or to photograph it?  Should someone get injured, there will be a clamor to destroy it.

Most everyone has a good idea about what could be done for the building at some future time. The number one thing is to do right now is to safeguard the structure from further deterioration by weather or visitors.

Bewler

October 01, 2009, 02:06:50 PM
Most everyone has a good idea about what could be done for the building at some future time.

BREW
ER
REE!!!

BREW
ER
REE!!!

Are you there Bold City? If your current location ever gets too small or you find yourselves in the position to expand, you know where to look.

untarded

October 01, 2009, 02:15:31 PM
Are the owners selling and if so how much are they asking?  Or are they waiting for the inevitable wrecking ball?

Ocklawaha

October 01, 2009, 02:19:03 PM

BTW, it was quite the sight to see the two of us hoisting up and crawling through broken windows to enter (Doug, if your reading, thanks for not shooting us!)
Not to be the wet blanket here but since this building is condemned as being way to dangerous for humans to be in, basically you guys were trespassing. Did you have the current owners permission to go inside? And if so, they had no right to allow you in.
Sorry Stephen. Even though the pictures are tremendous, that was really a foolish thing to do.
Just my two cents. Flame away.

Statute of limitations has run it's course, remember the "Hippies" camped there in the 60's and very early 70's. 5Th amendment! HA! What else could you expect from The Urban Nabob Gorilla of Jacksonville, and an Old Hippie?  Is it 4:20 yet?

OCKLAWAHA

lindab

October 01, 2009, 02:22:08 PM
Yes, to both.

I have heard the figure of $1 million for sale. It will take about $3 mil to restore. One day I heard the owner say that to the right non-profit, he would give it away.

Dog Walker

October 01, 2009, 02:27:41 PM
Ock, I was in the school with a JSO officer (bum clean out time) just after the 4:20 graffiti was put on the chimney.  Had to ask him what it meant and got a pitying look about how out of touch I was.  LOL!

To give you an idea of how STUPID the person was who put that on the chimney:  First you have to break into the school and go up to one of the terraces on the second floor.  Then you have to find a way to climb up onto the upper roof, another twelve feet up.  Then you have to walk on an 16" wide wall that is 30 feet in the air for a distance of 70' to the roof at the back of the auditorium.  It's a thirty foot fall on either side to reach the chimney.  Now do this in the dark with a couple of beers in you!
Darwin was sleeping that night.

vicupstate

October 01, 2009, 03:35:39 PM
Quote
Why would the Y want to go into there?

The reason I said this is that a few years ago, the Riverside Ave Y had looked seriously about moving out of their current riverfront property and building new as part of a larger project on the site.  The current facility is very space inefficient and dated.  The Y specifically stated that if they moved, they would want to stay very close to their current location.

They could sell their very valuable property, and invest the proceeds into a massive renovation/expansion of the Lytle school into their new facilty. 

They would probably make money on the deal, as well as get a better facility (not to mention some good PR).  Not to mention they would get a very valuable, permanent, free billboard space, by simply hanging a banner across the front, while virtually all of Jacksonville drives by it in any given week.   



   

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 03:45:20 PM
Ock, I was in the school with a JSO officer (bum clean out time) just after the 4:20 graffiti was put on the chimney.  Had to ask him what it meant and got a pitying look about how out of touch I was.  LOL!

Dog Walker I'll admit it. I have no idea what 4:20 means either. Please enlighten me..

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 03:49:45 PM
4:20 is the average time of day that people smoke pot.  After school/work at home before the parents/kids/unapproving spouse gets home, it derives from the original usage in this story.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/420_(cannabis_culture)

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 04:01:59 PM
Somebody actually took the time to calculate this???  Boy I am wa-a-a-a-ay out of touch.

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 04:10:33 PM
Somebody actually took the time to calculate this???  Boy I am wa-a-a-a-ay out of touch.
about ten years ago, probably just after you developed the habit of worrying about trespassing at the local haunted house. 
kids have successfully kept this secret code word from their parents for a while now. ;)

Cliffs_Daughter

October 01, 2009, 04:11:40 PM
I only knew it from a few friends of mine who always took April 20th off work/school/whatever, and they explained it to me.

But yeah, I could totally see this becoming a venue of sorts.

jbroadglide

October 01, 2009, 04:17:02 PM
Okay rub it in...I can take a hint.. ;D

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 04:23:26 PM
 ;)

Ocklawaha

October 01, 2009, 05:44:18 PM


Stephen never had a clue that my camera had a self portrait timers on it!

Boy did this thread go up in smoke!


OCKLAWAHA

heights unknown

October 01, 2009, 07:16:17 PM
Lots of work will need to be done even if someone buys it and turns it into........???

How about a massive social agency for the entire first coast metro that addresses medical care, counseling, food, clothing, shelter, and employment for those that are homeless and needy; helping them to clean themselves up (if they choose) and returning them to society as useful and viable citizens!? :D

Heights Unknown

buckethead

October 01, 2009, 08:04:59 PM
I always suspected that the inside was as stunningly beautiful as the outside. It is well suted to practically any purpose. It really isn't so far gone that refurbishing would not be feasable. A roof and window coverings would cetainly go a long way in presrving the beauty that still exists. A million clams? Bargain.

It needs mor ein repairs than the purchase cost. Any idea regarding potiental conditioned square footage?

DavidWilliams

October 01, 2009, 08:23:13 PM
Proximity to the 10-95  interchange (what? 100 feet or so) the damn flyover, at least from a distance looks as though it runs through the structure. That has to be a concern for any investor(s). I know it has been done in other cities before. But, as we all know, we ain't other cities.  ;)

DavidWilliams

October 01, 2009, 08:32:46 PM
Welcome stoners. Never knew what the 4:20 reference meant. Damn the things I learn on here. Are the stoner tendencies and ad nauseum rail talk inter-related? Inquiring minds want to know.  ;)

vicupstate

October 01, 2009, 08:53:44 PM
I've seen references to 420, but not 4:20.

Is that just me?

A-Finnius

October 01, 2009, 09:11:30 PM
This building is incredible inside.  I have forever wondered about what evil is lurking in the dark corners and long hallways of this ominously spooky piece of architecture.  The way it sits beneath the interstate makes the building even more frightening; like a troll hiding beneath a bridge waiting to snatch a passerby's goat and eat it! 

Thanks for the great pictures and snapshot of the building's history.

buckethead

October 01, 2009, 09:56:11 PM
Proximity to the 10-95  interchange (what? 100 feet or so) the damn flyover, at least from a distance looks as though it runs through the structure. That has to be a concern for any investor(s). I know it has been done in other cities before. But, as we all know, we ain't other cities.  ;)
You would have your own personal corridor to the river.

Fishing under cover of the Fuller-Warren. Dry RV storage as well! Hurricane protection... think of all the +'s!

Ocklawaha

October 01, 2009, 11:11:32 PM
Welcome stoners. Never knew what the 4:20 reference meant. Damn the things I learn on here. Are the stoner tendencies and ad nauseum rail talk inter-related? Inquiring minds want to know.  ;)



No man! The railroad talk is both vocation and avocation forever. Though some people think it was the 4,367 acid trips I took with Tim Leary.

