Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 36223 times)

JerryS

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #135 on: July 06, 2012, 08:22:15 PM »
It's so sad to see those old building gone.  During the years of 1956 thru 1958 I was an usher at the Florida theather and I also rode  bike delivering  telegrams for Western Union.  I remember the train station leaving on the train for Chicago going to navy boot camp.  There was no mall back then every thing was down town. The only movie houses that I knew of back then on the west side was the lake shore, fairfax,edgewood and the Murray Hill and of course the Normandy drive Inn. Currently I live in Ocala and my wife and I drove to Jax the first time I have been back in twenty years.  I couldn't believe how far blanding blvd goes out.  When I was a kid as soon as you crossed cedar creek  the road was two lanes and you were in the boonies.  The only time anybody went to Orange Park back then was to buy beer on Sunday.  Well so much of my rambling from an old fart.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #136 on: July 06, 2012, 11:36:05 PM »
Yeah, and when I was in school (JEB Stuart - Today) we had Pritchett's Kitchen right at the Cedar River Bridge, and Lum's hotdogs, boiled in beer... The first time I ever saw what would later be called 'N' scale trains, was at the old Pic-N-Save on Blanding. My best friend in school, Matt Skeins father owned the House of Bargains stores and they had a big one on Blanding. Do you remember Coopers Hardware?

ronchamblin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #137 on: July 07, 2012, 01:31:01 AM »
Ock… do I remember Cooper’s?  When we moved from Baltimore to Jax in ’49, I was seven and Cooper’s Hardware was renting a space on the west side of Wesconnett Blvd about 150’ north of 103rd.  It was the closest thing we had to a Home Depot back then.  Western Auto was to some degree the neighborhood hardware.  For us tinkerers and builders, Sears downtown was a help.  I sensed that the Cooper fellows loved their work. 

 
There were no malls and no convenience stores until the mid to late fifties.  There were the occasional country stores, small but having good variety.  They all smelled the same, an interesting mix of clothes, hardware, snacks, sodas, tobacco, and damp wood floors.  To buy something substantial, one had to go downtown. 


Apparently Cooper sold to Gunning sometime in the sixties, and Gunning built a new spot, and moved across the street.  I recall that upon selling to Gunning, one or two of the Cooper fellows bought land in Brazil, to farm or something.  But something happened in Brazil, perhaps the government at the time took what the Coopers had so they fled the chaos, moving to Middleburg.   


Many of the people moving into the area in the forties and fifies were building houses themselves, as we did on the south end of Firestone Road.  Our first winter in Jax was in a partially completed house my father built.  I don’t recall any building inspections back then.  Everybody used the black four volume Audel builders set for carpentry and other building help.  My father’s co-workers at the shipyards would help with the electrical work.  Apparently my father got no help on plumbing because in the eighties I found a sink where he used a 1/2"  iron pipe for the drain.  It always clogged.  Everything was iron pipe.  There was no PVC, copper, plywood, or sheetrock.  The 4’ x 8’ wall panels were a kind of brown fiber material, which one could easily tear with hands, of about ½” thick, with a thin white painting surface.  All lumber was cut and drilled by hand.  No electric saws or drills.         


For about a year, we had a roof, but no walls.  On the outside we had the occasional wood cross member to strengthen the entire structure.  For wind and blowing rain protection we had surplus military canvas on the outside walls, which flapped in the wind.  We had a small potbelly wood stove which would glow red.  We huddled around the potbelly that first winter.  After about a year of canvas, we had siding in the way of tar paper or felt covering the outside 1 x 6 lumber.  We were somewhat poor, but we kids didn’t really feel it.  We had plenty to eat, having a good garden and chickens and other animals.  Most others on Firestone were like us, although some seemed to approach rich persons, having the occasional new auto, and a brick house.  Our first TV was about 1953.  It was of course black and white, and always rolled and fluttered just when you were watching something interesting.  We didn’t have Internet.   


