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Historic Savannah: A Destination, Not A Pass-Through

In this new special series, Metro Jacksonville will highlight what several peer cities across the country have created and are implementing to become destinations and not pass-throughs. Two hours north of Jacksonville is a community now internationally known for an economy driven by its historic preservation efforts: Savannah.

Published November 23, 2011 in Learning From      71 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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About Historic Savannah



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Savannah's historic district is the heart and soul of the city. Rich in history, architecture and Southern charm, we think you'll love Savannah's historic district as much as we do. Stroll down cobblestone streets, visit historic squares filled with old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, discover her grand mansions and amazing ironwork. See why we say there is no other city quite like Savannah. A little quirky, but always captivating, a visit to Savannah is an experience you will always treasure.

Officially designated a Historic Landmark District in 1966, the 2.2 square mile area runs from E. Broad Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., and from the Savannah River to Gaston Street. Lovingly and painstakingly preserved, Savannah’s historic district is one of the largest in the U.S. with more than 1100 historically and architecturally significant buildings, including examples of Federal, Victorian Regency, Greek and Gothic Revival, and Italianate architecture. More than 800 of these buildings were restored using the original paint colors; Savannah blues, greens, reds and pinks.

Tragically, in the 1950s, many of Savannah’s historic buildings were demolished. But when the Davenport House was threatened, seven angry and determined women stepped up and formed the historic Savannah Foundation to purchase and preserve this historic home, saving it just 24 hours before the scheduled demolition. The Historic Savannah Foundation continues to be a major force in Savannah’s redevelopment and revitalization.

Renovation and restoration continues. Over the centuries, Savannah has survived war, fires, and demolition, but the Hostess City of the South has never been more beautiful.
http://www.visit-historic-savannah.com/historic-district.html




















Forsyth Park



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Forsyth Park is a large city park that occupies 30 acres in the historic district bordered by Gaston Street on the north, Drayton Street on the east, Park Avenue on the south and Whitaker Street on the west. It contains walking paths, a Cafe', a children's play area, a Fragrant Garden for the Blind, a large fountain, Tennis courts, BasketBall courts,areas for soccer/frizbee, and home field for Savannah Shamrocks Rugby Club. From time to time, there are concerts held at Forsyth to the benefit of the public.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsyth_Park











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The park was originally created in the 1840s on 10 acres of land donated by William Hodgson. In 1851, the park was expanded and named for Georgia Governor John Forsyth. By 1853, all original planned wards of Savannah were occupied and a large public park was added to the extreme south end of the city plan. This park was anticipated by General James Oglethorpe's plan and was made possible by a donation of 20 acres of land owned by Forsyth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsyth_Park



Broughton Street














Free on-street parking.







Riverfront





















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The Port of Savannah's extensive facilities for oceangoing vessels line both sides of the Savannah River approximately 18 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Operated by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), the Port of Savannah competes primarily with the Port of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina to the northeast, and the Port of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida to the south.

Between 2000 and 2005 alone, the Port of Savannah was the fastest-growing seaport in the United States, with a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5 percent (the national average is 9.7 percent).

On July 30, 2007, the GPA announced that the Port of Savannah had a record year in fiscal 2007, becoming the fourth-busiest and fastest-growing container terminal in the United States. The GPA handled more than 2.3 million Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of container traffic during fiscal 2007 -- a 14.5 percent increase and a new record for containers handled at the Port of Savannah. In the past five years, the port's container traffic has jumped 55 percent from 1.5 million TEU handled in fiscal 2003 to 2.3 million TEU in fiscal 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Savannah



Selling Quality of Life As An Economic Driver



Savannah is a beautiful city. Residents living in Savannah spend their free time the way other people spend their vacations. Furthermore, young professionals have made Savannah a destination of choice – trading in major-metro stress and suburban sprawl for the city’s wide range of cool new and old neighborhoods.

A magnet for talent, Savannah’s beauty has long inspired artists and musicians to reside in the city. With more than 60 in the area, Savannah has over 200% more art galleries per capita than New York City! With that said, the Historic District itself is living art. In 2006, the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau reported over 6.85 million visitors to the city during the year. Lodging, dining, entertainment, and visitor-related transportation account for over $2 billion in visitors' spending per year and employ over 17,000.

But don’t let the quaint, preserved, historic district theme fool you. Behind Savannah’s historic faade are vibrant, forward-thinking residents and a progressive business community. Underneath the cobblestone streets lies 38,000 miles of fiber optic cable. With the fastest growing port in the nation and a booming tourism industry, Savannah enjoys a diverse economy that also includes manufacturing, healthcare, government/military, as well as a growing number of creative and technical businesses.
source: http://www.seda.org













SCAD: An Economic Driving Force



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Savannah College of Art and Design was founded in 1978 by Paula S. Wallace, Richard Rowan, May Poetter and Paul Poetter. In 1979, SCAD opened its doors with five trustees, four staff members, seven faculty members, and 71 students. At that time, the school offered eight majors. In May 1981, the first graduate received a degree. The following year, the first graduating class received degrees. In 1982 the enrollment grew to more than 500 students, then to 1,000 in 1986, and 2,000 in 1989. In 2010, the university enrolled 10,461 students.

The college is engaged with the city of Savannah and the preservation of its architectural heritage. By restoring buildings for use as college facilities, the college has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Savannah Foundation and the Victorian Society of America. The college campus now consists of 67 buildings throughout the grid and park system of downtown Savannah. Many buildings are located on the famous 21 squares of the old town, which are laden with monuments, live oaks and an undeniable Southern-Gothic feel that is sought by the many movies filmed there.

The college's first academic building was the Savannah Volunteer Guard Armory, which was purchased and renovated in 1978-79. Built in 1892, the Romanesque Revival red brick structure is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally named Preston Hall, the building was renamed Poetter Hall in honor of co-founders May and Paul Poetter. SCAD soon expanded rapidly, acquiring buildings in Savannah's downtown historic and Victorian districts, restoring old and often derelict buildings that had exhausted their original functions.

Most students live off-campus, outside of the residence halls, as there are no formal campus grounds other than those contained by the building properties themselves. In Savannah, there are 11 buildings that provide student housing and range from one-person to three-person, single-room residence halls or to four-bedroom student apartments. The residence halls are Weston House, Dyson House, Oglethorpe House, Turner House, Turner Annex, Pulaski House, Forsyth House, Boundary Village, Alice House, The Terrace, and Barnard Village.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savannah_College_of_Art_and_Design







Ellis Square: Building Upon Already Achieved Success


 
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The city of Savannah was laid out in 1769 around four open squares. The plan anticipated growth of the city and thus expansion of the grid; additional squares were added during the 18th and 19th centuries, and by 1851 there were twenty four squares in the city. Most of Savannah's squares are named in honor or in memory of a person, persons or historical event, and many contain monuments, markers, memorials, statues, plaques, and other tributes. In the 20th century, three of the squares were demolished or altered beyond recognition, leaving twenty one. In 2010, one of the three "lost" squares, Ellis, was reclaimed.

Ellis Square is located on Barnard between Bryan and Congress Streets. It was named after Henry Ellis, second Royal Governor of the Georgia colony. It was also known as Marketplace Square, as from the 1730s through the 1950s it served as a center of commerce and was home to four successive market houses. Prior to Union General Sherman's arrival in December 1864 it was also the site of a slave market. In 1954 the city signed a fifty-year lease with the Savannah Merchants Cooperative Parking Association, allowing the association to raze the existing structure and construct a parking garage to serve the City Market retail project. Anger over the demolition of the market house helped spur the historic preservation movement in Savannah. When the garage's lease expired in 2004, the city began plans to restore Ellis Square. The old parking garage was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new public square (park) that features open spaces for public concerts, as well as an underground parking garage. The underground facility was completed and formally dedicated in January 2009. Meanwhile, hotel, residential and commercial space on adjacent properties has been renovated concurrently with the Ellis Square project. The restoration of the square itself, begun in the spring of 2008, was completed in February 2010. Ellis Square officially reopened at a dedication ceremony held on March 11, 2010. A bronze statue of songwriter-lyricist Johnny Mercer, a native Savannahian, was formally unveiled in Ellis Square on November 18, 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squares_of_Savannah,_Georgia











For Jacksonville's Consideration



At the heart of Savannah is a 2.5-square-mile downtown district filled with shops, cafes, green squares, and 18th and 19th century preserved architecture.

