Author Topic: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South  (Read 13928 times)

finehoe

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 10:23:51 AM »
I'm curious to know what you dislike about the Enterprise Center?

I dislike that it is anti-urban with it's raised, multi-level sidewalks, no street-level retail and adjacent surface parking lot.  It looks like something that should have been built in a suburban office park rather than downtown.

duvaldude08

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2011, 10:30:30 AM »
I'm curious to know what you dislike about the Enterprise Center?

I dislike that it is anti-urban with it's raised, multi-level sidewalks, no street-level retail and adjacent surface parking lot.  It looks like something that should have been built in a suburban office park rather than downtown.

Sadly all of those features was part of the downtown master plan back then. It seems that was around the time leadership lost its vision in this city. And it has been a downward spiral ever since.
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Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2011, 10:39:59 AM »
I'm curious to know what you dislike about the Enterprise Center?

I dislike that it is anti-urban with it's raised, multi-level sidewalks, no street-level retail and adjacent surface parking lot.  It looks like something that should have been built in a suburban office park rather than downtown.

Ah, I understand what you mean.  It's possible that the adjacent surface parking lot was anticipated to be removed at the time the building was constructed, though, because I know four buildings were planned for the Enterprise Center site and I guess that lot was considered the likely convention center site, too, before those lobbying for the train station site won out.  I wonder if all four would have been interconnected the way the Florida National and the Omni are.

Sadly, Jacksonville has some worse offenders in this vein.  The 80s Prudential building in particular.  And really, even other buildings with ground floor retail do not interact very well at the street level (Barnett, Independent, Southern Bell) (yes, I refuse to adapt to the modern names for the buildings).

Going back to what DuvalDude said, it's my understanding that the former Atlantic Bank (BB&T) building was essentially designed to interact with the planned skywalks of the 70s rather than at ground level?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 10:45:40 AM by Wacca Pilatka »
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duvaldude08

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2011, 12:44:14 PM »
I'm curious to know what you dislike about the Enterprise Center?

I dislike that it is anti-urban with it's raised, multi-level sidewalks, no street-level retail and adjacent surface parking lot.  It looks like something that should have been built in a suburban office park rather than downtown.

Ah, I understand what you mean.  It's possible that the adjacent surface parking lot was anticipated to be removed at the time the building was constructed, though, because I know four buildings were planned for the Enterprise Center site and I guess that lot was considered the likely convention center site, too, before those lobbying for the train station site won out.  I wonder if all four would have been interconnected the way the Florida National and the Omni are.

Sadly, Jacksonville has some worse offenders in this vein.  The 80s Prudential building in particular.  And really, even other buildings with ground floor retail do not interact very well at the street level (Barnett, Independent, Southern Bell) (yes, I refuse to adapt to the modern names for the buildings).

Going back to what DuvalDude said, it's my understanding that the former Atlantic Bank (BB&T) building was essentially designed to interact with the planned skywalks of the 70s rather than at ground level?

You are right about the Prudential buidling. I was downstairs in Cafe plaza last week, and I was wondering why there wasnt some type of side walk cafe. There are doors on the outside and a sign near the side walk for the resturant, but it was still poorly excecuted. In stead of a sidewalk cafe, the seating is in the inside. Its really weird. It is literally outdoor seating inside. I have been working here for 6 years and can not figure out why they are tried to remodel that cafe. It has not changed since the building was built. It looks very retro in there. LOL

As far as the DT masterplan, I will try to find the metrojax article that was done on it. I just remember in particular that the elevated side walks were part of it. Hemming Plaza is also in its current state because of the masterplan as well. I dont know what they were trying to accomplish, but they really jacked up DT. Hemming Plaza used to look like a park. Now its a concreate plaza. Just as the fountain, I think Hemming plaza should be our next park restoration project.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 12:47:31 PM by duvaldude08 »
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duvaldude08

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Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2011, 02:11:32 PM »
That's the article I was thinking of.  Thanks.

