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Urban Neighborhoods: Miramar

Located off the beaten path just south of San Marco, Miramar is a neighborhood with a unique history and atmosphere of its own.

Published March 18, 2010 in Neighborhoods      23 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

Red Bank Plantation House



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The land on which this house is situated was designated as "Red Bank" by Spanish surveyors as early as 1793 when it was owned by Francisco Flora.  Six years later, William Craig gained title to the land.  From the 1820's until after the Civil War, the property was owned consecutively by three of Jacksonville's most prominent men: Isaiah D. Hart; Isaac Hendricks, pioneer settler of South Jacksonville, for whom Hendricks Avenue is named; and Albert Gallatin Philips, Duval County's sheriff from 1833-1839, who operated a plantation on the 450-acre Red Bank site.  First Philips built a frame house on the property, which burned a few years later.  In 1854, he began construction of the present house, building it with bricks hand-made from a vein of red clay on the plantation.  In 1873, Philips died, and much of the plantation land was sold.  

At that time, a "thriving little town" of sixty families had grown up around the railway station near Red Bank.  The settlement was named Philips and remained in existence until after World War II.  During the 1920's and 30's, the plantation house was turned into a restaurant, "The Candlewick Inn," and later became "Johnson's Chicken House."  It has continued as a private residence since 1937.  As the Colonial Manor subdivision was developed surrounding the house, its front door faced the wrong way.  The main entrance to the house was originally on the east side and featured a two-story columned portico.  The entrance was moved to the north facade facing Greenridge Road, and the present small porch was added.  The Red Bank Plantation House is the second oldest building in Jacksonville still being used as a residence.  Henry B. Philips, son of the builder of Red Bank Plantation, was a prominent local judge for whom Philips Highway (often misspelled with two L's) was named.
Source: Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Page 257



Colonial Manor Lake Park



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Colonial Manor Lake Park is a .08-acre passive park. The site is a grassy strip located along the lake on San Jose Boulevard between Northwood and Mapleton Roads. The site has recently been upgraded to provide benches, trash cans, signs, landscaping and parking.
http://www.smpsjax.com/san_marco/parks.php





Oriental Gardens

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In 1925, George W. Clark, a Riverside resident, began planting overflow from his botanical collection on a vacant bluff overlooking the St. Johns River.  Eventually, this 18 acre private estate would open to the public.  From 1937 to 1954, Oriental Gardens became Jacksonville's major attraction.

During this period, the gardens featured hourly concerts, 500 year old Live Oaks and 100 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants, shrubs and trees.  Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  In 1954, the private estate was purchased by State Investment Company and carved into 33 single family home sites.
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-oct-remembering-oriental-gardens








River Oaks Park



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River Oaks Park is situated along Craig Creek, in the San Marco section of Jacksonville. William Craig established a large plantation in the area around 1800. Developers of the River Oaks and the Brookwood Terrace subdivisions donated most of the park property to the City between 1935 and 1937. One block south of the park, lovely Oriental Gardens opened in 1937. The Works Progress Administration (WPA), established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 to provide public service jobs for the unemployed during the Great Depression, supplied the labor and most of the funding to create the park, which opened in 1940. Portions of the grounds form a flood plain, with areas of natural wetlands. Groups such as Greenscape of Jax and the Audubon Society have worked to enhance the park, whose stately trees and lawn provide a natural landscape and visual enjoyment for the residents and passing pedestrians and motorists.
http://apps2.coj.net/parksinternet/parkdetails.asp?parkid=199

River Oaks Park was featured in the recently released Southeast Jacksonville Visioning Plan, as an example of an existing public space that could be greatly enhanced and better utilized.





