Author Topic: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward  (Read 21722 times)

RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2008, 06:50:01 PM »
I think we need to put this in perspective by looking at the end users.  Why should we build such a nice building for lawyers and criminals?  I personally don't care for either...

Or people going to get their marriage license, or people going to record their deed, or people going to deal with a probate matter, or people going to get a deadbeat tenant evicted, or people going to get child support for their kids, or people going to press their civil rights in court, or people called down for jury duty, or people going...

You're right!  I don't care for any of those people.  Oh wait... that's everyone.

Excellent response, Jimmy.   :)

RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2008, 06:53:45 PM »
I personally thought that none of the four had any urban design sense to them at all (they all closed Monroe St), but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be the KBJ one (I think the world just stopped spinning as I typed that).

The courthouse is not supposed to be about urban connectivity.  I think y'all are too hung up on this.  Other parts of downtown should serve this purpose but the Courthouse has to have security and so forth so it will never be open and connected in this sense.  However, the purpose of having a grand courthouse is to have a structure will inspire civic pride, will hopefully inspire those who come to the Courthouse to understand the importance of what they are about to do and of our system, and it should be a monument to the community.  The current Courthouse says to me that Jacksonville as a community had bad taste in the 1950s, built things on the cheap and had very little foresight.  What do you want future generations and visitors to take away from our new Courthouse?

RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2008, 06:56:44 PM »
Compared to the earlier versions, its not "no-frills".  Its a bad attempt of coming up with a taj mahal type look, that will cost taxpayers a taj mahal and a half.  Quite frankly, KBJ's earlier version was 100% better then what's currently on the table.  However, given that the plans are still a work in process, it may be safe to assume that the look we see today, may not be the one that actually rises in the end.

The whole Ron Littlepage "Taj Mahal" language really annoys me.  This is the way people who have no civic pride and think small thoughts should be talking (although I know Lake is not this way).  In this city now, we should not be thinking small.  And Lake, a grand structure will be a draw to downtown in that some people will actually come down to see it, especially if it is very attractive.  Maybe I am unusual because of what I do but I often visit courthouses in other cities. 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 06:58:16 PM by RiversideGator »

RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2008, 06:59:05 PM »
BTW Jimmy, were you at the St Johns Town Center today?

Jimmy

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2008, 07:12:18 PM »
Maybe I am unusual because of what I do but I often visit courthouses in other cities. 
I do exactly the same thing.  I make it a point to see the Courthouse in any town I visit, as it often is a reflection of how the city sees itself.  For example, there is nothing so nice as visiting a small town that still has enough American pride in the concepts of justice, liberty, and freedom that they maintain their "Courthouse square" with care.  Even thoughtful modern cities who've built new Courthouses that far surpass what was once the standard take the care needed to show respect to the living, breathing, functioning symbol of our American heritage that a Courthouse embodies.  It's frustrating to read people who deride the Court and its function in our free society.

Sadly, no, I was not out shopping today.  It would have been a wonderful way to spend the day, given the great weather we're having!
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heights unknown

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2008, 07:37:49 PM »
My personal preference was the design by KBJ Architects.......that one is my favorite.  This new design (cannon is it?) is just too austere, nothing out of the ordinary, and doesn't fit in our downtown or in that area for that matter.  I wish they'd take all of the designs, re-look, and rechoose.

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jeh1980

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2008, 08:43:57 PM »
Compared to the earlier versions, its not "no-frills".  Its a bad attempt of coming up with a taj mahal type look, that will cost taxpayers a taj mahal and a half.  Quite frankly, KBJ's earlier version was 100% better then what's currently on the table.  However, given that the plans are still a work in process, it may be safe to assume that the look we see today, may not be the one that actually rises in the end.
We all due respect, but I don't think that this design is all that bad...at least to me. I kind of liked it. But I see no "Taj Mahal" design anywhere. Of course, if I recall, the Taj Mahal is a lot more taller and a lot more different looking. In fact, I think it doesn't really matter how it is designed, just built it and get it over with!!! Thanks KBJ! Keep up the good work! 8)

thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2008, 10:02:26 PM »
Heights, the lastest design was done by KBJ.  Cannon was let loose a few years ago.
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RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2008, 12:10:29 AM »
Sadly, no, I was not out shopping today.  It would have been a wonderful way to spend the day, given the great weather we're having!

I saw a car there with a Dont Tread On Me sticker and thought of your avatar. 

