Author Topic: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street  (Read 10666 times)

thelakelander

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Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« on: June 18, 2021, 09:42:46 AM »
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Sights and scenes from one of the South's largest pedestrian scale urban retail shopping districts: Charleston's King Street

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/sights-and-scenes-charlestons-king-street/
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 12:51:30 PM »
Love Charleston!  It's Savannah on steroids.  So much to do and see and its all walkable.

Food scene is among the best in the US.  Add the distinct architecture of both commercial and residential districts.  Notably, they have large parks along their waterfront and in town plus Ft. Sumter in the bay and two colleges (Citadel and College of Charleston) downtown.  Then there is the annual Spoleto Festival and a nationally ranked spring Fashion Week.  All adds up to a great time and a very vibrant downtown.

Less widely known, perhaps, but Charleston also has the oldest religious buildings in the US for numerous affiliations.  Other factoids:  They had a major earthquake in the late 1800's, it was once among the 4 largest cities in the US in the 1700's, and George Washington visited there after the Revolutionary War (were he stayed was a bar when I last visited).

Jax could learn a heck of a lot from this City.  Especially about the value of saving old buildings, strict zoning standards and insuring retail at street level.  And, I would be surprised if Charleston has to offer tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to attract downtown development and hotels.

vicupstate

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 01:32:17 PM »
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I would be surprised if Charleston has to offer tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to attract downtown development and hotels.

In terms of building anything DT, the only example I can remember was the Charleston Place Hotel (formerly Omni) completed in the 1980's. 
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thelakelander

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 01:53:19 PM »
^The Francis Marion received a lot of city money back in the 1990s.
"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

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 02:03:12 PM »
Love Charleston!  It's Savannah on steroids.  So much to do and see and its all walkable.

Food scene is among the best in the US.

Food history and scene is pretty similar to Jax's. Charleston (and Savannah) has done a much better job of promoting it's coastal, Gullah tradition and culinary history. Jax has still largely ignored its connections, so people tend to assume some things are specifically out of Charleston when the truth is a bit more nuanced. With that said, I always eat good in Charleston. This failed to make the article but here's one of my meals earlier this week.





Jax could learn a heck of a lot from this City.  Especially about the value of saving old buildings, strict zoning standards and insuring retail at street level.

One area I learned where Charleston struggles more than Jax is SCDOT. From what I was repeatedly told during a tour of the proposed Lowcountry Lowline and meeting with planners and preservationists there is that SCDOT is more difficult to work with than FDOT. They were amazed by some of the stuff I mentioned that FDOT is doing in the Orlando area.

Here are some shots from the former rail corridor where their version of the Emerald Trail will be developed:





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

vicupstate

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2021, 02:42:11 PM »
"The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

thelakelander

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 04:27:44 PM »
I like the Lowline concept in that it will take on a different form and design that is specifically intended to fit into each community it penetrates. On the other hand, I am concerned with them not really having a strategy in place to address gentrification around its development.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2021, 04:58:39 PM »
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I would be surprised if Charleston has to offer tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to attract downtown development and hotels.

In terms of building anything DT, the only example I can remember was the Charleston Place Hotel (formerly Omni) completed in the 1980's.

I actually stayed at that hotel once when it was owned by the owners of the Orient Express (before Omni).  Was a 5 star hotel then but we got a great deal  8).  At the time, they had a small upscale shopping arcade in it with stores on the level of Tiffany's, etc.  Love the bronze horse fountain in the courtyard:



Love Charleston!  It's Savannah on steroids.  So much to do and see and its all walkable.

Food scene is among the best in the US.

Food history and scene is pretty similar to Jax's. Charleston (and Savannah) has done a much better job of promoting it's coastal, Gullah tradition and culinary history. Jax has still largely ignored its connections, so people tend to assume some things are specifically out of Charleston when the truth is a bit more nuanced. With that said, I always eat good in Charleston.

At least at one point recently, Charleston had three James Beard award winners and several restaurants written up in Southern Living, the NY Times, etc. as regional or national in stature.  Maybe it's better marketing but I will say the menus, ambiance and architecture/decor in many of them is far more sophisticated than what I typically see in North Florida.  The gap may be closing but, on the whole, I don't think we are on par yet.  Also, having such options in a concentrated downtown area may make them easier to appreciate in their entirety.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 06:08:36 PM by jaxlongtimer »

Tacachale

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2021, 05:48:58 PM »
^Charleston definitely has more fancy restaurants, including fancy restaurants that specialize in the local cuisine. And their marketing is worlds better. But better Gullah Geechee food? No way. In Jacksonville you can get food that's as good or better for a lot less money.

