Author Topic: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park  (Read 5638 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« on: August 12, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Urban Parks: Brentwood Park



Severed from Springfield by the MLK Parkway, Brentwood Park offers 16.69 acres of open space and a diverse range of recreational options.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/868

Downtown Dweller

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 07:20:48 AM »
It is so funny you posted this, I had just taken some pictures of this fantastic park. I took a group of cyclist here not too long ago, because this park is so amazing! I tried to find out more about it, but have not had much luck. Where did the Greek stage come from? Who built it and why? Is it ever used (other than to tag and try to break the stone?) and if so how do you find out about any plays or concerts there? The community center directly behind it is very cool too, in fact that surrounding neighborhood, while a little dirty and maybe a little dangerous (we heard gunshots the last time we were there) has some very cool houses that appear to be built in the 20's. I love this park, and would love to see some plays talent shows, or concerts here....(hello Lavilla or how about Brentwood Elementary another arts magnet) 

zoo

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 07:55:35 AM »
Pics of tennis courts, ball fields, sidewalks and overgrown grass are more great examples of how poor a job COJ does of maintaining its existing park assets. Add parks in Springfield and you've got 45 acres of unkept park space.

fsujax

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 07:58:13 AM »
So true, we may have the largest park system, but surely not the best. Just look at how the City treats the parks in Springfield and now this one on the northside.

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 09:12:13 AM »
I've been in Detroit the last few days and I got out yesterday to explore a couple of the city's urban neighborhoods.  Their Mayor may be going back to jail for corruption and violating his probabtion, but this economically depressed city does a much better job of maintaining its inner city parks.  We need to focus on enhancing what we have instead of adding acreage to claim we're the biggest.

One thing I love about Brentwood Park is that some historic rowhouses and apartment buildings open up into the park.  We missed a huge opportunity to revitalize this park space a couple of years ago when the Brentwood projects were demolished.  The new Hope IV project put in a gated community that divides the new housing from the park.  While walking through the park, all I could imagine is how better and more used the space would be, if there was no fence and new housing faced the park, like it does in Savannah's Forsyth Park.

Another thing that may have hurt it is the construction of the 20th Street (MLK Parkway) expressway.  The park's southern border stretches down to 21st Street.  Before the expressway ramps were put in, this was the major public park space for New Springfield as well.  Now the expressway ramps cut off all the old natural access points from the South.

Last, speaking of bikes, it would be good if the city had a plan to link all of its major recreational urban greenspaces with bike paths and visible bike lanes.  I know we have this old plan called the Emerald Necklace, but I don't believe it ever had a link to Brentwood Park.
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xian1118

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 09:40:50 AM »
"Where did the Greek stage come from? Who built it and why? Is it ever used (other than to tag and try to break the stone?) and if so how do you find out about any plays or concerts there?"

Does anybody know? That's about as interesting a find as the tunnel underneath the train tracks at the Prime Osborn Center...

I think the city does a great job managing the parks considering we have the largest park system in country with around 80,000 acres of parks. You'd be surprised at how expensive it is to maintain a park- I think some public/private partnerships could be in line to help support the individual parks.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2008, 09:54:43 AM »
Giving credit where it's due, our Civil War park at "CAMP MILTON" while tiny by Civil War battlefield standards, is a piece of beautiful planning and work. ANYONE that has not visited this Westside Gemstone, way out off the old plank road, is missing a real treat. AS GOOD as Vicksburg, Gettysburg etc... Now if the State would just pick up the ball with Olustee and DO SOMETHING!

Our Civil War Fortress at Yellow Bluff, (exit the bridge, then turn back at the C-store on Yellow Bluff Road, bear Left at the fork, just past the big truck line yard, is a 90 foot hill. Park the can and explore a wasted jewel of a Civil War Site, now in NPS hands. It should be slightly expanded, perhaps a buy out of a couple of nearby homes, the South bounds could reach into the woods, Wander back and you'll find rifle pits. The earth works once covered with logs and dirt formed "Bomb Proof" shelters, the fort mounted some 20+ large cannon. At least one account in the records tell of the bluff "lighting up the passing Yankee fleet". There is also a local history error that it was abandoned to save St. Johns Bluff (a similar but less defensive position across the river in the Fort Caroline complex but lost to river errosion). This is wrong, the author that started this story, missed a key word in the text of the records. The night before the attack on St. Johns Bluff, (which ended in the federal navy pulling back, bad damage to a couple of ships) The text says Captain Broward of Yellow Bluff crossed over the river with PART of his company. "PART" indicates Yellow Bluff remained deadly. Today it barely remains.

When I got back home in the 1980's I found the dirt bike boys had just about finished it off. I went to Godbold about it, and appealed to the council. I wrote 100 letters, and then staged an invasion with the SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS - GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC and Re-enactors. Every network caught the action as Confederate (in uniform) and Yankee worked side by side to move 2 semi truck loads of trash from the site. We came back to re-claim the fence, and maintain it. The city got the message, but I wonder if NPS has?


