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Riverside Avondale an American Top 10 Neighborhood

Riverside Avondale has been honored by the American Planning Association (APA) as one of the country's 10 Great Neighborhoods under the APA's Great Places in America program. Riverside Avondale is the first neighborhood in Florida to receive this prestigious national recognition.

Published October 13, 2010 in News      150 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

APA’s Great Places in America program celebrates places of exemplary character, quality and planning and cited RAP’s advocacy and preservation efforts as central to the neighborhood’s success. “RAP wouldn’t exist without our passionate volunteers – much less receive this kind of recognition,” said Carmen Godwin, RAP’s Executive Director. “This honor is really a testament to almost 40 years of civic engagement and effort by the residents and volunteers of this community.”



“We’re very excited to name Riverside Avondale as one of this year’s Great Neighborhoods,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. “The neighborhood is Jacksonville’s hidden gem.”











The APA also lauded RAP for its role in securing federal historic status for the neighborhood, sponsoring community events and encouraging preservation and planning efforts. “RAP and the neighborhood serve as the model for the city’s historic preservation program. RAP fights inappropriate zoning and insensitive institutional expansion, helping change the city’s approach to planning and zoning in historic districts,” continued Farmer.





The Riverdale Inn - An example of Adaptive Reuse

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this wonderful national honor,” said Wayne Wood, founder of RAP. "Riverside Avondale is a neighborhood of rich diversity – ethnically, economically and architecturally – whose citizens have remained steadfastly engaged for more than a generation to protect and enrich this exemplary American neighborhood."


The weekly Riverside Arts Market, one of many events that RAP holds each year








In its Great Neighborhood designation, the APA also honored the efforts of local planners and city officials in adopting a historic preservation element as part of Jacksonville’s Comprehensive Plan in 1990. Kay Ehas, current chair of RAP’s Board of Directors, said, “Riverside Avondale has been fortunate to have its past and present council members and Bill Killingsworth (the city’s Planning Department Director) as champions of historic preservation and our neighborhoods. We look forward to their ongoing support as we strive to make the neighborhood even better.”

For more information visit: http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2010/







150 Comments

iloveionia

October 13, 2010, 12:37:22 AM
Whoot! Whoot! A great big Congratulations to our friends across the river.

simms3

October 13, 2010, 12:55:05 AM
Totally deserved.  When Jacksonville is a 5 million person metro way in the future and every home in Riverside Avondale is impeccably preserved and streetcars are running and parks are restored to maximum beauty, this will be the most desirable neighborhood in FL and one of the most desirable neighborhoods anywhere.

sheclown

October 13, 2010, 05:41:29 AM
Congrats to RAP! 

vicupstate

October 13, 2010, 05:58:43 AM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.

Well deserved recognition.   Now if only Springfield could evolve to that same level of Preservation.

thelakelander

October 13, 2010, 06:26:48 AM
Congrats to Riverside-Avondale and all involved in achieving this accomplishment.  The neighborhood is truly a special place and an example of what downtown and the rest of the urban core can become.

uptowngirl

October 13, 2010, 07:01:40 AM
Way to go RAP!!!!!

jcjohnpaint

October 13, 2010, 07:34:57 AM
so wonderful

grimss

October 13, 2010, 07:43:17 AM
So proud!! The award puts Riverside Avondale in some pretty great company, too.  Society Hill in Philadelphia, the Back Bay district in Boston, the Frank Lloyd Wright district  in Oak Park, IL . . .

Jumpinjack

October 13, 2010, 07:55:46 AM
I'm all smiles from ear to ear! Well done to everyone who has supported historic preservation in this town. Springfield, you're next!

heights unknown

October 13, 2010, 08:19:09 AM
Doesn't really surprise me. Riverside-Avondale has always been, not an upscale neighborhood, but a comfortable, homey, and picturesque neighborhood within Jacksonville.  I lived there several times in the 70's, 80's and 90's when I lived in Jax, and that was the area I was always drawn to. The River was one reason why I loved Riverside-Avondale, but the other was the nice parks and recreation areas, and the homey neighborhood feel with a true southern taste and style!

"HU"

heights unknown

October 13, 2010, 08:20:42 AM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.

Well deserved recognition.   Now if only Springfield could evolve to that same level of Preservation.

I agree; Jacksonville has a style, taste and feel all of its own!

"HU"

riverside planner

October 13, 2010, 08:46:12 AM
This is fantastic news!

Dog Walker

October 13, 2010, 08:52:14 AM
Two things to think about:  

What would Riverside/Avondale be like today if Wayne Wood had not started RAP back in the early '70's ?

Riverside is largely the way it is because it was laid out and developed around STREETCARS.

Love where I live!

fsujax

October 13, 2010, 08:52:25 AM
Woot! finally some good news to read about Jacksonville! as a graduate of Lee HS I couldnt be more proud of the area! MAybe one day Springfield!!!!

tufsu1

October 13, 2010, 09:43:59 AM
Congratulations to the City of Jacksonville Planning Department, RAP, and the First Coast Section of APA Florida.  The idea to apply for this award stemmed from a dinner conversation last year during the APA Florida conference.  Many people were involved in shepherding the nomination through the process, including MetroJacksonville's Steve Congro!

north miami

October 13, 2010, 09:57:22 AM
Totally deserved.  When Jacksonville is a 5 million person metro way in the future and every home in Riverside Avondale is impeccably preserved and streetcars are running and parks are restored to maximum beauty, this will be the most desirable neighborhood in FL and one of the most desirable neighborhoods anywhere.

10/4.

I Fled a declining late 1970's native North Miami for a perceived better place in Northeast Florida.
The overwhelming emphasis projected to newcomers was of course Clay County.The newly established Clay County family place on Black Creek was perched in a neighborhood and county dangling between a certain past and a future that could only reflect the past.And although I was honored to spearhead many "Growth Management" planning initiatives and key involvement in the creation of Jennings Forest, Five Points,Riverside and Avondale tugged at the heart to the point now long established in Avondale.
My back yard is the southwesterly boundary of RAP.What a journey,trading perceived "pristine" Black Creek for a beat up impaired Fishweir Creek waterway and yet even Fishweir is a sacred catastrophe as we will soon finally learn of bonafide restoration efforts.There is a sense of guilt and thankfulness for all of those striving on behalf of Riverside Avondale years ago in the midst of the collective middle finger by so many. On the whole,what we see (and are sold!) in Avondale Riverside is what we can pretty much happily assume is what we are going to get.Priceless.
A note of caution in that RAP expressed some concern with the the recent "Overlay" final plan-something to the effect that we (RAP) didn't get everything we wanted,which may just be assumed correct outcome in the spirit of consensus if not in fact obligatory posturing.If there are real concerns with the Overlay we must be vigilant- luckily for many tastes and needs Riverside Avondale does not represent regional "Consensus".
Nor can the community be built anew from scratch elsewhere.During Brannon/Chaffee Corridor public 'vision' workshops many agreed to the 'inevitable' growth if could be patterned "just like Riverside Avondale".Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand-with the exception of the original and only Riverside Avondale.

And the neighborhood's close proximity to relatively spontaneous quality outdoor recreation in both the immediate neighborhood and handy to beaches and a vast complex of public lands is another magnificent bonus.

trigger

October 13, 2010, 10:48:37 AM
How pleasant it is for Jacksonville to be recognized for something positive! Congratulations to RAP, the First Coast APA, the City of Jacksonville and anyone else who contributed towards this recognition along the way!

hillary supporter

October 13, 2010, 11:04:47 AM
Congrats to Tony and Carmin---- a great job we re happy for you and everyone at RAP.
Also, the residents themselves make this the best neighborhood. Thats why I moved here!

simms3

October 13, 2010, 02:11:05 PM
Agreed, best overall residents in Jacksonville.  Springfield competes with some good residents though, too ;)

finehoe

October 13, 2010, 03:24:34 PM
Excellent!  Congrats to all involved.

GayLA

October 13, 2010, 06:41:52 PM
.In my Kathy Lee voice "It's only because of the Gays"

rainfrog

October 13, 2010, 07:00:06 PM
Disclaimer: I'm a pessimist.

To me the list feels like a semi-random grab-bag of places, making the usual allowances for size and geographical diversity these lists like to have. Hard to get too excited about being in a top ten with Sioux Falls, SD and Lafayette, IN. The 10 picks aside, the many, many great neighborhoods in the dozens of major cities alone that didn't make the list render it kind of hollow. But, I hope most can overlook this and see it as good publicity!

wsansewjs

October 13, 2010, 07:19:44 PM
Congratulations to Riverside Avondale! One of my favorite areas! I got my eyes on Springfield.

-rubs hands- You are next, Springfield!

billy

October 13, 2010, 07:39:45 PM
hip hip......

tufsu1

October 13, 2010, 08:56:35 PM
Disclaimer: I'm a pessimist.

To me the list feels like a semi-random grab-bag of places, making the usual allowances for size and geographical diversity these lists like to have. Hard to get too excited about being in a top ten with Sioux Falls, SD and Lafayette, IN. The 10 picks aside, the many, many great neighborhoods in the dozens of major cities alone that didn't make the list render it kind of hollow. But, I hope most can overlook this and see it as good publicity!

well think about this...in 2009, 150 different places applied....and the judges narrowed this list to 10 in each of the 3 categories (great streets, great neighborhoods, and great public spaces).

or, another perspective....prior to this year only 2 places in Florida had been selected (Ocean Drive/Miami in 2007 and 7th Ave/Ybor City/Tampa in 2008)....and this is the first neighborhood in Florida ever selected for the award.