The other part is being a 60's early 70's Hippie, and still being honest and carefree. 90% of the folks my age went through the same thing, but somehow a giant vacuum came out of the mist and erased their minds. I know people from Police, to Executives, to Preachers, that rode that stoner bus. It was fun while it lasted and thank God I survived, but hey, it's part of me, and I'm not going to hide it in some self righteous play. In the old MET JAX site I once posted a OLD HIPPIE thread, and we had a lot of fun with it. Lot's of people knew all the answers to my 30+ question Hippie Quiz, but none had ever tried drugs or broken a single law. These hypocrites always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case they see a snake, which they also keep handy. Their motto: "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." So to all inquiring minds, if we meet someday, bring me a bottle of SOCO (that's really as good as it gets today) and I'll weave some wild tales.

So how did I become a railroad guy and family man? My kids all grew up knowing every detail of that era, and crazy dad, and not ONE wants to ever go near a drug! Drugs? Ha! Vietnam and the VA have seen to it that I don't run out, might as well enjoy it. The only down side is my kids are constantly yelling for me to PLEASE TURN DOWN THE MUSIC...Hee Hee See! Bet y'all didn't think I'd post this...



From the movie "Taking Woodstock", quite good and about as real as it gets... Should be on video soon

OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

October 01, 2009, 11:18:12 PM
Here is the actual link and story behind it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/420_(cannabis_culture)

Paradox

October 02, 2009, 12:14:22 AM
Ock and I had quite the day of it when we took about a hundred pictures of the interior.  Its also quite beautiful as well as these scarier photos!

Bob, did any of the really beautiful upstairs vistas come out?  Or the interior courtyard where the roof has collapsed?

Where did you find this guy's photos?

I posted them to my Flickr page and they contacted me about running them. I was already a member of this site and was happy to have them posted here. I took them all around 3am which is why they have the creepy feel to them. Here is the complete set of photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/48912544@N00/sets/72157622300292267/

deathstar

October 02, 2009, 01:11:46 AM
Question.. with the overpass being as close to the school as it is now.. what happens (IF.. and I say IF.. *KNOCK ON WOOD*) a Semi rolls over on top of it?

Keith-N-Jax

October 02, 2009, 05:22:16 AM
It crashes.

Dog Walker

October 02, 2009, 08:18:02 AM
I always suspected that the inside was as stunningly beautiful as the outside. It is well suted to practically any purpose. It really isn't so far gone that refurbishing would not be feasable. A roof and window coverings would cetainly go a long way in presrving the beauty that still exists. A million clams? Bargain.

It needs mor ein repairs than the purchase cost. Any idea regarding potiental conditioned square footage?

42,000 sq. ft in the existing building.  Probably 5-7 million to bring it up to code i.e. sprinklers, HVAC, windows, wiring, plumbing.  Costs higher or lower depending on amount of remodeling needed to change the usage.  There is room on the site for additional buildings as the lot actually runs all the way back to Rosselle Street.

Ocklawaha

October 02, 2009, 01:55:40 PM
Question.. with the overpass being as close to the school as it is now.. what happens (IF.. and I say IF.. *KNOCK ON WOOD*) a Semi rolls over on top of it?

The school being on the inside of the curve, the centrifugal force of a semi's motion would topple it on the left side, away from the school. Even in a collision of two trucks, a sudden jerk of the wheel, it would be the most unlikely accident in history.

OCKLAWAHA

Paradox

October 02, 2009, 07:02:40 PM
Question.. with the overpass being as close to the school as it is now.. what happens (IF.. and I say IF.. *KNOCK ON WOOD*) a Semi rolls over on top of it?


Yea it is on a turn as well as the school is not as close as it looks in some of my pictures. It is still several hundred feet from the road and nearly impossible to have a car or debris hit it.

deathstar

October 02, 2009, 11:09:19 PM
That's refreshing to hear. It's something I always though about once I started seeing pictures of how close it was.

DavidWilliams

October 02, 2009, 11:25:15 PM
Welcome stoners. Never knew what the 4:20 reference meant. Damn the things I learn on here. Are the stoner tendencies and ad nauseum rail talk inter-related? Inquiring minds want to know.  ;)



No man! The railroad talk is both vocation and avocation forever. Though some people think it was the 4,367 acid trips I took with Tim Leary.

The other part is being a 60's early 70's Hippie, and still being honest and carefree. 90% of the folks my age went through the same thing, but somehow a giant vacuum came out of the mist and erased their minds. I know people from Police, to Executives, to Preachers, that rode that stoner bus. It was fun while it lasted and thank God I survived, but hey, it's part of me, and I'm not going to hide it in some self righteous play. In the old MET JAX site I once posted a OLD HIPPIE thread, and we had a lot of fun with it. Lot's of people knew all the answers to my 30+ question Hippie Quiz, but none had ever tried drugs or broken a single law. These hypocrites always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case they see a snake, which they also keep handy. Their motto: "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." So to all inquiring minds, if we meet someday, bring me a bottle of SOCO (that's really as good as it gets today) and I'll weave some wild tales.

So how did I become a railroad guy and family man? My kids all grew up knowing every detail of that era, and crazy dad, and not ONE wants to ever go near a drug! Drugs? Ha! Vietnam and the VA have seen to it that I don't run out, might as well enjoy it. The only down side is my kids are constantly yelling for me to PLEASE TURN DOWN THE MUSIC...Hee Hee See! Bet y'all didn't think I'd post this...



From the movie "Taking Woodstock", quite good and about as real as it gets... Should be on video soon

OCKLAWAHA



Ock, you kill me man....In a good way that is. More hippie stories please! ;D

Side note...did some research on the old Baldwin trains (talked to some real old-timers) once I get the info in some order I will post. The thing that fascinated me the most is that I had relatives that worked at a place called the "Grab". It was a restaurant/flop house (for lack of a better word). It catered to transient railroaders in the 30's 40-s. Pretty cool.   

shanshan1218

October 05, 2009, 03:11:09 PM
annie lytle is my favorite piece of urban decay that Jax has to offer...

bluesgrass

October 05, 2009, 10:03:01 PM
stephendare.... If you know the owners and I can arrange a film crew do you think they would allow a music video shoot...... as long as we were respectful of the building and its condition? And as a side note to any of you out there interested you should also google this "urban readymades" their link is, http://www.goeroes.nl/dev/urm.nsf/frmPress?Open This location is a perfect example of what "URM" is looking for.

stephendare

October 05, 2009, 10:21:02 PM
lol.  a film crew and video?

dude.  theres not a chance in hell that they will go for that. :D

David

October 05, 2009, 10:59:20 PM
just sneak in at night like everyone else does!

Bewler

October 06, 2009, 12:23:08 PM
lol.  a film crew and video?

dude.  theres not a chance in hell that they will go for that. :D

Why not? Lots of important clients gonna be staying there for awhile?

This sounds like a awesome idea. I guess this is why film makers moved to Hollywood.

stephendare

October 06, 2009, 12:27:42 PM
lol.  Well Doug is a conservative Republican Attorney.

All that rhymes with Summary Judgement For the Plaintiff, if anything goes wrong.

Plus you would actually have a video record of the whole thing.

