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Annie Lytle School Cleanup Effort This Weekend

In a continuing effort to preserve the historic Annie Lytle Elementary School, local activist have successfully scheduled a property cleanup for this weekend.

Published June 6, 2012 in Urban Issues      15 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


On Saturday June 9, 2012 and 8AM the cleanup effort at the Annie Lytle School will resume.  To make this effort viable, a hold harmless agreement has been secured allowing all interested parties to come out and participate.

This agreement holds the property's owner harmless in the event of injury.  In years past we have accomplished much without even a slight injury and I believe we can continue this.

Everyone is invited and anything they can bring to help, including yard tools, chainsaws, lawnmowers, contractor trash bags and white/brown exterior paint is appreciated. Water and beverages will be provided.

Volunteers have informed Metro Jacksonville that, at this time, no work will be done on the building's interior.  However, future plans call for the cleanup of the building's interior.  If interested in coming out and joing in on the effort the school is located at 1011 Gilmore Street, one block west of the Interstate 95/Park Street interchange.

For more information contact


Dog Walker

June 06, 2012, 08:31:07 AM
When you come, bring gloves, heavy pruning shears and landscape saws.  There is a lot of overgrown brush on the property that needs to be removed.  Much of it is in the courtyards between the wings of the building.


June 06, 2012, 05:57:53 PM
^ The Cleanup effort begins on Saturday.  We will continue to meet at least 2 Saturdays per month, plus in between as schedules permit.

If anyone reading is intending to attend , please let Dog Walker or myself know by private message.  I will supply water, soft drinks , Gatorade, etc, and need a head count so as to know how much to bring.

The goal for now is to clean up the property and exterior as much as possible. From there we will eventually begin the lengthy task of clearing the School's interior , prepping it for future renovation. Securing as much as possible the commonly compromised entrances .  We will work around schedules and it is pretty much a situation of pick a spot and go to work on cleaning it up.  It is good for the building, the community and helps the presentation of the building to a potential buyer to see the enormous possibilities it has.  At present there are a couple of inquiries..will keep everyone posted as to developments.

Thank you in advance , to anyone who can attend , or donate.  It is much appreciated! Thank you, MJ for your continued support by advertising the effort. 


June 09, 2012, 04:16:11 PM


Much focus on the back of the building , in the North Courtyard.   It is almost as if we had never been there.  Just completely overgrown  Piles of trash, rotten lumber and plywood, old doors , remnants of door frames, window frames.

The group today just busted tail, despite raining and while driving by , maybe only we can see a difference, let me tell you, the results are curbside on College Street.  Truckload after truckload after truckload of yard debris, and a seperate pile of old materials and bagged trash!!!!

Sincere thanks to all of the individuals who made it out today and worked so hard.  With a group like this and the level of ambition displayed today,the community is sure to see tremendous results in the weeks to come.

Thanks again to each of these individuals and to MetroJacksonville, for advertising this event.  We will do it again next weekend and at least two weekends per month!!


June 11, 2012, 10:21:46 AM
I was more than happy to come help. We certainly made a dent in all that needs to be done.


June 18, 2012, 02:49:16 AM
Just as a quick review , this was not a one-day only, but continuing event.  In 2 Saturday events and one of the volunteers working through the week in between, taking down non-contributing and/or obstructing trees, trees growing out of the foundation ,etc, a total of 17 volunteers working diligently have produced some pretty impressive results. 

This time we elected to focus mainly on getting the debris to curbside, clearing out most of the College Street side of the building.

We will resume next Saturday.  I cannot say enough kind words for the group of volunteers and amazing amount of work they have done. 

We hope in a couple months  as the volunteer group grows in numbers, to complete the outside work, cleaning up and painting the exterior trim , etc, and begin the cleanup inside.

Clearly , the inside is the larger task.   This group is growing and we are committed to finally getting this done.  :)

Our final goal is to prepare the building in every way we possibly can to make it ready to renovate.  Cleaning it out entirely , takes a substantial amount off of the price tag of renovation. We will not take out any features, but anything that is destroyed, decayed, burned, broken , and obviously has to come out anyway, will go.

Probably starting with completely clearing and cleaning up the Auditorium area and eliminating all vegetation growing in it, and on the roof areas of the Building.

It is said, Pictures are worth a thousand words.    As we progress, we will show it in pictures.  Try to look through the decay and deterioration, to the actual gem of a building that is PS #4 .  Thanks so much !


June 18, 2012, 09:20:29 AM continues to inspire me. I feel  lucky that all these thoughtful, community-action-oriented people are gathered here and that I can start to participate just by reading and learning from all the posts I read here. The cleanups, the neighborhood tours, and the city council meeting reviews have really taught me a lot about Jacksonville and about what is possible to change in a city with committed people.

Hope this isn't too gushy! :)


June 18, 2012, 12:32:46 PM continues to inspire me. I feel  lucky that all these thoughtful, community-action-oriented people are gathered here and that I can start to participate just by reading and learning from all the posts I read here. The cleanups, the neighborhood tours, and the city council meeting reviews have really taught me a lot about Jacksonville and about what is possible to change in a city with committed people.

Hope this isn't too gushy! :)

Thanks so much Brooklyn!   


