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Suburban Jacksonville: Confederate Point

Built in the 1960s on reclaimed lowlands, Confederate Point is technically a small island surrounded by a moat, with one small bridge as access.

Published July 22, 2010 in Neighborhoods      21 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

About Confederate Point



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Confederate Point lies along the Cedar River (called Cedar Creek by the locals), on the opposite shore from Lake Shore. Confederate Point stretches from the Ortega River to the east, to Blanding Boulevard on the West, and is bordered by the Cedar River to the North, and Timaquana Boulevard to the South. The area consists of approximately 300 large, single family homes, and approximately 700 condos and apartments that line the south bank of the Cedar River. All of the single family homes are inland, with the apartments and condos lining the shore of the Cedar River. The area is popular given that it is close to water, and Downtown, yet also exclusive in that there is only one road in or out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhoods_of_Jacksonville,_Florida#Confederate_Point













































































Photos by Ennis Davis







21 Comments

stephenc

July 22, 2010, 10:02:36 AM
When my family first moved to Jacksonville in '89 when lived in the Confederate Point Apartments for about a year. Entirely different neighborhood 20 years later. The inland homes are still very nice but the apartment complexes are a totally different story.

tufsu1

July 22, 2010, 10:33:26 AM
to me, there is a large difference between the "suburban" neighborhoods built from the 1940s through the 1970s versus the subdivisions built from 1980 on....most of the newer ones are not integratedwith their surroundings, are often gated, and would be very hard to redevelop/reinvent over time....the postwar suburbs (including areas like Arlington) can and may revitalize over time.

thelakelander

July 22, 2010, 11:43:30 AM
Good observation.  The earlier suburban neighborhoods also tend to have roadway networks that don't force all vehicular traffic to arterials, which alleviates congestion.  Like the older urban neighborhoods, they tend to have "bones" to work with in the effort to improve sustainability and walkability.  A great example of this is Orlando's College Park.  There a "complete streets" type project has helped to transform that neighborhood's main commercial corridor into a walkable district.  I'll try to stop and get some pics on my way back up to Jax tonight.

Fallen Buckeye

July 22, 2010, 12:06:50 PM
to me, there is a large difference between the "suburban" neighborhoods built from the 1940s through the 1970s versus the subdivisions built from 1980 on....most of the newer ones are not integratedwith their surroundings, are often gated, and would be very hard to redevelop/reinvent over time....the postwar suburbs (including areas like Arlington) can and may revitalize over time.

How were these post-war suburbs typically developed? Was it as it is today where a developer buys up a large plot of land for a subdivision? Also, I noticed that the areas that are being more often today are places with lots of natural barriers to development such as swampy areas that must be drained off to develop. Surely, that has to affect the development patterns. I have friends who have told me about whole bulldozers being swallowed up in places around the present day Collins Rd.

Mattius92

July 23, 2010, 02:08:26 AM
wow, never knew this neighborhood existed, very very nice. Certainly not a suburb you see nowadays

thelakelander

July 23, 2010, 06:52:58 AM
to me, there is a large difference between the "suburban" neighborhoods built from the 1940s through the 1970s versus the subdivisions built from 1980 on....most of the newer ones are not integratedwith their surroundings, are often gated, and would be very hard to redevelop/reinvent over time....the postwar suburbs (including areas like Arlington) can and may revitalize over time.

How were these post-war suburbs typically developed? Was it as it is today where a developer buys up a large plot of land for a subdivision?

Yes.  However, the roadway network for these developments have changed.  Now most new developments limit their access points with a network of cul-da-sacs and gates to isolated themselves from their surroundings.  Typical post war subdivisions still laid out their streets in a grid like set up offering multiple routes for community access.


Arlington in 1957


Cedar Hills in the 1960s


Lakeshore in 1955

Jacksonville suburban development today





More images at USA Sprawl Festival-Jacksonville:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=9739063&postcount=111


Quote
Also, I noticed that the areas that are being more often today are places with lots of natural barriers to development such as swampy areas that must be drained off to develop. Surely, that has to affect the development patterns. I have friends who have told me about whole bulldozers being swallowed up in places around the present day Collins Rd.

It's always been like this in Jacksonville.  Many parts of downtown were originally marsh.  Even Confederate Point was/is surrounded on three sides by water.

