Potential Demolition in Avondale

February 26, 2010 124 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Recently, homeowner Bronson Lambs' request to demolish the historic structure on his property at 1945 Greenwood Avenue was heard before the City Council's Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) committee. A decision on the issue was deferred until the City's building inspection office had a chance to review the soundness of the structure. The following is the presentation that Riverside Avondale Preservation gave at the original hearing.

In September of 2009, Mr. Bronson Lamb filed a request with the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) requesting approval to demolish his home at 1945 Greenwood Avenue, citing mechanical and structural deficiencies, as well as costs to bring the home up to livable condition. Finding that many of the mechanical deficiencies were the result of Mr Lamb's own actions, the JHPC unanimously denied the demolition request.

Mr Lamb then appealed to the City Council, and the issue was assigned to the Land Use and Zoning committee. He also hired attorney Paul Harden to represent him at the meetings.  The LUZ committee decided to hold off on a decision, pending a review by the city's building inspection division.  The matter is now scheduled to be taken up at the LUZ meeting on Tuesday, March 2nd at 5:00PM.  Below is RAP's response on the issue, as well as the original decision from JHPC, and the report from Tom Goldsbury, Chief of the Building Inspection Division for the City of Jacksonville.

Riverside Avondale Preservation Presentation

Decision by Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission

Review by Tom Goldsbury and the Building Inspection Division

The fabric of a true historic district is not with the several one hundred year-old palaces that a neighborhood may have. While they may help, it is because of the collection of historic buildings that makes a neighborhood truly historic.

This structure is certainly not one of the greatest buildings in Riverside or Avondale, however tearing down any historic structure helps to destroy a historic district. Furthermore, demolition of this building would set a harmful precedent for historic preservation. It is because of homes like this that Riverside Avondale is one of the south's largest and most highly regarded historic neighborhoods. The LUZ should deny this motion.

This matter is scheduled to be heard before the Land Use and Zoning Committee of the City Council on Tuesday, March 2nd at 5:00 PM.  The meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers.

Presentation developed by Riverside Avondale Preservation

Commentary By Steve Congro