RiversideLoki

October 13, 2010, 09:02:21 PM
In my 26 years living here in Jax, I can't say I've ever felt a neighborhood that's more comfortable and "just right". Well deserved, Riverside/Avondale is a gem in this hell of sprawl. I love my neighbors and my neighborhood. If I never leave this city, this is the place I want to be. Go us!

rainfrog

October 13, 2010, 09:14:04 PM
well think about this...in 2009, 150 different places applied....and the judges narrowed this list to 10 in each of the 3 categories (great streets, great neighborhoods, and great public spaces).

or, another perspective....prior to this year only 2 places in Florida had been selected (Ocean Drive/Miami in 2007 and 7th Ave/Ybor City/Tampa in 2008)....and this is the first neighborhood in Florida ever selected for the award.

That helps a little. However, a top 10 list that completely changes every year isn't really a top 10 list, is it? It's more of a '10 new featured', in which case, it's just a matter of time before they get around to all the goods. I don't know. I'm getting won over... starting to feel a little Jax pride. Just feels a bit like making a Forbes list. But better to make a list that most cities eventually do than never at all...

Wow, that sounded almost optimistic of me! :P

A-Finnius

October 13, 2010, 09:53:51 PM
I'm glad Riverside/Avondale is getting some national publicity and I'm proud to be one of the newer residents of this great neighborhood.  ;D

grimss

October 13, 2010, 10:15:21 PM
well think about this...in 2009, 150 different places applied....and the judges narrowed this list to 10 in each of the 3 categories (great streets, great neighborhoods, and great public spaces).

or, another perspective....prior to this year only 2 places in Florida had been selected (Ocean Drive/Miami in 2007 and 7th Ave/Ybor City/Tampa in 2008)....and this is the first neighborhood in Florida ever selected for the award.

That helps a little. However, a top 10 list that completely changes every year isn't really a top 10 list, is it? It's more of a '10 new featured', in which case, it's just a matter of time before they get around to all the goods. I don't know. I'm getting won over... starting to feel a little Jax pride. Just feels a bit like making a Forbes list. But better to make a list that most cities eventually do than never at all...

Wow, that sounded almost optimistic of me! :P

All I can tell is you is that, from what I understand, the selection process was extremely rigorous. Substantial nominating application required in February, followed by a ton of back and forth, with requests for more information, more pictures, site testimonials, evidence of significant civic engagement, evidence of a real plan (past and present)--the list was apparently endless. Huge props go to the NE Florida chapter of the APA for shepherding this application through, and of course to RAP and the almost 40 years of work by residents and business owners in the district to make this into the great neighborhood it has become.

And hey, I'll share a top 10 designation with Boston's Back Bay any day.

Glenn VL

October 13, 2010, 10:47:45 PM
Way to go Riverside! We went for the first time last week and it's just like a mini St. John's Town Center! I loved it!

MusicMan

October 13, 2010, 10:57:01 PM
Glenn, That was hysterical. Next time just stay put, we'll enjoy it for you.

Steve

October 13, 2010, 11:07:46 PM
Way to go Riverside! We went for the first time last week and it's just like a mini St. John's Town Center! I loved it!

Glad you loved the neighborhood, but if there is anything we are not, it is St Johns town center.  For one, the place is not on the st johns, nor at the center of town.  Second, their attempt at mixed use is a really poor attempt to copy neighborhoods of 100 years ago.  The fact that their stucco boxes will probably look like hell in 30 years notwithstanding , wr can and do actually walk to places.  Just ask the 20,000 people who live here

Live_Oak

October 13, 2010, 11:18:51 PM
Come on guys, Glenn is obviously being sarcastic.


I hope.

Kay

October 13, 2010, 11:53:18 PM
In my 26 years living here in Jax, I can't say I've ever felt a neighborhood that's more comfortable and "just right". Well deserved, Riverside/Avondale is a gem in this hell of sprawl. I love my neighbors and my neighborhood. If I never leave this city, this is the place I want to be. Go us!

Exactly--go us!  To all the residents and businesses past and present who worked on behalf of our neighborhood or simply live here, and to the visitors who appreciate its specialness.  Go us!  I love it.  The recognition is fabulous. 

Coolyfett

October 14, 2010, 06:09:35 AM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.

Well deserved recognition.   Now if only Springfield could evolve to that same level of Preservation.

Isnt Jacksonville older than Miami?? What do you mean by copying? Miami is a nice city, do they have a Riverside?? Probably not, but still Im not understanding what you mean by this. Is this an urban core thing or a South Beach vs Jax Beach copying?

AmyLynne

October 14, 2010, 08:05:22 AM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.

Well deserved recognition.   Now if only Springfield could evolve to that same level of Preservation.

Isnt Jacksonville older than Miami?? What do you mean by copying? Miami is a nice city, do they have a Riverside?? Probably not, but still Im not understanding what you mean by this. Is this an urban core thing or a South Beach vs Jax Beach copying?

I think he meant that people would like us to be more like South Florida...not that we copied them.

Debbie Thompson

October 14, 2010, 01:50:54 PM
AmyLynne, as a resident of Springfield, I'm with you. We are trying to evolve to that same level of Preservation.  We keep getting knocked down, but we keep come up fighting for it. :-) Springfield is an amazing neighborhood, with lots of fun things to do, fabulous homes, and terrific residents.  And yet the public perception among Jaxons about Springfield has not caught up with the reality.

Meantime, great news, Riverside/Avondale.  We hope to join you in the Top 10 very soon!

Ron Mexico

October 14, 2010, 01:58:29 PM
So proud to be resident here!  I sent that article and the one from the Financial Times to all of my friends in PVB, SJC and Orange-tucky! 

north miami

October 14, 2010, 03:25:14 PM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.


Riverside Avondale emerged relatively slowly and by and large earlier than much of Miami which was litterally being created from scratch out of beach sand and swamp during roughly the same era.
My native North Miami was built for The Greatest Generation post WW11 expansion .......The Greatest Generation eventually fled due to seismic demographic shift.In this regard Miami was decades ahead of Jacksonville.

There is in fact a vestige of RAP type in Miami's Coconut Grove.The Grove adjoins Biscayne Bay- a setting worth noting because apparently adjacent water body is key to this particular place type.(And a key reason these neighborhoods can not be easily and effectively repeated).

Riverside Avondale is more reflective of New England or the midwest.
South Florida has generated many really cool enclaves reflective of...well, singular south Florida.
Fort Lauderdale/Broward County evolved in a similar role as Clay County to Duval would later.

Many newcomers to Jacksonville pass over RA in favor of places such as Ponte Vedra.

There are many- for some tastes too many similarities with evil south Florida in our region.What I see is we don't proclaim copy of Miami so much as sell against it.Like Clay & St.Johns with Duval.

Caution against comparing any sacred community with a perceived or bonafide lower common denominator.

Many "Best" places take strident efforts to remain under the radar so to speak.




tayana42

October 17, 2010, 12:22:06 AM
This is a cool place.

finehoe

October 18, 2010, 11:23:18 AM
Many "Best" places take strident efforts to remain under the radar so to speak.

And are wise to do so, if you ask me.

Noone

October 24, 2010, 05:06:22 AM
Congrats to RAP.  Neighborhoods like R-A are why I have NEVER understood the attitude to copy South Florida, that is so prevalent.  Miami/FTL do not and will not ever have a Riverside-Avondale.


Congratulations for the recognition.

NM, maybe you would know or anyone else might but is there a pocket pier (floating dock) waterfront Public Access street end in Riverside/Avondale that any resident could access by boat to our St. Johns River our American Heritage River.

Just asking and if there is one can you tell me where it is.



Riverside Avondale emerged relatively slowly and by and large earlier than much of Miami which was litterally being created from scratch out of beach sand and swamp during roughly the same era.
My native North Miami was built for The Greatest Generation post WW11 expansion .......The Greatest Generation eventually fled due to seismic demographic shift.In this regard Miami was decades ahead of Jacksonville.

There is in fact a vestige of RAP type in Miami's Coconut Grove.The Grove adjoins Biscayne Bay- a setting worth noting because apparently adjacent water body is key to this particular place type.(And a key reason these neighborhoods can not be easily and effectively repeated).

Riverside Avondale is more reflective of New England or the midwest.
South Florida has generated many really cool enclaves reflective of...well, singular south Florida.
Fort Lauderdale/Broward County evolved in a similar role as Clay County to Duval would later.

Many newcomers to Jacksonville pass over RA in favor of places such as Ponte Vedra.

There are many- for some tastes too many similarities with evil south Florida in our region.What I see is we don't proclaim copy of Miami so much as sell against it.Like Clay & St.Johns with Duval.

Caution against comparing any sacred community with a perceived or bonafide lower common denominator.

Many "Best" places take strident efforts to remain under the radar so to speak.





Noone

October 24, 2010, 05:12:32 AM
I just butchered that quote.

Is there a pocket pier (tiny floating dock) along the river in the boundries that are defined as Riverside/Avondale

Again congratulations to everyone for the award. 

ubben

November 05, 2010, 04:52:59 PM
It looks like they've started work on putting the eagle statues up in Memorial Park, finally. Construction crews are tearing down the corner balustrades near the Life statue. I'd upload the pics I took, but have no idea how on this site. Go check it out in person, I guess.

elr

November 05, 2010, 05:42:34 PM
I wish we had more old oak trees like Gainesville does. The kind that form a canopy over the street. Just sayin.

fieldafm

November 05, 2010, 05:58:05 PM
I wish we had more old oak trees like Gainesville does. The kind that form a canopy over the street. Just sayin.