Fallen Buckeye

July 23, 2010, 09:48:28 AM
Thanks. I'm getting a regular education in urban planning from following this website. Roadways are laid out a little differently where I'm from because there's a lot of hills. So a lot of road building is just about finding the best way around the next hill. There are these same types of street patterns, but it's limited by the topography to ridgetops and valleys. Needless to say my hometown has a terribly confusing street set-up and is an awful place to learn about development patterns. I was just trying to figure out why there was a paradigm shift towards cul-de-sac neighborhoods when grid streets were such a proven standard.

stephendare

July 23, 2010, 09:50:48 AM
Thanks. I'm getting a regular education in urban planning from following this website. Roadways are laid out a little differently where I'm from because there's a lot of hills. So a lot of road building is just about finding the best way around the next hill. There are these same types of street patterns, but it's limited by the topography to ridgetops and valleys. Needless to say my hometown has a terribly confusing street set-up and is an awful place to learn about development patterns. I was just trying to figure out why there was a paradigm shift towards cul-de-sac neighborhoods when grid streets were such a proven standard.

To save lives.  Both the cul de sac and the closed neighborhood model were developed to prevent automobile deaths through traffic calming and limited throughways.  The curves of the subdivision limit speed rates, and the dead ends guarantee light traffic.  This began in earnest in the late seventies and early eighties.

stephendare

July 23, 2010, 09:56:14 AM
In fact, there is a wikipedia entry on Cul de Sacs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cul-de-sac

Since the end of World War II, new subdivisions in the United States and Canada, as well as New Towns in England and other countries have made extensive use of the cul-de-sac and crescent (loops) street types. Typically, there is one or several central roads in the subdivision with many cul-de-sac streets of varying length, branching out from the main roads, to fill the land in the subdivision; a dendrite or hierarchical pattern. Since the 1960s, this pattern has been the dominant road network structure of suburbs and exurbs in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It is also increasingly popular in Latin America, Western Europe, and China. In this pattern, there are only a few roads (relative to the number of cul-de-sac streets) leading out of the subdivision and into other subdivisions or onto major roads.

In the US, these changes can be attributed to real-estate developers' desire to meet FHA guidelines and make federal home loans available to their consumers. In Canada a similar incentive was provided to developers by CMHC. These incentives, which were discontinued in the 70s, gave the initial impetus for the application of the hierarchical pattern. In other countries such incentives do not exist and its adoption is motivated by consumer preferences. Nineteenth and early 20th century American urban planning, emphasized a grid layout, partly out of extensive reliance on foot, horse and streetcars, for transportation. In such earlier urban development, alleys were included to allow for deliveries of soiled supplies, such as coal, to the rear of houses which are now heated by electricity, piped natural gas or oil.

The use of culs-de-sac reduces the amount of car traffic on residential streets within the subdivision, thus reducing noise, air pollution and the probability of accidents. A 1995 study and two recent ones, indicate a substantially lower collision rate for street networks based on the cul-de-sac street type. A 2009 study suggests that land use patterns play a significant role in traffic safety and should be considered in conjunction with the network pattern. While all intersection types in general reduce the incidence of fatal crashes, four-way intersections, wich rarely occur in a network with cul-de-sac or loop streets, increase total and injurious crashes significantly. The study recommends hybrid street networks with dense concentrations of T-intersections and concludes that a return to the 19th century gridiron is undesirable.

This decrease in traffic, in turn, is thought to lower the incidence of crime and increase desirability, because in most cases the people who traverse the cul-de-sac either live there or are guests of those who do. CPTED planning principles suggest increased natural surveillance and sense of ownership as a means of fostering security in a neighbourhood. Both of these phenomena occur naturally on a cul-de-sac street as does social networking. Design guidelines based on the CPTED perspective recommend its use for these reasons.

Cul-de-sac streets increase children's’ spontaneous outdoor activity. A recent study in California examined the amount of child play that occurred on the streets of neighbourhoods with different characteristics; grid pattern and culs-de-sac. The findings indicate that culs-de-sac showed substantial increase in play activity than the open grid street pattern. Culs-de-sac reduce perceived danger from traffic thereby encouraging more outdoor play.

stephendare

July 23, 2010, 10:05:13 AM
This is not to imply that the cul de sacs are a good thing.  But they were a solution to a specific kind of machine that was made universally necessary by the expansion into the suburbs:  The car.  When you build a machine dependent way of life (which suburban residential development certainly is) you must work around that machine.  The proliferation of automobiles destroyed the peace of the countryside, and combined with religious zoning laws enacted in the mid twentieth century, that forbid bars, saloons, and pubs from being built in the traditional neighborhoods, it created the deadly wave of drunk driving that has killed so many millions of americans.

The cul de sac development patters was a defense to those issues, although there was a fundamental flaw in the idea that a subdivision must necessarily be unconnective to surrounding communities. 

