Author Topic: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings  (Read 3360 times)

thelakelander

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Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« on: May 30, 2023, 09:54:12 AM »
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In honor of National Historic Preservation Month, here's a brief list of overlooked buildings, structures and landmarks in Downtown Jacksonville that could end up becoming the next in the city's vast assortment of poorly-maintained surface parking lots or grass fields.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/downtown-jacksonvilles-most-endangered-buildings/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2023, 11:02:32 AM »
Is the owner of the Post-Civil War Cottage unwilling to sell to a preservation-minded buyer? The parcel is not part of a group of parcels with the same owner, which seems to lessen its immediate development potential. The Appraiser pegs the value at about $45K - not unattainable if the seller is willing, even with a bit of a premium.

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2023, 01:29:50 PM »
The owner died years ago. Ownership is tied up in an heir's property situation.
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fsu813

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2023, 02:24:32 PM »
Don't think the public knows how (relatively) easy it is to have a worthy site/building landmarked.

1. Make a good argument to the COJ Historic Preservation Commission, which have public monthly meetings.

2. If the commission agrees, COJ Historic Preservation staff researches the site.

3. Either it does or doesn't meet enough criteria to be landmarked, which also depends on the posture of the site owner.

A representative from Old Arlington Inc made a fantastic presentation about how the Arlington Federal Savings & Loan building meets the criteria at last week's HPC meeting, the commission agreed, staff is now researching it. The building is currently planned for demo, to be replaced by a future car wash.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2023, 02:35:49 PM by fsu813 »

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2023, 03:36:42 PM »
I agree. It is pretty easy to get a building over the age of 50 landmarked if the owner is in support. On the other hand, its difficult is the property owner objects.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Des

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2023, 04:03:05 PM »
Even without owner support it's easy to get something landmarked if the HPC chooses to do so. There are seven different criteria to landmark a building. With owner support, you need to meet two of the seven criteria, without owner support you need to meet four criteria. But it's relatively easy to check four of those boxes if the building's old enough.

(1) Its value as a significant reminder of the cultural, historical, architectural, or archaeological heritage of the City, state or nation.

(2) Its location is the site of a significant local, state or national event.

(3) It is identified with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the City, state or nation.

(4) It is identified as the work of a master builder, designer, or architect whose individual work has influenced the development of the City, state or nation.

(5) Its value as a building is recognized for the quality of its architecture, and it retains sufficient elements showing its architectural significance.

(6) It has distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials.

(7) Its suitability for preservation or restoration.

Source: I've helped landmarked a number of buildings in Jacksonville.

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2023, 06:19:47 PM »
^The criteria are pretty easy to meet. The difficult part when dealing with an owner that objects, is that the JHPC decision has no real power over council. So regardless of their decision, if the owner objects, they can easily appeal to council. This has been the case with a number of high profile properties where the owner has desired demolition. FBC Sunday School building and the Ford plant demo are the latest examples.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2023, 06:23:16 PM by thelakelander »
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Downtown Jacksonville's most endangered buildings
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2023, 11:19:04 PM »
Local landmarks are just another layer of tape if someone in the future wants to do something else with the land. I've seen it happen quite a bit in situations where large economic projects are proposed. I could see Brooklyn being one of the areas that would have more resistance locally than elsewhere. Not that it isn't worth pursuing, I'm just saying they don't have the protections you might otherwise think it would have. I think that civil war cottage has a pretty strong case for a national filing though... didn't realize that house has so much significance. Especially with that one being in Brooklyn, I think there should be an effort for a national filing.

I know there was an attempt in the past for a local district filing, but perhaps given that this home is one of the last Gullah Geechee home's surviving, I would think it matches the "significant event" criteria for a filing. In a sad way, the destruction of the neighborhood has caused these last few to maybe have a better shot at it today.