Granada



Originally located just outside the City of South Jacksonville, the subdivision of Granada opened in early 1926. Despite its fully paved roads and ornamental street lights, due to the Florida real estate bubble bust, Granada remained largely vacant until the end of the Great Depression.











































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Granada Park sits west of San Jose Boulevard, in the heart of the Granada subdivision. When Howard Properties platted the property in 1925, it dedicated the .4-acre park to Duval County. Granada displays the Spanish theme and Mediterranean architecture that were very popular in Jacksonville during the 1920's. The rectangular park lies in the middle of Granada Boulevard. Granada is a city in Spain, noted as a capital for the Moors, who invaded and ruled much of Spain from the 8th through 15th centuries. Landscaping projects in 2002 and 2003 have beautified Granada Park. It displays a well-kept playground, green expanse of open lawn, flowerbeds, several shade trees, and a scattering of benches.
http://apps2.coj.net/parksinternet/parkdetails.asp?parkid=78




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Exhibiting the Spanish flair which typified Granada, this was the second home completed in the subdivision in 1926.  The multilevel tile roof is pierced by a scrolled parapet at the center of the second story, adding interest and variety to the facade.  Symmetrically arranged arches flank the porch, which is decorated with ceramic tile.  The house was constructed with an enclosed patio and pool at the rear.  It was originally occupied by Lawrence Howard, the principal developer of Granada.
Source: Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Page 258


Kelnepa Houses



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Lumber dealer Thomas M. Keller and his wife Ella Canipa Keller combined their surnames to coin the name "Kelnepa," which they gave to this block long subdivision.  Kelnepa was typical of many of the 1920's Florida land boom developments, born of speculation and left unfinished when the real estate bubble burst in 1927.  The Kellers employed Victor Zambetti, a contractor who owned the Art and Ornamental Stone Company, to handle the construction in Kelnepa.  The houses are highly unusual in their use of concrete blocks in conjunction with the Mediterranean Revival style.
Source: Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, page 259





Residential Miramar

Architectural diversity a special characteristic of Miramar. Mirarmar's residential portfolio contains a diverse and interesting mix of traditional and modern architecture placed side by side.  If the community were a historic district, this architectural creative scene would not exist.




























Hendricks Avenue

Named after Isaac Hendricks, the founder of the City of South Jacksonville, Hendricks Avenue serves as the commercial spine for Miramar.  Hendricks Avenue connects the community with San Marco to the north and Mandarin to the south.


Southside United Methodist Church



Since 1938, guest have continuously been served in this establishment.  In 1992, it became home to the Metro Diner, which is now one of Jacksonville's favorite local restaurants.

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The Metro diner in San Marco is Folio Weekly readers' first choice for breakfast, whether they're craving a classic like steak and eggs or something more imaginative - like pound-cake French toast.  It's likely this duality - the combination of old-fashioned charm and modern creativity - that's won The Metro Diner this year's Best Breakfast award.

While the restaurant's traditional breakfast dishes are not to be overlooked, the menu's idiosyncrasies make The Metro Diner's specialty offerings hard to resist.  The original Breakfast Pie is a customer favorite, says Mark Davoli, chef and co-owner of the diner since 2000.  The pie consists of layers of eggs, cheese, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and herbs in a red-sinned potato pie crust.  Also popular is the grilled breakfast burrito, a soft tortilla stuffed with eggs, black olives, onions, peppers, salsa, cheese and meat or black beans.

The crab cakes Benedict - like eggs Benedict, but with grilled crab cakes instead of bacon - is a hit with the restaurant's regular crowd.  And shrimp and grits is one of the diner's daily blackboard specials, as is the three-egg seafood omelette, the Tuscan and Mom's, made with chicken, asparagus, mushrooms, Swiss cheese and hollandaise sauce.  Add warm cornbread, and your meal is square.

For those who prefer something sweeter, the pound-cake French toast is an indulgence that will last you all day.  The Belgian waffles are among the fluffiest in town and The Metro Diner is pancake lover's dream.  Go for the 10-inch Challenge, an enormous pancake that can be stuffed with blueberries, banana, apple, granola, nuts, chocolate chips, even wheat germ.  Davoli recommends the banana-granola combination.  "You don't even need syrup," he says.