Savannah isn't an "Anywhere, USA" city, where the original character of the place has been eclipsed over time. It is unique, and thriving with a tradition of commerce balanced by exquisite coastal beauty and warm historic charm. Savannah residents spend their free time the way other people spend their vacations.  Easily mixing business with pleasure, and the past with the present, is as much a part of the people here as the Spanish moss gracing the tremendous live oak trees.  This is mainly due to preserving and promoting its history and turning it into an economic driving force that sets it apart from its competitors.

In short, Savannah is another community that has invested in itself, its history, heritage, and culture to become a destination and not a pass-through.  If Jacksonville's leaders and residents want to turn the corner, its time to think along the same lines of investing in the city itself.


Article and photographs by Ennis Davis.







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71 Comments

BridgeTroll

November 23, 2011, 06:56:37 AM
Great article Ennis!  I love Savannah and just spent the Halloween weekend there.  Everytime I go I find something I have not seen or experienced.  Of note... panhandlers and "homeless are just as prevalent there as here... they simply confine themselves to less travelled areas or are less a nuisance due to the abundance of people walking around...

Noone

November 23, 2011, 07:01:44 AM
Great article. Imagine SCAD in the 1st floor Dyal Upchurch or the armory. JCAD Jacksonville College of Art and Design. Ennis is the Dean.

I remember when they were here for the design competition for the former Shipyards/Landmar site. What struck me the most that they were not told that the Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier should have been part of the design. Yet some teams saved the pier and one team had integrated the use of retrofitted Shipping Containers as an incubator for a sustainable cluster of organic expansion.

Savannah is a port city.
Jacksonville is a port city. Paul Anderson, JPA - Where are you? I know you are the new guy. You get a pass in my book.

Everyone- FIND projects are being identified. Last year Duval county left $600,000 on the table. Ask councilman Redman. He is the chair of Waterways. We lost $600,000 of ad volorum money that we aren't getting back.  13 projects are currently identified. 5 days ago I mentioned and attended the meeting of the commissioners of FIND and pointed out that the Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier is not even on the list. We are a joke.

The administration and city council need to immediately take legislative action on the Historic Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier.

Be concerned.
It can happen. It can be a DESTINATION.  But its not happening.

At least put the Historic Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier on the FIND list that we can at least show the commissioners of FIND representing the east coast of the state of Florida that we care. Jacksonville is so LOST.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 07:34:21 AM
My favorite class in college was taught by a Savannah native (Douglas Allen bio), and it was titled History of Urban Form - so in addition to learning about Bramante, Michelangelo, Sixtus V, John Wood the Elder, Haussmann, John Nash, etc, we learned A LOT about Savannah.

Ennis, from a non architect's POV looking into an architect's POV, would you say Savannah may be the most interesting city in America along a design/planning frame of reference?

Edmund Bacon writes in his Design of Cities that "It is amazing that a colony, struggling against the most elemental problems of survival in a wilderness, should be able to produce a plan so exalted that it remains as one of the finest diagrams for city organization and growth in existence."

He continues, "Yet the total impact is just the opposite from the single pull of a great axial plan such as that of Paris or Washington, which is based on a single movement system...because there are squares in all directions, a sense of being withina complete organism is created, a kind of simultaneity that is most satisfying."

The slides below illustrate a plan that was originally drafted for London following a 17th century fire, and then never used.  The dimensions come straight from the Romans and are the ratios/dimensions architects still use today.  Why we don't build cities like this now, considering architects design buildings using such ratios and measuring points is beyond me, but when we adopted "planning" as a profession and separated it from architecture (and adopted codes), we went the opposite direction.  The way Savannah is laid out now is literally ILLEGAL.  Nothing about it follows code for new development.  That's the ultimate irony!

Savannah's founder, James Oglethorpe, was so dramatically "inspired" by Newcourt's plan for Londonderry following a 1666 fire (a plan never used), that he refused to admit it.  No city in America is more profoundly influenced by the architects' scale and the gridiron plan than Savannah - not even Philadelphia.

Main streets are 75 feet wide, minor streets half that width, and back access service lanes (inspired by "bastide" planning) are 22.5 feet wide.  London has mews (those back alleys).  So does Savannah!  Each residential plot in the city is 60x90 feet with no exceptions.  See slides below from that class...it was so intriguing to me that I kept a lot of the slides!















































peestandingup

November 23, 2011, 07:41:17 AM
I've noticed that in much of the south, most cities that are real cities & places that you actually enjoy being in are the historic ones. Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, etc. Since they kept that old pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, improved on it & didn't go too sprawl-crazy, it's really worked out to their advantage in the 21st century in a number of ways, transit included.

The sad part is, Jacksonville could have been one of those great ones. We certainly had all of the right ingredients. But I fear that too much damage has been done to the historic fabric & too much needless sprawl has happened for it to ever become that.

jcjohnpaint

November 23, 2011, 08:05:18 AM
I was in Savannah two weeks ago for the SECAC art conference hosted by SCAD.  What an amazing town.  This was my first time in Savannah and was truly blown away. 

BridgeTroll

November 23, 2011, 09:16:40 AM
Your article and my last visit got me to thinking why Savannah was apparently spared the "total war" concept of Sherman and his March to the sea.  I was aware Shermans objective was to destroy the will and warfighting capability of the Confederates by slicing through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah.  At first glance it appears the hopelessness of the Confederates situation in Savannah prompted them to retreat north by sneaking remaining units across the river.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman's_March_to_the_Sea

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Sherman's armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10 but found that Hardee had entrenched 10,000 men in good positions, and his soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, leaving only narrow causeways available to approach the city. Sherman was blocked from linking up with the U.S. Navy as he had planned, so he dispatched cavalry to Fort McAllister, guarding the Ogeechee River, in hopes of unblocking his route and obtaining supplies awaiting him on the Navy ships. On December 13, William B. Hazen's division of Howard's army stormed the fort in the Battle of Fort McAllister and captured it within 15 minutes. Some of the 134 Union casualties were caused by torpedoes, a name for crude land mines that were used only rarely in the war.

Now that Sherman had connected to the Navy fleet under Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, he was able to obtain the supplies and siege artillery he required to invest Savannah. On December 17, he sent a message to Hardee in the city:

I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city; also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied, and I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your answer, before opening with heavy ordnance. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army—burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war.

— William T. Sherman , Message to William J. Hardee, December 17, 1864, recorded in his memoirs


Hardee decided not to surrender but to escape. On December 20, he led his men across the Savannah River on a pontoon bridge hastily constructed of rice flats. The next morning, Savannah Mayor R. D. Arnold rode out to formally surrender, in exchange for General Geary's promise to protect the city's citizens and their property. Sherman's men, led by Geary's division of the XX Corps, occupied the city the same day.

thelakelander

November 23, 2011, 09:23:44 AM
Ennis, from a non architect's POV looking into an architect's POV, would you say Savannah may be the most interesting city in America along a design/planning frame of reference?

Yes, I find Savannah's plan and implementation to be one of the most interesting.  However, what I find most remarkable is the level of preservation that has taken place, its ability to escape the urban renewal happy mid/late 20th century with minor damage and the continued pristine condition of its public realm. 

Just wondering, does anyone know why Savannah's trees tend to mature while ours get diseased and cut down?

fsujax

November 23, 2011, 09:40:30 AM
Because most them are live oaks, while we have water and laurel oaks. They also probably take better care of them from a city stand point. We cant even keep our ROW's properly maintained.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

November 23, 2011, 09:48:33 AM
Not to mention that the majority of them are in the public squares - away from building and underground infrastructure.  By keeping all of the sewage, electric, fiber under the sidewalks, they avoided having to tunnel under the oaks in the squares. 

thelakelander

November 23, 2011, 09:54:37 AM
All the way through Derenne/I-516 the majority of neighborhood streets have a mature canopy despite the streets being paved with concrete sidewalks.





