Author Topic: Downtown Frankenstein: LaVilla Style  (Read 1795 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
Downtown Frankenstein: LaVilla Style
« on: November 26, 2006, 10:00:00 PM »
Downtown Frankenstein: LaVilla Style

La Villa was once known as the  Little Harlem of the South .  It was the home to a diverse collection of ethnic establishments, such as the Boston Chop House, a soul food joint known for its  trotters   swithes  (pigs feet and tail) and the Hollywood Music Store.  Its decline began with I-95 slicing through the heart of the communtiy, then with integration during the 1960s and failed urban renewal projects by the city, such as the Hogans Creek project and Blodgett Homes.  However, the famed River City Renaissance would finally drive a stake through this once proud community's heart.

Full Article

george Cornwell

  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006, 03:25:12 PM »
im trying to buy 324 n broad from the city. i discovered its a livery stable from 1904. the city purchased it
in tax arrears in 1994. its severely dilapidated, looking at about $370,000 to renovate for occupancy. which is ok, my wife and i are artists who plan to reside there. but its flat across the "new courthouse". i feel my odds are getting lower!

Richard Bowers

  • Guest
Blodgett Homes and Hogans Creek Project
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 02:37:30 AM »
Because of local opposition and state laws, the city was late getting into Urban Renewal, did not receive a grant from US HUD until after Consolidation. However, Cit HUD moved very quickly. Among the products of Urban Renewal that have benefited the city are Metro Park, Channel 7, the clearing that allows for the ball park, Historical Society, the Fair grounds, Singleton Center, FCCJ downtown campus, University Hosptial, etc.
Blodgett Homes which had been built as wartime housing for African Americans involved in the war effort 1942-1943 was partially demolished in the early 70s and finally demolished with fewer units rebuilt in the late 90's.
Most of the housing units demolished, with the exception of those on Sugar Hill, were substandard, very poor housing. Which left LaVilla, the lower east side, and Brooklyn with the last major areas of substandard housing.
Hogans Creek Urban Renewal and the east side Urban Renewal have made possible much of the growth over the past 20 years.


  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30592
    • Modern Cities
Urban Renewal Growth was bad for downtown environment
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2007, 07:33:38 AM »
Unfortunately, that growth has been suburban oriented, non-pedestrian friendly and disconnected from anything to create any synergy within the urban core.  In LaVilla's case, it eliminated several structural sound commercial buildings that could have today been filled with lofts, restaurants, retail, offices and other businesses surrounding the Prime Osborn, instead of surface parking lots, dirt and Southside-like office buildings.  It also took out a significant portion of what was Florida's first urban African-American neighborhood, including Ashley Street, which was known as the Harlem of the South.

These buildings only represent a few of the commercial structures that were taken out in LaVilla.  There was nothing substandard about them, other than the local government's view of them at the time.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali


  • Guest
(No subject)
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2007, 10:09:54 AM »
The situation in Lavilla has been a disaster. How many more suburban style credit unions and doctors offices are going to be built behind iron gates in Lavilla?