I guess at that time, elevated walkways and separating pedestrians from vehicles were really in vogue.  I know it worked in Minneapolis for climate reasons but in other places it was senseless, wasteful, and destructive.  My hometown of Rockville, MD tore up its walkable, human-scaled downtown to put in high-rises, a shopping mall, and mounds and mounds of concrete, all set up to separate pedestrians from roads (elevated walkways, destruction of the street grid), and it was a disaster to say the least.  Now it has torn down the mall and some adjacent projects, restored the street grid and constructed lower-rise buildings, and basically replaced the structure it had originally, but with overpriced upscale chain retail and restaurants.

The Prudential building is photogenic and attractive from I-95, but really has a glaringly suburban setup.  I didn't even realize there was a sign for the restaurant on the outside of the building.
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duvaldude08

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2011, 02:32:46 PM »
I think we may have to the same thing Wacca. Were going to have to reverse everything that was done. Luckily they stopped so there is not much to reverse. Tearing up all that concrete and restoring Hemming Plaza to its original glory would be the first step.

As far as Pru, I think set up can be changed to urban rather easily. The problem is that there are  only walkable sidewalks on the side of the building (the side facing the MOSH). However, the side walks are exteremely wide.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 02:39:08 PM by duvaldude08 »
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Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2011, 03:24:19 PM »
I never really understood how turning Hemming into a concrete festival really enhanced the idea of creating a mall-like connection between the then-existing department stores. 

As Lakelander has covered on here, the MOSH could stand to interact with the street better too.
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Miss Fixit

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Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2011, 09:36:02 AM »
Hemming Plaza in far better days, back when it was still Hemming Park....


finehoe

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2011, 10:30:51 AM »
I agree that the conversion of Hemming from Park to Plaza was another of the great blunders of downtown development. (I also remember reading a Times-Onion editorial praising the transformation as something befitting a major metropolis.)

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2011, 10:53:19 AM »
The biggest disaster with the park-to-plaza conversion, of course, was closing off the streets and sucking the life out of the remaining retail in the process.  But even if it had been a model of efficiency, I still don't see how it made a bit of sense or created a more inviting shopping atmosphere in any way.  I'm not averse to Hemming Plaza - I like the fountain, the statues, et al. and don't find it unattractive - but it was a lot more appealing in park form, and getting rid of shade trees in a warm-weather state seems the opposite of creating a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

I wonder if some of the motivation for the park to plaza conversion had something to do with concerns about birds.  I read that the trees in the park had become attractive to starlings who annoyed pedestrians either with their aggressive behavior or with their bathroom habits, I'm not sure which.

By the way, I'm glad I'm not the only one who says Times-Onion.
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Miss Fixit

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2011, 11:59:25 AM »


By the way, I'm glad I'm not the only one who says Times-Onion.

I think that's an insult to the far superior publication, The Onion!

Jaxson

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2011, 05:55:59 PM »
Good points were made by previous posts about how Hemming Park's transformation into Hemming Park was very harmful to downtown retail.  IMHO, downtown was already fighting a losing battle if it was trying to replicate the suburban mall experience.  Why go to a fake suburban mall when you can go to the real 'burbs and get the real experience?  Besides, shutting down Hemming to waste all of that money for a fancy, fake plaza was for naught in the end...
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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2011, 09:52:10 PM »
I disagree about Hemming Plaza and remember well the park and the buses that circled around it. Frankly it started off without any trees and as a military parade/camp groud in a defeated, burned out, occupied city.

People would cut corners in the old park and with the heavier pedestrian traffic or at least the newer folks that ignored the rules it would have become the Hemming Sand Pit. 

I would not have closed the restrooms, I'd of arranged with a rehab center to employ 2 full time attendents around the clock, accepting tips and allowed to sell small perfumes and toilet articles...

The fresh hot nuts that the old Sears Store had are my fondest memories. I don't know how or where they came from but those big bulk glass boxes held the sweetest cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans in the world, and scented the entire store with a sweet perfume.


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« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 09:54:40 PM by Ocklawaha »

danno

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2011, 08:59:16 AM »
The candy and nut counter was one of my fondest memories as well.