BTW, I wasnt really shopping (that made me sound pretty lazy, I guess).  I just had to pick up a suit at lunchtime.  Most of the time I was actually in Court.  It was a nice day though.   ;)

Jason

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2008, 09:15:11 AM »
Who designed the Library?  The buildings look very similar, IMO.

thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2008, 09:40:28 AM »


Robert Stern, the architect who designed Philly's Comcast Center (shown above) designed the library.  Architects aside, its City Hall (the client) that tells the architects the style they want.  Its obvious that city leaders want to recapture the image of grand public buildings the city destroyed over the years.
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Steve

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #56 on: April 30, 2008, 10:19:14 AM »
The courthouse is not supposed to be about urban connectivity.  I think y'all are too hung up on this.  Other parts of downtown should serve this purpose but the Courthouse has to have security and so forth so it will never be open and connected in this sense.  However, the purpose of having a grand courthouse is to have a structure will inspire civic pride, will hopefully inspire those who come to the Courthouse to understand the importance of what they are about to do and of our system, and it should be a monument to the community.  The current Courthouse says to me that Jacksonville as a community had bad taste in the 1950s, built things on the cheap and had very little foresight.  What do you want future generations and visitors to take away from our new Courthouse?

I would agree that our current courthouse did not stand the test of time (not even close).  One of the things that I think is funny is something Delaney pointed out - it's the only courthouse I've ever seen where you have to take steps DOWN to get into it.

I also agree that a courthouse will do little to enhance urban connectivity - even if I got the exact building that I want.  With that said, I guess I have more of a problem with the thing having WAY too large of a footprint.  Since we need a courthouse, let's have it take up one square block.  You can make a very striking building take up one block - look at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse.  It takes up one block, and looks very nice and striking.  You look at it, and immediately know it's a courthouse.

EP

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #57 on: April 30, 2008, 10:41:08 AM »
I think we need to put this in perspective by looking at the end users.  Why should we build such a nice building for lawyers and criminals?  I personally don't care for either...

Or people going to get their marriage license, or people going to record their deed, or people going to deal with a probate matter, or people going to get a deadbeat tenant evicted, or people going to get child support for their kids, or people going to press their civil rights in court, or people called down for jury duty, or people going...

You're right!  I don't care for any of those people.  Oh wait... that's everyone.

I should have known that there were some lawyers on here.  My apologies. 

thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #58 on: April 30, 2008, 10:49:42 AM »
I personally thought that none of the four had any urban design sense to them at all (they all closed Monroe St), but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be the KBJ one (I think the world just stopped spinning as I typed that).

The courthouse is not supposed to be about urban connectivity.  I think y'all are too hung up on this.  Other parts of downtown should serve this purpose but the Courthouse has to have security and so forth so it will never be open and connected in this sense.

I disagree 100%.  From an interior functional standpoint you have a point, but from a city who continues to stumble to form any resemblance of vibrancy in its core, ultimate connectivity should be a high priority with every single project that is constructed downtown, regardless of use.  If not, then we're better off sticking the thing in the Prime Osborn's parking lot, throwing direct I-95 on/off ramps into the parking garage so people can get in and out like we have done with the stadium.

This thing is going to bring in a ton of people to that area on a daily basis.  From an overall land planning standpoint, we would be fools to not attempt to set this thing up in a way where the surroundings can benefit the most from the traffic and potential additional private investment it will generate.  We've failed multiple times with this issue in the past (Municipal Stadium, Baseball Grounds, Veterans Memorial Arena, Metropolitan Park, the current courthouse, the Landing, FCCJ's campus, etc.) and now we once again have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and do better.  However, to isolate this project in the sense that urban synergy and connectivity should not be a major concern only dooms us to make the same mistakes we made with the other projects mentioned above.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #59 on: April 30, 2008, 11:00:16 AM »
Compared to the earlier versions, its not "no-frills".  Its a bad attempt of coming up with a taj mahal type look, that will cost taxpayers a taj mahal and a half.  Quite frankly, KBJ's earlier version was 100% better then what's currently on the table.  However, given that the plans are still a work in process, it may be safe to assume that the look we see today, may not be the one that actually rises in the end.

The whole Ron Littlepage "Taj Mahal" language really annoys me.  This is the way people who have no civic pride and think small thoughts should be talking (although I know Lake is not this way).  In this city now, we should not be thinking small.  And Lake, a grand structure will be a draw to downtown in that some people will actually come down to see it, especially if it is very attractive.  Maybe I am unusual because of what I do but I often visit courthouses in other cities. 

My take is "Grand" does not equate to spending additional millions.  For example, we tossed $700k into an elevated pocket park on Main Street to "beautify the area".  The same exact thing could have accomplished with with a few pallets of grass (at grade) and trees around the perimeter of the property for less than $50k.  The cheaper option would have also gotten better use because of its flexibility.

With a competent design team and a little bit of common sense, I believe "Grand" can be done for a price that does not have to bankrupt the community.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali