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Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 15969 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #150 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.

WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #151 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 #152 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 #153 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.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #154 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 #155 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 #156 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.

Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #157 on: July 13, 2012, 10:42:22 PM »
Was there even an attempt for conversion on the GW, or the Mayflower? or the Seminole for ANY use?  Probably not.

Id rather look at a crumbling Laura Trio than another vacant, trashy grass and weed infested lot.  Any day.

Genovar's hall is a monumental example of the City having their heads up their ass.  And I agree that it is probably too late for it.  The three shot gun houses adjacent to it are just as bad or if it is possible, worse.

It fascinates me that when it comes to demolition , the City seems to have (or can access)  endless resources of money.  We cannot seem to pull off saving or reviving anything, practically.  I feel certain if the The St. James Building was not purposed to become City Hall , it would have followed the way of The Robert Meyer and many adjacent buildings.

I would love to know what the City has expended for demolition of buildings ( and never replaced them with anything) .  It would no doubt be a staggering figure.   Probably enough to revive the Laura Trio and quite a few other places in our Downtown area.

I hope we get it right and turn this around while there still remains structures that are savable.

BackinJax05

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #158 on: July 14, 2012, 01:37:44 AM »
^I was only 11 when the Mayflower was imploded. As I recall, the prevailing attitude was "Out with the old. In with the new"
I also seem to remember Hizzoner Hans Tanzler pushed the plunger to set off the dynamite.

I'd rather look at a crumbling Robert Meyer than what stands there now. The Meyer, with its rooftop pool & underground garage would have made awesome condominiums. I would have bought one.

As sad as it was to see the Mayflower collapse on itself, in all fairness I like the design of the CHARTER/SOUTHERN BELL tower (its original name). Those sawteeth are cool.

It was even sadder for me to see the Robert Meyer collapse from the middle, then see the North & South ends fall in simultaneously.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #159 on: July 14, 2012, 07:37:48 AM »
Someone asked about the GW?  It was torn down shortly after it closed.  It never had a chance like many of the buildings during the 70s and 80s.  That was a very dark period for historic building fabric in Jacksonville and across the country in general.

Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #160 on: July 14, 2012, 05:28:28 PM »
I'd rather look at a crumbling Robert Meyer than what stands there now. The Meyer, with its rooftop pool & underground garage would have made awesome condominiums. I would have bought one.

Agree.  I hate that all the Grande Hotels were imploded.  Seriously doubt any consideration was given any of them for some reuse.   

This mentality has not changed very much in recent times. :(

BackinJax05

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #161 on: July 14, 2012, 08:26:36 PM »
^^ Its too bad the GW and/or RM couldnt have been recycled into other hotels. Who knows?

If the GW had not been torn down, MAYBE Omni could have recycled it AND built a new hotel on the same block or across the street. (Renaissance Vinoy, St. Petersburg) The old and new buildings look great together.

OR they could have recycled the RM and saved a bundle in construction costs. (Omni/Parker House, Boston)

Dont get me wrong, I like the Omni. Im only thinking of how they could have made things even better.

Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #162 on: July 14, 2012, 10:35:31 PM »
Some post that we can't save every building in Downtown. Totally agree. Point is they have saved hardly ANY, compared to the Gems previous administrations razed.. For better than a half century it has been out with the old and in with more surface parking. Bravo!  Nice change.

Yep...can't save em all.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2012, 08:57:30 AM »


Speaking of reusing older buildings, Aloft is opening a new hotel in the old Orlando Utilities Commission in downtown Orlando.  Like the City Hall Annex, its a mid-20th century highrise.  If it were here, our history has shown that we'd be clamouring for demolition as soon as the doors were locked.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-07-15/business/os-cfb-tourism-0716-20120715_1_luxury-hotel-hotel-rooms-new-downtown-hotel

http://www.thedailycity.com/2012/07/aloft-hotel-in-downtown-orlando.html



Instead of being demolished, the 44-year-old building was sold for $2.9 million.  Aloft's developer will spend $20 million on the conversion.  OUC moved out of the building in 2008.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2011/09/02/former-ouc-building-to-become-hotel.html
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 09:26:43 AM by thelakelander »

tufsu1

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »
great example Lake....the same could be done with our City Hall Annex or the old JEA building!