Hes a very very nice man, but the liabilities associated with a dangerous and condemned building and musical group members, producers, directors, lighting guys, and video production crews running amok unsupervised are formidable.

Might as well ask him to dress up like Glen Beck and run around on the white house lawn with a submachine gun.

Bewler

October 06, 2009, 01:13:06 PM
You think he would ever allow the Ghost Hunter guys to do an episode there?

Ernest Street

October 11, 2009, 11:09:12 PM
The Owner/ Attorney Doug Milne has let the school crumble so far into neglect that he WILL NOT be responsible for any injuries or anybody trampling around.
No Chance to any Videos unless you drop major coin on him. And JSO is still busting people even if the fence is open.... :D

deathstar

October 14, 2009, 01:41:40 AM
The thought of the auditorium in School Four becoming a venue spot got me thinking of a video I had seen in the 90's quite a lot. I'm sure most of you remember "Unsung" by Helmet...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHt2qjGhcA0

Not a venue, but interesting to see a band use what looks like an old stage from either a venue or an auditorium of sorts for a performance based video. Imagine what School Four could become if the right individual(s) had a fire lit up their ass and threw hundreds of thousands of dollars into getting it out and rebuilding from the inside out. It could become the next generation's Milk Bar, catering to the underground, alternative, etc.. genres of music. The place would be a hit with the young crowd, I know I'd go.

Timkin

November 13, 2009, 09:01:39 PM
According to Doug.... Plans to develop PS #4 and adding a new building , non-attached at the back of the school to create a 133 unit development for Apartments for 55 and up is SUPPOSED to be in place.  With all due respect, I'm not holding my breath for that to become reality.  I personally think if it were a viable plan to make that building into Apartments for whatever use, it would long ago have taken place.   A destination spot makes much more sense .. Mixed use , a variety of small businesses, including a music venue in the Auditorium area.  I look at it this way:  YES the building is in horrid condition as it stands right now.. but the building itself, Thick brick walls and Concrete , in construction make the skeleton of the building still... nearly a century later  VERY savable.  If it had been maintained, it would still have to have costly and extensive remedial work to bring it to modern code.. But one could NOT demolish it and replace it with something of similar construction (the 20 inch thick brick walls and concrete) and accomplish that from a NEW BUILD standpoint for less money than it would take to renovate that building.   I remain hopeful, though i am physically no longer able to do the maintenance work I once did gladly there,  that it will somehow , some way be spared.   I like Mr Milne, personally... but I do wish he and the proposed developers would think outside the box of residential..  It just simply IS NOT a fit in that location.

Timkin

November 13, 2009, 09:04:40 PM
I also happen to know that a Florida Band approached Mr Milne about a year ago , wanting to use the property to do a video.  He denied that request, and I do not blame him.  Anyone who has recently been in the building would know quickly that it is just far too dangerous to do any such activity. I long for the day when its renovation becomes a reality.

deathstar

November 16, 2009, 01:41:46 AM
Honestly, the work you've done in the past seems to be the most love anyone has given it since it's closing. I brought up the topic of School Four in the break room awhile back, and said that this guy Doug Milne is just letting the school sit and rot, and a fellow associate, an older elderly lady, said you shouldn't judge until you walk in his shoes.. and that she knows him. I said, I'm not judging, I'm just sitting back hoping and praying that he doesn't let get it demolished. Can you imagine the backlash he'd receive if he let it crumble? I'd HATE to be in his shoes.

I understand him turning away a band wanting to shoot a video there, but good lord, imagine if the place WAS a full, solid, up to code and safe, soundproof, air-conditioned wall to wall building, and a band DID shoot a music video there. Imagine if that music video made it to MTV during it's renovation, and was consistently shown on MTV morning, noon, and night..

Oh wait.. it's already happened.. with a school across the river.. and yours truly is in it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK6V6kxq-UQ

While shooting the video at the school in 1 long 10 hour day, you could see renovations going on. 6 months later, it opened as Condos.

sandyshoes

November 16, 2009, 09:05:15 AM
timkin, bless you for taking care of that Grande Dame of a building - how lucky you were to have seen it back in the day we can only envy.  So was there any truth to the legend that a boiler exploded long ago?  The way they have it painted would sure scare the bejeezus out of me, were I to happen upon it with a flashlight.  Tell us more?

Dog Walker

November 16, 2009, 11:41:32 AM
No boiler explosion, no homicidal janitor, no ghosts.  However, the school is haunted...by vandals, homeless, and stupid thrill seekers who are going to get themselves hurt or if they are lucky, arrested.

There is another, benign, reason for the haunting rumors.  For a while there was a barn owl in residence which explains some of the strange noises that have been reported as they hiss, whistle and click their beaks.  The owl's presence also explains why there are no rats or squirrels in the building (other than their human varieties, of course!).

Timkin

November 16, 2009, 09:21:12 PM


 Sandy..... Thank you.... Actually it was my late Mother who attended the School. I certainly recall a time when it still had windows and doors ...but even then it was vacant.

 I am about ready to gather as many adult volunteers as I can possibly muster, as I CANNOT do this by myself anymore.  If we could get 10-15 people down there on a Saturday we could accomplish much towards tidying it up.  The "Lawn Mowing" that it is getting these days are at best, CRAPPY... When I mowed it, The building looked cared for...at least the lawn.  My health took a turn early this year and while I am doing WAYYYYYYY better,  again  I cannot do the work I once did.  My buddy Victor has a replacement Flag.  DW .. if I can use your extension ladder , we will hang a new flag.. I ll bring mowers , chainsaws , trashbags , etc..  But I will need help. Milne is getting me a gate key again so I will have access.   Just improving the outward appearance makes it much easier to see if someone is on the property at night.. removal of the vines , etc will help..

Anyone interested.. Please post here with email contact info...I will get in touch with you.. and THANK YOU IN ADVANCE  for helping me on this :)

Paradox

November 17, 2009, 02:15:06 AM
timkin, bless you for taking care of that Grande Dame of a building - how lucky you were to have seen it back in the day we can only envy.  So was there any truth to the legend that a boiler exploded long ago?  The way they have it painted would sure scare the bejeezus out of me, were I to happen upon it with a flashlight.  Tell us more?

If you read the article I wrote about this along with the pictures it talks about those urban legends and that only a rape and trespassing/B&E/vandals have been in police reports... ever

sandyshoes

November 17, 2009, 09:19:58 AM
"only a rape" ??? nice choice of words

Ernest Street

November 17, 2009, 09:30:57 AM
The version I heard was the rape didnt occur in the School. There used to be a covered walkway over to the park...and it occured there. Both victim and perp were Homeless.
 Maybe Dog walker remembers the structure?

ac

November 17, 2009, 09:39:44 AM
"only a rape" ??? nice choice of words
Yeah, that's unfortunate.  However, the statement was not regarding the severity of the crimes but the quantity.

Sportmotor

November 17, 2009, 10:17:02 AM
Atleast its not murder

Dog Walker

November 17, 2009, 11:00:45 AM
The version I heard was the rape didnt occur in the School. There used to be a covered walkway over to the park...and it occured there. Both victim and perp were Homeless.
 Maybe Dog walker remembers the structure?

