Author Topic: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward  (Read 21729 times)

Joe

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2008, 11:00:35 AM »
^ Regarding not getting hung up on urban connectivity ...

Sure, it doesn't make sense for a courthouse to have street-level retail surrounding the building. However, this doesn't mean that a courthouse needs to create a giant "superblock" in the heart of downtown.

For example, compare the difference between City Hall and the Police Memorial Building on Bay street. Both are institutional buildings with high security needs, and honestly, they aren't all that different in terms of land use. However it's a thousand little things that make City Hall such an obviously better building.

And all the little things are simple and common sense things to do, if someone actually bothers to put care into a design.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 11:05:34 AM by Joe »

Steve

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #61 on: April 30, 2008, 11:02:51 AM »
For example, compare the difference between City Hall and the FOP Building. Both are institutional buildings with high security needs, and honestly, they aren't all that different in terms of land use. However it's a thousand little things that make City Hall such an obviously better building.


I think you are referring to the Police Memorial Building, not the FOP (that's off of Beach Blvd).  Otherwise I think you make a good point.

Joe

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2008, 11:04:21 AM »
^ Yup. Thanks, that's the one.

thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2008, 11:46:03 AM »
Nashville apparently gets the message.  The city recently took their county courthouse's 4 acre surface parking lot and converted it into a public square.  The space is set up to take advantage of courthouse foot traffic, while also giving downtown users an opportunity to use the public grounds on nights and weekends.

Quote
This page shines the spotlight on the construction of the Public Square Plaza adjacent to the Courthouse downtown between Woodland Street and James Robertson Parkway.

Situated on the Woodland Street side of the Courthouse just off the west bank of the Cumberland River, the Plaza will provide Nashvillians with a large pleasant green space downtown that will include a substantial lawn, an interactive fountain, light wells, trees, reflective pools, seating areas, and other amenities.

The new Public Square Plaza will be in compliance with the ADA, welcoming anyone and everyone who lives, works, or visits downtown Nashville. Begun in early 2004, the it is expected to be ready for the public to use and enjoy in mid-summer of 2006.











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Jason

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2008, 12:46:22 PM »
Nashville apparently gets the message.  The city recently took their county courthouse's 4 acre surface parking lot and converted it into a public square.  The space is set up to take advantage of courthouse foot traffic, while also giving downtown users an opportunity to use the public grounds on nights and weekends.

Quote
This page shines the spotlight on the construction of the Public Square Plaza adjacent to the Courthouse downtown between Woodland Street and James Robertson Parkway.

Situated on the Woodland Street side of the Courthouse just off the west bank of the Cumberland River, the Plaza will provide Nashvillians with a large pleasant green space downtown that will include a substantial lawn, an interactive fountain, light wells, trees, reflective pools, seating areas, and other amenities.

The new Public Square Plaza will be in compliance with the ADA, welcoming anyone and everyone who lives, works, or visits downtown Nashville. Begun in early 2004, the it is expected to be ready for the public to use and enjoy in mid-summer of 2006.



The current desingn of our courthouse does exactly the same thing.  Personally Nashville's design is a much larger waste of space.  Because the plaza/park is elevated there is no possiblity for expansion.  Once their building is outgrown they'll likely have to start over.

I think we have a great example of a well planned courthouse 2 blocks over.  The Federal Courthouse is stately, modern, has public gathering space, and addresses the street (at least on the plaza side) and does this all on one single block.  Our new courthouse could do exactly the same thing.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 12:51:59 PM by Jason »

RiversideGator

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2008, 12:47:52 PM »
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.

I would totally support a new Courthouse that looked like Miami's.   :)

Jason

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2008, 12:51:36 PM »
How is their design any different than ours?  Our design has public green space and frankly, a flat grassy area sporting some art or statues is much more "future friendly" than an elevated tierd courtyard with a grass patch in the middle.








thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2008, 02:02:52 PM »
Nashville apparently gets the message.  The city recently took their county courthouse's 4 acre surface parking lot and converted it into a public square.  The space is set up to take advantage of courthouse foot traffic, while also giving downtown users an opportunity to use the public grounds on nights and weekends.

Quote
This page shines the spotlight on the construction of the Public Square Plaza adjacent to the Courthouse downtown between Woodland Street and James Robertson Parkway.