Even on Summer's most heated days, pedestrians on Savannah's sidewalks still are protected from the full brunt of our region's natural elements.

fsujax

November 23, 2011, 10:02:31 AM
many if not all of those are live oaks. Our city planted laural and water oaks, everywhere back about 40-50 years ago. There life expectancy has come and gone. It would be a good idea if the city no longer planted those speciman.

Tacachale

November 23, 2011, 10:12:33 AM
^We recently had to have a water oak in our front yard cut down. It was as large as many live oaks you see, but at about 60 it was as good as firewood and just waiting to fall on our house.

According to the tree company, there are various species of oaks, including different types of live oaks, and they thrive in different areas and conditions.

dougskiles

November 23, 2011, 11:52:38 AM
Savannah is awesome.  I took my 11-yr old son there for a weekend this summer.  He is an aspiring artist, so we took a tour of SCAD (which was a little funny because it was meant for incoming Freshman - but they were very cool about it).

As the article mentions, SCAD is completely integrated into the fabric of the city.  Most of the buildings are renovated structures and are scattered throughout.  A small bus system circulates the city and is free for all students and faculty.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

This is a student center (previously a synagogue):



College of Building & Design (with the riverfront designs that Noone referenced):




School of Fashion Design:


Visual Arts:


And of course their FREE streetcar along the river:

simms3

November 23, 2011, 12:08:21 PM
I think Jacksonville can form a partnership with Saint Augustine like the partnership Atlanta/GA has with Savannah.  Georgia is always seeming to be ahead and FL, more specifically NE FL, is always falling way behind.  Saint Augustine is also sort of a "backyard" amenity.

I'm always disappointed in the school situation in NE FL.  UNF is the only school really expanding and trying to create a better reputation for itself, and yet it is in the suburbs in a closed off suburban campus.  UF is an hour and a half away and is shared amongst the whole state and even into other states.  JU is stagnant and does not seem to do much for the community (not to mention its campus is in about the worst part of town), and Flagler College is expanding, but has limited expansion capabilities.  SCAD is just such a good example of a newly formed school that has become one of the top schools of art and design along with RISD, New School/Parsons, Curtis, etc etc.  SCAD has two campuses, both of which are integrated at least decently (one integrated seamlessly, the one in Savannah).  That school has really been the largest catalyst of the rebirth of historic Savannah as a destination.

thelakelander

November 23, 2011, 12:33:13 PM
Although small, EWC is expanding with an urban footprint along Kings Road and is collaborating with COJ to develop a neighborhood park for New Town. They have around 800 students and plan to increase that number to 1500 or so in the next couple of years. With good design, whatever they do will be a huge benefit to the surrounding distressed community, which is only one mile west of downtown.

JaxNative68

November 23, 2011, 12:42:21 PM
I lived in Savannah from 87-92 and loved every year of it.  A majority of the city then is not what it was is now.  The locals hated SCAD and the downtown historic area what the murder capital per capita of the US.  If only Jax could put forward the progressive thinking the City of Savannah has used to turn their city around in the last fifteen years, we too could be another southern waterfront gem of a city.  Do our city leaders have it in them?

I must admit that Savannah owes a great bit of gratitude to Richard G. Rowan & Paula S. Wallace, the co-founders of SCAD.  What that college has done for the city is insurmountable.

Can Jacksonville become a destination instead of being a pass-through?

tufsu1

November 23, 2011, 12:50:41 PM
agreed...I first visited Savannah in 1995 and wasn't that impressed...there were many derelict and rundown buildings....SCAD has led the charge in the city's renaissance.

fieldafm

November 23, 2011, 12:56:26 PM
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JU is stagnant and does not seem to do much for the community

JU has increased enrollment every year since 2004 and is in the midst of their biggest capital improvement campaign in three decades.  If not doing much for the community doesn't count the MSRI(the best thing to happen to the St Johns River since water) or the niche they have carved out regarding adult learning opportunities... then I guess you're right.  BTW, JU's engineering school has a dual enrollment program with Georgia Tech, in the holiest of all cities that is Atlanta.

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I think Jacksonville can form a partnership with Saint Augustine like the partnership Atlanta/GA has with Savannah

I'm curious as to what exactly do they have in the way of 'partnerships'? (Besides the state giving money to the port).  They are 4 hours away from each other. 

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That school has really been the largest catalyst of the rebirth of historic Savannah as a destination.

Agreed in the sense of place aspect that is the historic Savannah.  Savannah economically benefits greatly from the port.

duvaldude08

November 23, 2011, 01:01:15 PM
Although small, EWC is expanding with an urban footprint along Kings Road and is collaborating with COJ to develop a neighborhood park for New Town. They have around 800 students and plan to increase that number to 1500 or so in the next couple of years. With good design, whatever they do will be a huge benefit to the surrounding distressed community, which is only one mile west of downtown.

I agree Lake. With Glover taking over as President, I think we should expect some good things coming from EWC. Glover is deticated to getting their act cleaned up. Their supposed to be expanding with some new degree programs and I keep hearing they are finally going to build a football stadium.

thelakelander

November 23, 2011, 01:08:39 PM
I attended a meeting last month where Glover announced that they were getting ready to break ground on a new classroom building along Kings Road. Its going to house a new degree program and a JSO substation. The recent streetscape through there also turned out nice.

duvaldude08

November 23, 2011, 01:11:42 PM
I attended a meeting last month where Glover announced that they were getting ready to break ground on a new classroom building along Kings Road. Its going to house a new degree program and a JSO substation. The recent streetscape through there also turned out nice.

Yeah for the criminal justice program. There was another that they mentioned but the program escapes me at the moment.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 01:24:14 PM
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JU is stagnant and does not seem to do much for the community

JU has increased enrollment every year since 2004 and is in the midst of their biggest capital improvement campaign in three decades.  If not doing much for the community doesn't count the MSRI(the best thing to happen to the St Johns River since water) or the niche they have carved out regarding adult learning opportunities... then I guess you're right.  BTW, JU's engineering school has a dual enrollment program with Georgia Tech, in the holiest of all cities that is Atlanta.

Yea I am allowed to mention other cities, and Atlanta is not the only city I mention consistently.  I happen to live here.  Also, JU has an engineering school?  Anyway, it's hard to make a large, discernible impact when you have 3,000 students (barely expanding - I looked at acquiring a rental community nearby and spoke with the scool on expansion plans) and a minimal endowment.  I know it's a good school, and many locally influential people have come out of it, but it does not do what other urban schools do in terms of economic impact.

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I think Jacksonville can form a partnership with Saint Augustine like the partnership Atlanta/GA has with Savannah

I'm curious as to what exactly do they have in the way of 'partnerships'? (Besides the state giving money to the port).  They are 4 hours away from each other. 

The port benefits Atlanta at least if not more than it actually benefits Savannah - gasp!  Also, SCAD has two campuses.  Also there is a movement of people, goods, and ideas between Atlanta and Savannah and there have been for 20 years.  The relationship between companies and people in the two cities is very collaborative and in terms of infrastructure, the state is trying to connect the two cities in as direct and efficient a manner as possible because of the constant flow of goods and people.  Georgia Tech even had a small campus there (recently closed as there was no point).  They may be 4 hours apart, but the two cities benefit each other much more than Saint Augustin and Jacksonville benefit each other.

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That school has really been the largest catalyst of the rebirth of historic Savannah as a destination.

Agreed in the sense of place aspect that is the historic Savannah.  Savannah economically benefits greatly from the port.

tufsu1

November 23, 2011, 01:42:43 PM
please simms...there is a movement of people, goods, and ideas between Atlanta and Jacksonville too...and clearly between Jacksonville and St. Augustine (since they're in the same metro area).

so what's your point?

fieldafm

November 23, 2011, 01:48:29 PM
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and Atlanta is not the only city I mention consistently

That's news to everyone else here :)

Quote
, JU has an engineering school? 