Ricker Road was dirt south of Morse Ave until the early sixties.  Morse Ave was dirt from Firestone to Jammes until the early sixties.  Seems like Ricker was dirt from 103rd north to Old Middleburg until the late fifties.  What am I saying.  At some point they were all dirt.   
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 01:42:54 AM by ronchamblin »

BackinJax05

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #138 on: July 08, 2012, 01:02:12 AM »
Yeah, and when I was in school (JEB Stuart - Today) we had Pritchett's Kitchen right at the Cedar River Bridge, and Lum's hotdogs, boiled in beer... The first time I ever saw what would later be called 'N' scale trains, was at the old Pic-N-Save on Blanding. My best friend in school, Matt Skeins father owned the House of Bargains stores and they had a big one on Blanding. Do you remember Coopers Hardware?

I LOVED Lum's hot dogs. There used to be one on Merrill Road, near Cesery. Back then both roads were 2 lanes. Pizza Butt (hut) was next door. Merrill Road Center was (& still is) across the street. It had an Eckerd Drug Store & Winn Dixie as anchors.

The closest Pic-N-Save was at Town-N-Country, next to Pantry Pride, which was next to the theatre, which was across from Waltz Restaurant. ;D Years later, Pic-N-Save moved to a larger store in the strip. Pantry Pride remained for a few more years.

Today all of it is gone. Merrill Road Center and Town and Country remain, empty shells of what they once were.

WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #139 on: July 08, 2012, 01:21:08 PM »
I'm posting this mostly for my own benefit as a record. Page 7, photo 41 is the Clark Building which had one of the last open cage elevators in town as far as I know. It was not air-conditioned. The owner also owned Oriental Gardens  just south of San Marco on the Southside.

The storefront right on the corner - Gus Panos produce - was later occupied by Lowe's Cut Rate Drugs.

The building was torn down in the mid- to late 60's.

WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #140 on: July 08, 2012, 01:33:37 PM »
Many posts to this forum and others on MJ bemoan the loss of the old buildings. But I think many of the posters who rail against the demolitions also favor the growth of the City. I think the two views are at least somewhat inconsistent. Take the courthouse for example - not that the old one is exactly an architectural masterpiece. It served well for 50+ years, but now the city has grown and needs something considerably to serve for the next half century or so. Given its size, structure, and location, for what can it be used? If it is torn down, will its loss be decried 25 years later?

So it is with many of the buildings that were demolished - certainly the government buildings and all the small buildings. The only way for the downtown to grow was either to take down the old and build the new, or, if the old were left in place, to spread out geographically. A larger downtown area, in my opinion, would not be a good idea - it's too big as is.   

ben says

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #141 on: July 08, 2012, 01:36:32 PM »
I'm posting this mostly for my own benefit as a record. Page 7, photo 41 is the Clark Building which had one of the last open cage elevators in town as far as I know. It was not air-conditioned. The owner also owned Oriental Gardens  just south of San Marco on the Southside.

The storefront right on the corner - Gus Panos produce - was later occupied by Lowe's Cut Rate Drugs.

The building was torn down in the mid- to late 60's.

Does anyone know where to find some history on Oriental Gardens? I was born and raised there--lived there for over 20 years--but outside of a few phrases like "this road used to be Oriental gardens" and "some guy owned this land and tourists came here"--can't find anything.
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thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #142 on: July 08, 2012, 02:43:58 PM »
I'm using my cell to make this reply, so I can't cut & paste the link. Type "Oriental Gardens" in the MJ search engine (I swear it works for paste front page articles).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 02:48:23 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #143 on: July 08, 2012, 03:52:32 PM »
The only way for the downtown to grow was either to take down the old and build the new, or, if the old were left in place, to spread out geographically. A larger downtown area, in my opinion, would not be a good idea - it's too big as is.   
Growth also can come in the form of adaptive reuse of existing structures.  It's a huge mistake to live and plan by a motto that requires demolition for growth. Such a strategy not only destroys a community's sense of place but its culture and history as well. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Jax has done and when new development fails to materialize, you're left with nothing but parking lots.
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WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #144 on: July 08, 2012, 07:29:04 PM »
We're left with parking lots because private enterprise has not yet come up with a use for the area that makes enough financial sense to risk an investment of some sort. Look, Lake, if you owned a building that was empty and was bleeding tax money thanks to the property assessment, and was not adaptable for modern uses, what would you do? Keep it, or knock it down, stop some of the bleeding and wait for better times or the concept worth the investment risk?