June 19, 2012, 01:59:32 PM
The City is beginning to haul away the debris piles ( Which we will , gladly replace this weekend). 

Pictures of the progress of the cleanup should be up soon .


June 19, 2012, 11:15:59 PM
Will continue posting and providing images of our progress on the new Thread.

Cleanup of Annie Lytle continues this weekend.  Thanks !!

Dog Walker

June 20, 2012, 01:04:20 PM
Special thanks are due to MetroJacksonville member, RalphW.  He worked by himself last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, dodging the rain and cut down at least a dozen trees that were growing against the foundation of the school.  He then neatly cut all of the branches and trunks into sizes that could be handled and stacked them into piles.  It was just an incredible amount of work for one person.  His skill with a chain saw is impressive!

It was all that three of us could do to drag some of the material to the street for pickup last Saturday and it was too much material for the city truck to pick up in one load.


July 07, 2012, 10:37:07 PM

With trusty volunteer, Ralph whittling away this past week with his chainsaw, the results this week are nothing short of astounding.  This guy is just amazing and the amount of work he accomplished by himself is nothing short of Jaw-dropping.  Stop by Annie Lytle . Ride down Chelsea Street to observe yard debris piled the length of the property , curbside(not actually on the street)  The visibility into the property from all sides from the commencement of this year's effort in early June to present is a night and day difference.  Today Ralph continued on as Trish, her daughter and myself put debris curbside.  The two of them worked incredibly diligently and accomplished so much , it was just astounding.  Not sure what the temp was today,but certainly was hot and despite this ,we pressed on.  Trish's daughter was also kind enough to take updated pictures of the progress, which we will have uploaded soon.

If you go by and cannot tell the difference that our group has made on this place, its highly possible you are looking in the wrong direction.

We resume next Saturday, 8am. :)  Sincere thanks to all for your tireless efforts.

I know it is July and probably the last thought on anyone's mind is obtaining firewood. We invite you however to stop by the School .. There are stacks of cut manageable pieces of firewood. Literally truck loads of it curbside on College and on Chelsea/Peninsular.  Please help us and take advantage of free firewood which will come in handy before you know it.  Thank you !!!

JAM Photography Inc

September 03, 2012, 06:55:59 PM
Hi Tinkin,
I'm a photographer from the West Palm Beach area.  I was in Jacksonville today and happened across this school.  I met a gentleman driving a white van and cutting down trees with a chainsaw, and he gave me info about the school.  He also referred me to this site, and how to find you here.  While I was there, I took some images of the property, and I would like to share some of them withyou and your group. Also, could you keep me in the loop as far as your work on the building.  As a photographer, I make my mission to document things.  I do weddings, fashion, and portrait for a living, but when I'm shooting for pleasure I enjoy fine art and "Urbex" ( Urban Exploration) photography which is all about abandoned buildings, missile silos, military bases, and the like. I would really like to fully document the interior of this building before it is cleaned up and the graffiti is removed or painted over, and then record the clean up as you and your volunteers make strides to bring this building back. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Thank you for your time!!  -Jeff


September 03, 2012, 11:53:19 PM
Hello Jeff... Welcome to Metrojacksonville.  Thanks also for your interest in Public School Number Four.  I will respond to you via email regarding your requests.

It is interesting to note that during the time we have been cleaning up the property,  A L O T of photography has been taken.

Unfortunately, I cannot formally permit you to enter the School .... You would have to obtain formal written permission from the Building's owner for that. 

Should have some updated photos for the site soon folks.  :)


March 24, 2013, 06:08:03 PM
Hello, my name is Hunter, I am a freshly recruited volunteer.Tim Got with my partner and I which recently started a lawn care business and inquired about our services for the property. Being born in Jacksonville I have known about this school for quite some time and would love to be a part of the effort to help save it. We were able to get down there today and do a good mow and weedeat. We our planning our next efforts around getting all the piles of debris curbside including the palm stumps piled up on the front side of the building. Its amazing to see all the work you guys have already done, the property has changed drastically from some of the past pictures I saw. I look forward to meeting all the volunteers involved. Take care.

Hunter, and his friend Jeremy are our two most recent volunteer recruits.

If you go by the PS4 property, you will notice a meticulously ,fresh-cut lawn ... the School's grounds and the adjacent lot at the corner of College/ Roselle.

Sincere thanks to Jeremy and Hunter of Arlington Lawn and Garden Care , who have selflessly donated their time and has done a fantastic first cut for the season of the School's lawn, working around remaining debris piles.

If you need lawn / garden care,  Jeremy and Hunter are the guys to call.   

Many thanks again, guys !!!

This weekend at PS#4..

We removed the pile in the School's front yard of a portion of the remaining failed auditorium roof as well as more debris in an area near one of the Stairwells,  trash in the front yard.   There were 3 of us and it was pouring rain ,but we pressed on anyway.

It is heartening to review in pictures, the profound progress we have made in  10 months.

The amazing volunteers for the last six years and those presently, have continued to make this happen. 

Heartfelt thanks, to my amazing volunteer team :) !  !  !


August 01, 2013, 04:15:45 PM
hello to whom it may concern, I'm interested in helping with the work at Annie Lytle how do i get info of when I may assist?
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