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Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville  (Read 15065 times)

heights unknown

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2009, 03:24:16 PM »
Urban renewal?  What urban renewal? I wish there had been some kind of urban renewal or a semblance of it.  Most of these buildings came down in the 60's and on into the 70's and early to mid 80's; and guess what?  Parking lots graced where most of them stood for quite some time and there still are empty lots in downtown where some of these buildings stood.  I respectfully disagree with the urban renewal indication; but back in the day I was yearning for urban renewal in my beloved Jax and it really never happened.

If most of these buildings had not been demolished/razed, knowing Jax leadership, I wonder how long they would have remained empty until they were restored, refurbished or redeveloped?  I guess the leadership back then really didn't know what to do so they demolished them in hopes of someone coming along and spurring an "urban renewal."

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jeh1980

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2009, 03:51:19 PM »
Urban renewal?  What urban renewal? I wish there had been some kind of urban renewal or a semblance of it.  Most of these buildings came down in the 60's and on into the 70's and early to mid 80's; and guess what?  Parking lots graced where most of them stood for quite some time and there still are empty lots in downtown where some of these buildings stood.  I respectfully disagree with the urban renewal indication; but back in the day I was yearning for urban renewal in my beloved Jax and it really never happened.

If most of these buildings had not been demolished/razed, knowing Jax leadership, I wonder how long they would have remained empty until they were restored, refurbished or redeveloped?  I guess the leadership back then really didn't know what to do so they demolished them in hopes of someone coming along and spurring an "urban renewal."

Heights Unknown
Actually, I don't think we ever noticed that there was a little bit of urban renewal in downtown already. You just got to know where to look.

samiam

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2009, 04:58:27 PM »
What was Jacksonville’s signature architecture before 1920? At one time I heard it was red brick with a white front porch. Does anyone have any info on this. 

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2009, 05:06:24 PM »
I would say Prairie School architecture.  It was pretty dominant during the building boom following the Great Fire of 1901.  The links below have images of local examples.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/288/120/

http://www.prairieschooltraveler.com/html/fl/fl.html

heights unknown

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2009, 05:22:41 PM »
Well said stjr in your previous post about why Jax demolished most of its buildings and landmarks, well said. And this is exactly what has happened to Jax (I agree with you) and in my opinion; soulless, inferiority complex, mindless, mortgaging today for tomorrow; the consolidation thing in 1968 sums it all up relative to how Jax really thought about itself during that time; why consolidate?  I believe it was more than just cutting costs by bringing city and county governments together; I believe it had a lot to do with the city really losing it's focus, confidence, character, not to mention population and overall decline in just about every bit of infrastructure and sector of City government and leadership.

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 05:24:49 PM by heights unknown »
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Keep It Wheel

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2009, 05:44:07 PM »
i wish i could have experienced the jacksonville in these photos rather than the corporate monoliths i've grown up with.  i commute by bike through these areas of town everyday looking at the few remaining historical buildings, vacant and run down. one can only ask themselves, " why cant jacksonville be like ( insert another successful historical driven city )?" you know the cities im referring to (everyone has a favorite). i think the real tear jerkers however are the vacant lots and parking structures.     it goes to show how detrimental car dependency and poor public transportation really was and still is.  as annoyed as i am with the current state of jacksonville's downtown and surrounding areas, i am still delighted that i am in this city and am anticipating any change that will pull this city out the ruts it has been worn into.  the photos are for me and im sure other purveyors of my generation, a true inspiration of what has been and hopefully, what can be again.  thanks for the post. - J.O.B Zombie Bikes

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2009, 06:50:19 PM »
I wonder what economic incentives and/or tax breaks are given for carrying, maintaining, preserving, and restoring historic structures?  There should be a process for designating structures for such programs.

And just like we have "greenbelt" status with respect to property taxes to help preserve agricultural properties, so should we have a "historic-belt" status for desired preservation targets to relieve the economic stress of carrying the properties' pre-rehabilitation improvements.   Many property owners may be tearing down vacant buildings that have no immediate prospects of resuse without major upgrades to alleviate being taxed on the square footage.  With a vacant lot, only raw land will be taxed.

Liability issues are also a concern with buildings.  Joe/Regency just tore down the structures at Atlantic and Hendricks to avoid such exposures until they are ready to build.

We need to make it cheaper and easier to carry historic building stock until its time for development and restoration arrives.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2009, 06:53:50 PM »
Well said stjr in your previous post about why Jax demolished most of its buildings and landmarks, well said. And this is exactly what has happened to Jax (I agree with you) and in my opinion; soulless, inferiority complex, mindless, mortgaging today for tomorrow; the consolidation thing in 1968 sums it all up relative to how Jax really thought about itself during that time; why consolidate?  I believe it was more than just cutting costs by bringing city and county governments together; I believe it had a lot to do with the city really losing it's focus, confidence, character, not to mention population and overall decline in just about every bit of infrastructure and sector of City government and leadership.