I typed too fast.. they have(or at least had as I was in it) a dual enrollment with Georgia Tech's engineering school.

Quote
The port benefits Atlanta at least if not more than it actually benefits Savannah - gasp!

I still don't see what partnerships you are talking about... the Port of Jacksonville benefits Kansas City b/c goods flow there in large numbers from Jacksonville, but that isn't necessarily a 'partnership'

I'm genuinely curious as to what you mean.

St Augustine is a very, very small city with very little economic activity outside of tourism.  Savannah has an extremely large port and gets a tremendous amount of money from the state for the port's capital improvement needs.  Something Jaxport gets very little of from the state and virtually nothing from the city.

Fallen Buckeye

November 23, 2011, 01:56:02 PM
I've noticed that in much of the south, most cities that are real cities & places that you actually enjoy being in are the historic ones. Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, etc. Since they kept that old pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, improved on it & didn't go too sprawl-crazy, it's really worked out to their advantage in the 21st century in a number of ways, transit included.

The sad part is, Jacksonville could have been one of those great ones. We certainly had all of the right ingredients. But I fear that too much damage has been done to the historic fabric & too much needless sprawl has happened for it to ever become that.

I think that even if historic preservation were ramped up in Jax that we would still have a much different character than any of the cities you mentioned. We're a bigger city than either Charleston or Savannah, and when I think of great big cities I think numerous, cool neighborhoods each with different characters.  I think our best case scenario is to have a dense, modern downtown surrounded by neighborhoods with varied, distinct characters. With that in mind, I think that there is still a lot of interesting building stock still standing in Springfield. Then Riverside, San Marco and Ortega all have interesting historic characters and are in good shape. Our problem really is that these places with historic character exist as islands because downtown is in such bad shape. When we are able to these great neighborhoods together, we'll have that great city that attracts people's attention. And how do we do that? Well, we talk about on here ad nauseaum: smart public policy and making the right investments in ourselves. (Which includes preservation of historic building stock)

simms3

November 23, 2011, 01:58:53 PM
Quote
and Atlanta is not the only city I mention consistently

That's news to everyone else here :)

Quote
, JU has an engineering school? 

I typed too fast.. they have(or at least had as I was in it) a dual enrollment with Georgia Tech's engineering school.

Quote
The port benefits Atlanta at least if not more than it actually benefits Savannah - gasp!

I still don't see what partnerships you are talking about... the Port of Jacksonville benefits Kansas City b/c goods flow there in large numbers from Jacksonville, but that isn't necessarily a 'partnership'

I'm genuinely curious as to what you mean.

St Augustine is a very, very small city with very little economic activity outside of tourism.  Savannah has an extremely large port and gets a tremendous amount of money from the state for the port's capital improvement needs.  Something Jaxport gets very little of from the state and virtually nothing from the city.

Well I'm sorry you can't see clearly and I'm sorry you have a chip on your shoulder against me.  Saint Augustine is the county seat for about 200,000 people, slightly less than the population of metro Savannah.  Good luck in life.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 02:02:23 PM
please simms...there is a movement of people, goods, and ideas between Atlanta and Jacksonville too...and clearly between Jacksonville and St. Augustine (since they're in the same metro area).

so what's your point?



What's the movement of goods between Jax and Savannah?  St. Augustine's CVB budget is substantially higher than all of Jacksonville's, if I'm not mistaken, and people from all over visit, failing to even step foot in our city.  People in that area do come up to Jax to work, but there is not a symbiosis like that between Savannah and Atlanta.  Culturally and economically there is a very strong bond between these two cities that is hard to match.  I see it because I live and experience it every day.  It's not the same in Jacksonville, and my only suggestion was for the region to find a way to better integrate within itself.  Orlando and Tampa share a strong bond.  Where is Jacksonville's?

edit: changed to "St. Augustine's" CVB

fieldafm

November 23, 2011, 02:12:26 PM
Quote
I'm genuinely curious as to what you mean.

I was actually asking a question

I used to live in Atlanta, and I didn't know of anyone that travelled to Savannah for work. 

I really don't see where you are going with this, and am genuinely curious.

Quote
What's the movement of goods between Jax and Savannah?

Substantial b/w the movement of goods on rail(Jax has the rail hub, so if it leaves Savannah on rail, it usually comes here) and b/w short line shippers(who move smaller loads of containers from Savannah to Jax). 

And b/c you want to be a smartass about it, if you can't honestly see that you use the word 'Atlanta' in 2/3 of your posts and refuse to acknowledge nor laugh at yourself even occassionally for doing so, then maybe you should take your own advice kiddo.    ;)
To quote:
Quote
Good luck in life.

Tacachale

November 23, 2011, 03:13:52 PM
Our college situation still leaves a lot to be desired, but it's one area that's on a major upswing. I believe JU is turning itself around. EWC has some major issues to say the least, but they're on the right track. If anyone can do it it's Nat Glover. As for community colleges, we have one of the biggest and best in the state right here in FSCJ and they have serious potential to possitively impact downtown. And I'm very proud to be part of what's happening at UNF. The progress over the last 10 years has been wonderful. All told this is an exciting time for higher ed in North Florida and the impact on the whole region will be substantial.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 03:29:21 PM
Obviously people don't commute between the two cities, but there is a strong bond, a strong relationship, much like between Dallas and Fort Worth (only a greater mileage).  Besides I don't need to answer to you, we obviously don't have a mutual respect and that's ok.  If I lived in Kansas City, I would replace Atlanta with Kansas City.  I'm not the only one doing "Learning From" articles/points of view.  I also acknowledge that I refer to Atlanta a lot...I usually prelude with a slight on myself for it.  Thanks for missing that.  You live in Jacksonville...I live in Atlanta and am from Jacksonville.  You live in a city that is really doing almost nothing right. I live in a city that was once doing nothing right and is now doing almost everything right.  I see things on the ground up here, including the relationship between the state and these two cities, and the relationship directly between these two cities, that you could not possibly see where you are.  Ok?

My initial post in this thread besides my enthusiastic post about the design of Savannah itself (one of many contributions I try to make...) was a clamoring for a relationship between Jax and St. Augustine like Atlanta has a relationship with Savannah.  You're the one who was all up in arms about it.  I may have hurt your feelings with a comment on JU, nothing personal was meant about it, and I apologize if I did, but I was also clamoring for a better relationship between Jax and its universities.  I think that starts equally with the universities, or even moreso with the universities themselves than with the city.  SCAD was a frame of reference for that.

fieldafm

November 23, 2011, 04:30:20 PM
Quote
I see things on the ground up here, including the relationship between the state and these two cities, and the relationship directly between these two cities, that you could not possibly see where you are.  Ok?

Simms, I've lived in Atlanta as well... and travel frequently to do commercial business development in other cities.  You can make some good contributions at times around here... I genuinely like reading them.. but saying things like that is at best pompous, and I'll gladly give you the opportunity to retract that statement.  I was once young as well, and can recall serveral times I stuck my foot in my mouth. 


Quote
You live in a city that is really doing almost nothing right. I live in a city that was once doing nothing right and is now doing almost everything right.

Comparisons b/w one muncipality and another are valid and we all use them around here.  It's obvious you like living in Atlanta.  That's great.  I'm not bashing that.  We should all be satisfied with the choices we make.  But, no city is infallible.  Atlanta does a lot of things wrong.  I've witnessed that both as a resident and as a businessman.  I do agree with you that they are doing some things right now, that they weren't before.  Always spouting off about how horrible Jax is in relation to Atlanta, gets real old.  Believe me, I am not the only person on the board who believes so.

Quote
was a clamoring for a relationship between Jax and St. Augustine like Atlanta has a relationship with Savannah.  You're the one who was all up in arms about it.

You still have not defined what that is.  I am not 'all up in arms about it' nor am I arguing with you, I'm genuinely asking you to define what you mean by that. 

