Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 29016 times)

Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #150 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 #151 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 #152 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.
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Timkin

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #153 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 #154 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 #155 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 #156 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 »
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tufsu1

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #157 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!

WmNussbaum

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #158 on: July 17, 2012, 09:27:13 AM »
Not a great example, Lake. Orlando is tourist mecca - more hotel rooms than maybe even New York. Hotels can survive in Orlando, but not Jackson - giving a nod to Ron. I hope someone can come up with a use for old City Hall and maybe the courthouse, but I would not invest money in a project that was converting City Hall to a hotel. Would you?

The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #159 on: July 17, 2012, 09:30:06 AM »
^When is the last time you've been to Orlando?  Downtown Orlando is not a tourism mecca.  Nevertheless, the example is to show that old buildings can be reused for other uses.  The reuse of structures can happen in Jacksonville just as much as it can happen in Orlando or Savannah. Don't get so caught up on the exact reuse. You shouldn't be so down on the potential of your community.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #160 on: July 17, 2012, 09:39:43 AM »
Back in post #154 I listed a selection of buildings built in ancient times and still in use today. If the Qufu Confucius Temple (Kong Miao) built in 478 BC can find a new use as a museum of culture, there is simply no excuse for the dynamite mentality in Jacksonville.

What kind of culture doesn't remember and honor their history? Extinct ones!

tufsu1

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #161 on: July 17, 2012, 10:02:33 AM »
The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

What year was that?  has Jacksonville changed at all since then?

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #162 on: July 17, 2012, 10:07:37 AM »
1982 to be exact. Roughly 30 years ago.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Tacachale

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2012, 10:11:35 AM »
WmNussbaum, you are right that not every building is going to find a reuse, and that sometimes buildings are demolished to put in something new. But you ignore the fact that many, many buildings can be and are reused, and that many buildings have been demolished for no gain whatsoever.

One way to look at it is that empty buildings have far more options than empty lots: they can be refurbished, adapted to a new use, or torn down and replaced by something new. On the other hand, empty lots require entirely new construction. Given this, how exactly are empty lots more beneficial or responsible?
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

fieldafm

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2012, 10:18:05 AM »
Not a great example, Lake. Orlando is tourist mecca - more hotel rooms than maybe even New York. Hotels can survive in Orlando, but not Jackson - giving a nod to Ron. I hope someone can come up with a use for old City Hall and maybe the courthouse, but I would not invest money in a project that was converting City Hall to a hotel. Would you?

The Robert Meyer: It closed not many years after a group of investors renovated the original hotel and opened it again. They must have taken a huge loss on the project. Who in their right mind would try that again?

The group of investors Mr Nussbaum is referring to was led by Preston Haskell in 1980 around the time the Prime Osborne was being constructed.  They along with the downtown merchants (rightly) lobbied for the convention center to be located closer to the core (aka taking advantage of clustering) and re-furbished the Robert Meyer into the Holiday Inn City Center to cash in on this convention center business (whose parking garage would later be flooded for nearly a decade after it closed).  When the Prime Osborne site was selected, the downtown merchants pursued legal action and this at least partially led to the construction of the Jacksonville Landing.

The hotel was closed in 1982, so hardly a great example of anything referanced in your post.  Besides, land use and preservation of buildings for future reuse has absolutely nothing to do with the financial viability of a particular use.  You can't arbitrarily pick winners and losers in the marketplace by deciding 'well, no idiot will have the cash to redo this b/c our town is just a perpetual loser so let's just tear this thing down'.

As Lake mentioned, DT Orlando is not at all a tourism spot (that's centered around Kissimmee and the International Drive area).  However land use policies are certainly more favorable to pedestrian scale there and as a result Orlando's downtown has an enviable mix of foot traffic and retail presence.