Author Topic: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be  (Read 10929 times)

Gunnar

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2013, 02:05:25 PM »
It does look like an entirely different city. Quite sad...
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JayBird

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 05:50:00 PM »
I read this before when it originally posted and was educated, shocked and a little dismayed, but since it has been over a month and MetroJacksonville posted this thread on their Facebook page I decided to look at it in a different view.  What can be done to bring it back?  Obviously other downtowns reached this same outcome, yet they figured how to overcome.  So for those coming back to this thread, what is the next step?  Personally, I think bringing back business would help.  Offices get filled, people need to eat lunch or pick up a few items heading home, then they start wanting to live closer to work.  As much as I disagree when the City offers outrageous perks to business, I do feel it is necessary for the overall benefit in The Big Picture.  Thoughts?
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jasonm

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2013, 05:20:41 PM »
Having just joined the forums today, sorry for my belated question -- but, from a neutral perspective, why hasn't Jacksonville's downtown prospered since the 1950s?

I saw earlier answers say that we had land and expansion to the suburbs -- but didn't Tampa and Miami have the same expansion options as us?  Why weren't we able to maintain the urban core?  Is it because land is so cheap in Northern Florida? 

An earlier post said that we didn't do a good job coordinating/planning land development.  Is that right?  What mistakes were made?  Others seemingly suggested white flight -- is that right?  Why haven't we gotten the prosperous recovery like other cities that suffered from white flight?

Would love to hear an unbiased answer as to why Jacksonville's downtown has languished in the past 50 years...

Thanks -- and really excited to contribute to these forums!

Tacachale

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2013, 05:34:35 PM »
Almost all American cities' downtowns declined from the 1950s into the 80's and 90's. However, many have managed to recover to varying degrees. We haven't managed it yet. In my mind, the biggest culprits are inconsistent leadership and lack of vision.
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Wacca Pilatka

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2013, 05:48:44 PM »
Welcome to the forums, JasonM.  There are some great articles on the site that cover many of the reasons downtown hasn't recovered as it should from its decline phase.  Among them are
an excessive enthusiasm for demolition (in some cases for projects that never materialized, in some cases gratuitously)
ill-advised and/or not fully realized master plans for the core
failure to appreciate downtown's historic fabric
traffic flow pattern changes that prevented neighboring areas from easily accessing downtown
excessive faith that specific major projects would solve all problems
failure to cluster complementary projects and assets (e.g., placement of the convention center far away from hotels, the Landing, and other activity nodes)
poor provision of basic needs for downtown visitors  (e.g., absence of modern parking meters, poor directional signage)
decimation of downtown as a multi-modal transportation hub with the eviction of port activities, marine industry, and rail service


Cheap land and suburban developer-friendly policies certainly seem to have contributed to forestalling a comeback, as you suggested.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 05:52:14 PM by Wacca Pilatka »
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2013, 06:43:21 PM »
"failure to cluster complementary projects and assets"
I feel this is the biggest problem.  Jason, If you look around this site, you will see some patterns.  I feel many of the politicians (many) have been doing small variations on the same failing methodologies for 50 years.  Most of the recent great that has taken place had more to do with disenfranchised citizens taking projects into their own hands. 

Mike D

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 01:56:35 PM »
There's no doubt it's heartbreaking to see how much Jax has lost over the years.  But it's important to remember most cities went through the same thing. The key is to recognize the importance of a vibrant downtown and do the right things to bring Jacksonville's back.  We have to continue beating that drum, spreading the word, and encouraging the residents of the city to support the effort.  Even with all that's been lost, there is still good raw material to work with here.  It's not too late.

thelakelander

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2013, 02:26:54 PM »
+1
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Dog Walker

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2013, 04:04:36 PM »
Don't forget to lay some of the blame for the decline of downtown onto Ira Koger.  He invented the suburban office park right here in Jacksonville and we still have more than our fair share of them.  They certainly contributed to sprawl and the move of the banks and insurance companies out to the hinterlands.
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Debbie Thompson

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 01:50:58 PM »
Don't forget to lay some of the blame for the decline of downtown onto Ira Koger.  He invented the suburban office park right here in Jacksonville and we still have more than our fair share of them.  They certainly contributed to sprawl and the move of the banks and insurance companies out to the hinterlands.

+1

Overstreet

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Re: When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 03:32:13 PM »
It just struck me that having a vibrant downtown is really "old school".  I'm not so old after all.