Heights Unknown



Heights, thanks for the support.  Now, if we could only get our concerns addressed!

P.S.  I plan to start new topics soon on another big opportunity missed by our leaders and one that is still available.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Ocklawaha

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2009, 09:11:56 PM »
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No disrespect to anyone...but you guys are NUTS!!!

I think you misunderstand a lot that is going on here. We are probably the largest collection of Jacksonville Lovers anywhere on the web. Most of us are professionals or retired professionals and many of those professions: Urban Planning, Development, Transportation have a direct impact on our city. But in order to make an intelligent decision for our future, we MUST learn to confess the mistakes that have taken place in the past and correct those developments.

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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.


No, they were realestate men and attorneys, or men otherwise invested in some local company whereby they could line their pockets. ANY businessman that went so far as to buy a site, invest millions in clearing it, then say, "Oop's, we hit a snag." would not survive in business. Sadly we have let them survive in the public sector.

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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.


Odd that this happened to Jacksonville, over and over and over, 60+ times just in this article, yet it didn't happen to this extent anywhere else. Are we really that stupid?

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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.


A lot? Hardly. You do realize that Jacksonville was a city of nearly 100,000 persons when Miami had 6 people in it. MIAMI! In the middle of the nations biggest swamp, got it in gear and left us in their dust. We are still making excuses, yes we have 6 or so "skyscrapers" that we have collected over the past 30 years or so, and sadly we tore down 12 to get them. Just recently Miami had 70 under construction, 70 in a City that WE FINANCED into being. Don't you think we got off track somewhere?

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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!


Yes we complain, many of those buildings would be national treasures today. We might have been San Francisco, or New Orleans, or even St. Augustine on steroids, rather we are a collection of half finished, short changed projects, with a few spotty success story's mixed in.

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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.


Sorry Jeh, but this administration has no desire for anything more then pavement-concrete and oil. Our mayor can't run for reelection, so it really doesn't matter what he does for the next 2 years. Watch my words, he's going to sit and collect a check, reading to kids.

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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.

We can never recover what is lost, and if this group or groups like it doesn't blow the whistle on these fools nobody will hold them accountable. Moreover with the developers in charge, our once dense downtown is looking more and more like Regency Square by the day.

Jacksonville was like a fine polished apple, dense and sweet, unblemished in desirability. The developers are like a giant hammer. When the hammer strikes that apple, pieces fly all over the room, in between those pieces we have vacant space, empty lots, parking lots and homeless collections. Big Mistake, HUGE. 
OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2009, 09:18:14 PM »
Stjr, I'm looking forward to reading your new topics.

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I wonder what economic incentives and/or tax breaks are given for carrying, maintaining, preserving, and restoring historic structures?  There should be a process for designating structures for such programs.

There are tons of incentive/tax credit opportunities out there.  Unfortunately, most don't know much about the programs.  I've learned about a few on my own and through the word of mouth from others over the years.  

Most of the old city (basically everything other than Riverside/Avondale and San Marco) is located in Empowerment and Enterprise Zones.  So there are several avenues to get incentive money or tax credits for both commercial and residential projects.

http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Business+Development/Business+Resources/Enterprise+and+Empowerment+Zones.htm

Downtown Jax Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund (page 15 of document)
http://www.coj.net/NR/rdonlyres/eyyvvqaqdpausg7nfdgqacnotnpzty2g4a6pw6dwopjh535sbpglypqi6yfgm4zsi7yb5hulgr7ktvw6qmhxnamzl5e/Incentive+Policy+7-29-02.pdf

Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties
http://www.coj.net/Departments/Regulatory+Boards+and+Commissions/Historic+Preservation+Commission/Tax+Incentives+.htm

http://www.coj.net/Departments/Regulatory+Boards+and+Commissions/Historic+Preservation+Commission/Appendix+D+Tax+Incentives+.htm

http://www.nps.gov/hps/tps/tax/

http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/pages/1074/files/fed.pdf

Other State and Federal Incentives:
http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Business+Development/Business+Resources/State+and+Federal+Incentives.htm

Personally speaking, its much easier to deal with the State and Federal government than it is with the city.  However, if you study all of your options early, there are ways to combine multiple programs to increase your savings.

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2009, 09:31:30 PM »
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There are tons of inventive/tax credit opportunities out there.  Unfortunately, most don't know much about the programs.  I've learned about a few on my own and through the word of mouth from others over the years. 

Most of the old city (basically everything other than Riverside/Avondale and San Marco) is located in Empowerment and Enterprise Zones.  So there are several avenues to get incentive money or tax credits for both commercial and residential projects.

Actually, Lake, I think you will find that Riverside/Avondale and San Marco are outside of the federal Empowerment and State Enterprise zones.  These zones were mainly set up to bring expanding businesses into distressed and low income neighborhoods with the hopes new jobs for area residents would be created.  They offer next to nothing in the way of motivating historic preservation.