That is a major focus of RAP now.  In fact, RAP and Greenscape had a killer deal on Oaks last fall.

ubben

November 05, 2010, 10:00:02 PM
As far as trees go, there used to be a beautiful, unique line of mature live oaks all along the entire west side of the Shoppes of Avondale. The city of Jacksonville and Blue Fish Restaurant cut down a total of FIVE of them on the north end just this summer. They were replanted with small drake elm trees and two palms--the same size as you'd find in the parking lot of the Avenues Mall. Sadly, due to indifference and lack of vision, we lost a graceful part of our neighborhood that can never be replaced in our lifetimes.

Dog Walker

November 06, 2010, 09:08:37 AM
Ubben,  A lot of the oak trees in Riverside/Avondale were planted 60-70 years ago.  They are Laurel and Water Oaks and are reaching the end of their lives.

RAP, Greenscape and the City are replacing them with Live Oaks where they can (power line concerns) and the canopy will regenerate in another decade.

ubben

November 08, 2010, 08:17:32 AM
These were live oaks, confirmed by a local landscape architect. They were the same trees that extend from Cowford Traders down past the Brick. Live Oaks.

Jumpinjack

November 08, 2010, 09:37:43 AM
When I look at how the street canopy has been mutilated by the electric and cable companies, it will be a miracle if those trees survive. You can't cut 100+ yr old trees into alphabet shapes and expect what is left to support continued growth.

ChriswUfGator

November 08, 2010, 10:00:18 AM
Ubben,  A lot of the oak trees in Riverside/Avondale were planted 60-70 years ago.  They are Laurel and Water Oaks and are reaching the end of their lives.

RAP, Greenscape and the City are replacing them with Live Oaks where they can (power line concerns) and the canopy will regenerate in another decade.

Dog, I can speak personally with I say JEA is full of B.S. about a lot of these trees they're cutting down. Many of them have nothing wrong with them, and there are several different species including live oaks in Riverside. JEA has a policy that gets rid of anything that they feel may interfere with a power line during a storm, and this policy is responsible for most of the canopy loss in Riverside during the last 5 years. Which I think is a bit ridiculous, I'd rather bury the line before tearing down a tree that will take decades to replace, and then not only do they not replace the tree, but they don't even bother to pull the stumps so you cannot possibly replace the tree.

And the ones that were torn down on St. Johns in Avondale were especially annoying, as JEA had no sooner gotten rid of them than COJ came through and decided to bury all the power lines as part of the streetscape project. I am glad RAP is (finally) on this issue. In the decade I've lived here, we've lost probably half the tree canopy.

Some of the trees were water oaks, and I understand you only get so long out of those, but many were other species and had nothing wrong with them, other than that JEA believed they would interfere with power lines in a windstorm. I know this because several times I've asked crews why they were cutting various trees down, and they said JEA does inspections and if they think a tree would encroach on a power line during a windsotm, then it goes. I have observed they got much more serious about it after that tropical storm a few years ago.

simms3

November 08, 2010, 10:01:18 AM
Sad sad sad JEA really screws everything up, including plumbing/sewer, too...

Non-RedNeck Westsider

November 08, 2010, 10:02:09 AM
Just envision how nice the Edgewood corridor will look in 15 years when the magnolias have matured, creating a canopy so impenetrable that there will be no sunlight or grass beneath.  IMO the trees that they just planted a few months ago was total overkill.

ChriswUfGator

November 08, 2010, 10:08:48 AM
Just envision how nice the Edgewood corridor will look in 15 years when the magnolias have matured, creating a canopy so impenetrable that there will be no sunlight or grass beneath.  IMO the trees that they just planted a few months ago was total overkill.

IMO, the tree canopy is what separates Jacksonville from the Miamis and Tampas of the state. Almost every Florida city used to have wonderful foliage, but beginning in the 1980s road widenings, public works projects, streetscaping projects, and concerns over trimming and maintenance costs led most to get rid of most of the foliage.

Most of the original residential areas of Jacksonville, including Springfield, Riverside, San Marco, Ortega, St. Nicholas, old Mandarin, and many others, still had their tree canopies fully intact as of 2000. Unfortunately, once JEA unilaterally declared itself a for-profit enterprise despite being wholly taxpayer-owned (Stephendare has more information on that topic if you're interested), they have destroyed a good 1/3 of this original canopy, probably over 1/2 in Riverside, because it is cheaper than rerouting or burying the power lines they may interfere with.

The canopy is nice, and I think Edgewood will look nice when it grows in. Historically, that's the appearance of a traditional Florida city. Tree canopies were highly valued, providing much needed shade and coolness in the days before air conditioning. We are one of the few Florida cities, or at least we were until recently, that kept this asset.

Dog Walker

November 08, 2010, 10:44:06 AM
What JEA is doing with our tree canopy is outrageous.  We would all also scream bloody murder if our power went out for hours every time we had a thunderstorm.

We need to get our utility lines underground so we can quit looking like a third world country.

One of the things we remarked on while watching the Tour de France was that there were no visible power lines in any of the towns that the Tour went through.

finehoe

November 08, 2010, 12:32:59 PM
One of the reasons South Florida's tree canopy seems lacking is that back in the day they planted almost nothing but Coconut Palms.  Then when Lethal Yellowing hit big in the late 70s-early 80s it decimated whole neighborhoods.

The lesson we should take away is plant a diversity of species.  Don't rely on a single tree, no matter how beautiful they may be.  Especially in light of things like this:  http://www.suddenoakdeath.org/

reednavy

November 08, 2010, 12:56:30 PM
One of the reasons South Florida's tree canopy seems lacking is that back in the day they planted almost nothing but Coconut Palms.  Then when Lethal Yellowing hit big in the late 70s-early 80s it decimated whole neighborhoods.

The lesson we should take away is plant a diversity of species.  Don't rely on a single tree, no matter how beautiful they may be.  Especially in light of things like this:  http://www.suddenoakdeath.org/
Actually, the main reasoning there is because they have more frequent tropical systems, which affects the height and size of trees. This is why a drive on I-95 SB you have a dramatic shift in canopy height once you hit Brevard County.

finehoe

November 08, 2010, 02:44:14 PM
The size and heights of the trees have little or nothing to do with the number of trees planted.

Cocos nucifera can grow to be 90 ft. tall.  They're not there because Lethal Yellowing disease killed most of them off, not because hurricanes knocked them down.

reednavy

November 08, 2010, 04:31:01 PM
Last time I checked, they are still all over the place and that is just the main genus name. There are many different types of Coconut Palms from all over the world that are found in SoFla. The Jamaican Tall variety is most susceptible, and you don't find 90ft tall trees in SoFla anyways because they either get blown over or lightning strikes and kills the tree.

I never refered to #s being planted anyways, I am talking about the fact the trees are kept in check by tropical systems or killed by them in various ways. It is pretty simple to realize that NE FL has a massive tree canopy because it is hit less frequently by hurricanes. The more frquent, the shorter trees will be and such.

grimss

November 17, 2010, 10:31:59 PM
As far as trees go, there used to be a beautiful, unique line of mature live oaks all along the entire west side of the Shoppes of Avondale. The city of Jacksonville and Blue Fish Restaurant cut down a total of FIVE of them on the north end just this summer. They were replanted with small drake elm trees and two palms--the same size as you'd find in the parking lot of the Avenues Mall. Sadly, due to indifference and lack of vision, we lost a graceful part of our neighborhood that can never be replaced in our lifetimes.

Unfortunately, those trees were on Blue Fish's property, not the city right of way, and so they could do whatever they wanted. Big bummer.

PeeJayEss

December 13, 2010, 08:21:14 PM
Not exactly on-topic, but can anyone give me an idea of the boundaries of Riverside? I know its basically from Five Points to King and from the river to I-10/Roosevelt, but is there a point before those boundaries (particularly going towards the highway) where safety, etc starts to deteriorate or at least becomes more questionable?

Noone

December 13, 2010, 09:21:37 PM

Is there a pocket pier (tiny floating dock) along the river in the boundries that are defined as Riverside/Avondale

Again congratulations to everyone for the award. 

Today at the St. Johns River Alliance Board meeting the Discussion of a Paddling trail of the St. Johns River Blueway. Imagine a B&B with a floating dock (pocket pier) that could capture this growing market. 

fieldafm

December 13, 2010, 10:56:38 PM
John, the construction of the public floating dock at the RAM site has begun.  While a portion of the dock is reserved for Water Taxi access, there will also be space for private power boat docking and possible kayak launching.  I think you, North Miami, and myself need to put a bug in Teri Coutu's ear about some kind of kayak event coinciding with the opening of the 2011 RAM season in March... possibly some type of recurring focus on kayaking throughout the 2011 season.  This Saturday is the last day for RAM's 2010 season.  I'll be up there anyway, so if you guys want to meet up and give Mrs Coutu's some good ideas and show the kayaking communities unity on this particular issue... I'm certainly game. 

ricker

December 14, 2010, 02:18:29 AM
::applause::
c'mon whoelse is happy to see the reforestation efforts underway?

Noone

December 14, 2010, 06:46:59 AM
Field, Tha RAM floating dock is a benefit. Its just the beginning. As discussed at the Board meeting of the St. Johns River Alliance paddling a kayak to RAM given the currents and multitude of other conditions could be a very sporty paddle. I'd love to do it with you and NM. where would we put in? That was a concern of the potential trail route. Ability of the participant.

This is why with the upcoming city council and mayoral race is so important. If a candidate won't support a pocket pier (floating dock) at a waterfront Public access street end I wouldn't vote for them. Same can be said of the the Shipyards/Landmar pier.

You should have seen the look on the faces of the other county officials and members of the paddling associations when I informed them that Duval county has pending legislation 2010-856 that would ban outfitters from participating in this Blueway Trail in Jacksonville.

