Author Topic: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization  (Read 53205 times)

Jaxson

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2013, 07:44:11 PM »
Was it a visitors center?  I thought that the public restrooms were elsewhere in the park...
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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2013, 09:37:56 PM »
It looks more like a visitors center because of the size of the windows.  That privacy thing.  :)

Below is another cool postcard image from 1936 that shows both Hemming Plaze (park) and the downtown skyline.



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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2013, 09:57:42 PM »
Put the confederate statue in confederate park, have a city wide contest for a new piece of art work for the center of the park.

We could even have text books printed that tell our kids that Florida was part of Mexico during the Civil War...  I didn't have to wonder how long after the 'Just change the name of one school' mob would take before they moved on to other touchy-feely projects.

Hemming Plaza WAS a Confederate Signal Corps station during the war, part of a network of tall signal towers that stretched from St. Johns and Yellow Bluff through downtown to Camp Finegan, Camp Milton, Baldwin, Sanderson, Glen St. Marys, etc.
When the city was taken by the Federal fleet the tower was rebuilt for use by the Union cause. After the war the park remained a base of occupation troops for some time. Civil War TOURISM is riding a 150 year high, it's worth billions of dollars and Jacksonville, with some of the best preserved sites, typically slumbers.

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2013, 09:59:37 PM »
Another view of Hemming.  Don't know the year on this one.

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2013, 10:01:42 PM »
Hemming Plaza Windsor Hotel 1910.


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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2013, 10:02:59 PM »
Put the confederate statue in confederate park, have a city wide contest for a new piece of art work for the center of the park.

We could even have text books printed that tell our kids that Florida was part of Mexico during the Civil War...  I didn't have to wonder how long after the 'Just change the name of one school' mob would take before they moved on to other touchy-feely projects.

Hemming Plaza WAS a Confederate Signal Corps station during the war, part of a network of tall signal towers that stretched from St. Johns and Yellow Bluff through downtown to Camp Finegan, Camp Milton, Baldwin, Sanderson, Glen St. Marys, etc.
When the city was taken by the Federal fleet the tower was rebuilt for use by the Union cause. After the war the park remained a base of occupation troops for some time. Civil War TOURISM is riding a 150 year high, it's worth billions of dollars and Jacksonville, with some of the best preserved sites, typically slumbers.
Interesting information Bob.  I did not know this and I bet many other people don't either.
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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2013, 07:46:12 PM »
I have received an answer to my follow up questions about the repairs in Hemming Park.

Quote


==================================================================

 

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns with Hemming Plaza.

 

As you may have guessed, vandalism is a reoccurring and ongoing issue in some of our high use facilities, such as Hemming Plaza. We do work with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to prevent or reduce these acts of vandalism, but the outlets, tables, chairs, bike racks, etc. are heavily used on a daily basis and take a fair amount of abuse from the daily park visitors.

 

Outlets and wiring seem to be a particular target for vandalism and park electricians routinely make repairs to the outlets, boxes and wiring at that facility. The pictures on the link you sent show some of the remnants, such as the caging which has been installed to help deter this vandalism. Hemming Plaza does have working electrical hookups, however the electricity is only turned on during special events such as Art Walk, which is held the first Wednesday of every month.

 

Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.

 

While on-site, the park maintenance staff completes routine maintenance of the fountain and grounds, including litter removal, debris removal from the fountain, emptying trash cans and general landscaping. As mentioned above, Hemming Plaza is a heavily used facility and there is no shortage of litter left in the park on a daily basis. Most of the litter seen in the park at any one time is from that day and staff does walk the park daily to pick the debris up from the planting beds, as well as all other areas of the park. As for collecting water, the majority of the park maintenance occurs early in the morning and with our traditional afternoon summer storms, water does collect in the receptacles in the park, however that water is dumped out the following morning.

 

The pot style planters were recently moved from the stage area to the fountain and were replanted with a donation from Lowe’s. The Parks Department is planning additional plantings in the raised beds, which will be completed with the assistance of volunteers and Downtown Vision. The plants which are referred to as “wild grass” on the provided link are both African Iris and Mondo Grass. Ideally they should be planted a little thicker and look a little healthier but the plants struggle under the regular foot traffic.

 

Downtown Vision is working with the City to complete a low pressure wash of the fountain with soda ash to remove the build-up, as the more traditional cleaning efforts have had only a minimal impact with removal of the build-up.

 

In partnership with volunteers, outside organizations and other City entities, the Parks Department is working to maintain and improve Hemming Plaza’s appearance, as we want all citizens to be proud of the many assets and recreational opportunities the city has to offer.

