What caused the downtown to collapse? How did such a busy city become so fragile? Its a question that very few people have asked, preferring to start instead with 'How do we redevelop downtown?' Jville didn't make mistakes that no one else made, ---by any stretch. But we stuck with them. Here, for your debate, information, and provocation are thirteen of the things that destroyed downtown. Feel free to agree, disagree, or add to the discussion in the comments below.
1. Decoupling the direct Passenger/Freight Train Connection to the Sea Passenger and Sea Freight Shipping businesses on the downtown waterfront.
The foundation of downtown Jacksonville's early economic super growth was based on the amount of labor and economic activity that surrounded this transfer. Passengers stayed in the hotels, shopped in the shops, ate and drank in the restaurants and saloons and kept the bordellos busy for decades. Stevedores by the thousands were paid to move freight back and forth from rail to sea shipping, and warehousing for goods doubled as low cost storefronts for the types of goods being stored for transportation in the back. When that connection was broken, the underlying energy of the downtown economy was seriously compromised.