Geez, Ernest!  Even I'm not that old!  The connection to the park was cut off when the original Fullar Warren Bridge was built in the early '50's.  Wait!  I AM that old!  Horrors!  However, we were living in Atlantic Beach at the time so I don't remember any covered walkway.

There was a bandstand and tennis courts that were taken out by the approach to the bridge, however.  Oddly enough, the latest rebuild of the Fuller Warren Bridge (originally the Gilmore Street Bridge) has elevated the approaches to the bridge so that it is now possible to reconnect the school to the park under the expressway.

It is my understanding that Mr. Milne did receive an easement from FDOT under the expressway to the park that he can use when the construction of the I-10/I-95 interchange is complete.  FDOT is using the space under there for storage and staging of construction equipment and materials.  I can just imagine a landscaped walkway and bike path from the front of the school into the park which then connects to 5 Points and the rest of Riverside.  Nice!

Paradox

November 19, 2009, 08:46:56 AM
I didn't mean it to make rape sound like a small deal and yes it was with two homeless people that had been squatting in the building and I can't recall but I think it happened inside the building. Rumors tell of a boiler explosion killing students, suicidal teachers, killer janitors, ghosts, and murderers which never happened but are the first things you hear about but police reports and news articles don't confirm any of that so it is just kids making up stories about a spooky building. I was actually surprised to find the small amount of things happened inside it considering how open it is.

Timkin

November 22, 2009, 12:28:00 AM
Would anyone be interested in committing to a Saturday where we could go there and spend a good day on a cleanup??  Annie sure needs it !

Timkin

November 22, 2009, 12:36:44 AM
I have never bought into the "Haunted" theory of School 4.  As everyone knows , its badly vandalized inside and the wooden elements, decayed, destroyed , etc. Graffitti  beyond belief. If these count as haunted , coupled with the somewhat boarded up conditions and overgrowth covering much of the building and property , then yes its haunted. With regard to murders, Janitors killing , Principal eating students, boiler explosions, etc , I dont buy it. IF there had been a boiler explosion , even a building that sound would have sustained appreciable damage , and this many years later with no practical or reasonable maintenance, it would have collapsed in the area of said boiler explosion.  The pictures I have seen of the boiler ,show no indication of it having ever exploded.. After nearly a century the Stack to the chimney has a crack in it, but even that is not appreciable.. it certainly is not leaning or showing any appearance of coming down.. all the decay and destruction are from two things .... LACK OF MAINTENANCE / Neglect and Vandalists and would-be Picasso grafitti brats.  These are the Hauntings of PS #4.  It should never be allowed for this beautiful structure to be removed.

Ocklawaha

November 22, 2009, 08:18:15 AM
Timkin, you right about the boiler explosion story, only had their been one in a boiler that big we would be dealing with a new building, and some scared trees. Not only that but damage in neighborhood buildings, chunks of Annie weighing 5-6,000 pounds embedded in nearby houses, streets etc.. One thing is certain, the chance that they rebuilt a boiler that exploded without reconstruction is about zero.

At the risk of being redundant I'll point out a basic law of steam engineering that really should be familiar to everyone that owns a house, pressure cooker, or water heater:

In a pressure container (boiler) boiling water and steam occupy a restricted space and cannot expand, this is where all steam power comes from, IE: pressure. When suddenly exposed to atmospheric pressure the steam will instantly expand 10,000 times. Imagine the bomb just a coffee cup could create is it could be pressurized! The other way to meet your maker is to take the boiler up to 966+ F, at this temperature all of the water molecules will convert to gas and you've got problems, though you'll probably never know it!

Hope this sheds a little light on the story, perhaps we should take a hard look for signs of a rebuilding? I doubt it seriously, had students been present the death toll could have been staggering, and I'm certain the story legendary.


OCKLAWAHA

mtraininjax

December 15, 2009, 07:51:19 AM
Good article on Annie Lytle PS in today's Metro section of the TU. However, it is interesting to note how Councilman corrigan seems to believe that the new Riverside Market will lead to new development opportunities for ALPS. The man is the same as Peyton, has no vision or leadership for our great city, a big disappointment for this district.

Dog Walker

December 15, 2009, 10:58:16 AM
Funny how the article in the paper today, Milne is careful to separate himself from the "owner", Foundation Holdings and talk about "them" in the third person.  Funny lawyer speak!  Milne is Foundation Holdings, LLC!  There is no "them", just him; unless he has a mouse in his pocket!

There will NEVER be any financing for the planned senior housing facility and he must be smart enough to know it.  No person, bank, or government agency who takes an objective look at his track record or at the other people involved in this scheme would ever lend them a dime.

Overstreet

December 15, 2009, 01:14:06 PM
..........Timkin, you right about the boiler explosion story, only had their been one in a boiler that big we would be dealing with a new building, and some scared trees. Not only that but damage in neighborhood buildings, chunks of Annie weighing 5-6,000 pounds embedded in nearby houses, streets etc.. One thing is certain, the chance that they rebuilt a boiler that exploded without reconstruction is about zero. ...........OCKLAWAHA

I would agree that if the boiler exploded the damage would be impressive. Had the fire box "exploded" it might be a different story. Some gas boilers up in cold country will if blow the door off the fire box if ignition is attempted with too much gas in the chamber. When this happens it often does things to the exhaust stack and over pressures the building dislodging ACT tiles.

Don't ask me how I know.

Dog Walker

December 15, 2009, 03:13:24 PM
Old Annie Lytle boiler was coal fired.  The door to the delivery chute is still visible at the rear of the school next to the chimney.

Sportmotor

December 15, 2009, 05:38:36 PM

I would agree that if the boiler exploded the damage would be impressive. Had the fire box "exploded" it might be a different story. Some gas boilers up in cold country will if blow the door off the fire box if ignition is attempted with too much gas in the chamber. When this happens it often does things to the exhaust stack and over pressures the building dislodging ACT tiles.

Don't ask me how I know.

How do you know this exactly? O_o

sandyshoes

December 16, 2009, 01:24:00 PM
Oh, man....I'm glad I wasn't the one to go there, Sportmotor! :D

Sportmotor

December 16, 2009, 03:52:19 PM
someone has to  8)

Ocklawaha

December 16, 2009, 09:28:51 PM
Old Annie Lytle boiler was coal fired.  The door to the delivery chute is still visible at the rear of the school next to the chimney.

Coal dust is another VERY explosive element. Remember one of the main ingredients of gun powder is charcoal or carbon.

BTW, that gas explosion? Been there done that too! Didn't have to shave for a week.


OCKLAWAHA

Timkin

April 07, 2010, 09:43:50 PM

I have,for months been trying to get in touch with Mr. Milne so as to continue my volunteer cleanup effort at the Schoolhouse. To date , silence has been the reply. While I think that is completely unfair, it is his property, and I will not trespass on it without his permission.. Even went to the expense of a replacement American Flag to replace the last one stolen from there by whoever. 

 I understand economic conditions prohibiting development. Still , my services were completely free of charge,,never asking for compensation of materials , gasoline, upkeep of mowing equipment, etc.   

