Author Topic: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through  (Read 5867 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« on: October 26, 2011, 03:32:28 AM »
Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through



In this new special series, Metro Jacksonville will highlight what several peer cities across the country have created and are implementing to become destinations and not pass throughs.  Is Jacksonville ready for the challenge and willing to invest in itself to compete for economic development in the 21st century?  The first place we will visit is San Diego's Balboa Park and highlight it's urban Jacksonville counterpart.


Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-oct-balboa-park-a-destination-not-a-pass-through

dougskiles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1502
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 06:45:15 AM »
I was thinking Hogans Creek the entire time I read the story.  I'm glad you ended with it.

One common factor in every great park I visit or read about, is the influence/leadership of a non-profit organization.  The greatest thing that could happen to Hogans Creek would the establishment of "Friends of Hogans Creek".  That's not to say that the City government wouldn't be involved, but the motivation, drive and vision would be by the "Friends".

simms3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3473
  • Time has come
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 07:12:59 AM »
Very very special place.  Not too many like it in the entire world.  Very few if any urban parks in the country see as many visitors due to all the concentration of significant attractions like the San Diego Zoo, museumS, botanical gardenS, historical featureS, musical venueS, and theaterS, not to mention the Naval Hospital.

I think it's a great study, but I also don't think we'll ever have anything like it at all in Jacksonville or even the entire southeast.
Bothering locals and trolling boards since 2005

Bativac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 828
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 07:53:00 AM »
My wife and I spent a day in Balboa Park this past summer. It was fantastic. Nothing in Jax even comes close and I have to chuckle at comparing the coffee factory and Shands to the amenities offered at Balboa Park.

Still, Hogans Creek could be fantastic, if time and money were spent fixing the area up. A shame both time and money are in such short supply. Someone with serious vision would almost need to take Hogans Creek on as their pet project and drum up support.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11414
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 08:11:12 AM »
did you check with Mayor Brown on the phrasing of this thread title?

vicupstate

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3864
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 08:15:50 AM »
If done right, with the Shipyards and Downtown portions of Hogan's Creek included, the same thing or pretty close to it, could be created in Jax.  But it will take VISION, COMMITMENT and MONEY (public and private) and a decade or two of time to do it.  Changing mayor's every 8 years doesn't help the process either. 

Balboa is indeed remarkable.  San Antonio's Riverwalk should be another selection in this series at some point. Glad to see this series.     
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34896
    • Modern Cities
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 09:12:11 AM »
I think it's a great study, but I also don't think we'll ever have anything like it at all in Jacksonville or even the entire southeast.

I'm just making it clear to everyone, that this is not the point of the article.  Balboa Park is just one of many "destinations" in other cities that we'll be highlighting over the next few months.  Although the scale is certainly different, locally Hogans Creek was just as much as a destination to Jaxsons as Balboa Park was to its community during its heyday.  It can be that way again, if we realize it and the surrounding area are an asset, as opposed to a pass through.

Nothing in Jax even comes close and I have to chuckle at comparing the coffee factory and Shands to the amenities offered at Balboa Park.

That was not meant to be a comparison between what exists in Balboa Park and Hogans Creek.  It was meant to show the mix of uses and built-in existing assets in and surrounding Hogans Creek that could be utilized to make it a grand place.  Unlike a Charlotte or an Oklahoma City, we don't have to make these amenities up from scratch. 

did you check with Mayor Brown on the phrasing of this thread title?

No.  However, I do like the phrase and agree with it 100%.  Maybe using it is a subtle way to get the administration to quietly follow this series and perhaps pick up on something that they can work into their plans for making Jax a destination and not a pass through.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34896
    • Modern Cities
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 09:14:50 AM »
By the way, here are a few images of a couple of historic buildings adjacent to Hogans Creek.  Many are completely under utilized but most are in very good shape.  Try finding these in a growing Sunbelt up and comer like Raleigh, Charlotte or Orlando.




From the days when the park had an operating minature golf course.  You can see it in the center of the historic image below.
















Images courtesy of simms3 at http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1190009


Images courtesy of simms3 at http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1190009

We have the assets and they happen to already be clustered around an existing green space.  Half our work has already been done for us by previous generations.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10442
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 03:09:13 PM »
Damn shame we destroyed the buildings from the old Sub-Tropical Expo, and those of Dixieland Park, but hey we have a really cool oak tree! The buildings in both the Expo and Dixieland were every bit the rivals of Balboa Park. I do wonder how much poo the San Diego Park people clean up at Balboa, sure thing that our park could be as cool, it's just that squish, squish, squish, factor that keeps me turned off.

OCKLAWAHA

John P

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 05:49:04 PM »
This is a project that the Weavers, Haskell etc would all have to be on contribute to. It takes a charasmatic connected leader to start it up.

dougsandiego

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 11:21:35 PM »
Hogans Creek open space is comprised of how many acres?

