Author Topic: The Universal Marion Building  (Read 22294 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Universal Marion Building
« on: November 07, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
The Universal Marion Building



Originally an office building and Ivey's Department Store, Downtown's JEA office tower was also once topped by a revolving restaurant.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/928

Keith-N-Jax

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 06:59:29 AM »
I always wonder what the inside of the top of the building look like. Hawaii has a building similiar to that. Would be nice if they brought that back.

thelakelander

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2008, 07:25:58 AM »
It would be nice if it became an observation deck.  The top of Richmond's city hall is open to the public and offers great views of the city.

Richmond City Hall







The Skywalk Observatory in Boston, also offers great views of that city.




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downtownparks

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 08:14:30 AM »
I once has someone tell me that the building came one big night club in the 80's. Any proof that occurred?

Deuce

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 08:39:46 AM »
The views from the tower are quite spectacular. I work there and we occasionally have social functions on the 19th floor. I can almost see my house in Sfield if it wasn't blocked by tree cover.

Ocklawaha

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2008, 08:43:29 AM »
As of about 1982, it was still a fine restaurant. The Iveys store was long gone, in fact IVEYS must have happened in my absence from 1976-80 because it wasn't EVER there as far as I know. JB IVEY was very good to his employees, my wife was a divisional executive at the time - and this building is news to us.

The restaurant was a fantastic experience. The rotation so slow as not to be noticed, but you would find yourself moving from the steak to the vegies and wow, different view outside. By the time the ice cream and cake was served, you had made a complete circle.

I never saw it as a club, but I do know it knocked the socks off the city when it went up in the 60's-70's era. Everyone, rich and poor made at least an annual trip to the restaurant in the sky. Sadly by the 80's security was making it troublesome to get in. One of those sign in the building, get your sticky pass, go up etc... Maybe this is when JEA took it. SAD, but it would make the killer restaurant of downtown, or a killer club. I'd go back in a second. You children don't know what you've missed - hell they EVEN SERVED HIPPIES!


OCKLAWAHA, LOL

riverside planner

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2008, 09:52:44 AM »
Ock, Ivey's was definitely still there in the early 80s.  I vividly remember shopping there and May Cohen's with my mother and grandmother when I was a kid.  Also, a friend of mine did the downtown store's window displays until they closed.  I remember it being such a treat to go to the downtown department stores to shop.  I always thought they were so much "fancier" than the Regency stores.  I also have fond memories of going to Furchgott's with my grandmother, both downtown and Regency.  Man do I miss the regional and local department stores! 

vicupstate

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2008, 11:30:55 AM »
Making the old restaurant an observation deck, is a great idea.  Anyone have any shots from there?

Personally, I think the building is very ugly.  It looks like a honeycomb.  I also don't like the way it turns it's back on Springfield.  I'd love to see it replaced with something nicer, but that won't happen anytime soon, if ever.  At least it is occupied.
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I-10east

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 12:43:47 PM »
My only issue with the now JEA Building becoming an observation is that it's pretty short with alotta TALLER buidings nearby, and not to mention it's a lil' ways from the water; IMO it would make more sense if somethin' like Modis would have an observation deck. Just my opinion.

David

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2008, 01:11:19 PM »
doh. the 14 months I worked at JEA I had always meant to snap some pictures off from the observation deck, because we'd have our weekly meetings up there. The view was pretty sweet actually, you were just enough distance from the water front to take it all in.

I'll see if some old coworkers can get some pics from the deck.


Juker777

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2008, 02:27:20 PM »
I've been up there for a Toastmasters contest.  It was a Friday night and the Suns were playing.  During our meeting we paused to enjoy the fireworks shooting up at the baseball grounds.  It was certainly a unique and beautiful view of the show.

deathstar

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2008, 11:36:46 PM »
Every time I see city views from the top of buildings, makes me wish I was Superman and could do a face dive and swoop up right before I smack the pavement.

/endrandomrant

Charles Hunter

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 11:50:09 PM »
I know Ivey's was there in the late 60s early 70s, and the Embers Restaurant.  Splurged for lunch there one day.

And I had no idea what the Universal Marion company did - much less that they backed movies!  Thanks for the info.  Great article.

avonjax

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 05:34:57 PM »
Hi Ock,
I know for sure that Ivey's was still around then because I was working there in the mid-80's when the downtown store closed.
I really don't remember the year.....
I was the last person in the Visual Merchandising department when they closed.
One day I will scan some shots of the displays I did....
It was a very cool store. In the end all the top floors were closed.
Brothers restaurant was on the 3rd floor and there was a big markdown department where all the locals stores sent their drastically reduced merchandise.
The exterior walls had really nice murals that were painted for the childrens department, and there were a bunch of childrens props from the old days living there. During my years at Ivey's I worked in the downtown Jacksonville, Orange Park, Regency Sq, Roosevelt Mall, Winter Park Mall, Colonial Plaza Mall (Orlando,) and the Daytona Mall stores.
But even cooler was downtown May-Cohen's where I also worked in display. I still don't think I got to see every little crevice and corner in that building, but I explored a lot.

thelakelander

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Re: The Universal Marion Building
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 06:30:47 PM »
You guys are lucky to have memories of downtown being a retail powerhouse.  From the images I've seen, its clear the place in your memories is a complete contrast to the scene today.  I grew up in Central Florida, but visited the city a lot because my parents lived here in the early 1970s and kept touch with their Jax friends.  Other than a trip or two to the Landing, we never spent much time in downtown, other then going down Main (the big Rhodes Furniture sign always stood out to me) to get from Springfield to I-95 South.  Most of our local shopping time was spent at Gateway Mall.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali