Elements of Urbanism: Hollywood

March 17, 2011 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville visits the "Diamond" of Florida's Gold Coast, which has found a way to create a vibrant downtown of its own despite living in the shadows of its larger neighbors: Hollywood, FL.

Tale of the Tape

Hollywood Population 2009: 142,622 (City); 5,547,051 (Miami Metro) - (incorporated in 1925)

Jacksonville Pop. 2009: 813,518 (City); 1,328,144 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Hollywood (14,351)

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2000-2009)

Hollywood (Miami): +10.77%
Jacksonville: +18.29%

Urban Area Population (2000 census)

Hollywood (Miami): 4,919,036 (ranked 5 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 882,295 (ranked 43 nationwide)

Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Hollywood (Miami): 4,407.4
Jacksonville: 2,149.2

City Population Growth from 2000 to 2009

Hollywood: +3,265
Jacksonville: +72,312

Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Hollywood: N/A; The closest convention center center is located in adjacent Fort Lauderdale. It has 200,000 square feet of exhibition space.
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1986) - 78,500 square feet

Connected to Convention Center:

Hollywood: N/A
Jacksonville: N/A

Tallest Building:

Hollywood: Westin Diplomat Resort - 444 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet

Fortune 500 companies 2010 (City limits only):

Hollywood: N/A
Jacksonville: CSX (259), Winn-Dixie (306), Fidelity National Financial (366)


Urban infill obstacles:

Hollywood: Florida's real estate collapse.
Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off Downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.


Downtown Nightlife:

Hollywood: Hollywood Arts District (HART)
Jacksonville: East Bay Street


Common Downtown Albatross:

Surface parking lots.

Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Hollywood: 89 out of 100, according to walkscore.com
Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to walkscore.com

City Land Area

Hollywood: 27.34 square miles
Jacksonville: 757.7 square miles

About Hollywood

Hollywood is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. As of July 1, 2008, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 141,740. Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the twelfth largest city in Florida. Hollywood is a Principal City of the South Florida metropolitan area, which is home to 5,413,212 people.

About Downtown Hollywood

The Historic Hollywood Business District is the core of the first platted area of Central Hollywood. This planned commercial district was designed by Joseph W. Young in 1921. From 1921 to 1926 the downtown business district saw continuous growth.

The Historic Hollywood Business District still functions as Main Street for the residents. Unlike suburbs where one residential street may comprise a neighborhood, the traditional neighborhood has important ties to downtown. In all traditional neighborhoods shops are within a fifteen minute walk.

The recent revitalization of Harrison Street as a hub of art and music and Young Circle's growing popularity for organized events are helping to enhance this neighborhood's appeal. Residents are developing a renewed appreciation of our mild climate by streetside dining, strolling along the sidewalk, window shopping and enjoying other amenities offered by the area.

The Historic Hollywood Business District encompasses Hollywood Boulevard from 21st Avenue to the west side of the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Young Circle. The District has played an integral part in the City's social, civic and economic life since its development. Many of Hollywood's most prominent early buildings, though greatly altered, continue to serve the community.

Urban Planning

In 1921, innovative developer Joseph W. Young foresaw a "'dream city" with 30,000 residents. Young's new town would be based on the scientific methods of controlled development fashionable during the 1920's "City Beautiful Movement." Young believed in new zoning techniques which designated separate sections for residential, business and industry but permitted some mixed use with apartments and hotels in the single family neighborhood and apartments above retail stores.

Young designed a hierarchy of boulevards, avenues and streets. Hollywood Boulevard, upon its completion, was termed "Florida's widest paved street." Lined with Royal Palms and ornamental lights, Hollywood Boulevard became a grand entrance to the town center and created an axial view to the beach. Three circles were integrated into the boulevard to create focal points.

ArtsPark at Young Circle

ArtsPark is the centerpiece of downtown Hollywood's redevelopment and it anchors the east side of the downtown district. When fully completed, the $20 million public park will include a theater and arts education complex that will spill out to an outdoor art themed green space.

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard is the main thoroughfare through downtown Hollywood.  The corridor was once known as Florida's widest paved street.  Today, it is dominated by mom & pop retail chains, lush landscaping and sidewalks lined with restaurants featuring outdoor seating.

"Bringing in and keeping retailers or restaurants that already have a following is key.  There's not enough local demand to support the amount of retail space that we have.  In order for us to be unique and attract people from outside the Hollywood area, we need to continue to get the one-of-a-kind or two-of-a-kind mom and pop shops that we have."
Jim Edwards, Director of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area (CRA).