What exactly does "adaptive reuse" mean for downtown buildings that have outlived their original purpose? What would you put into the old Rosenblum's building at Adams and Hogan, or the tall building adjacent to it (the name of which I do not know)? They're available.

Too many folks in MJ want property owners to ignore fiscal reality in the interest of preservation. That's a nice wish list, but those folks ought to quit spending other folks' money for them. Maybe we should pick a building in distress _crumbling, taxes delinquent, etc. - and take up a collection to keep them in "adaptive reuse" shape so they don't end up down.

Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #145 on: July 08, 2012, 11:47:50 PM »
^ So you propose to just bulldoze every empty structure, and add to the vast wasteland of parking lots in downtown? What a great improvement.

I'm not spending your money. I am spending my own.. on a building and property I don't own , in an ATTEMPT to save it. .. and looking for solutions to save it ,that do not require the use of 'your' money (or the tax-payers). We are not all arm-chair quarterbacks. Some of us are actually out there trying to find viable solutions.  Wish people like yourself could show appreciation for that, but that would probably be too much to ask.

Are you doing anything in this regard,or just taking issue with those of us who wish to see these places re-purposed? (certainly sounds that way,at least).   So, Fiscal reality in your opinion would be to continue to demolish , as we have done for at least  a half century? (at a phenominal rate, I might add)  Would love to know what the tab was for all of that, PASSED ON TO THE TAXPAYERS!!  I guess that is a different kind of "Bleeding" , so its okay...It makes for good business for demolition companies, but I don't see how it  is beneficial to anyone else.   

As to a building that could not be adapted to some/ ANY modern use, name ONE, please.  And please help me  to understand WHY that building could not be adapted to a modern use.

Too many people in this city have dismissed  the value of our historic fabric. Period.  That, in part is why we now deal with and are trying to restore and revitalize the Shell of what was once  a vibrant City/Downtown.






thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #146 on: July 09, 2012, 12:06:55 AM »
We're left with parking lots because private enterprise has not yet come up with a use for the area that makes enough financial sense to risk an investment of some sort.

This statement is very inaccurate.  Unfortunately, the majority of downtown's buildings were torn down in anticipation of new development that never happened.  Three great examples are LaVilla, Sugar Hill, and Brooklyn.  Several of the structures in these areas were occupied and structurally sound when they were torn down.





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Look, Lake, if you owned a building that was empty and was bleeding tax money thanks to the property assessment, and was not adaptable for modern uses, what would you do? Keep it, or knock it down, stop some of the bleeding and wait for better times or the concept worth the investment risk?

I do own buildings and the thought of tearing them down has never entered my mind.  I'd sell them before I'd pay to demolish them.  Also, what building isn't adaptable for modern uses?  Do you have a specific example in your mind?

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What exactly does "adaptive reuse" mean for downtown buildings that have outlived their original purpose?

It means a May-Cohens becomes City Hall, a Carling transforms from a hotel to an apartment complex, the Metropolitan Lofts goes from office to housing, Churchwell goes from a warehouse to lofts, a gas station becomes a restaurant/bar, a former cannery in Riverside becomes a warehouse of art studios and galleries.  You can accommodate growth through the better utilization of existing buildings and infill where appropriate.  Heck, I had lunch yesterday in a downtown Knoxville microbrewery that was originally a hardware store.  Adaptive use of existing structures has been happening across the globe for centuries.  There's no reason, more adaptive reuse can't become a stronger fixture of Jacksonville's future growth patterns for both downtown and the rest of the city.