Fallen Buckeye

July 23, 2010, 09:59:09 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fused_Grid

This is an interesting concept that combines the good points of cul-de-sac and grid. I wonder if their are any examples of a fused grid near by. It reminds me of Savannah's public squares in a way.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 27, 2010, 09:20:50 AM
Are there any examples of a new community/subdivision that have been centered with a commercial district?  I think of the Argyle model - there is a distinct commercial district with shopping, restaurants, etc...  but as stated above, you can't reasonably walk there from your home - you typically pass it twice - once on your way to work and again on your way back.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have that disctrict be the nucleus of your neighborhood instead of on the outskirts?

cline

July 27, 2010, 09:34:49 AM
Are there any examples of a new community/subdivision that have been centered with a commercial district?  I think of the Argyle model - there is a distinct commercial district with shopping, restaurants, etc...  but as stated above, you can't reasonably walk there from your home - you typically pass it twice - once on your way to work and again on your way back.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have that disctrict be the nucleus of your neighborhood instead of on the outskirts?

Technically, Nocatee will have what it consideres a commercial center.  However, there is presently only a couple of stores (Publix, sushi place and a hair place, I think).

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 27, 2010, 09:49:37 AM
I haven't been to Nocatee since the very early development.  I know that was the plan, but plans tend to change when the market that you're supplying suddenly dries up.  I had honestly forgotton about it.  I guess it's time for me to head south for an afternoon and see how things have turned out.

north miami

July 27, 2010, 10:02:39 AM
When my family first moved to Jacksonville in '89 when lived in the Confederate Point Apartments for about a year. Entirely different neighborhood 20 years later. The inland homes are still very nice but the apartment complexes are a totally different story.

"Entirely different 20 years later"......how so?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

July 27, 2010, 10:34:34 AM
When my family first moved to Jacksonville in '89 when lived in the Confederate Point Apartments for about a year. Entirely different neighborhood 20 years later. The inland homes are still very nice but the apartment complexes are a totally different story.

"Entirely different 20 years later"......how so?

He's 20 yrs older and doesn't care for the 'young punks' with their 'rock & roll' and 'sporty cars' :P

lewyn

July 27, 2010, 03:01:53 PM
two thoughts on cul de sacs:
1.  Cul de sacs don't eliminate the traffic and the danger it creates- instead, they just displace the traffic into one or two main arterials, making those arterials much more congested and ultimately more dangerous as the arterial is widened to ease high-speed traffic.
2.  Emergency responders aren't so wild about cul de sacs because they make it harder for fire trucks and ambulances to reach a residence.

ricker

September 16, 2010, 04:28:05 AM
It isn't Confederate Point PLANTATION. Exclusive?
great photos!
Where is a shot of Linda's booby bar!?

anniepickle

April 06, 2011, 10:35:43 AM
I know why it is TOTALLY different 20 years later- has nothing to do with young punks and sporty cars- it has everything to do with WHO is living in those HUD /welfare apartments. It is encroaching on a once-beautiful and peaceful neighborhood.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

April 06, 2011, 11:00:26 AM
I think that it's just a matter of perception.  When I was 19-20 in my first apt, I was raising hell and partying.  I would wind out the engine in my little camry just to get 200' from my parking spot to the gate.  Bass pouring out of the car, not giving an F.  Today - I am that old guy on the porch yelling at the 'youngsters' to slow their ass down when driving through the neighborhood.  About 20 years perspective.

ricker

July 05, 2011, 04:30:08 AM
sorry to bump this thread.... but, after exploring Confederate Point on my bike after reading all of this, I reached the boat launch <which I had not done in over 15 years> I was reminded of how I have long wondered about the last 50-70 years and how the westside wraparound urban neighborhoods could have been different if Confederate Point Blvd  boat launch ramp was below a bridge span connecting over to Ortega Farms.

Normandy & Lenox,
Hilcrest,
Seminole Gardens,
Roosevelt Gardens,
Lakeshore Terrace,
Herlong,
Hyde Grove,
Hyde Park,
Cedar Hills,
Lake Shore / Lakeside Park,
Ortega Farms
I wonder if better connectivity would have long ago created RAP's  desired better buffers to our prized  historic districts?
Perhaps we would not *still* be in a waiting game.

Ortega Farms Bv and Confederate Point line up.
As a child, I would ask my dad, ".. when will they build that bridge?"
he would say, "probably never" followed by "stay in school and keep bringing home good grades"

not trying to recreate the city but on old plat drawings, Ortega Farms is drawn (but not named) and the route drawn runs parallel to US17 and the rail, fully out to Blanding (also unnamed on the old rudimentary document)
Seeing  those old relics has stuck with me obviously.

A bigger bridge from Timuquana over the SaintJohns to University could  have also worked wonders for the westside by linking to the Beaches and Old Arlington more effectively with South Jacksonville.

Alas, now we have 295, the Buckman, JTButler

I think Jax was once called the brick city because of the thick headedness of some.
others see "problems" and supply dumptruck logic that doesn't destroy our natural habitat.

 How long has Confederate Point enjoyed the use of their bike lanes!?
Excellent.
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