 Doug,,,,it was not me who gave up.  Clearly it is you  :)

Ernest Street

April 07, 2010, 11:51:48 PM
Tim, we all have pondered  the possibility that Lawyer Doug Milne (AKA..Foundations Holdings LLC) has this progression of Tresspassers in his plan.
he is probably AMAZED that no one has fallen to their their death or required a "Life Flight" out of there.
Not sure how a death figures into Demolition Fast Tracking, but In Jacksonville I bet it does.

Saturday  I Scooter cruised the school and SWEAR I saw a head pop up on a second story window when I swiveled my eyeballs and not my head as I drove by...maybe I'm seeing things.

Dog Walker

April 13, 2010, 03:44:28 PM
As of 3/22/2010 Neither Mr. Doug Milne or any of his corporations own Annie Lytle School.  Since a tax lien placed in 2007 was not redeemed, the school was transferred to Tarpon IV, LLC a real estate investment firm.  This firm has taken tax deeds to a number of properties around Jacksonville and seems to be a firm that does this nationwide.

So Mr. Milne is now rid of his headache of a school, but he still owns the property surrounding the school that goes to Rosselle Street.  I'm sure he is relieved to be rid of it.  Wonder why he didn't just give it away earlier?

Timkin

April 15, 2010, 02:45:56 AM
While this is an unfortunate and sad turn of events... I must now turn to the current owner if I am successful in reaching whoever is in charge of the property's destiny at present, to see if I would be allowed to resume a cleanup effort which was started on a couple of years ago and going along very well , I might add , with the tireless and heartfelt assistance of Dog Walker, Ernest Street and several other volunteers of which gave freely and tirelessly of their time.  Unfortunately my personal health took a major turn south and this turn will in part , prevent me from working at the capacity I was once able to , and will require recruitment of volunteer efforts of as many people as can possibly be mustered up.   Assuming Tarpon Holdings would have an ounce of grace in their being and some heart for the future of the School's existence, and would allow us under a hold-harmless agreement to continue this effort, I see no reason that a group of , say 25 volunteers , some tools , cold drinks , trashbags , and equipment cannot and would not assist them as we GLADLY would have assisted and TRIED REPEATEDLY NUMEROUS TIMES to assist Mr. Milne. to secure and clean up the School Property.

 I have said this since the beginning of my involvement with PS#4 and I will say it until I draw my final breath... This is a no-brainer!  WHERE THERE IS A WILL , so too there is a way to save PS #4.

  Folks....you haven't seen me fight yet!   The fight is now on!!!!  TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, and I implore...I BEG ...I will do my level best to continue the fight to save PUBLIC SCHOOLHOUSE # 4 ,,, But I cannot do it alone.. I need someone to get me names and phone numbers , email addresses and any vital information AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE... Less than a month ago , I was contacted by an Entity in Savannah Georgia who expressed sincere interest in the School... Not knowing that this transaction had taken place , I directed this entity to Mr. Milne.

 Mr Milne...after a lengthy time of , for whatever reason finally did respond to me via email. First his claim was that he did not have a good number to reach me at.  I am not going to waste time debating that, but he did go on to convey that he was hurt at my criticism of the situation and was sorry I felt as I do.

 To that I will say this .... Yes... I was one of the critics.....and in the very same breath I was ALSO one of a very few concerned , sincere people of this community who WANTED SINCERELY and STILL DO WANT SINCERELY to reduce the dangers and the blightedness and the criticism, that I well know the man endured for many years.   From a personal standpoint , I really and truly DO like
Mr. Milne.. I think his contributions to the community in the past have been numerous , and very humanitarian.  Why he let this situation get to the point that some other entity picked up the property for taxes owed on it, I will never understand, and I guess it really will never matter now... What hurts me most is that I sent his way at least TWO very good and promising leads to interested parties in the School.  Would it have been the answer to a series of difficult problems?? Very possibly.  I can only speculate that because there were other parties involved in this equation who had an option on the property and I only speculate, wanted some of the pie if a sale did in fact go through, that they put a purchase price on the property so insanely ridiculous , that no one would expend the money to purchase and have a snowballs chance in hell with the renovation costs , to make it a viable project.

 I will be the first to say to all ... I am no expert in Real Estate, Renovation, or Obtaining a source of funding ... I am handy with a hammer , I can make a yard look amazing, and I put my level best effort, and still am willing to to the best of my ability to HELP ( read this, Doug ) HELP improve an already bad situation.  Another volunteer offered Metal material free of charge to seal window and door entrances, asking only for arranging for transportation of this material to the site, and perhaps compensation to a few people to help with the work of attaching this material to the building to secure it. This was , for whatever reason declined.   

One can lead a horse to water , but one cannot make the horse drink.  I regret that Mr. Milne declined this...because this , coupled with his refusal to let me continue the cleanup effort, led to more criticism....not just from myself , but many.  I am sure he is relieved to be rid of this headache.  I personally would like to have seen him get something for the many years his foundations owned the School... I guess I will never have answers to many mysterious situations .. All I can do now is move forward.  I wish Mr Milne the very best, though I am very disappointed with him , as he is with me. 

  If ANYONE would and could get me contact numbers /persons to speak with about the property, I will work tirelessly to find a new owner with a vision for the School that will not result in it being destroyed.   Any and all input and help is most appreciated.  Please contact me ASAP!   IF anyone out there is genuinely interested in assisting me on a continued cleanup/security effort (assuming I can obtain written permission from the current owner )  We will move post-haste on turning this declining situation forward.

 A window of opportunity is not likely to open itself.   PLEASE FOLKS!! Help me out here.  Thank you in advance.

Cliffs_Daughter

April 15, 2010, 10:30:59 AM
Timkin, I'll do anything in my power of research to help you out.

Here's the tax record on the property now, listing Tarpon IV as owner.
http://apps.coj.net/pao_propertySearch/Basic/Detail.aspx?RE=0904270000#clerkOfCourts


I'll post anything more I can find to help you contact someone.

Cliffs_Daughter

April 15, 2010, 10:52:48 AM
TARPON IV is another LLC owned by one Mr. Jonathan R Politano. If you search in sunbiz.org you can find a large number of LLC's this guy owns. ALL at the same address on Biscayne Blvd in Aventura.
One more commonly known is Gulf Group Holdings, LLC.
The number I came across was (305) 913-3333

http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=L06000099605&inq_came_from=RANFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0000&names_name_ind=R&ret_names_cor_number=&ret_cor_web_names_seq_number=&ret_names_name_ind=&ret_names_comp_name=&ret_names_filing_type=&ret_cor_web_princ_seq=&ret_princ_comp_name=POLITANO&ret_princ_type=R

Dog Walker

April 15, 2010, 12:01:41 PM
The address of Tarpon IV is:

Tarpon IV, LLC
18305 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 400
Aventura, FL  33160

It is important that we let the new owners know that there is a lot of community interest in this building and a lot of history with it.  We also need to let them know that there is a group of volunteers willing to assist them with securing the building and cleaning up the grounds.

Hopefully we can get more cooperation from their agent here is Jax than we ever got from Mr. Milne.

I wonder how they are going to sell it since now there is no property surrounding the building and the only access is going to be to the small strip of land between Chelsea Street and the side of the building.  The front of the building is up against the FDOT right-of-way for the expressway expansion.