Wed. Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting at 9. Will ask for the 4th month in a row for someone to introduce a resolution that would keep the Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier separate. Be concerned



ricker

December 15, 2010, 06:38:39 AM
too little notice for me to drag him to the meeting, though I will be present -
MrBrooks Busey of Sadler Point Marina (and a member of the www.jacksonvillemarinamile.com) who recently purchased the remainder of Pier17 is interested in the pier park conversion of the old half-bridge and the space below the 17Ortega bridge, as is MsCynthia Segraves.
No it isn't Avondale but it also doesn't get much more convenient when considering the particpant's ability to launch their paddler/kayak.

I wish more folks would think regionally.

residents from Shadowlawn, Montgomery Pl, Richmond St to Bourbon Alley and Powell Pl may not be all too receptive to House on Cherry st incorporating a launch site - nor the true restoration and reuse of the Willowbranch inlet canal where the FYC once stood. These residents may be somewhat resistant to public access as those folks near seminole park on McGirts in Ortega.

From Tillie K. Fowler westside regional park on17 @ 120th, to the Tillie K. Fowler memorial sculpture at the Y on the northbank riverwalk, Jacksonville residents along the beaten path north through Venetia, Ortega, LakeShore, MurrayHill, Avondale and Riverside, should expect and command the Marina Mile to live up to our needs and expectations.

Why not have a water taxi stop at the half bridge?
why not?

J.L.Trent's of YUKON get's it!
They hosted quite a party at Pier17/Sadler Point Marina.
::wish I had pics to post::

Noone

December 15, 2010, 07:34:40 AM
WOW! WOW! So would this potential new enterprise support 2010-856 Transient vendor ban of 1 mile if a permanent structure is in place and rents kayaks.

This was brought up at the Board meeting of the St. Johns River Alliance and could have an effect on the 310 mile proposed River Blueway. Especially when talking about commerce and transient outfitters with their trailers.

fieldafm

December 15, 2010, 11:28:31 AM
too little notice for me to drag him to the meeting, though I will be present -
MrBrooks Busey of Sadler Point Marina (and a member of the www.jacksonvillemarinamile.com) who recently purchased the remainder of Pier17 is interested in the pier park conversion of the old half-bridge and the space below the 17Ortega bridge, as is MsCynthia Segraves.
No it isn't Avondale but it also doesn't get much more convenient when considering the particpant's ability to launch their paddler/kayak.

I wish more folks would think regionally.

residents from Shadowlawn, Montgomery Pl, Richmond St to Bourbon Alley and Powell Pl may not be all too receptive to House on Cherry st incorporating a launch site - nor the true restoration and reuse of the Willowbranch inlet canal where the FYC once stood. These residents may be somewhat resistant to public access as those folks near seminole park on McGirts in Ortega.

From Tillie K. Fowler westside regional park on17 @ 120th, to the Tillie K. Fowler memorial sculpture at the Y on the northbank riverwalk, Jacksonville residents along the beaten path north through Venetia, Ortega, LakeShore, MurrayHill, Avondale and Riverside, should expect and command the Marina Mile to live up to our needs and expectations.

Why not have a water taxi stop at the half bridge?
why not?

J.L.Trent's of YUKON get's it!
They hosted quite a party at Pier17/Sadler Point Marina.
::wish I had pics to post::

So, are they going to have kayak rentals at Pier 17 and a good launch at the old bridge?

I've put in at Stinson Park and paddled up to Westside Regional/Tillie Fowler and its a really nice route.  I think it could become a great water pathway for kayakers, rivaling some of the tours in the Intracoastal and Amelia Island areas.

Noone, what do you say... trip up to RAM and a trip over to Saddler Point Saturday to talk up some potential game for these two spots???  This could be big!

Jumpinjack

December 15, 2010, 01:34:18 PM
So, back on topic. This information would certainly apply to Riverside Avondale.


Quote
Walkable neighborhoods have higher levels of trust, community participation
Posted December 15, 2010 in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/walkable_neighborhoods_have_hi.html

A study by the Natural Resources and Earth System Science program at the University of New Hampshire finds that residents of neighborhoods with walkable access to shops and services have “higher levels of social capital such as trust among neighbors and participation in community events,” according to lead researcher Shannon Rogers.

The study, “Examining Walkability and Social Capital as Indicators of Quality of Life at the Municipal and Neighborhood Scales,” is published in a recent issue of the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life (abstract and for-pay access to full article here).  Rogers and the study’s coauthors surveyed 700 residents of 20 neighborhoods in two New Hampshire municipalities, Portsmouth and Manchester.

Survey participants self-identified the walkability of their neighborhoods by indicating the number of locations they could walk to in their community; any neighborhood with a mean response of more than seven walkable locations (out of a possible 13) was designated “walkable” by the researchers.  To measure social capital, they utilized a well-established scale developed by the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University, which is headed by Bowling Alone author and social capital scholar Robert Putnam.

According to the University’s press release, “those living in more walkable neighborhoods trusted their neighbors more; participated in community projects, clubs and volunteering more; and described television as their major form of entertainment less than survey participants living in less walkable neighborhoods.”

The research is consistent with findings from Lewis and Clark University research studying residents’ habits in the smart-growth development Orenco Station in Hillsborough, Oregon.  As noted in a previous post,  Orenco residents consistently reported  more friendliness, more "community," and more group participation than in their previous communities.   Walkable neighborhoods have also been found to foster physical fitness and enjoy higher home values than less walkable districts.

The New Hampshire research was funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship Program. In addition, Rogers and Carlson received support from the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Fellowships to the Environmental Research Group.

Noone

December 16, 2010, 04:44:51 AM
too little notice for me to drag him to the meeting, though I will be present -
MrBrooks Busey of Sadler Point Marina (and a member of the www.jacksonvillemarinamile.com) who recently purchased the remainder of Pier17 is interested in the pier park conversion of the old half-bridge and the space below the 17Ortega bridge, as is MsCynthia Segraves.
No it isn't Avondale but it also doesn't get much more convenient when considering the particpant's ability to launch their paddler/kayak.

I wish more folks would think regionally.

residents from Shadowlawn, Montgomery Pl, Richmond St to Bourbon Alley and Powell Pl may not be all too receptive to House on Cherry st incorporating a launch site - nor the true restoration and reuse of the Willowbranch inlet canal where the FYC once stood. These residents may be somewhat resistant to public access as those folks near seminole park on McGirts in Ortega.

From Tillie K. Fowler westside regional park on17 @ 120th, to the Tillie K. Fowler memorial sculpture at the Y on the northbank riverwalk, Jacksonville residents along the beaten path north through Venetia, Ortega, LakeShore, MurrayHill, Avondale and Riverside, should expect and command the Marina Mile to live up to our needs and expectations.

Why not have a water taxi stop at the half bridge?
why not?

J.L.Trent's of YUKON get's it!
They hosted quite a party at Pier17/Sadler Point Marina.
::wish I had pics to post::

So, are they going to have kayak rentals at Pier 17 and a good launch at the old bridge?

I've put in at Stinson Park and paddled up to Westside Regional/Tillie Fowler and its a really nice route.  I think it could become a great water pathway for kayakers, rivaling some of the tours in the Intracoastal and Amelia Island areas.

Noone, what do you say... trip up to RAM and a trip over to Saddler Point Saturday to talk up some potential game for these two spots???  This could be big!

Field, I'm in!

Stinson Park, is that Riverside/Avondale? I had someone call me and they would like to come too. they said 10 would work for them. I told them that its your party. Haven't even looked at the tides.

I can't wait. Could be a sporty paddle. I'm thinking that I'm having that extra bowl of wheaties. Lets Make it Happen. 904-434-0839

ricker

December 16, 2010, 06:13:25 AM
so... if I bring my waxy ear plugs and promise to keep my waterwings-er- lifevest ON, could I tag along?

fieldafm

December 16, 2010, 07:37:48 PM
John, Ill give you a shout tomorrow.

Dashing Dan

September 17, 2011, 11:47:09 AM
I posted this as a question on another thread but it doesn't have any connection to the toll road issue, so I'm going to post it here as well.

Does anyone have a feel for why planning for Riverside Avondale has been so much more successful than planning for downtown?  I'd really like to hear a range of answers to this question, especially from a long term perspective.

JeffreyS

September 17, 2011, 11:53:07 AM
RAP is why.  They have the most successful engaged neighborhood advocate. Now they have hit the point that everyone accepts that Riverside is Jacksonville's heritage neighborhood and even the sprawlers think it should be protected.

Steve

September 17, 2011, 11:54:13 AM
I'll bite.

Honestly, I think it comes down to three things:

1. Residents: In the scheme of things, no one lives downtown. RAP and Riverside and Avondale have been fighting for their neighborhood.

2. Historic Preservation: Don't underestimate this one. People like Riverside and Avondale because it's something different. They aren't building any more old buildings, and it something that sets Riverside and Avondale apart. Downtown has refused to embrace this.

3. Overcomplication: We've overcomplicated downtown. We tend to invest in "big money" projects downtown, yet ignore the little things. This kind of goes back to the residents. Having residents exposes the "little" problems more because residents complain, and they get solved.

My $.02

ChriswUfGator

September 17, 2011, 11:59:50 AM
I agree with Steve, and also wanted to add a real biggie here;

Riverside didn't summarily tear down every vacant building, thereby creating a cost prohibitive situation for residents and businesses wanting to occupy the area. If there is little left to occupy, you're looking at the cost of building from scratch, which is a burden most restaurants, residential families, retail, etc., cannot afford. This is probably more responsible than any other one thing for the disparity in Riverside vs. Downtown, or even other historic neighborhoods that have failed to turn around like Springfield.