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vicupstate

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 10:57:59 AM »


I think the city does a great job managing the parks considering we have the largest park system in country with around 80,000 acres of parks. You'd be surprised at how expensive it is to maintain a park- I think some public/private partnerships could be in line to help support the individual parks.


The 80,000 acres is VERY misleading.  Probably at LEAST 80% of that acreage is land that is simply conservation in nature.  In other words, there is no maintenace, or even access really to it.  Nearly all of that land was acquired under the Delaney administration under his conservation plan.  It stands as one of his greatest achievements, but it will take a future leader of vision to turn that land into what is was intended to be, an genuinely accessable and useable park system. 

Peyton ran on the pledge to turn the 'biggest' park system in the country into the 'best'.  So far that has consisted of the addition of the Main Street Pocket Park across from the library.   A major study was done that recommended sharply increased funding, private partnerships that would tap private funds for park initiatives and creating a commission to prioritze funding based on need rather than the 'council district' basis currently in place. 

After city council balked at the latter, Peyton dropped the whole thing. 


Here's a story suggestion for Metro Jax:  Bindfold someone and let them pick ten parks from a complete list of parks in Jacksonville.  Then visit those ten, and give each one a grade based on 1) maintenance and upkeep 2) quality and repair of facilities 3) design and interaction with surroundings 4) any other relevant metric you can think of.  Then rate the park based on the socio-economic demographics of it's neighborhood.   I bet you would find the nicer neighborhoods have nicer parks, but that only the affluent areas have a park that rates higher than a C or a D. 
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Captain Zissou

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 11:41:53 AM »
Peyton did greatly improve Stockton Park and Stinson Park in the Ortega area, which have both been extremely successful.  Both were a blight to the area and now they are packed with families on a daily basis.  It is my personal opinion that Stinson Park is one of the prettiest places in the city.

RiversideGator

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2008, 12:12:27 PM »
The park and the bandstand are listed in Wayne Wood's Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage.  I do not have a copy with me now but there is additional information there about it.

I discovered this park about 2 years ago and drove out there to check it out.  It is really interesting place with lots of potential.  The surrounding area, Brentwood, was once a thriving middle class area which saw tremendous white flight after integration and is now a bit down on its heels.  I think Brentwood may be primed for a resurgence however once Springfield is fully rehabbed (which will happen within a few years).  There are lots of architectural gems in the neighborhood including the old bandstand.

BTW Lake, Detroit may maintain its inner city parks but this seems to amount to nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig as the leadership there cannot or will not stem the outflow of people and the destruction of its housing stock resulting therefrom and are more interested in personal indiscretions it seems.  It really is a shame to witness the death of a great American city (although the suburbs appear to be fine).

Bike Jax

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2008, 12:38:06 PM »
Peyton did greatly improve Stockton Park and Stinson Park in the Ortega area, which have both been extremely successful.  Both were a blight to the area and now they are packed with families on a daily basis.  It is my personal opinion that Stinson Park is one of the prettiest places in the city.

I have to disagree with you Captain. I thought that both parks were much more beautiful in their natural state. Too my aesthetic senses I now consider the new improved parks to be a blight, not the former. And it's not just me. All of my friends also spent many hours enjoying those parks. None of us no longer even bother to think about those eye sores.

The only maintenance those parks required prior to their "improvements" was on occasional emptying of the trash cans. Now look at everything within those parks that will require money to maintain.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2008, 01:31:19 PM »
Those parks used to house vagrants and some pretty suspicious activity.  I would say the re-landscaping of the parks has reduced this.  I do agree that the new landscape is much more costly to maintain, but I feel that it is worth the price.

avonjax

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2008, 08:05:38 PM »
I have to agree with captain zissou both those two parks are much better. I am disappointed with some of the vandelism at Stockton. I was sad about the grafitti on the bandstand at Brentwood Park too.

GatorDone

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2008, 10:12:17 PM »
I don't know why everyone gets upset because affluent neighborhoods have nice things. They pay the most property tax and the people who live there have generally earned their way. On the flip side, those who live in poverty pay the least taxes, are the biggest drain on the tax system and have also generally earned their way there. I would take an educated guess and say that while Jax has a 40% drop out rate, that also is higher in some neighborhoods and lower in the affluent neighborhoods. Regardless of the quality of education, dropping out is a personal choice locking one into an almost guaranteed state of poverty for the remainder of their life. I get pissed off at all those who think that because someone has worked hard, took on student loan debt, and lived a clean life should have to pay for a nice park in an area of town that has a high drop out rate and sucks up all my tax dollars in police coverage. Tell me how that is fair. If you don't think life is fair, then better yourself and you will see just how unfair it is to be on the other side of the coin. Why the hell should my children have to go will out a nice park because we need more cops in certain parts of town? Also keep in mind that many people in Jax pay a CDD fee on top of the normal property tax everyone else pays so those people have earned and paid for the right to have a nice neighborhood.   

uptowngirl

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Re: Urban Parks: Brentwood Park
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 07:33:51 AM »
Then there are those neighborhoods who pay taxes through the nose and still get no services for their parks because they "used to be a poor neighborhood" and no one at the city can see beyond that.