Timkin

April 15, 2010, 01:46:28 PM
Thanks Cliff's Daughter and DW..  As  DW expressed... we probably should voice to the current owners , our stong interest as a community to see the School spared.. and those of us willing to volunteer , to assist them in securing the building and maintaining the grounds.

Timkin

April 17, 2010, 04:27:26 PM
I have placed a call to Gulf Group Holdings... I presume this is a parent company of the corporation that acquired the School in March.  I will post what I find when I get a return call ..

Timkin

April 19, 2010, 03:53:20 AM

Now may be the time to revisit the PS4 transit center/mall idea .. Ock? :)

Timkin

April 19, 2010, 04:36:22 PM
A return call came from an agent of the owner... It seems to be favorable news. When I meet with him , I can convey details..  I did indicate to him that the School is in a named Historic Landmark Status and that the majority of the community wants to see it spared.  He indicated that he has not yet even seen the property , but shortly will be coming to Jax and that he would like it if I would meet him at the School . Seems favorable to resuming a cleanup effort and does not seem inclined to want to demolish the building, but rather  put it back on the market.  I can only conclude all of this to be favorable news.

Cliffs_Daughter

April 19, 2010, 06:41:04 PM
If he arranges a meeting, can I be present?

Dog Walker

April 20, 2010, 10:23:56 AM
At least now the building is in the hands of someone who is willing to market it and since they got it for so little, maybe for a reasonable price.

fieldafm

April 20, 2010, 11:53:14 AM
Those guys are property investors that flip property... they have no interest in tearing down the building.  The people to focus on will be the new owners once they find a buyer(which could very well be a long time)

Timkin

April 20, 2010, 10:06:32 PM
Well... I have already been in touch with the new owner and have also sent a couple of prospects their way...

Because of all the circumstances , and the fact that the School is a Historic Landmark ( clearly the one moved that saved it , heretofore)  The owners have to find a potential prospect who will accept the purchase, knowing this and any plans to the property ,as required of the previous owner will convey to them as well.. They cannot tear it down.  I hope this status will continue to protect it...  There are some ideas that have been presented that could very well prove to be viable .   Lets remain positive and hope for a good outcome.. I will continue...as I have since 2006 fighting to save #4 .

Timkin

April 20, 2010, 10:10:31 PM
Agree with the post of DW...and Cliff's D.... Will let you know when the meeting is .... I think the larger the number of supporters we have ...the greater her chances..  Also ... anyone interested in participating on a Saturday cleanup effort.. We will hopefully resume this very soon.. an agent to the new owner felt there would be no problem with that, and in fact , welcomed it as finally, the former owner did.   I would also resume efforts on THEIR adjacent properties..   It is my hope that we will still see a positive outcome for Annie that benefits everyone who was concerned .

Timkin

April 26, 2010, 04:01:32 PM
And now ...haha she may be a step closer to going towards renovation..

today I was contacted by the agent of the new owners.... On Friday evening (last) I had a conversation with the interested developer in Savannah. Today as we speak they are communicating...lets hope this is the start of a positive outcome . I have a "verbal" go-ahead on the cleanup effort....but they are also drawing up a document with their attorneys giving us formal permission to proceed with cleanup ,inside and out , lawn maintenance.. board up or whatever necessary. We will of course look to them for providing the boardup materials.

Anyway...... will anyone interested in participating in the PS 4 cleanup effort , Part two please private message me?? I probably will limit this to once a week...Saturdays or whatever fits one's schedules .

I have been praying alot. something tells me , we are finally about to turn the corner on School 4 . I hope so

Peg

April 28, 2010, 10:12:21 AM
Will PM you-  three of us can be there on a weekend with gloves, clippers and rakes.

Timkin

May 10, 2010, 10:32:04 PM
I now have in my posession, formal permission to do the cleanup effort ... This is a hold-harmless agreement and expands the cleanup to include removal of debris on the interior of the School...which is extensive.

So I am now looking to the volunteers that would assist me... We will begin on an agreed weekend.  The more the merrier.. but everyone involved must sign the hold harmless waiver, and I must accompany volunteers at the site at any time the cleanup is going on.   This does not give anyone including myself access to the school at night or at times we are not there cleaning it up.  The company that owns it now is serious about trespassers.... They will request arresting and prosecution of any violators . They do not want the liability of someone being injured in there when they had no business in there in the first place.

 So... Please private message me, and we will get started !!!! :)

Timkin

May 14, 2010, 07:52:00 PM
Will likely begin the 2010 cleanup this weekend, starting with mowing the grass on the School Grounds, front , sides , and back of the property.

 Let us hope that after a collection of people converge on this place and participate in a good civic effort on a really beautiful building , that we will see it put to a sensible reuse sometime soon.. the effort set forth is to make it as safe as humanly possible and as presentable as possible. :)

uptowngirl

July 31, 2010, 07:51:03 AM
Perhaps we should work on a citywide most endangered list? We know we have issues in our neighborhood with trying to protect the oldest standing residential structures (and our commerical is at risk too), but what about across the city? Annie Little, the Riverside Firehouse, what else?

uptowngirl

July 31, 2010, 04:55:46 PM
Thank you Lunican!

dealemon

August 06, 2010, 06:59:51 PM
I knew nothing of this school till My son brought up to me, He is very intrigued by it. My son being 13 has been talking about it a lot here lately, So we drove by it to get the name off the building and ever since He and I have been reading about it and trying to find out as much as possible. He tells me that he would love to see or even when he gets older restore it. He tells me that he would like to teach about or in it one day because it is a part of our History. I feel bad not knowing as much about it being that I drive bye nearly everyday and have lived in Florida since 1984 but grew up in Orange Park. On another note I have not seen him so interested in something quit like this he has been trying to get as much info as he can, So when he goes back to school he would like to talk to his Christian teachers about it. I have seen the out side of it up close only driving by and getting as close I can I wished I would have had my camera that Day, It was pretty to see something so old with so much history still standing. I wish that people could take the time to look at things the way My son is looking at a building 82yrs before his time. If only all buildings that have so much History could be restored instead of plowed over for some of the new things we don't need.   :) 8)

Timkin

August 06, 2010, 07:59:51 PM
I knew nothing of this school till My son brought up to me, He is very intrigued by it. My son being 13 has been talking about it a lot here lately, So we drove by it to get the name off the building and ever since He and I have been reading about it and trying to find out as much as possible. He tells me that he would love to see or even when he gets older restore it. He tells me that he would like to teach about or in it one day because it is a part of our History. I feel bad not knowing as much about it being that I drive bye nearly everyday and have lived in Florida since 1984 but grew up in Orange Park. On another note I have not seen him so interested in something quit like this he has been trying to get as much info as he can, So when he goes back to school he would like to talk to his Christian teachers about it. I have seen the out side of it up close only driving by and getting as close I can I wished I would have had my camera that Day, It was pretty to see something so old with so much history still standing. I wish that people could take the time to look at things the way My son is looking at a building 82yrs before his time. If only all buildings that have so much History could be restored instead of plowed over for some of the new things we don't need.   :) 8)

Indeed.... Its too bad the School is in Jacksonville Florida, where only select pieces of history are favored or saved.  This building is unique and beautiful... and it means alot to me that your son is so interested.. Snap pictures while you can... in fact..  contact the people of this forum...as they have many pictures..   but either way.. do it while you can.. What the people who have beaten it up so badly inside have not done, the bulldozers and wrecking balls will soon enough.

