Author Topic: A Different Waterfront  (Read 11296 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Different Waterfront
« on: May 14, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
A Different Waterfront



Today, the majority of Jacksonville's water based industry is located north of the Hart Bridge.  During the mid 20th century, the downtown riverfront resembled cities like San Francisco, Seattle, San Deigo and New York City.  A bustling district filled with wharfs, seafood markets, shipyards, and wholesale water-based industry.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/792

Pavers

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 08:18:34 AM »
Lake, what is your source for these great photos?  Can you link to them?

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 08:48:14 AM »
The site is down right now, but here's the link.

http://www.floridamemory.com/PhotographicCollection/

When up and running, you can find images of just about every city in Florida.
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creeksidebrewery

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 09:04:31 AM »
Those pictures are awesome, I especially like the one of the Atlantic Coast building lit up @ night with the American flag. It' funny how a city's landscape can change so dramatically, in such little time, but maybe that means there is still hope for Jacksonville to be like this again.

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 09:15:39 AM »
It took 50 years of a city being centered around urban pedestrian oriented growth to get to the downtown scene these images illustrate.  This means, IF our attitude towards development changes right now, it could take another 50 years to get back to this point.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

David

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 09:17:14 AM »
I miss downtown being the true center of everything as pictured in these photos, but not so much the warehouses, docks and shipyards. I dont think that would've been a good back drop for the superbowl!

Eitherway, awesome pictures. I'm trying to figure out what's going on in that first one, with the traffic lights over water. Hurricane? Flood? Traffic signals for boats? *shrug*
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 09:19:33 AM by Tony Bowlasoupa »

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 09:18:24 AM »
It was a flood from a hurricane in the 1960s.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

creeksidebrewery

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 09:25:39 AM »

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008, 09:36:00 AM »
Quote
I miss downtown being the true center of everything as pictured in these photos, but not so much the warehouses, docks and shipyards. I dont think that would've been a good back drop for the superbowl!

I would have loved to see a wharf/warehouse or two still be around today.  They could have been a popular place for a public market or a destination for local goods (ex. seafood, produce, dining, etc.) in the heart of downtown.  Just another little element of urbanism that could have made Jacksonville a little more unique from the rest of the cities in the SE United States.  

San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Jason

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 09:47:42 AM »
Outstanding work Lake!!  That was one of your best yet.

Having the world's largest Sears Store downtown is a testament to how much Jax was flourishing at the time.

David

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 09:52:26 AM »

I would have loved to see a wharf/warehouse or two still be around today.  They could have been a popular place for a public market or a destination for local goods (ex. seafood, produce, dining, etc.) in the heart of downtown.  Just another little element of urbanism that could have made Jacksonville a little more unique from the rest of the cities in the SE United States.  

San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf


True, for the good of the city it's history it would've been better to save a piece of it.  But let's not get too nostalgic over rusty docks and warehouses filled with the stench of fish. (Sorry, just personal preference) When I was in Seattle last week I wasn't too impressed with the fish market on the Puget sound, it reeked!

But hey, at least we still have Talleyrand...

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 10:11:47 AM »
Lol, I can't help it.  I've seen too many successul adaptive reuse projects (especially compared to having a passive riverwalk, surface lots and poorly integrated buildings).  I'm one of those guys who believes its always best to take advantage of what you already have and that view extends to rusty docks and warehouses, as well as parks, skyscrapers and streetscapes. 

Smelly fish and all, there's a bit of nostalgia and grit involved in all vibrant urban districts.  Its one of the elements that helps tells a visual history of a city's past and helps create an atmosphere that is hard to recreate.  This is one of the reasons I love the farmers market's atmosphere so much and believe it would grow to become a strong cultural assest, if we can find a better way to connect, market and take advantage of it.

The docks are gone, but we do have a few piers left at the Shipyards site.  I'm looking forward to the day that the public pier opens (if Landmar is still moving forward with it).



"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Jason

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 11:24:44 AM »
I'm not overly upset that the shipyards are gone.  They were replaced with functional uses and one of the country's most beautiful skylines.  Embracing the river was a wonderful step forward.  The travesty is the demolition of LaVilla, Eastside, Brooklyn, and Main Street areas.

thelakelander

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 11:50:51 AM »
One thing we haven't discussed is these images do show improvement along the riverfront, even in what we do have today.  We went from industry to MASSIVE SURFACE PARKING LOTS to a Hyatt Hotel, Landing, Berkman, TU Center, etc. 



One of the things that the recent Downtown implementation plan doesn't properly address is to doing a better job of working with what we already have in place.   For example, are there things we can do with the Landing, Omni, TU Center, MODIS Tower, etc. that can help make their existing ground level uses and activities more visual from the street.  People attract people and taking advantage of the number of "hidden" people already downtown can be an easy inexpensive way to make downtown seem more lively.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

holly4463

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Re: A Different Waterfront
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2008, 06:46:49 PM »
I cringed when I read that Jacksonville was rated higher than Seattle in the "best cities for the outdoors" article.  I stayed silent after reading the rating system and realized why this was so.
But now someone is saying they don't like the Seattle fish market because it smells!  I'm assuming, Bowlasoupa, you mean Pike's Place Market.  I can't stay silent any longer!  Thousands upon thousands of people, both locals and tourists, visit that smelly place every day.  Where is that place in Jax, smelly or not?  From these pictures it looks like Jax, at one time, was well on its way to having a vibrant waterfront until a few bad planning decisions put it on the path to what we see today.

From somewhere in these posts will come the ideas and inspiration for positive change to downtown.  I personally think that a smelly fish and farmers market would be a step in the right direction.


Thank you for the pictures.  They are awesome.