Likewise, I have found that most other so called incentives are one time hits to encourage similar business expansions or moves to the City.

What I was referring to was the more mundane reduction in carrying costs, on a ongoing basis, so that the property owner isn't forced to sacrifice what is there for instant rewards that offer little long term satisfaction.

P.S. I just posted one of my new topics about the Fuller Warren Bridge.  I welcome your comments there.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2009, 09:42:36 PM »
Yes, Riverside and San Marco are outside of zones.  So basically, every other neighborhood in the old city is in the zone.  While they aren't set up to allow one to sit on property long term, they are helpful in making projects involving historic buildings feasible, especially the federal historic tax programs.  Philly has a successful tax abatement program to encourage development in older built out areas, but its not specifically designed for historic structures.  Any idea how Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah or even St. Augustine keep their buildings from coming down?  Is there a special program or do those cities just have the balls to not allow useless demolition?

Coolyfett

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2009, 09:45:38 PM »
Lake, man I am closing my eyes trying to imagine all of these corners and blocks and some of them just don't seem right...The angles in the pics are very confusing man. How are you getting the street names just from the pictures alone? Thanks for showing the Windsor Hotel, I don't think that place had much mention. I guess it would be too much work to take the same picture from the same angle, but it is really confusing trying to figure out where the photographer is actually standing when these picture were taken. Also seeing these pictures raises the value of The Carnegie, The St. James Building, The 3 buildings on Laura (Bisbee & friends), Union Terminal, DVAL Building & a few others that came up when these were up. I would also say the Modern Sites need to extensively photographed. Places like The Landing, Jax Stadium, Vet Arena, AT&T Building, etc who is to say what will happen to those buildings in the next 100 years, those pictures would become great for the future generations of Metro Jax types. I know you have many of your flicks archived. How interesting would it be for someone in 2109 looking back at the flicks you took today?  ;)
Mike Hogan Destruction Eruption!

stjr

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2009, 10:41:59 PM »
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Any idea how Charleston, New Orleans, Savannah or even St. Augustine keep their buildings from coming down?  Is there a special program or do those cities just have the balls to not allow useless demolition?

My impression from visiting these cities is that most, if not all, value their history so much as to prohibit designated historic structures from being removed or modified, at least externally, since it can impact the ambiance of their historic districts.  I think people in Jax would be stunned to see how restrictive these areas are on "messing with history"  ;)

My emphasis on the reduction in carrying costs was to address times such as we are in now where it may be next to impossible to redevelop an historic property due to it's failing economic feasibility (i.e. no way to make your money back) or unavailable financing.  This would require you to carry the property for an extended period until better times arose.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

jeh1980

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Re: Lost Jacksonville
« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2009, 11:37:38 PM »
Sorry Jeh, but this administration has no desire for anything more then pavement-concrete and oil. Our mayor can't run for reelection, so it really doesn't matter what he does for the next 2 years. Watch my words, he's going to sit and collect a check, reading to kids.


We can never recover what is lost, and if this group or groups like it doesn't blow the whistle on these fools nobody will hold them accountable. Moreover with the developers in charge, our once dense downtown is looking more and more like Regency Square by the day.

Jacksonville was like a fine polished apple, dense and sweet, unblemished in desirability. The developers are like a giant hammer. When the hammer strikes that apple, pieces fly all over the room, in between those pieces we have vacant space, empty lots, parking lots and homeless collections. Big Mistake, HUGE. 
OCKLAWAHA
[/quote]
I could understand...I think  ::). But aren't we a bit out of line concerning our mayor and his administration, though. I know that he needs to do a better job. But thinking that the Mayor just sitting and collect check and reading books to kids and thinking that he's not caring about what we want for downtown is an insult. Yes, I said it. An insult. It would seem as though we all want to see Jacksonville comeback. I want to see Jacksonville comeback. That's why I still have high hopes for this town. But when it comes to seeing other pictures of other cities (i.e. New York, Toronto, Buffalo, etc.), we somehow start to talk about being sick to our stomachs or being sad or getting jealous and envious thinking that Jacksonville would've have a mayor and administration like they have and why ours ultimately suck. It's amazing that there are still some of us holding on to the past and wishing it would've been the same like it was today. For once, you are correct about one thing: we can never recover what was lost. Knocking down some of the old buildings that would've been important landmark today maybe not be a good option. But that doesn't mean that we won't EVER recover. We still have two more years before John Peyton steps down from his position. I think for some of us, it's not going to be fast enough. Oh, well. Him and his adminstration is still running things. BUT I do know that until he and his administration leaves, they will still have no choice but to do a better job than what they are doing if the city wants to bounce back and become what it supposed to be. Forgive me if you think I'm out of line, but that's what how I feel.  >:(