The buildings you show along the course of the stream are very attractive. I think the mini golf course (re-using the stone gate house) combined with an historic carousel would be a great attraction for families with children.

You should have a a cafe or two; even food trucks (quality local purveyors) with tent canopies next to them to provide shaded dining areas will work.

One very important action which in my opinion should not be delayed: I would notify the community at large that you will host meetings to gather oral histories from long time residents who remember the heyday of Hogan's Creek. Try to determine what they remember about the park; their most positive recollections. If you find many people mentioning the same things, then those features should be at the top of the list for inclusion or restoration during the rehabilitation of the Hogan's Creek area.

Regarding Balboa Park, many of the gardens are completely maintained by volunteers. The Rose Garden for example was conceived and has been maintained since its completion by the San Diego Rose Society.

Many of the attractions in Balboa Park have been in existence since the 1915 and 1935 exhibitions. They seem hokey, but people love them. I speak of the model railway museum,the Children's Theatre, the model train that takes children and their parents on rides "throughout the County of San Diego", The International Cottages which feature natives of foreign lands sharing their music, costumes, food and dance; the Sunday afternoon organ concerts (a regular since 1915), etc.

The carousel , built in the 19th century,and its protective structure was brought to the park from Hotel del Coronado's tent city in the early twentieth century.

These simple attractions along with cafes and gardens make the park a big attraction for all. It is old fashioned  fun. In the evenings people promenade there and take in live theatre. It reminds me of Spain where people take paseos in the evenings. Of course, there is plenty of architecture, which is lit at night,to admire.

I had  to laugh at the comment about cleaning up after the dogs. I think people are pretty good about it. The dog owners have funded all the improvements at Nate's Point.  An aside: The gardener who worked in that area for over 40-years, and after whom Nate's Point is named was interviewed last year on local television. He was asked if he was honored that the dog park had been named after him. His response, "Well, I am a bit confused by that actually, because I was never particularly fond of dogs." The station quickly cut to a commercial. Nate recently died in is 92nd year.

The museums and zoo took much longer to develop, of course. The park has had a long, slow history of development since the King of Spain granted the lands to the Pueblo of San Diego in the late 18th century.

Jacksonville is also an older city with a lot of history. You can and should do your own version of a traditional city park building on the existing assets found in and along Hogan's Creek.

tayana42

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2011, 12:51:44 AM »
Outstanding report.  Thanks for keeping Hogan's Creek in the limelight. 

I-10east

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5457
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2011, 09:03:41 AM »
I have a legitimate question; Can the Hogan Creek area even be a 'destination' and not just a pass through? People forget that Hogan Creek is in a flood zone; Not so posh when your upscale restaurant is in two feet of murky water. I'm not trying to be funny, but can the low-lining areas of the Los Angeles River be a 'destination'? I understand that Lake said that he's not comparing Balboa Park, and Hogan Creek; IMO it's unfair to even put them in the same sentence, or thread. Many (not all to the same degree) of the things that Balboa Park has to offer, Jax already has but they are just scattered all over the city like the TU Center for Performing Arts, Cummer Museum, MOSH, Jax Zoo etc, etc; Try to fit all of that into the HC area, good luck. I never been to Cali, and Balboa does look very nice indeed with it's historic buildings, and well maintained greenery, but the major reason for it's success seems to be that it's a very uniquely centralized area with a kabillion museums, the SD Zoo, restaurants etc. True urbanists like many on MJ get a hard on concerning places like Balboa mainly because of so many attractions in a very centralized location. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 09:12:00 AM by I-10east »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34896
    • Modern Cities
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2011, 09:33:39 AM »
^It was a destination a half century ago.  Klutho's flood improvement project even won national awards.  So the precedence has been established.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4679
Re: Balboa Park: A Destination, Not A Pass Through
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2011, 09:37:08 AM »
Quote
This is a project that the Weavers, Haskell etc would all have to be on contribute to. It takes a charasmatic connected leader to start it up

Not even close!  The park system is already there and built out.  All that needs is to be properly maintained. 

The first step is opening up the forgotten area on the Southside of the Matthews Bridge connector.  Connecting the river to the Hogans park system via this area is key IMO. 

You will be seeing how easy this can be soon with identified funding sources. 

Quote
Can the Hogan Creek area even be a 'destination'

Considering it was for over 60 years, yes.

This is Jacksonville's version of Central Park and the existing structure is in place to make this a destination again.  It doesn't have to be as grand in scale as Balboa Park or NYC's Central Park, but it can be better utilized which in turn will open access to the river and be a vital link b/w the Downtown Core, Springfield, the Cathedral District and the Sports District.