Preserving the properties is not only the ethically correct thing to do with regard to preservation initiatives, but it's the financially necessary component to an area ever being able to undergo a resurgence. 99% of people and small business can't afford to build from scratch. But they can afford to buy an old place and fix it up. When you remove this from the equation, the cost barriers to entry become too high, and so nobody does, with the result that the area suffers perpetual stagnation.

thelakelander

September 17, 2011, 12:45:55 PM
Like the others have stated, there are several reasons for the different outcomes. Us overplanning and complicating simple things in downtown probably accounts for the largest difference. We ripped apart  downtown's economic structure in the name of revitalization, create new plans every decade, half ass implement them and wonder why things haven't worked out.

Dog Walker

September 17, 2011, 04:36:59 PM
You can say the basic reason Riverside/Avondale has been successful in two words.

Wayne Wood

He started everything when he saw the first beginnings of demolition/road building/conversion zoning.  And he has kept at it for thirty-five years; steadily, good-naturedly, and with creativity.

Dashing Dan

September 17, 2011, 06:33:10 PM
Kudos to Wayne Wood, but Wayne has been as strong an advocate for downtown as anybody.  I've heard great things about the station celebrations that he used to organize.

So how come Wayne's efforts were more successful in his own neighborhood than they were downtown?

thelakelander

September 17, 2011, 07:44:09 PM
Another thing to consider is Riverside and downtown have different economic structures.  What works in Riverside, San Marco and Ortega might not turn out the same for downtown, Brentwood and Durkeeville because of different economic and social issues.

Dashing Dan

September 17, 2011, 08:43:10 PM
Another thing to consider is Riverside and downtown have different economic structures.  What works in Riverside, San Marco and Ortega might not turn out the same for downtown, Brentwood and Durkeeville because of different economic and social issues.
San Marco and Ortega are different from downtown and Riverside.

Riverside has its share of upscale residents, but downtown does too.

thelakelander

September 17, 2011, 09:03:40 PM
They are all pretty different, socially, economically and culturally.  So its pretty hard to compare a residential dominaed neighborhood like Riverside/Avondale in an apples to apples situation with a denser highly commercialized district like downtown.  Not saying there aren't certain situations that overlap but just noting the differences in background context, which have a direct impact on the final product.

Dashing Dan

September 17, 2011, 10:15:43 PM
There are plenty of cities that have planned well for their downtowns, as well as for their neighborhoods. 

My question is why has Jacksonville done so well with planning for at least one of its neighborhoods, while planning for downtown has languished?

thelakelander

September 17, 2011, 10:45:49 PM
Overplanning in downtown. We've stripped apart the economic structure and have not stuck with any type of development plan long term. Thus, we now have a downtown landscape with many parts that don't go together in a manner that stimulates vibrancy. Luckily, other than LaVilla, Brooklyn, Sugar Hill and East Jacksonville, the majority of our urban neighborhoods have eluded this over zealous level of public scrutiny.

Dashing Dan

September 17, 2011, 10:59:54 PM
That's bad planning, not overplanning. 

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 12:13:42 AM
If that type of terminology floats your boat but "bad" or "over" probably depends more on how each individual defines those terms and applies them to specific situations (sort of like describing a sofa as a couch or vise versa).  Nevertheless, I'm not going to say that creating and poorly implementing an excessive amount of master plans within a short time period couldn't be viewed as "bad."

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 07:40:40 AM
So why all of those missteps downtown and not elsewhere?

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 08:14:09 AM
Perhaps a higher focus by political leaders over the years, due to higher exposure and regional revelance, combined with a long term embracement of poor urban planning concepts.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 09:47:52 AM
That's bad planning, not overplanning. 

+1

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 10:05:09 AM
Perhaps a higher focus by political leaders over the years, due to higher exposure and regional revelance, combined with a long term embracement of poor urban planning concepts.

It boils down to downtown having no RAP, downtown being a sea of now-vacant land with associated unrealistic cost barriers to entry for the types of businesses that spur redevelopment, and last but certainly not least, downtown is and continues to be a chess-board for a handful of 5 people who use it to make money off unnecessary projects and policies at taxpayers' expense.

Riverside escaped this fate because of RAP, which prevented it from becoming a bunch of vacant lots. Contrast that with SPAR, that's the literal exact reason that Springfield didn't come back. You're to the point now over there where, especially with commercial properties, the choice is exorbitant rent at one of the handful of places still standing, or building from scratch, which nobody can really afford. Meanwhile, Riverside is booming, paradoxically, even in the face of a prolonged recession. We've had 1 demolition in 10 years. As much as Dashing Dan has made this a Riverside vs. Downtown topic, it's really just about Riverside, because the same issues become obvious when you compare it even to other residential neighborhoods. In the entire state, potentially the country, Jacksonville is 1/2 blessed 1/2 cursed to have the two historic neighborhoods that best exemplify how to do urban redevelopment and how not to do it.

Nobody wants to acknowledge the economic realities that make downtown the sea of tumbleweeds that it is. There are not enough residents, there are not enough open businesses, it's too much of a hassle to frequent the few that are open because of the parking policies, which is the same reason all the corporate offices have fled. Nothing is connected or even makes sense because of a useless 1-way street grid, and because of asinine zoning and signage restrictions it took two years of waiting for an answer about whether they could have outdoor seating before the last restaurant (that wasn't at the landing) that tried to open down there just gave up. Not that you would have known they were there if they had opened, since you're not allowed to put up most any kind of visible sign, sandwich boards, etc. Unless you're a bank or insurance company, then COJ has no problem with you putting up 40' high lighted signs on all 4 sides of your building.

All of that needs to be addressed immediately, along with moving the vacant lots into redevelopment mode. None of this is fixable by building another boondoggle like a convention center. In fact, that will simply fail too. The environment down there is toxic to business and visitors, and the toxic environment needs to be cured first before any of this will happen the way any of us want it to.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 10:12:11 AM
^Everything you mention about DT are all results of overcomplicating the situation, overplanning, bad planning or whatever term each Tom, Dick and Harry wants to coin as the phrase of the day.  Also, while DT has no RAP, it did have a DDA that helped turn it into the abyss it is today.  The mess we have on our hands now is the direct result of several half implemented master plans, horrible urban planning policies and a complete lack of understanding on the impact of ripping a CBD's economic foundation away for perceived "cosmetic" and "social" improvements.  We've had these discussions before, so I'm pretty sure we agree on this. 

Now it seems like Mayor Brown will be bringing back some form of a DDA.  What are some suggestions for its structure that would enable it to have a RAP like impact on downtown instead of a SPAR like impact on Springfield?

jcjohnpaint

September 18, 2011, 10:29:15 AM
Great thread.  Personally stop treating DT businesses like disease and maybe try to first develop a small compact DT before trying to make one as big as Philly's DT.  Although I think all of this has been covered in other posts.  I still believe there is corruption going on.  Who is making a buck on DT failure?  Who? 

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 10:30:20 AM
I think Chris has hit the nail on the head here.  You don't just tear stuff down in the hope that something better will come along that will take its place.  There were people at work in downtown Nashville who wanted to tear stuff down at the same time that LaVilla was disappearing, but preservation interests there were somewhat more effective.

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/demolition-derby/Content?oid=1180228

Since this article ran in 1996, Church street in downtown Nashville has been turned into a success story.

All of the planning errors etc downtown (and in Springfield) were committed or condoned by the same jurisdiction that deserves so much credit for Riverside and Avondale, i.e. the City of Jacksonville.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 10:48:00 AM
^Everything you mention about DT are all results of overcomplicating the situation, overplanning, bad planning or whatever term each Tom, Dick and Harry wants to coin as the phrase of the day.  Also, while DT has no RAP, it did have a DDA that helped turn it into the abyss it is today.  The mess we have on our hands now is the direct result of several half implemented master plans, horrible urban planning policies and a complete lack of understanding on the impact of ripping a CBD's economic foundation away for perceived "cosmetic" and "social" improvements.  We've had these discussions before, so I'm pretty sure we agree on this. 

Now it seems like Mayor Brown will be bringing back some form of a DDA.  What are some suggestions for its structure that would enable it to have a RAP like impact on downtown instead of a SPAR like impact on Springfield?

Downtown needs a separate entity from DVI or a new DDA, whose sole and singular mission is preserving what's left.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 10:56:44 AM
As much as Dashing Dan has made this a Riverside vs. Downtown topic ... the same issues become obvious when you compare it even to other residential neighborhoods.
I stand corrected.  The difference isn't between downtown and Riverside.  The difference is between preservation and knee-jerk demolition.

finehoe

September 18, 2011, 10:59:32 AM
Who is making a buck on DT failure?  Who?

Follow the money...

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 11:06:28 AM
As much as Dashing Dan has made this a Riverside vs. Downtown topic ... the same issues become obvious when you compare it even to other residential neighborhoods.
I stand corrected.  The difference isn't between downtown and Riverside.  The difference is between preservation and knee-jerk demolition.

Yeah, I mean, in addition to being the ethically correct thing to do in order to preserve our heritage for our offspring, at the end of the day, if you don't, then it fosters this set of almost unconquerable financial obstacles to revitalization. If you look at the type of businesses that spur organic redevelopment in blighted areas, it's things like thrift stores, low-end retail, restaurants, etc., these are the exact type of businesses that don't have a million spare dollars laying around to build a new building from scratch.

So when you tear everything down, what exactly is supposed to happen? A lot of crickets chirping, figuratively & literally.