Timkin

August 07, 2010, 01:43:11 AM
Unless of course I can seek out a potential buyer/developer who can make the numbers work for the building to become viable.  If it does happen, it will probably only be because no matter how it appeared outwardly, I never gave up.   This building is more important than a new Courthouse or Convention Center..  It cannot wait another 20-30 years on a maybe.. Too many people want it gone now, so I guess I will continue on tirelessly until I find a solution.

dealemon

August 07, 2010, 02:46:41 AM
I have been up late looking up info on-line I found out that U can go to the down town library  floor five with your id and library card and get a packet of info or something of that sort. I'm going to have to check that out. And yes I will try to get some photos during the day at least the out side. I want to check out the inside at one point or another and so does my son. I think I will find a way to contact the owner some how so we can do it legally. I'm going to keep my son's interest strong I'm proud that he has taking such a interest in something.  :) :D 8)

Timkin

August 07, 2010, 04:05:31 AM
I am proud of him as well dealemon.. I know the agent for the owner and can put you in touch.  I would advise against just entering the building at will ,but that said, it is not my building and i cannot stop anyone.  I must caution you , there are holes in dark areas of the building that go into the basement, areas where the ceiling is failing . areas where the roof is failing.. so if you get permission, please be careful.    The interior is pretty well photographed on this thread.. but if you want to see it for yourself , at least please go through the proper channels to gain entry.  Just advice for whatever its worth . :)

dealemon

August 07, 2010, 10:22:32 PM
Oh yes I would never put my self nor my son at risk, Beside I would want to go in the day light. Getting a hold of the agent or owner would be great. That would help him with his study on the school so much. :)

Timkin

August 07, 2010, 11:03:15 PM
PVT MSG me dealemon and I will provide you contact details.  Thanks . :)

SunKing

August 21, 2010, 10:40:32 AM
Why would the Y want to go into there?
Why do they want to go in strip malls and office parks?
still dont follow you.  they own their own facility on the water across the street

Timkin

March 20, 2011, 12:12:12 AM
 As I go by the School these days, it seems to look worse than ever. Graffiti now present all over the outside of the School. I was under the impression that the City hired a private contractor to board up and secure the building.. that is obviously not happening. Unable to get the owner to return a call. Wonder who at the City I could talk to about this , without pushing it closer to demolition ?

SunKing

November 03, 2011, 07:08:08 AM
whats the latest here?  any contact with the owners?

Dog Walker

November 03, 2011, 08:29:53 AM
The new holders of the deed, a Miami tax deed investment firm, refuse to talk to anyone about the school.  Even the City has been unsuccessful in getting them to respond and is securing the school itself.

Timkin is meeting with City officials to see what can be done to get the school out of their hands.  The owner of the surrounding property would obviously love to see the school torn down as it would enhance the value to his land.

Timkin

November 03, 2011, 03:34:52 PM

RAP and Myself and any interested parties (who are pro-saving the School)  are meeting with City officials to see what options are possible.   At present the City is on the hook to attempt securing the building, and not only do they not like that, but it is not working.  Vandals continually compromise the sealed places and enter at will.   This is not helping matters at all when it comes to trying to save the building, obviously.  It is viewed by some as a public nuisance.   The same could be said for any building that is vacated, neglected, and has an Owner not willing to put a dime into the building in the way of practical maintenance , or improvements, such as a roof system , in this building's case.  SO .. do we just demolish it , and every other unused building in Jacksonville, and just keep bearing the burden of these demolitions? Makes no sense to me .


vicupstate

November 03, 2011, 04:12:38 PM
Why can't the city simpy fine them for code violations including  not securing the building when it is clearly dangerous ?

Timkin

November 03, 2011, 04:31:34 PM
Vicup....I am about 100% certain that the City has an accumulation of fines for code violations and quite a lengthy tab to the current owner for the third party contractor doing the securing of the building and fences, etc.  The last time I did anything with the building was shortly AFTER the new owner took over...I painted over graffiti on the Columns and mowed the grass .

Not long afterward my hold-harmless agreement in place expired.  SO  I cannot legally do any work on the property until such time as either the owner(s) allow me to again , and/or  The City somehow authorizes myself and volunteers to work on it. 

A Volunteer came up with an idea for sealing the lower level openings we feel would work much better than the tried , and failed for decades,  Plywood and nail routine.  It just simply does not hold up to a crowbar.

iloveionia

November 03, 2011, 07:44:15 PM
Timkin,
Any letter that can be written in support of saving the school?
Please let me (us) know and I am on it.

Timkin

November 03, 2011, 09:41:54 PM
Timkin,
Any letter that can be written in support of saving the school?
Please let me (us) know and I am on it.



To  ANYONE interested in seeing the School Remain.........


P  L   E    A    S    E   !  !   !   !  !


Voice on this matter.  Thank you !

ricker

November 03, 2011, 11:10:17 PM
Who do we reach out to TimKin, and what do we say !?
 Certainly the building must remain!

Timkin

November 03, 2011, 11:32:45 PM
The Building is in Councilman Jones district.  Councilman Lumb also seems to have some interest.  RAP is of course on board with saving it, as is many in the Community.

   The City probably now has liens and fines accruing on it for various code violations and the fact that they now are having to take on securing the building. I would imagine this would give them some right to take the building if they so chose.   I doubt they want it.

As Dog Walker pointed out , the former owner , who holds all of the adjacent property is probably waiting on it to finally be demolished.   That owner would probably never state that publicly, but it is pretty obvious.

The problem is finding :  A practical use for the building coupled with an entity with the resources to take on an overhaul/purchase of the building.   This would be no easy task.

Thank god for Mothballing being an option for it , until an investor/ appropriate owner can be identified. Even so , Mothballing it will cost a significant amount of money !!!

I do not remember the price tag for the renovation on John Gorrie Junior High School , but it must be somewhere in the same area... depending on adaptive reuse of the School.

Timkin

November 15, 2011, 04:25:17 AM
Councilman Jones, Myself , RAP, Dogwalker and others to meet at 1pm conference room B at City Hall ,to see where we go from here.  I am hopeful for a positive outcome.

Tacachale

November 15, 2011, 08:16:44 AM
Councilman Jones, Myself , RAP, Dogwalker and others to meet at 1pm conference room B at City Hall ,to see where we go from here.  I am hopeful for a positive outcome.
Fantastic. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Timkin

November 15, 2011, 04:03:23 PM

 I think the meeting went pretty productively.  Dog Walker will likely post on it in a while.  I was pleased and surprised at the turn-out at the meeting. It gave me hope that rather than a drum roll to begin again for demolition, that instead an uprising and a concerted effort to come up with a plan for the building that will save and re purpose it will be the Avenue pursued.

Present at the meeting  among others ,was Doug Milne of Foundation Holdings IV  who was very vocal about his position on the School . He states he does NOT want to see it demolished.   