Sincerely,
Bill Delaney, editor, Edible Northeast Florida Magazine
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2021, 06:16:40 PM »
^ Noted although I wasn't focusing on a particular cuisine, just the overall community of restaurants.  8).

To your point, just as we fail to properly organize and plan for Downtown and under appreciate our history, we also fail to market the many assets of our City in all other respects mostly. 

By example, there are few to no signs on I-95/I-295 for most of our "attractions" other than the stadium and some shopping malls.  How many people visit Jax or move here and are amazed at how much we have here they never knew?

Our City has a long way to go to market ourselves both to residents and to visitors.  I believe part of this is due to our intense focus on sporting events to the exclusion of so much more.  Another part is due to the failure to coordinate "things to do" operators into a large cooperative.  I recall one Visit Jax (which is all about selling hotel rooms, nothing more) CEO telling me that Jax was the largest city in the nation not to have an "attractions" association.  That remains true to this day.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2021, 07:24:55 PM by jaxlongtimer »

fsu813

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2021, 01:22:38 AM »

Jax could learn a heck of a lot from this City.

You don't say?

Tuesday Editorial: Riley offers an inspiring blueprint for cities like ours
https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190416/tuesday-editorial-riley-offers-inspiring-blueprint-for-cities-like-ours

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2021, 11:05:49 AM »


Charleston is aesthetically pleasing but it's poverty rate is nearly the same as Jacksonville.   Visually different; same results.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2021, 11:54:44 PM »

Jax could learn a heck of a lot from this City.

You don't say?

Tuesday Editorial: Riley offers an inspiring blueprint for cities like ours
https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190416/tuesday-editorial-riley-offers-inspiring-blueprint-for-cities-like-ours

Nice.  I now recall reading about his visit so thanks for bringing it up.  Let's look at some of the lessons he "taught" our City leaders and check off the ones we have actually adhered to:

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Indeed, Charleston already has the downtown that we so badly want to have — one that is bustling with a diverse array of people on a consistent basis, and not just during special events.

During his compelling and often humorous presentation, augmented by a slideshow of Charleston’s stunning rebirth over the years, Riley didn’t sugarcoat how tough it can be for a city to improve and rejuvenate itself.

“It’s hard work,” Riley said. “And it’s controversial. And it’s complicated.”

But Riley’s record is proof that hard work that can lead to great rewards for a city.

Here are a few quick lessons that our city can take from Riley’s legendary work:

• Sometimes, things do need to be torn down in a city; it’s unavoidable at times. But whenever possible, it’s worth saving and revitalizing structures to maintain a city’s innate character.

Riley spoke of frequently having to resist recommendations by staffers, contractors and others to quickly tear down this old building or that old house; instead Riley would push them to create workable plans to keep and regenerate structures that, despite their unappealing appearances, still had interesting characteristics and potential. And so often, Riley noted, that approach paid off big for Charleston.

“Saving corners is very important in a city,” Riley said. “It can be the catalyst for restoring entire neighborhoods.”

Always engage the public in the process of building and changing the city.

Riley said he always made it a point to get as much public input as possible, and to always factor in how new developments would be utilized and viewed by citizens.

For example, Riley said that whenever the city had an opportunity to acquire waterfront property, his first move was to figure out how the public would have widespread access to the area.

“A city should be a place where every citizen’s heart can sing,” Riley said.

It’s not enough to just build things in a city: it’s equally important to build things that add to the streets around them.

“There is never any excuse at any time,” Riley said, “to allow something to be built in a city that does not add to the beauty of a city.”

Lessons followed by our City since his presentation: Zero.  Grade: Failing with great dishonors!

Downtown Osprey

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2021, 12:47:10 PM »
It's always amazed me that our city leaders take these trips to cities like Tampa to 'learn' when we can go just up the road to Savannah and Charleston (which align more with Jacksonville IMO).

To me, you can learn so much more from those two cities, making the best out of what you have for a fraction of the cost -- while also preserving the history of the beautiful architecture downtown. Instead, we get hung up on all of these billion dollar projects instead of taking advantage of some quick wins. I mean just look at the Barnett, Chop House and new roof top. It's not rocket science.  ::)

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Sights and Scenes: Charleston's King Street
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2021, 10:52:20 AM »
Savannah + Charleston are different beasts from JAX.  They have a H U G E tourism component that JAX will never have.   At least not for several generations.

While Tampa's bigger, maybe 10K downtown residents versus 5 and maybe 85K jobs downtown versus 65K, it's more similar in sorting out how to attract residents + activity.