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What would you put into the old Rosenblum's building at Adams and Hogan, or the tall building adjacent to it (the name of which I do not know)? They're available.

There are a lot of uses that could work in those buildings.  The larger question is if their asking prices are reflective of what the market will bear?

Quote
Too many folks in MJ want property owners to ignore fiscal reality in the interest of preservation. That's a nice wish list, but those folks ought to quit spending other folks' money for them. Maybe we should pick a building in distress _crumbling, taxes delinquent, etc. - and take up a collection to keep them in "adaptive reuse" shape so they don't end up down.

You'd be surprised to see how many people participating on these forums are actually property owners, many of which who have preserved and restored various structures in their professions and lives.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #147 on: July 09, 2012, 01:17:22 PM »
the Pantheon in Rome has been in continuous use as a church or temple since it was built in about 126 CE.

The Maison Carre is older, having been built circa 16 BC. It's the best really complete temple from the classical world that still exists, and it was turned into a Church, too. It still functions as a museum.

Theatre_of_Marcellus, Julius Caesar started building it; it was first used for performances in 17BC, finished 12BC, used variously as a theatre, then fortress, then residences.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is a public house in St Albans, Hertfordshire, which is one of several that lay claim to being the oldest in England, 800 years.  It currently holds the official Guinness Book of Records title, but Ye Olde Man & Scythe in Bolton, Greater Manchester has claimed it is older by some 234 years.

Qufu Confucius Temple (Kong Miao).  The Temple started as three houses in the year of 478 BC, the second year after the death of Confucius, in continuous use, today it's a museum of culture.

A few years back, Dutch architects Merkx + Girod converted a Dominican church into one of the coolest bookstores ever, the Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht was built in 1294.

Temple of the Flourishing Law) is a Buddhist temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji, or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as seminary and monastery both. It was built in 607 burned then rebuilt in 711.

The Pickman house in Salem MA. was built in 1664, it serves as the nations oldest continuously operated museum today.

Gonzalez-Alvarez House in St. Augustine, built in 1723, adaptive reuse as a museum.

Bottom line, with every brick that comes down/came down in Jacksonville, we lose irretrievable history. There is just no reason for our city to continue this destructive course.


WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #148 on: July 13, 2012, 05:40:27 PM »
Lakelander makes good points about adaptive reuse, but it isn't in the cards for every old structure in downtown. How are we going to house workers for big businesses if we don't get rid of some of the old to make way for the new? Spread out and make downtown even larger than it already is? And we do want to grow, don't we? I'm also sorry some of those places are gone - the GW and Mayflower and Seminole hotels for example - but after they were no longer viable as hotels, and when, at the time, there was absolutely no way, that they could successfully be converted to apartments or condos, what was supposed to happen? I guess the answer is to just let them sit until times change. That's what is happening with the Laura Street Trio, and the result is that we have 3 eyesores crumbling in front of our eyes, and no one stepping up to the plate to do anything - no one other than fly-by-nighters, like Kuhn, that is.

Well maybe we can all be accommodated. You're right that there a hellva lot of parking lots around downtown, and if someone wants to build a big building, it should be easy to assemble the parcels to enable it. Not that it's going to happen any time soon what with all the space now available and a lackluster economy.

City Hall, the Carling and 11E are achievements (even if they are not, in the case of the last two, financial successes yet), but I'm sure that some of the places torn down were not candidates for adaptive reuse. For example, Genovar (sp?) Hall is quite historic, I'm told, but it's a piece of crap that is too far gone to anything with in my opinion. (It's also a good example of City Hall having its head up its ass in making a business deal.)

Last comment. Lake, it's nice that you would rather sell your buildings than tear them down. Who wouldn't? But sometimes there is no answer to the question, "To whom?"


thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #149 on: July 13, 2012, 06:25:06 PM »
Tearing down a building still cost money. Depending on the size of your urban lot, when considering building to current codes, you may be better off with what's already there.
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