Downtown and Springfield both share this problem. It had different causes in each place, but the result is the same.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 11:29:14 AM
In the entire state, potentially the country, Jacksonville is 1/2 blessed 1/2 cursed to have the two historic neighborhoods that best exemplify how to do urban redevelopment and how not to do it.
Back in the Seventies, at the same time that RAP was getting started, the council member for Springfield had a very different agenda.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 11:40:11 AM
In the entire state, potentially the country, Jacksonville is 1/2 blessed 1/2 cursed to have the two historic neighborhoods that best exemplify how to do urban redevelopment and how not to do it.
Back in the Seventies, at the same time that RAP was getting started, the council member for Springfield had a very different agenda.

Let's get together with Wayne Wood and talk about starting a Downtown Preservation Society.

I think the new DDA could be great, if led by the right people. But in having this discussion, I think we've hit on a main problem, and I think it's obvious that preservation needs to have its own voice represented in the mix. It's not just about old buildings, either. There are sound and serious economic reasons for why this must be addressed. Although when it comes to Downtown, I can't help feeling as though we may be shutting the barn door after the horse has already run off.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 11:45:59 AM
I agree.

I can think of one or two COJ planners who should also be involved in an initiative like this.

Institutionally as well as physically, we need to build on what's already out there.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 12:37:12 PM
Kind of a parallel subject, but there are well preserved neighborhoods still struggling like Brentwood and Durkeeville that have the potential to replicate the success of Riverside.  Does anyone here know much about their neighborhood advocacy groups?

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 12:56:49 PM
Kind of a parallel subject, but there are well preserved neighborhoods still struggling like Brentwood and Durkeeville that have the potential to replicate the success of Riverside.  Does anyone here know much about their neighborhood advocacy groups?

Brentwood and Durkeeville may not be Beverly Hills, but you're mixing up two different definitions of 'struggling.'

Are they primarily low-income neighborhoods? Yes. But are there residents there? Yes. We aren't really talking about the same thing as Downtown, are we? Because Downtown's problem isn't that it is a low-income area, it's that it is a deserted area. It's not just that a turnaround hasn't happened yet, because the economic conditions and timing hasn't been right, as with Brentwood. Downtown's problem is that a turnaround literally cannot happen, unless the turnaround you envision involves using all of the vacant lots as urban pastureland. Maybe we can be like the Vermont of mid-tier cities, with more cows than people in the core?

Ditto in Springfield. The issue isn't that the timing and economic conditions aren't right, the issue is that there are now, thanks to SPAR, structural deficiencies that prevent a turnaround from happening when the timing again becomes right. The issue in well-preserved but lower-income neighborhoods is simply that economic conditions aren't yet right for their eventual economic resurgence. But they are intact, and it will occur when conditions are right.

Not every neighborhood can be a San Marco, you know. Somewhere, someplace, there will need to be affordable housing in every city. And right now, it happens to be there. That's not to say that won't change in the future, because those areas are intact and can support that demographic shift. But we aren't really in the same ballpark, lumping those together under the same definition of 'struggling.' It's not even the same game. What we're talking about with Downtown and Springfield, and the wholesale destruction of their commercial and residential building stock, is that there are now structural barriers in place that inhibit an economic resurgence, even if every other possible condition were favorable.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 01:10:59 PM
Struggling in terms of attracting quality infill, quality affordable housing, job creation, lowering crime, enhancing image, economic opportunity for residents, etc.  Believe me, I'm not talking about gentrifying neighborhoods.  If you knew anything about my history and upbringing, you'd recognize my stance is pretty strong on the topics of gentrification, African-American history, cultural preservation, acceptance, etc.  With that said, downtown's struggles today also have just as much to do with what has happened in the surrounding neighborhoods as it has within its boundaries itself.  Which is why I raised the question.  Ultimately, downtown's success will be determined by what we do with the surrounding neighborhoods and how we reconnect it with them.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 01:17:09 PM
Struggling in terms of attracting quality infill, quality affordable housing, job creation, lowering crime, enhancing image, economic opportunity for residents, etc.  Believe me, I'm not talking about attempting to gentrifying neighborhoods.  If you knew anything about my history and upbringing, you'd recognize my stance is pretty strong on the topics of gentrification, African-American historic, cultural preservation, acceptance, etc.

I know you personally, I don't question your motives at all, Lake. I know you're good as gold.

But we really are talking about two different things here, aren't we? Unless the only metric you count is building height, then it's hard not to see that downtown has a long way to reach upwards before it's even on the same footing as a Brentwood, in terms of simply being a functional area. When you refer to a Brentwood as struggling, we're talking economically struggling, it's a low-income area, despite its historic value. But when we talk about downtown, it's a different problem. It's deserted vacant lots and no people, of any income bracket.

Just saying, we're really talking about apples & oranges here. In many ways, downtown has to start from scratch again.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 01:19:23 PM
And FWIW, I agree, reconnecting the original residential areas with Downtown via real (rail, non-JTA based) public transit, and by reopening long-closed road connections, will do wonders for all of them. But downtown is literally starting from scratch, in many ways that Brentwood is not. It's almost like the Great Fire happened all over again. Except this time it was Burns, Pappas, and Diamond. But just as destructive.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 01:30:16 PM
Ultimately, downtown's success will be determined by what we do with the surrounding neighborhoods and how we reconnect it with them.
I could name a few neighborhoods in Nashville that would be useful prototypes for the kind of re-development you have mentioned. Germantown is immediately adjacent to downtown Nashville and it is well on the way to gentrification. 

In terms of maintaining neighborhood diversity and a nice mix of lifestyle options, I'd start with Edgefield.

Here's a link to their preservation organization.

http://www.historicedgefield.org/

Nashville is a nice prototype for Jacksonville.  They're about the same size and their cultures are very similar. 

On top of that, the consolidated city-county government of Nashville was used as the prototype when Jacksonville and Duval County governments were consolidated in the Sixties.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 01:32:49 PM
Chris, I don't believe that DT is starting from scratch.  In some areas it is but in others, there is infrastructure and assets in place to build around.  I see Brentwood, Durkeeville and even Springfield in the same light.  They all have certain things where they may be ahead or behind other communities.  In downtown, I'd say the cultural institutions, public offices, skyway, riverwalks, existing businesses/residents are all things to build around, so preservation of what remains should definitely be a high priority.  On the flip end, Brentwood is blessed to have the majority of its historic building stock still standing and a decent residential base.  However, over the decades, its suffered a significant loss of jobs and businesses and transit connectivity.  In addition, significant portions of the housing stock are in need of repair.  I just don't want to see a repeat of what happened with Sugar Hill, Brooklyn and LaVilla when they reached the point of where a Brentwood or New Springfield is today.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 01:34:31 PM
Dashing Dan, great examples.  Nashville is a nice prototype to study.  The last time I was up there, I stumbled into Germantown and Edgefield, but didn't get much time to explore them.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 01:43:14 PM
But we really are talking about two different things here, aren't we? Unless the only metric you count is building height, then it's hard not to see that downtown has a long way to reach upwards before it's even on the same footing as a Brentwood, in terms of simply being a functional area. When you refer to a Brentwood as struggling, we're talking economically struggling, it's a low-income area, despite its historic value. But when we talk about downtown, it's a different problem. It's deserted vacant lots and no people, of any income bracket.

When I mention struggling urban neighborhoods, I tend to loop several issues together.  Imo, there are so many interchangeable parts (preservation, crime, infill development, job creation, transportation, health, etc.) that you must take a holistic view when discussing revitalization of any particular urban district.  I even wonder if a part of downtown's ills come from us not looking at how it works/integrates with the surrounding communities and instead, treating it like a gated community. 

For example, downtown hasn't had a high residential population in over 60 years.  It's residential base was supplied by the adjacent densely populated neighborhoods.  So perhaps reconnecting downtown to surrounding urban districts with viable transportation options is the key to affordable housing in the area?

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 01:45:38 PM
Chris, I don't believe that DT is starting from scratch.  In some areas it is but in others, there is infrastructure and assets in place to build around.  I see Brentwood, Durkeeville and even Springfield in the same light.  They all have certain things where they may be ahead or behind other communities.  In downtown, I'd say the cultural institutions, public offices, skyway, riverwalks, existing businesses/residents are all things to build around, so preservation of what remains should definitely be a high priority.  On the flip end, Brentwood is blessed to have the majority of its historic building stock still standing and a decent residential base.  However, over the decades, its suffered a significant loss of jobs and businesses and transit connectivity.  In addition, significant portions of the housing stock are in need of repair.  I just don't want to see a repeat of what happened with Sugar Hill, Brooklyn and LaVilla when they reached the point of where a Brentwood or New Springfield is today.

Well I guess this is the difference then, I view assets in terms of a functional area as people being there, and reasons for them to be there, and the absence of reasons for them to not be there. I don't view an empty building or an empty street, or even an underutilized train, as an asset when the larger picture in which those are painted is completely nonfunctional. Downtown is seriously starting from scratch, Lake. There are few people there, and no real reason for that for change. Brentwood, etc., are a whole different ballpark. Sure I'd like to see them cleaned up and see economic conditions improve for the residents there, but downtown has a ways to go before it even reaches that level. That is ultimately the point of all this planning, not producing a pretty structure nobody uses. It's about people. Brentwood is functional as what it is. Downtown is not.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 01:47:48 PM
But we really are talking about two different things here, aren't we? Unless the only metric you count is building height, then it's hard not to see that downtown has a long way to reach upwards before it's even on the same footing as a Brentwood, in terms of simply being a functional area. When you refer to a Brentwood as struggling, we're talking economically struggling, it's a low-income area, despite its historic value. But when we talk about downtown, it's a different problem. It's deserted vacant lots and no people, of any income bracket.