St Augustine is a small tourist town of less than 15k people, a per capita income that is less than half of Jacksonvilles, with a very small airport and related aeronautical industry(smaller than 4 of the airports in Jax), a small private university, no port, a very small military presence and very little industry otherwise.  What economic or cultural opportunity is being missed?  Except for being old and having a significant portion of their local industry tied to tourism, St Augustine and Savannah share very little in common.

Quote
clamoring for a better relationship between Jax and its universities

There is room for opportunity there, I am in agreement. 

duvaldude08

November 23, 2011, 04:40:13 PM

Quote
You live in a city that is really doing almost nothing right. I live in a city that was once doing nothing right and is now doing almost everything right.

Comparisons b/w one muncipality and another are valid and we all use them around here.  It's obvious you like living in Atlanta.  That's great.  I'm not bashing that.  We should all be satisfied with the choices we make.  But, no city is infallible.  Atlanta does a lot of things wrong.  I've witnessed that both as a resident and as a businessman.  I do agree with you that they are doing some things right now, that they weren't before.  Always spouting off about how horrible Jax is in relation to Atlanta, gets real old.  Believe me, I am not the only person on the board who believes so.


Did someone call my name  ;D

peestandingup

November 23, 2011, 04:58:58 PM
I think Simms is still very young & just enthusiastic about where he lives, so he thinks its the best thing since sliced bread & always finds a way to work it into every conversation on a Jacksonville blog, even if it really doesn't pertain to the subject. And yes, you do do that man. And yes, it does get a bit tired. Especially when it usually has the "we're great at everything, you guys suck at everything" tone to it. I'm not saying you're wrong, but lawdy. Take it easy. ;)

And I guess if all you really know is Jacksonville & Atlanta (and the south in general), then yeah. Atlanta is probably gonna seem like some kind of urban wonderland. But put into the grand scheme of things, that's honestly not saying a  whole hell of a lot if you want the truth. Meaning, like field said, a lot of people on these forums have lived all over the country/world in cities that would make Atlanta look, well, like dog shit. No offense.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 05:57:54 PM
1) peestandingup, love your continual lackadaisical dialogue which rarely adds any real substance.  BTW, my mom is from Chicago and my dad's family mostly resides in Philly, and both my parents moved up to Jax from Miami as I was born.  I am pretty well traveled, but I reside in Atlanta, so that's where I do get most of my experience from.

duvaldude08 and fieldafm,

Yea I am pompous, damn right.  I am working my way up real fast in a big city - a place with a blue blood society (especially in real estate), a place where everyone went to a top 20 university, where everyone is a CFA, where everyone has a pedigree, where competition is fierce, and where I have to make my own connections unlike the easy road I would have in Jax (easy but slow and limited with zero big opportunities and lower pay).  I have to pat myself on the back and my ego comes with the territory.  Get used to it.  If you think I have an ego, try some of my friends in NYC or Boston!  I am not trying to "bash" Jacksonville when drawing comparisons or posting articles, and I have experience in other cities, too.  I am actually far along in the interview process for 3 syndicators/development firms, so I will get even more experience in other cities supposing I get to choose one for employment (I am gainfully employed now, just expanding my horizons).  This year alone I have worked on deals worth $579M in Birmingham, Hartford, Knoxville, all 4 cities in FL, Greenville SC, Houston, Dallas, and Nashville, and I have either visited or studied those cities intensely as a result.  I have a general awareness about what is going on in more than just my little world.

The fact that I piss people off on here actually is a source of pride and frustration.  The environment down there is just different.  I don't know when you lived in Atlanta or what you do or what you did up here, but I also don't know why you moved down there.  From my POV, if I'm changing cities I'm certainly going to bounce up to the next level, aka Chicago, LA, or New York, not Jacksonville.  I don't know your experiences and I don't see how you don't see the bond Atlanta has with Savannah, not that I care.  Saint Augustine, as I said before, is the seat of 200,000 people.  It also spends at least double what the city of Jacksonville spends on marketing itself.  I think if there is any way to get tourism up in Jax, it is to piggyback on with St. Augustine.  That would be the relationship benefit there.

In GA's case, it is a slightly different scenario where there is one major city, but the ties to Savannah are there.  The port is as much Atlanta's as it is Savannah's.  It benefits Atlanta more actually than it benefits Savannah.  Many of the players in Savannah went to college in and around Atlanta, and families often have members in both cities.  Everything that has been created in Savannah, like SCAD, has also branched off in Atlanta.  There is no political animosity between the two cities, and their economic and political interests are closely aligned.  They have a symbiosis.  The other relationship would be Athens to Atlanta because of UGA and proximity.  There is no "relationship" with Augusta, Columbus, Albany, or Valdosta.  There is actually very public distrust and enmity between most of small town and rural GA and Atlanta with the notable exception of Savannah and of course Athens.

The dialogue up here is one where even casually residents are comparing places and things to Chicago, DC, and New York.  There is never a sense of satisfaction.  There is always talk even on a Friday night about what's going on, what should be done differently, what can be done differently.  Editorials focus on comparisons and how to improve.  Comparisons are usually with other cities doing things right, ranging from Nashville to New York, never Jacksonville.  In Jacksonville the self esteem and self awareness is so lacking that people delude themselves into thinking all sorts of things (like the delusion that Jacksonville is some hub of medical innovation and biotech startups) and any negative feedback is met with suspicion and defense.  Another population difference is that for some reason people from Jacksonville remember all the negatives of where they came from and forget all the positives, always return if they are from Jax originally, and/or never leave in the first place.  For a city with 45% of the population from some other state, it's amazing the level of public disinterest there is in improving the place.

The same ratio holds up here - about 45% from out of state.  Instead of the New Yorkers coming down here and saying we don't want it to be like it was up there, they basically make it like it was up there.  It's just a different mentality.  My mentality used to be of someone raised in Ortega and 100% Jacksonvillian.  Now I am basically almost losing all touch with my hometown and my interest has waned significantly.  Can't imagine returning...ever, at this point, but the fact I'm still on this board means a part of me does actually want to see better for my hometown.  I do have to bear a few days down there here and there, so might as well hope for an interesting time while I'm there :)

As an analogy, we are talking about the CoRK district.  Right now it is an ugly area of decrepit homes and non-historical single story warehouses (and vacant lots).  Some artists work in one and there are two very popular breweries in two others, so there is something there.  Instead of just pointing out that "there is something there," why not look at the stories of theoretically similar districts in other cities?  I, of course, posted an article about the history of the ACAC on Atlanta's westside, because I see a potentially similar path for CoRK and the impact the art community can have on it.  I think using one of the most successful urban re-use/warehouse districts in the south, created over the course of 25+ years with the artists as the pioneers, serves as a beneficial model.  Not a "down on Jacksonville" thing.  If the use of that article pissed you off somehow, then you are simply catching feelings all over the place.  You would be the type of person that could not take life in a larger, busier city as it would break you into thousands of pieces and then spit you back down to Jax.

Up here people like myself are intently involved in building up the Midtown Mile.  We are looking at modeling the process that has tranformed the Magnificent Mile in Chicago...over 45 years!  We are in the same boat...smaller cities like Jax SHOULD look at 2nd tier cities like Atlanta, which in turn are presumably looking at Gateway Markets like Chicago and DC.  This is not rocket science.

Links I found one day and forwarded on to a hoard of people here (and my uncle in Chicago who was an asset manager at Lincoln Property Company).

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/17/realestate/a-new-challenge-for-chicago-s-magnificent-mile.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/search?q=900 north michigan&mode=text

Aerials of the area from the late 70s and early 80s would blow you away...more surface parking than in Midtown Atlanta!  Anyway, this is what I do...GET USED TO IT.

