Author Topic: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan  (Read 4574 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« on: September 11, 2009, 06:02:28 AM »
Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan



Metro Jacksonville uncovers a futuristic plan that would bring a smile to the faces of George Jetson, Buck Rogers, Dr. Spock and Chewbacca.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-sep-visions-of-yesteryear-the-1971-downtown-master-plan

Bativac

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 08:54:39 AM »
This is really interesting. I didn't realize the city had been trying to revitalize downtown since the 1970s. Can there still be hope at this point? I ask as a 30 year old who has never really seen downtown as anything but a few office buildings and a lot of empty storefronts...

civil42806

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 09:30:12 AM »
Seen this before, it was incredibly unrealistict then,  andd nothing has changed.  Sure the consulting firms made a huge amount of money though

heights unknown

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 10:43:43 AM »
Never knew this plan was enacted or even existed.  This explains why numerous city blocks were demolished, not on purpose but in anticipation possibly of this plan.  So, we can deduce from this that downtown's potential was blocked, cancelled, and never allowed to progress to its ultimate goal intended potential.  I always thought they demolished the historic buildings and city blocks on purpose with no thought out plan, but looking at this plan I was wrong, and, looking more closely at this plan, it appears it (demolition of historic buildings, etc.) was all done in anticipation of this plan coming to fruition with a vibrant, second to none downtown.

I could be wrong but I strongly believe that was the case from looking at this plan.

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« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 10:48:03 AM by heights unknown »
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 10:51:25 AM »
Want another shock? Jim Cattlet, leader of the DDA organization, agreed and promoted a heritage streetcar line. DDA even published a "study," suggesting that streetcars were the answer to downtown development and tourism in the Urban Core. I spoke to the DDA both in closed meetings as well as on stage in front of everybody and anybody downtown.

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thelakelander

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 12:02:25 PM »
I'm not sure the residents of 11 East and fans of BG would like his ideas on the DT seam.  You can't put Paris or DC in DT Jax.  You have design according to your own physical, historical, social and economic atmosphere.
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vicupstate

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 12:06:50 PM »
This is really interesting. I didn't realize the city had been trying to revitalize downtown since the 1970s. Can there still be hope at this point? I ask as a 30 year old who has never really seen downtown as anything but a few office buildings and a lot of empty storefronts...

Nearly any city of any size has been trying to bring back it's downtown since the '70s.  That's is when the  'Malling of America' was in full swing.  For years many tried to make DT into a mall, which is essentially what this master plan was seeking to do.  Albeit, this particular plan was more unrealistic than most.

Over time, most cities came to realize that going back to what made Downtowns work in the first place, is what needed to be done.  Trying to replicate a mall physically was a widespread mistake.  Putting suburban style office parks in the urban DT was tried too, with little overall success.  

Since the '90's, many cities, particularly the larger ones, have found the right formula.  Jax is still way behind the curve on that though.   The new plans for Met Park prove that, IMO.

Downtown can't be just retail, or office, or tourists venues, it has to be an integrated mix of many uses.  
That 'formula', of course, is discussed in this forum non-stop.

So to answer your question, no, it is not too late.  But it is getting tiresome waiting for someone with authority to actually see the light.    
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jeh1980

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 12:32:31 PM »
I know that at least 60 to 80% of the project was already done.

Modis Tower (Independent Square) - summer 1975
Block 12 - late 70s
Convention Hotel (Omni) - 1987
Wachovia Tower - 1986
Covered walkways - @ First Baptist Church
BB&T - early 1975
Street lamps and stop lights installed
Riverfront Center and Museum Cultural Center - probably replaced by Jacksonville Landing - 1987
FCCJ - 1977
Police Memorial Building - 1977
Hemming Park renovated - changed into Hemming Plaza - 1978

All is not lost really. At least I thought it had some success. But I know we can do a lot more real soon. Keep the faith!


mrbeary

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 09:42:05 PM »
Interesting that 1st Baptist got their Light House regardless...Jax is in good hands :0

David

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 05:04:13 AM »
Quote
The money set aside for phase 2, was then diverted to fund a railroad overpass on University Blvd near Phillips Hwy.

In defense, that overpass was badly needed on University Blvd. I was only a kid at the time, but I remember the trains would hold us up for a ridicliously long time when going to school. Reading this triggered that childhood memory actually, thanks MJ! Back when University blvd had a drive in movie theater and a Krispy Kreme.....

I wish they would've gone through with The Musuem Cultural Center though. That looked promising.

finehoe

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 09:08:31 PM »
As late as the 90s, Jax planners were still singing the praises of elevated skywalks and pedestrian bridges.  I remember reading a quote in the T-U from one who claimed that no city that he knew of had revived its downtown without them.  Let's hope the clueless fool has since retired.

finehoe

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 09:28:37 PM »
lol.  any idea who that was?
Unfortunately, no.

BackinJax05

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 11:55:16 AM »
This plan looks like it had a few good ideas, and a few bad ones as well. Problem is, typical Jacksonville, the plan was implemented half @SSed and done on the cheap - while the city fathers patted themselves on the back & acted like they did something really special.

Of course if this plan had been fully implememted, we wouldnt have that eyesore "Helmut's pencil" dominating our skyline today.

I have faint memories of the Hemming Park band shell.

Debbie Thompson

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 12:20:22 PM »
I get so discouraged reading these old threads, because we are still making the same mistakes.  Over and over...and over.  While other cities are getting their act together and making the capital commitments necessary to bring their downtowns back, Jacksonville keeps spinning it's wheels.

Other cities are making the most of their old buildings.  We are tearing them down. Other cities are re-building street car lines, a tourist attraction if there ever was one (ask San Francisco.)  We come up with stupid BRT.  Other cities are making downtown great places to be.  We are building government buildings and closing streets.  Other cities are building retail.  We are building retail-less parking garages in a downtown that has little retail and more parking that it needs now.  Other cities are making the most of their close-in historic neighborhoods.  We do our best to bulldoze them and turn them into Gatsby-esqe Wastelands.

I honestly can't blame our surburbanites for not caring about downtown at this point. They have seen millions and millions of taxpayer dollars go to poor planning and execution for decades

Where are the leaders with vision and the will to make it happen?  Is Jacksonville destined to be a back-water joke forever?

JayBird

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Re: Visions of Yesteryear: The 1971 Downtown Master Plan
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 02:56:04 PM »
I get so discouraged reading these old threads, because we are still making the same mistakes.  Over and over...and over.  While other cities are getting their act together and making the capital commitments necessary to bring their downtowns back, Jacksonville keeps spinning it's wheels.

Other cities are making the most of their old buildings.  We are tearing them down. Other cities are re-building street car lines, a tourist attraction if there ever was one (ask San Francisco.)  We come up with stupid BRT.  Other cities are making downtown great places to be.  We are building government buildings and closing streets.  Other cities are building retail.  We are building retail-less parking garages in a downtown that has little retail and more parking that it needs now.  Other cities are making the most of their close-in historic neighborhoods.  We do our best to bulldoze them and turn them into Gatsby-esqe Wastelands.

I honestly can't blame our surburbanites for not caring about downtown at this point. They have seen millions and millions of taxpayer dollars go to poor planning and execution for decades

Where are the leaders with vision and the will to make it happen?  Is Jacksonville destined to be a back-water joke forever?

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