When I mention struggling urban neighborhoods, I tend to loop several issues together.  Imo, there are so many interchangeable parts (preservation, crime, infill development, job creation, transportation, health, etc.) that you must take a holistic view when discussing revitalization of any particular urban district.  I even wonder if a part of downtown's ills come from us not looking at how it works/integrates with the surrounding communities and instead, treating it like a gated community. 

For example, downtown hasn't had a high residential population in over 60 years.  It's residential base was supplied by the adjacent densely populated neighborhoods.  So perhaps reconnecting downtown to surrounding urban districts with viable transportation options is the key to affordable housing in the area?

I think it's a myth that there was no residential downtown.

In truth, there was plenty, until people like Diamond went on a wrecking spree and destroyed it.

I do think immediately connecting all of the remaining original neighborhoods we haven't knocked down would help.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 02:01:53 PM




thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 02:13:14 PM
There were thousands of more in the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to it.  For example, LaVilla had over 5,000 residents alone at one point.  Many of these residents worked in the hotels, restaurants and industries along the railroad and waterfront.  These people also spent their money in this area, creating opportunity for small businesses.  Today, I'd be suprised if we can find 20 permanent residents.  Brooklyn, East Jacksonville, the space inbetween, etc. all have similar stories.

Quote
Well I guess this is the difference then, I view assets in terms of a functional area as people being there, and reasons for them to be there, and the absence of reasons for them to not be there. I don't view an empty building or an empty street, or even an underutilized train, as an asset when the larger picture in which those are painted is completely nonfunctional.

I view them as assets because if you can successfully modify policy to better embrace market demand and national wide trends, these things are already in place to get utilization out of.  When you rip that vacant building down, sandwich shop or art gallery owner most likely doesn't have the money to construct a complete new building to house their business.  To me, starting from scratch is Nocatee. You're literally putting in the infrastructure, creating policy and everything else.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 02:15:54 PM
Btw, those images are of LaVilla.  It was a completely different city (at one point) and neighborhood.  It only became a part of what some consider downtown today when we made artificial borders for taxation purposes.  However, if that (along with Brooklyn, the Southbank, East Jacksonville, etc.) is what you're referring to as downtown then it did have several thousand residents during its heyday.  We're on the same page, I just happen to be referring to these areas as "adjacent neighborhoods."

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 02:22:54 PM
There were thousands of more in the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to it.  For example, LaVilla had over 5,000 residents alone at one point.  Many of these residents worked in the hotels, restaurants and industries along the railroad and waterfront.  These people also spent their money in this area, creating opportunity for small businesses.  Today, I'd be suprised if we can find 20 permanent residents.  Brooklyn, East Jacksonville, the space inbetween, etc. all have similar stories.

Quote
Well I guess this is the difference then, I view assets in terms of a functional area as people being there, and reasons for them to be there, and the absence of reasons for them to not be there. I don't view an empty building or an empty street, or even an underutilized train, as an asset when the larger picture in which those are painted is completely nonfunctional.

I view them as assets because if you can successfully modify policy to better embrace market demand and national wide trends, these things are already in place to get utilization out of.  When you rip that vacant building down, sandwich shop or art gallery owner most likely doesn't have the money to construct a complete new building to house their business.  To me, starting from scratch is Nocatee. You're literally putting in the infrastructure, creating policy and everything else.

Well yeah, Lake. That's why I'm saying downtown is pretty much starting from scratch. Urban cores don't work without certain things, like affordable residential areas, etc. Downtown has none. It is, quite literally, starting from scratch, the same as a Nocatee. It all now has to be built again, because idiots knocked it down in their misguided quest to cure society of everything they didn't like.

You've just admitted as many residents actually lived in the residential parts of just La Villa as there are people in total all of downtown on pretty much any given day now. The same thing on the Eastern half of downtown, we demolished all the residential to build an unneeded expressway, that everyone knew was unneccessary at the time but built anyway because it gave them an excuse to get rid of a demographic they didn't like. That has to be redone from scratch, just like a Nocatee.

We've removed everything that made downtown functional, what's left may have some visual appeal but is largely useless and will stay mired in stagnation until the entire picture is repainted so it actually works. Right now, none of those things are assets, they're just things few people use because there is little reason to be there.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 02:25:16 PM
Btw, those images are of LaVilla.  It was a completely different city (at one point) and neighborhood.  It only became a part of what some consider downtown today when we made artificial borders for taxation purposes.  However, if that (along with Brooklyn, the Southbank, East Jacksonville, etc.) is what you're referring to as downtown then it did have several thousand residents during its heyday.  We're on the same page, I just happen to be referring to these areas as "adjacent neighborhoods."

Every city has sub-areas that are part of the larger whole, Lake. That doesn't mean anything. La Villa, or the vacant lots of what used to be La Villa anyway, are a couple short blocks' walk from Hemming Park. Let's not be silly and try and say it somehow wasn't 'downtown.' It was. Ditto with everything on the eastern side of downtown. And the northern portion of it. All knocked down. But it was all part of downtown, was mainly residential, and we knocked it all down. Urban cores function on residential, commercial, and transportation, it's a 3-legged stool, and we knocked two of the legs out and have been wondering ever since why it won't stand up.

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 02:54:53 PM
I don't think its silly to not forget the fact that the neighborhoods that make up our urban core are unique in their own right.  Simply referring to +100 years of unique urban development patterns as "downtown" helps lead to the general notion of the city being known as an Anyplace USA. 

Beacon Hill is closer to downtown Boston than LaVilla is to Hemming Plaza but I wouldn't refer to it as downtown Boston.  Thornton Park is on the opposite side of Lake Eola, but I wouldn't refer to it as downtown Orlando.  The southern section of Springfield is a few block walk from the Northbank core, but I wouldn't refer to it as downtown Jacksonville.  Nevertheless, we're speaking semantics. 

However, I do view the larger whole as being the pre-consolidated city, which stretches as far north as Panama Park.  All of these areas were urban and walkable (just as much as Riverside is today).  They also created and supported the vibrant downtown we see in the historical images.


Follow the old streetcar lines and we'll see the natural links between downtown and urban residential districts that still remain.  Start linking these back together and we'll be well on our way to reestablishing downtown as an economic center.

So when speaking of the downtown core revitalization, I tend to view some stated needs, such as a residential base and affordable housing as already being in place enough to be utilized.  While new infill residential would be ideal (the preconsolidated city has 50% less population than it had in 1950), reality says not much will be happening in the short term. 

However, we can leverage our existing urban residential base and building stock through transit connectivity.  The connectivity helps in two ways.  It immediately creates afforable housing opportunities where one can still enjoy the assets of downtown, Riverside, San Marco, etc. without the use of a car.  Long term, the fixed transit connection stimulates the infill development in downtown and adjacent neighborhoods Brooklyn and LaVilla. 


A recent restoration project in New Springfield. This property is a two block walk from a potential rail stop in the Springfield Warehouse District. A five minute ride on a train would put residents at the downtown terminal.


Affordable housing opportunities are already in place throughout the urban core.  All we need to do is reestablish the fixed transit connectivity.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-jun-the-florida-lee-an-urban-core-preservation-success-

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 03:00:51 PM
This issue has been visited more than once on this website, namely that in the Haydon Burns era there was a conscious effort to disconnect downtown from its immediately adjoining neighborhoods, and at the same time to build new connections to then-undeveloped areas like Arlington. 

There may have been good reasons to do this.  With hindsight, the bad reasons are more obvious. 

Once those outlying neighborhoods became established, the retailers moved out of downtown in order to be closer to where their customers were (e.g. to Regency Square).  I don't think that was expected.

One way or another, we need to reconnect downtown to the neighborhoods that are nearby.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 06:00:42 PM
I agree.

I can think of one or two COJ planners who should also be involved in an initiative like this.

Institutionally as well as physically, we need to build on what's already out there.

If you're serious, I am. I suspect Lake and Stephen may interested in joining up on it as well. If downtown had possessed a RAP watching over preservation, we probably wouldn't have seen the wholesale destruction of so much of it.

If you think it's still worth it even after we've already lost so much of it, I'm game if you are. I would have questioned the need before a couple months ago, when the latest plan for the convention-doggle included a plan to knock down the historic Herkimer Block in order to replace it with...yet...another...parking garage. Since then I've been mulling it over, and have become convinced downtown needs its own preservation society, separate from any other agency.

stephendare

September 18, 2011, 06:20:45 PM
I agree.

I can think of one or two COJ planners who should also be involved in an initiative like this.

Institutionally as well as physically, we need to build on what's already out there.

If you're serious, I am. I suspect Lake and Stephen may interested in joining up on it as well. If downtown had possessed a RAP watching over preservation, we probably wouldn't have seen the wholesale destruction of so much of it.

If you think it's still worth it even after we've already lost so much of it, I'm game if you are. I would have questioned the need before a couple months ago, when the latest plan for the convention-doggle included a plan to knock down the historic Herkimer Block in order to replace it with...yet...another...parking garage. Since then I've been mulling it over, and have become convinced downtown needs its own preservation society, separate from any other agency.

Im definitely game.

This past year has made me passionately love our heritage, and it is galling that so much has already been destroyed.

We could build an entire tourist industry based on what happened here its so remarkable.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 06:55:45 PM
I definitely want to help set up a downtown preservation organization.  I think it's a great idea.

ChriswUfGator

September 18, 2011, 08:12:03 PM
We should all meet up this week and figure out how to do it. We need to contact Wayne Wood, he has experience in setting these up.