Davoli says The Metro Diner uses only the finest ingredients for his dishes, despite the fact that this policy eats into profits.  "I'd rather make a little less money and make the customer happy," he says, And thanks to his Pittsburgh upbringing, his portions aren't dainty.  As Davoli puts it:  "You never leave hungry."
http://www.metrodinerjax.com/Folio Weekly Best Breakfast 2004.htm














Hendricks Elementary School



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Hendricks Avenue Elementary School, located in Jacksonville, Florida, serves grades K-5 in the Duval County Public Schools district. It is among the few public elementary schools in Florida to receive a distinguished GreatSchools Rating of 10 out of 10.
http://www.greatschools.org/florida/jacksonville/959-Hendricks-Avenue-Elementary-School/

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Hendricks Avenue Elementary School has approximately 22-acres of land available for active public recreational use. The school is located between San Jose Boulevard and Hendricks Avenue just south of Inwood Terrace. The site is characterized by open grassed play areas with mature oaks and pines scattered throughout. The existing recreational facilities include a basketball court, softball field, baseball field, play equipment, swings and climbers.
http://www.smpsjax.com/san_marco/parks.php




Miramar is located along the St. Johns River, where Emerson Street meets Hendricks Avenue, in Jacksonville's Southside.

Photographs by Daniel Herbin and Ennis Davis







23 Comments

Miss Fixit

March 18, 2010, 05:49:33 AM
Nice photos!  I've never seen some of these houses, although I live in and bike through the San Marco area frequently.

I could certainly be wrong, but I believe only a small portion of the area you have described is known - either legally or commonly - as "Miramar."  You have included portions of River Oaks, Oriental Gardens, Colonial Manor, Waterman Estates, Granada and Point Lavista.   No one I know who lives in those subdivisions (and I am one of those people) would say that they live in "Miramar".  Miramar is a smaller area between Gadsden, San Jose and Hendricks that includes the Miramar shopping center and the small brick bungalows on Peachtree, London, Dover, etc.

Overstreet

March 18, 2010, 08:51:11 AM
Colonial Manor Lake Park..........OK there may be a sign. It may show up on a map that way. But my friends that live around there call it the Duck Pond.

thelakelander

March 18, 2010, 09:05:40 AM
I could certainly be wrong, but I believe only a small portion of the area you have described is known - either legally or commonly - as "Miramar."  You have included portions of River Oaks, Oriental Gardens, Colonial Manor, Waterman Estates, Granada and Point Lavista.   No one I know who lives in those subdivisions (and I am one of those people) would say that they live in "Miramar".  Miramar is a smaller area between Gadsden, San Jose and Hendricks that includes the Miramar shopping center and the small brick bungalows on Peachtree, London, Dover, etc.



I used the neighborhood name and boundary from walkscore.com, who used data from the City of Jacksonville.

http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville

Nevertheless, you could be right.  COJ calls the area bounded by Hendricks, Emerson, FEC tracks and Craig Creek, "South Riverside."

fsu813

March 18, 2010, 09:07:04 AM
Curious as to what makes those neighborhoods "urban"?

They seem rather suburban to me....

Bativac

March 18, 2010, 09:08:00 AM
What a great area to live in. I attended Hendricks Ave Elementary as a kid in the 80s and it was a great school then. I lived in the neighborhood right across from the Wine Warehouse (heheh) for 3 years before I bought a place in St. Nicholas... still go bicycling over there all the time.

Great pictures. Great article.

thelakelander

March 18, 2010, 09:53:11 AM
Curious as to what makes those neighborhoods "urban"?

They seem rather suburban to me....

