Saturday, August 30, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 
Join Metro Jacksonville and get in on the conversation today!Already have an account?  Sign In

Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 14958 times)

copperfiend

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2009, 10:58:10 AM »
Very disturbing... Some of those buildings are amazing. I wonder which were destroyed to build something new and which were just destroyed due to government incompetence. I can somewhat understand an owner from a time thinking he could build a nicer structure as it's not historical at the time and you have to keep with the Joneses, but city officials causing destruction is really unfortunate.

I found this:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/194

thelakelander

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22706
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 11:08:00 AM »
I went back and added the building name, location, and present site use for most of the images.  This may answer a few of the questions raised above.

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4303
  • I am the man in the box...
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2009, 11:11:48 AM »
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

copperfiend

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2009, 11:13:42 AM »
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

Not to mention department stores.

stjr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3153
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2009, 11:35:16 AM »
I have lived in Jax all my life and have sadly watched gradually as one by one many of these outstanding buildings have been destroyed.  Many of these buildings would likely be national landmarks today with their distinctive designs.  Not only is this a great loss to Jax, but to the state of Florida as, for many of the past decades, much of Florida's history was Jax, not Miami, Orlando, or Tampa.

As continues today, Jax leaders have lacked an appreciation for what is and what could be.  "Vision", "planning", "backbone", and "creative thinking" are little known concepts here.  Qualitative factors are dispensed with to just get things done now without consequences for tomorrow (just like the grand jury saying get the courthouse started without delay - with no comment about its shortcomings).

Jax has mostly lived with an insecurity complex - always trying to be the next "big city".  In the process to fast track growth at any expense, it has lost site of its character and has become a near soulless city having cast aside its ancestry and history.  That Jax has treated many of its assets as disposable has had the effect of often making the City itself disposable.  Its hard to feel attached to a physical environment that is plain, plastic, artificial, devoid of character, cold, incoherent, and absent of rooted history.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 08:17:07 PM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Doctor_K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1651
  • Your friendly neighborhood Hot Rod!
    • Carolina Fusion
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2009, 11:37:45 AM »
I'm so glad so many of those great buildings were removed in the face of, and for the sake of, 'progress.'  It makes me ill to think all of those have been turned into surface lots and parking decks.  And yet we still hear that "there isn't sufficient parking downtown." 

(snort) 

Enfuriating.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create."  -- Albert Einstein

GideonGlib

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2009, 12:36:51 PM »
I remember one or two of these building and have heard of others from older family members, but seeing them together like this makes me very sad. How amazing was that post office building?

downtownjag

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2009, 12:47:08 PM »
Great photo's, does anyone have old photo's of The Ambassador Hotel in it's prime?  I love that building and it seems to be salvagable... thanks

jeh1980

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2009, 01:38:44 PM »
Very disturbing... Some of those buildings are amazing. I wonder which were destroyed to build something new and which were just destroyed due to government incompetence. I can somewhat understand an owner from a time thinking he could build a nicer structure as it's not historical at the time and you have to keep with the Joneses, but city officials causing destruction is really unfortunate.
Those pictures made my stomache cringe.  There are so many beautiful structures lost to the wrecking ball for parking garages and vacant lots its sickening!

Great collection of photos Lake, and great work compiling them and sharing.

Not to mention department stores.
I have lived in Jax all my life and have sadly watched gradually as one by one many of these outstanding buildings have been destroyed.  Many of these buildings would likely be national landmarks today with their distinctive designs.  Not only is this a great loss to Jax, but to the state of Florida as, for many of the past decades, much of Florida's history was Jax, not Miami, Orlando, or Tampa.

As continues today, Jax leaders have lacked an appreciation for what is and what could be.  "Vision", "planning", "backbone", and "creative thinking" are little known concepts here.  Qualitative factors are dispensed with to just get things done now without consequences for tomorrow (just like the grand jury saying get the courthouse started without delay - with no comment about its shortcomings).

Jax has mostly lived with an insecurity complex - always trying to be the next "big city".  In the process to fast track growth at any expense, it has lost site of its character and has become a near souless city having cast aside its ancestry and history.  That Jax has treated many of its assets as disposable has had the effect of often making the City itself disposable.  Its hard to feel attached to a physical environment that is plain, plastic, artificial, devoid of character, cold, incoherent, and absent of rooted history.

I'm so glad so many of those great buildings were removed in the face of, and for the sake of, 'progress.'  It makes me ill to think all of those have been turned into surface lots and parking decks.  And yet we still hear that "there isn't sufficient parking downtown." 

(snort) 

Enfuriating.
I remember one or two of these building and have heard of others from older family members, but seeing them together like this makes me very sad. How amazing was that post office building?

No disrespect to anyone...but you guys are NUTS!!!

Great article and a great look back at history. One question still remains. Why are we still hating on are current administration and the few administrations from 50 years ago up until now? I don't think that they wanted to destroy history as we always thought we did. They wanted to make something good of it to replace what is demolished. There were some projects that were promising, but at time the administration might have hit a big snag somewhere. Funds were not available as they thought it were and many of the project were dead and forgotten. They gambled and we lost. But sometimes it not their fault. They WANT to make things happening. But then there were a lot of times they did make something happened. A lot of those demolished building soon turn into modern skyscrapers. Jacksonville has gotten some height over the years. And yet we still murmur and complain and still mourning the lost of those other "treasures" from the past. And a few of them were just as condemned. Are we still dying in the yesteryears. That's got to suck! BIGTIME! I've seen a lot of surface lots and imagining what commercial space will they one day build replacing them with. I know we are missing some more skyscrapers and I think that the adminstration can still have the will power to fill in some gaps with we encourage them enough. We do need to save our history, but let's not die in the yesteryears. This is the time now to recover and rebuild what was once lost and to replace those surface lots with something.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 03:46:59 PM by jeh1980 »

JaxByDefault

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 550
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2009, 01:40:07 PM »
So, Jacksonville was once full of the Prairie Style, Art Nouveau, Key West / New Orleans Vernacular, Flagler Romanesque revival, and other architectural styles that now make other cities famous tourist destinations. In terms of sheer loss of U.S. buildings with distinctive historical significance, Jacksonville has to be near the top of the list. I do not know of another city that so systematically detroyed nearly every example of such distinctive local and regional architecture. It's no accident that Jacksonville now struggles to find an identity.






copperfiend

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2009, 02:01:54 PM »
JaxbyDefault, you are correct. The sad thing to me is that the mentality of those in charge is the same now as it was 50 years ago.

I also think nationally that Jacksonville has a reputation as a "new city" along the same lines as Orlando or Las Vegas when in reality we have a rich history.

thelakelander

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22706
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2009, 02:05:23 PM »
We're probably near the top, but a few Southeast cities that come to mind are Norfolk, Charlotte and Tampa.  However, excluding Tampa, the other two have been able to overcome their mistakes from decades past.

archiphreak

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2009, 02:26:24 PM »
Lakelander,
Do you have a map showing all of the demolished lots that you've found?  I'm planning a series of design charrettes and I think it would be interesting to take these abandoned lots that use to be sites of high density architecture and see what could be come up with for new solutions.  Let me know.  thanks.

thelakelander

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22706
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2009, 02:42:03 PM »
I do not have a map but since the locations are known, one could be created with ease.

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4303
  • I am the man in the box...
Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2009, 03:09:08 PM »
Didn't the "Downtown Frankenstein" series have a lot of images showing all that's been demolished?

Could be a good start archiphreak.