Dashing Dan

September 18, 2011, 09:59:38 PM
There's a mobile workshop on Thursday 9/22, sponsored by the APA and the ULI.  It begins at Intuition at 4 pm and returns to Intuition at 6 pm.  So we could meet at Intuition at around 6 pm this Thursday 9/22.

I'll post something tomorrow about the mobile workshop.  We still need more people to sign up (for $25 at http://northflorida.uli.org/)

thelakelander

September 18, 2011, 10:16:45 PM
I was thinking about attending the workshop but figured it was too late because the deadline had passed.  I'll sign up tomorrow.

tufsu1

September 18, 2011, 11:25:53 PM
from what I understand, there is still room for a few more people...assuming they only get one bus.

ChriswUfGator

September 19, 2011, 08:51:43 AM
TU, you live downtown, interested in forming a downtown preservation society with us?

tufsu1

September 19, 2011, 09:51:44 AM
I think it is a great idea, but I'm pretty busy these days with other things....maybe this is something that a group like TransForm Jax could assist with

ChriswUfGator

September 19, 2011, 10:02:12 AM
I think it is a great idea, but I'm pretty busy these days with other things....maybe this is something that a group like TransForm Jax could assist with

Well we wish you luck with your other endeavors then. I think with Wayne Wood we'll be alright, he's done this several times.

tufsu1

September 19, 2011, 10:56:56 AM
sounds good to me!

Kay

September 19, 2011, 11:03:08 AM
I think Chris has hit the nail on the head here.  You don't just tear stuff down in the hope that something better will come along that will take its place.  There were people at work in downtown Nashville who wanted to tear stuff down at the same time that LaVilla was disappearing, but preservation interests there were somewhat more effective.

http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/demolition-derby/Content?oid=1180228

Since this article ran in 1996, Church street in downtown Nashville has been turned into a success story.

Why do you think the City of Jacksonville deserves credit for Riverside Avondale?  If left to them, the neighborhood would be a shell of itself.  The residents themselves and the creation of RAP deserve the credit in my opinion.

All of the planning errors etc downtown (and in Springfield) were committed or condoned by the same jurisdiction that deserves so much credit for Riverside and Avondale, i.e. the City of Jacksonville.

ChriswUfGator

September 19, 2011, 11:23:19 AM
sounds good to me!

Me too, though I felt I had to try my best to be polite.

Dashing Dan

September 19, 2011, 12:14:27 PM
Why do you think the City of Jacksonville deserves credit for Riverside Avondale?  If left to them, the neighborhood would be a shell of itself.  The residents themselves and the creation of RAP deserve the credit in my opinion.
The city gets the credit for the historic preservation commission, helping with the national register designations, the town center improvements, the zoning overlay, the extension of the riverwalk to RAM, etc, not to mention the Riverside Area study that led to the formation of RAP. 

Kay

September 19, 2011, 12:22:08 PM
Why do you think the City of Jacksonville deserves credit for Riverside Avondale?  If left to them, the neighborhood would be a shell of itself.  The residents themselves and the creation of RAP deserve the credit in my opinion.
The city gets the credit for the historic preservation commission, helping with the national register designations, the town center improvements, the zoning overlay, the extension of the riverwalk to RAM, etc, not to mention the Riverside Area study that led to the formation of RAP.
[/quote

All those intiatives though came from the community. 

Dashing Dan

September 19, 2011, 12:44:00 PM
Why do you think the City of Jacksonville deserves credit for Riverside Avondale?  If left to them, the neighborhood would be a shell of itself.  The residents themselves and the creation of RAP deserve the credit in my opinion.
The city gets the credit for the historic preservation commission, helping with the national register designations, the town center improvements, the zoning overlay, the extension of the riverwalk to RAM, etc, not to mention the Riverside Area study that led to the formation of RAP.

All those intiatives though came from the community.
Nearly all good plans start with community initiatives.  The planners' job is to take those initiatives and make them work.  Where planners are not doing such a great job, initiatives are not picked up, and the good stuff doesn't happen.




Dashing Dan

September 20, 2011, 06:47:20 PM
Dashing Dan, great examples.  Nashville is a nice prototype to study.  The last time I was up there, I stumbled into Germantown and Edgefield, but didn't get much time to explore them.

Back in Nashville, streetcars for Edgefield are under study.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110827/NEWS/308260115/Mass-transit-don-t-pass-us-by-East-Nashville-residents-say

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 14, 2014, 02:07:15 PM
Great thread!

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

January 14, 2014, 02:07:51 PM
Has Riverside/Avondale continued to top this list?

Bill Hoff

January 14, 2014, 03:01:10 PM
These type of lists typically change every year.

Neither Riverside & Avondale nor Springfield appeared their respective "best" lists after being named the first time.

Kay

January 14, 2014, 03:19:33 PM
These type of lists typically change every year.

Neither Riverside & Avondale nor Springfield appeared their respective "best" lists after being named the first time.

Riverside Avondale was selected by the American Planning Assoc. for a top 10 neighborhood.  Was Springfield similarly designated?  I was not aware.

tufsu1

January 14, 2014, 03:50:51 PM
^ well to be fair Kay, it was decided by some folks a few years ago to nominate Riverside-Avondale.  They could have just as easily nominated neighborhoods like Springfield and San Marco.

And as to staying on the list, the 10 neighborhoods, 10 streets, and 10 places chosen by APA change every year.  There will never be repeats.

Bill Hoff

January 14, 2014, 04:22:39 PM
10.msg361113#msg361113 date=1389729670]
These type of lists typically change every year.

Neither Riverside & Avondale nor Springfield appeared their respective "best" lists after being named the first time.

Riverside Avondale was selected by the American Planning Assoc. for a top 10 neighborhood.  Was Springfield similarly designated?  I was not aware.

Kay - no, it was "best of" whatever in a couple of magazines.

Tufsu - these type of lists may get published every year, but if X area, restaurant, venue, etc is featured, they must be doing something right.

stephendare

January 14, 2014, 05:08:58 PM
Has Riverside/Avondale continued to top this list?

so to answer your question, Bold Boy, no. with the caveats provided by TUFSU

Jumpinjack

January 14, 2014, 07:33:56 PM
^ well to be fair Kay, it was decided by some folks a few years ago to nominate Riverside-Avondale.  They could have just as easily nominated neighborhoods like Springfield and San Marco.

It would be nice to see someone work on a nomination for Springfield. How about it?

tufsu1

January 14, 2014, 09:04:16 PM
APA spreads these awards out geographically.  I would suggest waiting a few more years before submitting another Jacksonville neighborhood.

Kay

January 14, 2014, 10:01:04 PM
I agree.

I can think of one or two COJ planners who should also be involved in an initiative like this.

Institutionally as well as physically, we need to build on what's already out there.

If you're serious, I am. I suspect Lake and Stephen may interested in joining up on it as well. If downtown had possessed a RAP watching over preservation, we probably wouldn't have seen the wholesale destruction of so much of it.

If you think it's still worth it even after we've already lost so much of it, I'm game if you are. I would have questioned the need before a couple months ago, when the latest plan for the convention-doggle included a plan to knock down the historic Herkimer Block in order to replace it with...yet...another...parking garage. Since then I've been mulling it over, and have become convinced downtown needs its own preservation society, separate from any other agency.

By the way, a number of us advocated at a DIA planning meeting to make downtown a national register and/or local landmark district.  I think they heard us and hopefully are intending to take us up on that.  Just found out that was a recommendation in 2002 from Carlucci's Historic Preservation Taskforce.  Downtown buildings already have been surveyed so a good part of the work is done.  You may want to reach out to Melody Bishop and share your support of such an initiative.  She's heading up the planning committee for the CRA.  While so many historic structures have been demolished, we should not lose anymore.  We need to figure out how to get those buildings rehabbed and reused which will help downtown redevelop.

Bill Hoff

January 14, 2014, 11:16:29 PM
APA spreads these awards out geographically.  I would suggest waiting a few more years before submitting another Jacksonville neighborhood.

I would say San Marco has dibs anyways. : )

mtraininjax

January 16, 2014, 10:01:20 AM
Quote
I would say San Marco has dibs anyways. : )

At the rate San Marco is going with tear-downs of historic buildings and new construction of modern structures, it may lose its identity as historical by the time the awards are handed out. Stinks that you can have a historic district in San Marco that allows for tear-down of buildings. Same goes for Ortega.

Tacachale

January 16, 2014, 10:04:47 AM
It's not a historic district, for one thing. For another, the award is for overall planning, not just being "historic".

mtraininjax

January 16, 2014, 10:17:28 AM
Quote
It's not a historic district, for one thing.

Thanks, you are so right. Wow, I learned something new today. Only 3 historic districts in Jacksonville, Riverside/Avondale, Springfield and something called the St. Johns Qtr District where the former Cheek mansion sits now, as well as River Boulevard (between Villa Riva and Memorial Park, basically).

Tacachale

January 16, 2014, 10:44:36 AM
Quote
It's not a historic district, for one thing.

Thanks, you are so right. Wow, I learned something new today. Only 3 historic districts in Jacksonville, Riverside/Avondale, Springfield and something called the St. Johns Qtr District where the former Cheek mansion sits now, as well as River Boulevard (between Villa Riva and Memorial Park, basically).

There are different kinds of historic districts. Four are on the National Register: Avondale, Riverside, Springfield, and Old Ortega. There are also local historic districts that in some cases overlap with the National Register ones. For whatever reason, Riverside and Avondale are included together but parts of them (St. Johns Quarter) have their own. Springfield is also a local district.

 For whatever reason

"Old Ortega" is also listed in the National Register.
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