To tell the truth, it could probably go either way.  Its a 1920s era suburban area, yet still shares more characteristics with urban San Marco than with Mandarin, Baymeadows or Deerwood.  It has a decent street network, history, a number of neighborhood parks, a commercial spine and its a short distance from the central city.  It would be easier to make it a self sustaining multimodal friendly neighborhood than a place like Arygle.  Like Springfield, the bones are in place.  It just needs a few connectivity improvements like more sidewalks, bikeways and a context sensitive streetscape design on Hendricks Avenue.

lindab

March 18, 2010, 11:54:00 AM
Miss fixit is right. Mirimar is mostly smaller homes clustered near the Miramar shopping center. It is a wonderful neighborhood, affordable homes, tree-lined streets, churches, schools.  I have family and friends who live or lived in the area for years and they all love it. Thanks for the article. Yes, it could stand some Town Center amenities.

stjr

March 18, 2010, 08:24:36 PM
I agree with Miss Fixit's analysis of names in this area.  Also, we old timers know Colonial Manor Lake Park simply as "the duck pond".

I would like to add that many in the "Miramar" area would also include in that monikier the self contained and architecturally similar (circa 1945 to early 1950's) Ridgewood development on the east side of Hendricks, opposite the Miramar shopping center.  This development continues Peachtree Street from the west side as Peachtree Circle which envelops streets names for trees (Birchwood, Pinewood, Rosewood, Redwood) and the bisector street, Ridgeland that comes out at the traffic light. It may be the best housing deal between Downtown and Mandarin (see post following this for more).

Metro Diner was known as Dan's, a pinball and soda shop for Hendricks Avenue Elementary kids walking home or waiting to be picked up (the school had no school buses in those days!) during the 1960's.  The school was considered tops in the county even back then, emulating, or even surpassing, the best private schools of today.


I have posted on other MJ threads stories of:
-Mr. McGhee's shoe store next to Piners
-Piners being the place to buy your Schwinn bicycle
-Chasteen's Texaco Station at Hendricks and Emerson
-Ossi's Drug Store a few feet south of Emerson
-Coley Walkers Drug Store where the Gate station is
-Levy's Nursery where the engineering firm buildings are next door to Gate
-Noman's Pharmacy, Goodyear Tire (AND Appliances!), Winn-Dixie, Joe Carlucci's State Farm, Rose's Beauty Parlor and Gift Shop, Towers Hardware, the Music Bar, Seven-Eleven, and Tommy's Barber Shop in or around the Miramar Shopping Center in the 1960's.  Wine Warehouse was a Mobil gas station (and maybe a Gulf Oil before that?) and the cleaners in the triangle at San Jose and Hendricks was an Amoco/Standard Oil.  

Keith-N-Jax

March 18, 2010, 08:41:07 PM
Wow what a beautiful neighborhood. Nice kept landscapes and beautiful homes. I must take a drive through there. I also love the spring bloom in North Florida. People can say what they may, but we do have some very, very nice neighborhoods.

stjr

March 18, 2010, 08:41:47 PM
It is a wonderful neighborhood, affordable homes, tree-lined streets, churches, schools.  I have family and friends who live or lived in the area for years and they all love it. Thanks for the article. Yes, it could stand some Town Center amenities.

Linda B, totally agree.

The true Miramar neighborhood (ironically and regretfully, I did not detect more than one, if that, picture from this area) around the shopping center (i.e. the Peachtree/English named streets and Ridgewood) is very much overlooked for the very reasons you mention.  I think it is one of the most "peaceful" areas of the city.  And, if you like nice sized lots on tree lined streets in a mature upscale and close-in (less than 5 miles to downtown) area, brick, stucco, or wood sided houses with character, hardwood floors, plaster walls, and some oddball charms like phone nooks, built-in shelves or columnar room dividers, you can't beat the values at 150K to 275+K (the same house will sell for about 20 to 30% more on the west side of Hendricks vs. the east side due to greater proximity to the river) many of the true Miramar/Ridgewood development homes trade at.

Yes, many of the homes are at or under 1400 square feet, typically are 3/1's (there are some 2/1's), have carports or one car garages.  But, a lot of homes have been upgraded to 1,600 to 2,000 s.f, typically with a second bath and a Florida/great room, and some have as much as 4/2.  The ones that haven't could be if the owner wishes to due to the nice size lots.  Pretty much all the homes have been lovingly cared for regardless.  Won't find any roofs falling in or abandoned properties here.