Now today was a MetroJacksonville day for me, so you got a lot.  Perhaps that has you on edge :)

Bike Jax

November 23, 2011, 06:44:21 PM
The problem with Savannah is all those old buildings. About a third of them could be torn down for surface parking. Look how well its worked for Jacksonville.

dougskiles

November 23, 2011, 06:58:35 PM
So...back to Savannah.  Very cool city and I am grateful that it is only a short drive away.  These comparison articles provide good inspiration and fresh ideas, but every city has their challenges.  And I would say that one may think they are doing everything right only to find out 10 years later what huge mistakes they were making.

Jacksonville is a great place to live - and it is because of the people that I confidently say that.  I don't measure a city by the number of multi-million dollar projects going on; I measure it by the people who are working to make their home a better place for their families and generations to come.  I am constantly surrounded by such people here, and it is humbling.

I-10east

November 23, 2011, 07:09:18 PM
The problem with Savannah is all those old buildings. About a third of them could be torn down for surface parking. Look how well its worked for Jacksonville.

That horse is dead already. Comments like this is what drives me crazy when reading these "comparison" type threads.

Tacachale

November 23, 2011, 07:23:21 PM
1) peestandingup, love your continual lackadaisical dialogue which rarely adds any real substance.  BTW, my mom is from Chicago and my dad's family mostly resides in Philly, and both my parents moved up to Jax from Miami as I was born.  I am pretty well traveled, but I reside in Atlanta, so that's where I do get most of my experience from.

duvaldude08 and fieldafm,

Yea I am pompous, damn right.  I am working my way up real fast in a big city - a place with a blue blood society (especially in real estate), a place where everyone went to a top 20 university, where everyone is a CFA, where everyone has a pedigree, where competition is fierce, and where I have to make my own connections unlike the easy road I would have in Jax (easy but slow and limited with zero big opportunities and lower pay).  I have to pat myself on the back and my ego comes with the territory.  Get used to it.  If you think I have an ego, try some of my friends in NYC or Boston!  I am not trying to "bash" Jacksonville when drawing comparisons or posting articles, and I have experience in other cities, too.  I am actually far along in the interview process for 3 syndicators/development firms, so I will get even more experience in other cities supposing I get to choose one for employment (I am gainfully employed now, just expanding my horizons).  This year alone I have worked on deals worth $579M in Birmingham, Hartford, Knoxville, all 4 cities in FL, Greenville SC, Houston, Dallas, and Nashville, and I have either visited or studied those cities intensely as a result.  I have a general awareness about what is going on in more than just my little world.

The fact that I piss people off on here actually is a source of pride and frustration.  The environment down there is just different.  I don't know when you lived in Atlanta or what you do or what you did up here, but I also don't know why you moved down there.  From my POV, if I'm changing cities I'm certainly going to bounce up to the next level, aka Chicago, LA, or New York, not Jacksonville.  I don't know your experiences and I don't see how you don't see the bond Atlanta has with Savannah, not that I care.  Saint Augustine, as I said before, is the seat of 200,000 people.  It also spends at least double what the city of Jacksonville spends on marketing itself.  I think if there is any way to get tourism up in Jax, it is to piggyback on with St. Augustine.  That would be the relationship benefit there.

In GA's case, it is a slightly different scenario where there is one major city, but the ties to Savannah are there.  The port is as much Atlanta's as it is Savannah's.  It benefits Atlanta more actually than it benefits Savannah.  Many of the players in Savannah went to college in and around Atlanta, and families often have members in both cities.  Everything that has been created in Savannah, like SCAD, has also branched off in Atlanta.  There is no political animosity between the two cities, and their economic and political interests are closely aligned.  They have a symbiosis.  The other relationship would be Athens to Atlanta because of UGA and proximity.  There is no "relationship" with Augusta, Columbus, Albany, or Valdosta.  There is actually very public distrust and enmity between most of small town and rural GA and Atlanta with the notable exception of Savannah and of course Athens.

The dialogue up here is one where even casually residents are comparing places and things to Chicago, DC, and New York.  There is never a sense of satisfaction.  There is always talk even on a Friday night about what's going on, what should be done differently, what can be done differently.  Editorials focus on comparisons and how to improve.  Comparisons are usually with other cities doing things right, ranging from Nashville to New York, never Jacksonville.  In Jacksonville the self esteem and self awareness is so lacking that people delude themselves into thinking all sorts of things (like the delusion that Jacksonville is some hub of medical innovation and biotech startups) and any negative feedback is met with suspicion and defense.  Another population difference is that for some reason people from Jacksonville remember all the negatives of where they came from and forget all the positives, always return if they are from Jax originally, and/or never leave in the first place.  For a city with 45% of the population from some other state, it's amazing the level of public disinterest there is in improving the place.

The same ratio holds up here - about 45% from out of state.  Instead of the New Yorkers coming down here and saying we don't want it to be like it was up there, they basically make it like it was up there.  It's just a different mentality.  My mentality used to be of someone raised in Ortega and 100% Jacksonvillian.  Now I am basically almost losing all touch with my hometown and my interest has waned significantly.  Can't imagine returning...ever, at this point, but the fact I'm still on this board means a part of me does actually want to see better for my hometown.  I do have to bear a few days down there here and there, so might as well hope for an interesting time while I'm there :)

As an analogy, we are talking about the CoRK district.  Right now it is an ugly area of decrepit homes and non-historical single story warehouses (and vacant lots).  Some artists work in one and there are two very popular breweries in two others, so there is something there.  Instead of just pointing out that "there is something there," why not look at the stories of theoretically similar districts in other cities?  I, of course, posted an article about the history of the ACAC on Atlanta's westside, because I see a potentially similar path for CoRK and the impact the art community can have on it.  I think using one of the most successful urban re-use/warehouse districts in the south, created over the course of 25+ years with the artists as the pioneers, serves as a beneficial model.  Not a "down on Jacksonville" thing.  If the use of that article pissed you off somehow, then you are simply catching feelings all over the place.  You would be the type of person that could not take life in a larger, busier city as it would break you into thousands of pieces and then spit you back down to Jax.

Up here people like myself are intently involved in building up the Midtown Mile.  We are looking at modeling the process that has tranformed the Magnificent Mile in Chicago...over 45 years!  We are in the same boat...smaller cities like Jax SHOULD look at 2nd tier cities like Atlanta, which in turn are presumably looking at Gateway Markets like Chicago and DC.  This is not rocket science.

Links I found one day and forwarded on to a hoard of people here (and my uncle in Chicago who was an asset manager at Lincoln Property Company).

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/17/realestate/a-new-challenge-for-chicago-s-magnificent-mile.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/search?q=900 north michigan&mode=text

Aerials of the area from the late 70s and early 80s would blow you away...more surface parking than in Midtown Atlanta!  Anyway, this is what I do...GET USED TO IT.

Now today was a MetroJacksonville day for me, so you got a lot.  Perhaps that has you on edge :)
Could we, like, move this stuff to another thread? As much as I'm sure we all appreciate Simms letting us read the first chapter of his forthcoming autobiography, this thread is about Savannah.

dougskiles

November 23, 2011, 07:46:40 PM
^great idea.  We could have a "the world according to simms3 thread" and just automatically move all of these posts there.  That way when someone new comes along and wants to read about the topic of the thread, they don't get buried in all of that ... stuff.

Keith-N-Jax

November 23, 2011, 07:48:29 PM
Simms I certianly would not want to move to LA, I guess to each as own, but the Duval faithfuls are way to sensitive on here. Its really gotten out of hand. Anyway these threads are not meant for this city vs that city. Everybody has a right to thier opinion if you dont like it thats just to bad. Nice thread though always liked Savannah.

I-10east

November 23, 2011, 08:23:16 PM
Everybody does have a right to their opinion, but somehow on MJ, if a poster says something positive about Jax, and I negative poster reply with their opinion, it's acceptable; When a negative Jax poster says something, and a positive guy chimes in on that, then it's comments like "Everyone has a right to their opinion, if you don't like it, too bad etc".