Many steps will have to be taken before such time as we can begin again on a cleanup effort. 

I left the meeting feeling encouraged.  Certainly appreciate CM Jones and Lumb arranging to get us all together to begin a plan.

deathstar

November 17, 2011, 01:48:12 AM
They should rename the school after yourself, Timkin, and Dogwalker, if they can save it and rerfurbish it!

Timkin

November 17, 2011, 01:15:48 PM
Deathstar...that is really nice of you to say. I am sure Dogwalker  would appreciate it as well, but if the School is saved , it would be from efforts of many ,not just myself or Dogwalker.

We are cautiously optimistic about #4's  future.   If it is saved , it will have been worth the effort, that is for certain.

Dog Walker

November 17, 2011, 02:04:10 PM
All of the people who needed to be at the meeting were there, even someone from the General Council's office to speak to the legalities (and illegalities) in the situation of the school now.  Even a representative of the DDA was there since Brooklyn is part of their turf.

The clear consensus of the group was that the school must be removed from the hands of the current owners, a Boca Raton based tax deed investment company, before any substantive work can be done about finding a way to rehab.

In my opinion new momentum has been started toward finding a final solution.  Tim made this happen.

iloveionia

November 17, 2011, 02:58:40 PM
The city needs to take a road trip to Boca Raton.  Pay Tarpon a visit.  I should like to ride along as they also own multiple properties in Springfield. The neighborhood wants them back.

Timkin

November 18, 2011, 04:30:26 PM
The city needs to take a road trip to Boca Raton.  Pay Tarpon a visit.  I should like to ride along as they also own multiple properties in Springfield. The neighborhood wants them back.

Ionia... Let me know if you seriously would like to make that trip. I have a feeling that Tarpon's response would be much like it is with attempts to answer calls or emails.   They can (and probably WOULD ) refuse to see us.     It makes absolutely no sense that an entity buys a piece of property , lets it sit and rot, refuses phone calls from potential buyers, or keeps their obligation to maintain their own property.  I cannot see it any other way, than a deliberate effort to let their properties get demolished by neglect. 

To me a business that runs like that is out of business , and does not realize it.

Timkin

December 15, 2011, 11:23:21 PM

 I am sure many of you will remember when this was painted on the Columns of the School.


http://www.uer.ca/forum_picdirect.asp?url=/forumpic/norm/ec02eabf6db655fc6c958f8b6b760d58.jpg&name=Kwk-A9005.jpg

iloveionia

December 16, 2011, 12:24:43 AM
That's awesome. How beautiful the school is unboarded.

Timkin

December 16, 2011, 01:04:24 AM
I would guess that pic abt 1991 or so , Ionia

Dog Walker

December 16, 2011, 12:41:31 PM
What's up there now on those columns are crude representations of male and female genitalia.  Really classy!

Timkin

December 16, 2011, 01:25:56 PM
Guess I should take a chance and go paint them again 

AKIRA

December 16, 2011, 02:05:56 PM
that was the name of a local band... it was also painted on the side of the ramp to the old Fuller Warren bridge and next to Gina's deli back then.

Timkin

December 16, 2011, 07:03:44 PM
Ah... Thank you for the insight , Akira.  I remember another band who tagged all over and in the building.  I wish someone would alert JSO that I only want to go there to paint over the offensive tagging on the columns...

ricker

December 17, 2011, 02:03:49 AM
Dog, Tim, when can we secure a 'hold harmless'?

With.adequate advance notice, count me in to help freshen.the.paint!
Any word since the 'come to jesus' pow-wow??

Dog Walker

December 17, 2011, 07:54:07 AM
Dog, Tim, when can we secure a 'hold harmless'?

With.adequate advance notice, count me in to help freshen.the.paint!
Any word since the 'come to jesus' pow-wow??

Ricker,  Only the owner can give us a "hold-harmless" and they are still not responding. 

Timkin

December 17, 2011, 11:53:33 AM
Ricker.... This has been an issue for quite some time.  Were it not, we would be  on it, securing and painting over graffiti.

Unfortunately for what ever reason ( and I have no clue what it could be)  The owner responds to nobody.  Way back when they agreed to a hold harmless and even drafted one.. but no signature.  So that is worthless, legally. 

Mr. Milne , as you know at the meeting , permits us to be on his land.  No problem.  He cannot permit us to touch the building for any reason. It is no longer within his authority to do so.  You recall at the meeting he asked was I still going down there.. My reply was no  the hold harmless agreement between us expired  when the building was let go. Absolutely true.

If I did not think I would get in trouble for doing so, I would be down there attempting to secure it.  CM  Jones, Lumb , the City's legal, even Mr Milne advised that we cannot do it.  It is frustrating .  :(

stephendare

December 19, 2011, 09:31:59 PM
The Columns were originally spray painted with the name of that band back in 1985.

I always felt like it was such a word of prophecy as the area was blighted and horribly abandoned.

The pillars were painted over in 1990, and (redacted) and I repainted the words that you see pictured in the photo.

We also restored 'Bambi Goes Crazy Apes Bonkers With His Drill In Sex' behind the San Marco Theatre.

Two of the best graffiti icons of all times in Jacksonville.

The original Knock Knock Future Calling was in all Caps, I think.

Timkin

December 20, 2011, 01:00:50 AM
That is interesting.. Was it not at one time painted at the roof line , kind of on the right of the front?

Tachyons+

November 23, 2013, 05:30:06 AM
Hello there!

Im curious if anyone knows who has been cleaning School 4?

Went in there today and the top second floor was mainly all clean.

All the trash had been swept out and dangerous roof hanging stuff removed.

Clean enough to have dinner and sit and do yoga in.  :D

Let me know if anyone knows why, noticed that someone in this thread had talked about volunteering to clean it.

Cheers! -Logan

Tachyons+

November 23, 2013, 05:45:40 AM
Just found the thread where the Save School NO.4 is doing the current cleaning work. Great work. Would love to come volunteer! Cheers! -Logan

Dog Walker

November 23, 2013, 02:59:56 PM
So Stephen,  you were a graffiti vandal in your earlier days? Naughty boy!   ;)

Cliffs_Daughter

November 24, 2013, 09:34:46 AM
Hey Logan - Nice icon there...   8)

Anyway, you want to know about helping out? Get thee to Facebook and find the Annie Lytle Preservation Group.
Patsy is the mod/lead coordinator now and you can find more photos and dates of past and future clean-up meets.

Dog Walker

November 24, 2013, 03:54:41 PM
It's amazing what the volunteers have accomplished.  The rooms upstairs that have been cleaned up are completely transformed.  Just a few people have removed a couple of thousand pounds of old plaster, broken window frames, roof beams, hundreds of spray paint cans.

Sheer physical grunt work and it's making a difference.

Timkin

November 27, 2013, 03:23:47 PM
3 of the 4 stairwells cleared.  95% of the failed Auditorium roof ( and the charred remains of that portion set on fire) removed,  both front Admin offices cleared , as well as entry hall and front hall in front of Auditorium.


Lots of progress and a great team .. Thanks everyone

czubernis

April 04, 2014, 10:21:04 PM
Tim, will your group be there tomorrow on April 5, 2014?
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