Residents include young DINK professionals, young families, and lifers making for a nice mix of residents.  Over the last 50 years the neighborhood has just gotten better and better.

Keith-N-Jax

March 18, 2010, 08:46:57 PM
Its too bad that all neighborhoods cant retain their charm!!!!

lewyn

March 18, 2010, 11:48:46 PM
As far as I can tell, no sidewalks except on Hendricks.

stjr

March 19, 2010, 01:13:19 AM
As far as I can tell, no sidewalks except on Hendricks.

Not in most residential subdivisions.  San Jose (the 2 lane section running parallel with Hendricks) has sidewalks as I recall.  Along with Hendricks, that's the only moderately trafficked road in the area.  Within a subdivision, I believe Point La Vista has some.  Maybe a few others.  But, most streets are so quiet, you really can walk along the street edges without any concerns.  In fact, you will see many people doing just that.  Maybe one day, someone can go back and put them in.  Not sure if the property owners pay or the City.

Captain Zissou

March 19, 2010, 09:51:32 AM
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DINK professionals

What is that?

stephendare

March 19, 2010, 09:58:24 AM
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DINK professionals

What is that?

Dual Income, No Kids

Captain Zissou

March 19, 2010, 10:43:47 AM
Thanks!

Miss Fixit

March 19, 2010, 11:35:10 AM
As far as I can tell, no sidewalks except on Hendricks.

Not in most residential subdivisions.  San Jose (the 2 lane section running parallel with Hendricks) has sidewalks as I recall.  Along with Hendricks, that's the only moderately trafficked road in the area.  Within a subdivision, I believe Point La Vista has some.  Maybe a few others.  But, most streets are so quiet, you really can walk along the street edges without any concerns.  In fact, you will see many people doing just that.  Maybe one day, someone can go back and put them in.  Not sure if the property owners pay or the City.

Yes, the only sidewalks are on San Jose, Hendricks and in Point La Vista but you can easily bike and walk throughout the neighborhood - wide streets with very little traffic.  This morning I biked from my house by the Duck Pond through Miramar Terrace and enjoyed seeing lots of folks out walking their dogs and getting some exercise.  Many children (including mine) walk to school at Hendricks Avenue Elementary, which is probably the biggest selling point for the neighborhood. 

thelakelander

March 19, 2010, 12:03:26 PM
I noticed that the school's recreational facilities are open to the public.  This should be allowed in more neighborhoods.

Captain Zissou

March 19, 2010, 12:04:10 PM
I drove through point la vista on Saturday.  The houses in here are a good example of the bad side of 60's architecture.

ZacharyMease

March 21, 2010, 03:19:39 PM
As a life long resident, I'm very proud of the Miramar Neighborhood and its local businesses.
Not so much with the morning and evening traffic though, and god forbid I have to wait in the smoldering heat for a bus that comes when it does.
Point being (and yes it's a bit off topic), I feel that Miramar, San Marco, as well as other neighborhoods along San Jose, would prove a great medium for the development of streetcar communities.

Jason

March 22, 2010, 03:18:01 PM
Welcome Zachary.  Your mention of "streetcar" will earn you quite a few friends around here.

:)

stephendare

August 02, 2010, 11:22:42 AM
As a life long resident, I'm very proud of the Miramar Neighborhood and its local businesses.
Not so much with the morning and evening traffic though, and god forbid I have to wait in the smoldering heat for a bus that comes when it does.
Point being (and yes it's a bit off topic), I feel that Miramar, San Marco, as well as other neighborhoods along San Jose, would prove a great medium for the development of streetcar communities.

I totally agree with you Zachary.  In fact at a southside visioning committee last year, I brought this up multiple times.

ZacharyMease

August 02, 2010, 11:38:00 AM
hah, it's a nice idea.
Unfortunately most people I've talked to that live south of San Marco would rather get in their car than walk .15 miles and wait for a streetcar, although I wouldn't blame them in this heat.
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