It amazes me how many on MJ been here a long time, and say the same thing over and over again 'SJTC dreadful parking situation' blah blah ad nausem; I can see a newbie saying stuff like that; Look, yall can say the same thing over and over again, but it makes you look boring, I tell you that. Hell, atleast be funny, and creative with the negative comments, I laugh at some things like that. To each it's own, do what in the hell you wanna do like repeat the same thing over and over (Jax destroying old buildings for parking etc) if you want to. Just my 2.

simms3

November 23, 2011, 08:43:44 PM
Could we, like, move this stuff to another thread? As much as I'm sure we all appreciate Simms letting us read the first chapter of his forthcoming autobiography, this thread is about Savannah.

^great idea.  We could have a "the world according to simms3 thread" and just automatically move all of these posts there.  That way when someone new comes along and wants to read about the topic of the thread, they don't get buried in all of that ... stuff.

You know if you guys don't recall...I was one of the first posters on this thread.  I shared some pretty interesting slides about the design of Savannah.  I then made one point about the relationship between Atlanta and Savannah being symbiotic and beneficial to each, then alluding to a hope that a similarly beneficial and strong relationship can be formed between Jax and St. Aug.  I also made a point about SCAD and my hopes that Jacksonville institutions can find it in themselves to participate in the local economy more, just as SCAD has come to really play an integral role in Savannah's development.

Basically, I stayed on point, as I actually NORMALLY do!  My mere one sentence mention of Atlanta (in reference to Savannah) is what incited so much anger in this thread.  I'll humbly admit, I don't know who is more stupid and immature...some of the posters on MetroJax who don't really contribute much aside from their mostly uninformed opinions...often on other posters' opinions and solidly prepared and thought out posts, or my stupidity and immaturity for responding to such stupid replies and jabs.

Anyway, I guess I never contribute anything meaningful to this board.  I guess all the pictures I have posted of Jacksonville (hundreds) and other cities are worthless here (I certainly QUIT posting pics of Atlanta because it gave people heart attacks and I don't think I posted pics from my last trip to Chicago or DC...why bother?).  I'll quit giving up fairly inside information I come across in the real estate world.  All of that stuff is stupid and pointless anyway.  Jacksonville has nothing to learn from other cities, but if it does, the only person allowed to say so is The Lakelander (and he does a great job saying so :)).  I'll quit telling my friends about this board.  I'll quit linking to it and giving it visibility to others via Facebook and other blogs/forums.  Apparently I'm a dumb, worthless MetroJax poster.  This is about all I can take because the people that bitch at me the most are the people who have the lowest average quality contribution per post of just about anyone on this whole forum.  Forget the fact that I was actually posting on metrojax.com before the upgrade to this site years ago.  I'm not seasoned enough.  BTW I really don't feel bad.  I'm enjoying this...especially because I'm not an everyday poster yet I've probably posted 15 times today  ;D

simms3

November 23, 2011, 08:47:09 PM
On another note, MetroJacksonville is actually transitioning to something more of a platform for stupid liberal sympathy to OWS and a platform to speak out against cop violence.  It's hardly what I would call a high level discussion on urban development, real estate, planning, and architecture.  That stuff is quickly buried beneath political debates.  Just saying.

tufsu1

November 23, 2011, 09:32:38 PM
simms, if Atlanta is soooooo awesome, how come the #2 ranked city for people leaving Atlanta to move to is Jacksonville (I think you posted the article last week)?

simms3

November 23, 2011, 09:50:38 PM
Trulia did not and could not tell you "who" was moving where.  For all the study says, we could be exporting all of our child molesters.  Jokes aside, I did post that.  I also am not the one who moved this whole thread into "Atl is soo awesome", but I did play into people's petty grievances which took us there.  Now you're jumping on the bandwagon.

Of course I am one of the posters who never gives you a hard time bc I think we generally see eye to eye (unlike some, ahem Stephen, who nitpick your posts like mine are being nitpicked now).  So are you following a crowd mentality or are you just being stupid, too, or both?

I guess after you I'll wait for Lakelander to pile it on.  I know this day of reckoning has been coming, so I'll kindly wait for my boot and continue posting until then.

Tacachale

November 23, 2011, 10:15:39 PM
^Come on simms, no need to be so defensive. I for one really enjoy hearing about Atlanta and comparisons showing where and how Jacksonville can improve. It's not the content of your posts, really, it's just the presentation that rankles.

stephendare

November 23, 2011, 10:46:09 PM
Trulia did not and could not tell you "who" was moving where.  For all the study says, we could be exporting all of our child molesters.  Jokes aside, I did post that.  I also am not the one who moved this whole thread into "Atl is soo awesome", but I did play into people's petty grievances which took us there.  Now you're jumping on the bandwagon.

Of course I am one of the posters who never gives you a hard time bc I think we generally see eye to eye (unlike some, ahem Stephen, who nitpick your posts like mine are being nitpicked now).  So are you following a crowd mentality or are you just being stupid, too, or both?

I guess after you I'll wait for Lakelander to pile it on.  I know this day of reckoning has been coming, so I'll kindly wait for my boot and continue posting until then.

Simms is very welcome to post here as he is one of our most valuable contributors.  The time and effort that he puts into his writing is pretty awesome actually.  Ibid tacachale.  I actually learn stuff from both of your postings, and am therefore quite grateful to have your opinions.

I like picking at simms because his head gets too big from carrying around that giant rocket brain of his.  Its hard holding it up all day, its bound to swell. ;)

But that said, I often find his posts amongst the most informed, regardless of the imperious tone.

tufsu1

November 23, 2011, 10:53:10 PM
Of course I am one of the posters who never gives you a hard time bc I think we generally see eye to eye (unlike some, ahem Stephen, who nitpick your posts like mine are being nitpicked now).  So are you following a crowd mentality or are you just being stupid, too, or both?

don't worry...no bandwagoning here...in another thread, I agreed with your post...and yes, I often do

I just have a hard time looking at Atlanta as a panacea...while there is a lot of good stuff going on, they still haven't figured out how to respect their past...it often seems like whatever is newest is best....and even with all the urban infill, the city still lost population from 2000 to 2010 (while the suburbs continued to sprawl).

I-10east

November 24, 2011, 12:10:33 AM
Also Atlanta has the most job losses of any US major metro in 2011; So everything there isn't so swimmingly great, and rosy afterall. Don't get me wrong, I love ATL, most people there are pretty down to earth, and not overly boastful, unlike a certain city NE of Key West. ATL knows it got it going on, without being overly brash; Even though it's an upper tier city, it's still the Dirty South unlike you know who.

thelakelander

November 24, 2011, 12:30:00 AM
Simms, no reason for me to pile on. During my last two trips to Atlanta, I've checked out areas of town based on your previous posts.

krazeeboi

November 24, 2011, 02:04:32 AM
Savannah is very unique and while there are general principles that work very well there that could apply to any city looking to revitalize its downtown, I think that overall the best models for Jacksonville are those that are around its size, have preserved at least a decent amount of its historic stock, and have relatively active downtowns. With that in mind, I think city leaders would do wise to look at cities like Richmond, Louisville, Memphis, and Norfolk for more across-the-board solutions.

peestandingup

November 24, 2011, 03:33:51 AM
1) peestandingup, love your continual lackadaisical dialogue which rarely adds any real substance.  BTW, my mom is from Chicago and my dad's family mostly resides in Philly, and both my parents moved up to Jax from Miami as I was born.  I am pretty well traveled, but I reside in Atlanta, so that's where I do get most of my experience from.

Yeah yeah yeah, I suck because I don't write novels with every post on a daily basis in a  forum full of strangers & you're awesome because you do. Got it. And BTW, being well traveled isn't the same as actually residing in places. Some more experience in an adult life & you would have known that.

Listen kid, don't take things so personal. You seem a bit butt-hurt, and I don't think that's anyone's intention. All people are trying to say is tone it down some regarding the constant comparisons to & mentions of Atlanta. And try not to sound like a superior condescending jerk sometimes, because you're probably talking to a lot of old schoolers on here who's life would make your little Atlanta adventure seem like a pile of monkey dung. That's basically it. Its not rocket science.