 

We do appreciate input from concerned members of the public and have regular public meetings for that purpose. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in attending the public meetings to discuss Hemming Plaza (such as the Downtown Investment Authority’s Hemming Plaza Committee) or in any of our volunteer opportunities, please let us know and we can point you in the right direction.

 

 

Aleizha L. Batson

Deputy Director of Communications

Office of Mayor Alvin Brown - City of Jacksonville

117 West Duval Street, Suite 240

Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Office: (904) 630-1871
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #67 on: October 14, 2013, 08:58:01 PM »
The MJ pictures showed more than a couple chairs and a table having been removed - the letter did not address those.  When can we expect them to be returned?  Why weren't the badly damaged table/chairs replaced?

Time for a targeted email, with a question (or questions) about one issue - like the missing tables and chairs - asking for specific answers.  A letter with a whole lot of questions makes it easy to obfuscate.

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2013, 09:10:32 PM »
The way the email reads, it seems to say that within the last year there were only two chairs and a bench removed and neither could be repaired.  That being the case we are left to surmise that all the other tables and chairs now gone were removed over a year ago.  What was not discussed was why all those other pieces of furniture were removed and not replaced.  We don't know if they were broken or if someone in the city decided they wanted them removed for other reasons.  I would like to know when and why the other furniture was removed.  This also brings us to another consideration which is with 200K now in the budget for entertainment and maintenance in the park, now may be the time for the missing furniture to be replaced, what is there repainted along with the bike rack. 

This is the the portion of the email discussing the furniture.

Quote
Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2013, 10:14:37 PM »
If a couple items were "not repairable" they should have been replaced.  I bet if a chair or desk or some other piece of furniture in City Hall breaks it is replaced (more quickly the higher up the food chain).

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #70 on: October 14, 2013, 10:41:47 PM »
I would like to know when and why the other furniture was removed.  This also brings us to another consideration which is with 200K now in the budget for entertainment and maintenance in the park, now may be the time for the missing furniture to be replaced, what is there repainted along with the bike rack. 

This is the the portion of the email discussing the furniture.

Quote
Park maintenance staff visits the park daily and completes both the routine maintenance and on-going repairs, including repairs to the benches and tables. Again, the tables and chairs are well used and maintenance of those items is continuous. Chairs and tables are regularly removed for repairs, but are almost always re-installed within days. It has been more than a year since any furniture has been permanently removed from Hemming Plaza and the two chairs and one bench that were removed about 16 months ago were not repairable.

From an earlier thread:

Topic: Jerry Moran Triumphant? Parks Dpt. To Quietly Remove Tables from Hemming

Got the message and photo's Stephen.  The photo's clearly show that some of the furniture was removed and I believe folks told you that was about two month's ago. I spoke with Parks Department on June 21st, so my guess is that the furniture in the pics you shared was already gone by the time of my call.  When I spoke with Michelle, it was clear from the conversation that the info she shared with me was based upon documents and discussion in the office that she had been privy to at that time. 

You know, when it comes to city departments it is not unusual for them to speak to a situation as it occurs on the date of initial contact with them.  When I called I asked about any plans to remove the existing furniture in the future.  My guess is that their response was geared to any plans to remove furniture after June 21st, which if the department is to believed is not planned at this point.  So technically, they could make that statement to me and have it be true. 

Clearly, furniture was removed from the park.  I wonder if it was done by the Parks Department or by Public Works?  There would have to be a work order somewhere directing the removal of the furniture and some statement as to who ordered it removed and why.  Perhaps a request for said work order is called for in order to get to the when and how of this action.  Looks like slippery dealings to me.


And if I remember correctly, there were several chairs and a table or two removed in the name of ADA compliance, though I couldn't find that particular thread.
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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2013, 01:31:09 PM »
^Ah, ADA as the reason for some of the removals.  Sounds about right. I guess the question becomes what is the lawful requirement for access to the tables?  Are they using a percentage or what?  It would be great if someone involved with the original article that shared the pictures of the problems in the park could get back out there and actually take a count of how many chairs and tables are missing. 
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TheCat

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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #72 on: October 15, 2013, 02:09:58 PM »
How much did it cost to trim the trees at Hemming? $124k


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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #73 on: October 15, 2013, 02:14:45 PM »
wow.


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Re: Deliberate Hemming Park Neglect and DeAmenitization
« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2013, 02:15:00 PM »
Aha... a master Blanket PO.

So that's not just a one-time charge, but set up to cover all expenses over the coming year?
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