Hollywood Art District (HART)

Hollywood Station anchors the western end of downtown Hollywood.  Developed by Coral Gables-based Cornerstone Premier Communities, this four block project will contain 500 condo, townhouse and loft units, along with 15,000 square feet of retail, at buildout.

The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center anchors the arts district.  The center's collections include videos, DVDs and paper manuscripts of 2,400 eyewitness testimonies and a library with 5,500 books and periodicals regarding the holocaust.  Future plans call for the addition of an open traveling exhibition museum space. Formerly housed at Florida International University, the center relocated to downtown Hollywood in 2007, after purchasing an 85-year-old building (which once housed a fetish nightclub) from the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency for $1.2 million, which was payable over 15 years.

The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, founded in 1980 as a nonsectarian, non-profit, multifaceted organization, is housed in Hollywood, Florida at 2031 Harrison Street and will feature the first South Florida Holocaust Museum. The museum will put names and faces to the victims and will raise the sounds of their moral voices of conscience to mute the noise of prejudice and hatred.

The museum, which will be the first in the country to teach the story in English and Spanish, will teach the universal lessons of the Holocaust. These lessons are a significant moral tool in teaching values, pluralism, responsibility, and respect for human dignity, decency, and life to this and future generations. In preparation for school class tours, the museum will provide information for teachers to help prepare their students.

The Center has acquired a rail car of the type used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to transport millions of Jews to their untimely death. This rail car will be available for public viewing in 2009.

The Center has achieved international acclaim and recognition for maintaining the largest, self-produced, standardized oral history library collection nationally and internationally.  Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Raoul Wallenberg Project, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have all sought the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center’s expertise in developing their oral history projects. The Center continues to seek eyewitnesses, Survivors, liberators, and rescuers, to videotape their stories to become part of the museum. The Center is also collecting artifacts from the Holocaust including documents and photographs.

The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center has been lauded by the Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach school boards for its outstanding educational outreach programs. The highlight of these are our Student Awareness Days, which began in 1986 and which to date have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of middle, high school, and college and university students and tens of thousands of teachers.

The most profound and compelling achievement of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, which impacted every aspect of Holocaust education in the state of Florida, came when Governor Lawton Chiles signed the Florida State Statute 1003.42 mandating that Holocaust education be implemented in all public schools in the state from kindergarten through colleges and universities.

The Center also features a reference and research library which contains over 6,000 volumes of Holocaust-related books, hundreds of DVDs and videos, and which subscribes to a dozen periodicals.

The Center maintains a Speakers’ Bureau, which reaches approximately 15,000 per year. In addition, the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center also sponsors an Annual Visual Arts and Writing Contest for students in grades 4 – 12 and colleges and universities.  Each year, the Center holds a university accredited, weeklong course on Holocaust education for teachers in all grade levels.

The Story of Hollywood Bread

I was recently in Hollywood Florida where I saw the "Hollywood Bread Company" atop a building and tried to find it at a local grocery store but they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Is Hollywood Bread still made? and where is it available?

"Hollywood Diet Bread (also referred to as Hollywood Bread) is no longer being made. It has no connection to the Hollywood Bread Company in England or the bread of the same name in Canada. In 1962, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission, 62 F.T.C. 1115) was investigating what they believed to be false advertising claims surrounding several diet breads. This investigation included several different makes of diet breads, including Hollywood Diet Bread (then made by National Bakers Services, Inc.) and Slender-Way diet bread, which was made by the grocery store chain Safeway. The FTC disagreed with their advertising claims that diet breads could contribute to weight loss. They charged that diet bread contained fewer calories than regular bread because diet breads were merely sliced thinner. In 2004, the building that originally housed Hollywood Bread is still referred to as the Hollywood Bread Building, and is located at 1747 Van Buren St., Hollywood, FL 33020."

Learning from Hollywood

Despite being overshadowed in a region featuring South Beach, Miracle Mile, Worth Avenue, Downtown Miami, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Downtown West Palm Beach and the state's largest suburban shopping malls, Downtown Hollywood has still found a way to shine.  Downtown Hollywood's successful revitalization didn't involve bringing in massive one-trick gimmicks like aquariums, amusement parks and convention centers.  Instead, success has been realized by attracting an unique mix of complementing established mom & pop businesses within a compact pedestrian friendly setting.

Article and photographs by Ennis Davis