And see, it didn't take a half a page to get my point across. How lackadaisical of me. ;)

dougskiles

November 24, 2011, 06:14:53 AM
Something I meant to write earlier, SCAD actually has four campuses.  Savannah, Atlanta, Lacoste (France) and Hong Kong.  It really impresses me how a university with such a relatively short history has become an international leader in the design field.

http://www.scad.edu/lacoste/facilities.cfm
http://www.scad.edu/hong-kong/index.cfm

It can happen here, too.  JU is already becoming a leader in the marine science field with MSRI (as fieldafm posted about).  I would love to see them expand into downtown.  A large part of SCAD's impact on Savannah is that they are not isolated in a suburban campus.  That is my one negative feeling about UNF.

jcjohnpaint

November 24, 2011, 08:06:38 AM
It can also happen with UNF's Dept of Art and Design.  We are a young program (7 years old).  We do have a lot of improving to do, but we have made big strides in the last two years.  We have great ties to MOCA, CORK, and the Cummer.  I am telling you great things are happening in the arts around here.  For any politician who believes art is worthless, just has to look to SCAD Savannah or even what UNF has done with MOCA in recent years.  Jacksonville and UNF is just getting started! 

jcjohnpaint

November 24, 2011, 08:09:04 AM
Also check out SCAD's new museum of art build into the old train station.  Amazing place just constructed.  The Architecture department is right on the other side of the courtyard to the museum. 

dougskiles

November 24, 2011, 08:44:52 AM
SCAD's MofA was still under construction when we were there.  I can't wait to go back during Christmas holiday and see the final product.

There is a cool video on their homepage showing the construction:

http://www.scadmoa.org/

jcjohnpaint - I would love to know more about the UNF art program.  I agree 100% that we have great things going in the art community in Jax.  Does UNF have any affiliation with Douglas Anderson School of the Arts?

jcjohnpaint

November 24, 2011, 10:28:26 AM
Actually we do not have an affiliation with DA, but we do have a bunch of DA students.  We also have the head of DA's painting dept. teaching part time at UNF.  I should be giving a talk there with some students in the coming semester once I have some time to do so. 
Yeah the museum at SCAD was so amazing.  The courtyard area is wonderful.  The partially condemned part of the building has been persevered and turned into an outdoor sculpture park.   

prahaboheme

November 24, 2011, 11:42:52 AM
I am especially impressed with Savannah's efforts to reconstruct historic Ellis Square -- a parking lot for nearly 40 years is now a functional city square.  While it looks to the past, it is a modern interpretation that speaks to the needs of the present day (they buried parking under the square).  As a result, private redevelopment around the square as happened, adding to the overall vibrancy on the edge of the historic district.

While Savannah is smaller than JAX, it offers all Florida cities something to aspire to.   

Tacachale

November 24, 2011, 01:05:32 PM
There is definitely much potential for UNF to increase our presence downtown. I think even those who questioned whether it was a good investment appreciate the progress. We'll never be SCAD (of course, we can offer much that SCAD simply can't too), but there are impressive things on the horizon.

Lunican

November 26, 2011, 04:47:52 PM
FOUNDATION STUDIES
SCAD's new museum rises from an antebellum railroad depot

http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5777

CG7

November 26, 2011, 05:30:26 PM
I went to Savannah today just because of this thread. I really had a good time, and think it is a nice LITTLE place. My two observations are that it in NO way compares to Jacksonville, and it smells like urine...seriously.

AaroniusLives

November 28, 2011, 04:53:28 PM
You should report on several places in Maryland next.

1. Baltimore and the Inner Harbor/adjacent areas, obviously.

2. Baltimore County, which has preserved it's character, a great deal of it's green space, and yet has urbanized along the way.

3. The rapid high-density development along US1 between Baltimore and DC, further cementing this into one mega-region (or, for urban planners, taking the CSA and creating one MSA from two.)

4. Columbia redeveloping itself into a more walkable place.

5. Plan Maryland, which is essentially Maryland's long-term plan to recreate itself as a less car-dependent, more transit, more integrated place. In 25 years "Maryland" will essentially be a city-state.

krazeeboi

November 28, 2011, 04:59:24 PM
A profile has already been done on Baltimore: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-jul-elements-of-urbanism-baltimore

AaroniusLives

November 28, 2011, 05:23:56 PM
There's also several older Savannah articles here as well. Revisiting doesn't seem to be a MetroJax issue.

dougskiles

November 28, 2011, 06:55:45 PM
You should report on several places in Maryland next.

5. Plan Maryland, which is essentially Maryland's long-term plan to recreate itself as a less car-dependent, more transit, more integrated place. In 25 years "Maryland" will essentially be a city-state.

I would like to see a report on this topic in particular.  I was reading about it over the weekend, and then also started reading about Maryland's governer, Martin O'Malley.  I could see him running for president in 2016.

tufsu1

November 28, 2011, 08:28:21 PM
Maryland is a strongly Democratic state...O'Malley is following in the steps of Gov. Glendening, who now leads up Smart Growth America....the only hiccup was during the 4-year Ehrlich term, when the Republican Governor tried to stop most growth controls and transit projects in favor of more highways.

That said, while I would be thrilled, O'Malley is not a good candidate for national office....he'd be better served replacing long time Senator Barbara Mikulski when she retires.

Tacachale

November 29, 2011, 12:03:42 PM
Re-reading this in light of the lengthy commentary about Atlanta above, it strikes me that Jacksonville can take as much (or more) from smaller cities like this than from big sprawling ones. ATL has a lot of cool stuff, but I would much rather see Jacksonville develop along the lines of Savannah, Charleston, or my favorite, Asheville. And a lot of their strengths aren't restricted only to smaller cities; a number of the other cities our size or somewhat larger that have been profiled here I would consider to be more in that mold.

krazeeboi

December 02, 2011, 05:42:09 PM
Re-reading this in light of the lengthy commentary about Atlanta above, it strikes me that Jacksonville can take as much (or more) from smaller cities like this than from big sprawling ones. ATL has a lot of cool stuff, but I would much rather see Jacksonville develop along the lines of Savannah, Charleston, or my favorite, Asheville. And a lot of their strengths aren't restricted only to smaller cities; a number of the other cities our size or somewhat larger that have been profiled here I would consider to be more in that mold.

The basic principles of revitalization are the same, whether in larger cities or smaller ones. However, in the case of Charleston, Savannah, and Asheville, they aren't big business centers and so their urban cores don't consist of a lot of office space. They've retained much of their historic urban fabric which is more conducive to creating and sustaining pedestrian activity. But this same dynamic is at play in a city like Atlanta, just more in the neighborhood villages like Virginia-Highland, Little Five Points, East Atlanta Village, etc. As far as the urban core goes, I think Jacksonville would do well to emulate cities around its size that have retained at least a reasonable amount of its urban fabric and are significantly-sized business centers, like Louisville and Richmond.

Fallen Buckeye

December 02, 2011, 07:17:47 PM
^^Right. I don't think our goal should be to be the next Savannah (or Asheville or Charleston), but we should take a few lessons on:
  • how we can encourage utilization and preservation our existing building fabric where appropriate that respects our city's unique identity
  • encouraging a pedestrian friendly environment by considering things such as layout of the street grid, tree cover, building setbacks, park space, etc.
  • marketing our city's "brand" to world
  • possible benefits and strategies for building urban institutions of higher learning

I think Jacksonville has the potential to a be a city that could really stand out in the crowd if we started getting some of the details rights. Assuming we got our act together, I can't think of another large city that could serve up our mix of Southern culture, beaches, waterways, history, and big city amenities. That's a brand a lot of people would love to buy into.

Shine

December 15, 2011, 08:56:22 AM
Agree with fallen.  Savannah is a good lesson in establishing an identity based on “uniqueness.”  Jacksonville’s growth has been focused largley on “sameness.” We need to focus on what is unique and special about Jacksonville and how it stands out from places north and south.  That needs to be incorporated into a shift from a pure growth model to a “prosperity growth” model.

Noone

December 15, 2011, 09:48:37 AM
+1 Lets Make It Happen
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