Situated on the Woodland Street side of the Courthouse just off the west bank of the Cumberland River, the Plaza will provide Nashvillians with a large pleasant green space downtown that will include a substantial lawn, an interactive fountain, light wells, trees, reflective pools, seating areas, and other amenities.

The new Public Square Plaza will be in compliance with the ADA, welcoming anyone and everyone who lives, works, or visits downtown Nashville. Begun in early 2004, the it is expected to be ready for the public to use and enjoy in mid-summer of 2006.



The current desingn of our courthouse does exactly the same thing.  Personally Nashville's design is a much larger waste of space.  Because the plaza/park is elevated there is no possiblity for expansion.  Once their building is outgrown they'll likely have to start over.

You're seeing my view towards the our courthouse.  For years I've advocated consolidating the thing to one or two blocks and selling the remaining blocks.  I've come to the realization that, that's not going to happen and that the city will waste the potential of returning land on that site back to the private sector.

In the effort of turning an expensive lemon into lemonade, my focus is now on what happens with the two half blocks left, north of Adams.  Most likely, its going to become a greenspace, so my hope/focus is that we avoid a repeat of what happened on Main Street and create a true space that utilizes the courthouse's traffic and that the entire community can use on a round-the-clock basis.  The Nashville public square is set up to do that.  Our existing public spaces (the pocket parks and Hemming, currently aren't.  As for the Nashville project, the building is existing and the focus was not on preserving land in the core for future expansion use.  The focus was taking an underutilized property and doing something useful with it, that helps stimulate vibrancy in a present tense.

Quote
I think we have a great example of a well planned courthouse 2 blocks over.  The Federal Courthouse is stately, modern, has public gathering space, and addresses the street (at least on the plaza side) and does this all on one single block.  Our new courthouse could do exactly the same thing.

While I like the architecture of the Federal Courthouse (there's a larger version in Sacramento), the public space leaves a lot to be desired.  I hope that any improvements for any future public space follows the guidelines mentioned here:

Ten Principles for Creating Successful Squares

1. Image and Identity
2. Attractions and Destinations
3. Amenities
4. Flexible Design
5. Seasonal Strategy
6. Access
7. The Inner Square & the Outer Square
8. Reaching Out Like an Octopus
9. The Central Role of Management
10. Diverse Funding Sources

see definition of steps here: http://www.pps.org/squares/info/squares_articles/squares_principles
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thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #68 on: April 30, 2008, 02:24:24 PM »
How is their design any different than ours?  Our design has public green space and frankly, a flat grassy area sporting some art or statues is much more "future friendly" than an elevated tierd courtyard with a grass patch in the middle.

There are some significant differences since no thought or funding has been put into what will happen with the left over space north of Adams.

The Nashville Square is a green building.  Its really a five level parking garage with a public park on top.

It also contains water features, such as a reflection pool, an interactive fountain (the thing Peyton wanted to replace Friendship Fountain with), a flexible public lawn for recreation, concerts or special events, a plaza for street vendors, restroom facilities and more.

The use for our land has not been determined yet.  Knowing our history, it could either end up like the park on Main Street or as surface parking.  The Nashville park differs in that it has features that embrace the concept of flexibility in green spaces and it incorporates features that give people a reason to go there, even when the courthouse is not open.  Toronto's City Hall plaza pretty much does the same exact thing. 



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Steve

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #69 on: April 30, 2008, 02:25:37 PM »
In the effort of turning an expensive lemon into lemonade, my focus is now on what happens with the two half blocks left, north of Adams.  Most likely, its going to become a greenspace, so my hope/focus is that we avoid a repeat of what happened on Main Street and create a true space that utilizes the courthouse's traffic and that the entire community can use on a round-the-clock basis.  The Nashville public square is set up to do that.  Our existing public spaces (the pocket parks and Hemming, currently aren't.  As for the Nashville project, the building is existing and the focus was not on preserving land in the core for future expansion use.  The focus was taking an underutilized property and doing something useful with it, that helps stimulate vibrancy in a present tense.

Frankly, I'd rather them sell these half block things - even though they are ridiculous, you give a design team a chance and they would make those two triangles look awesome.  I think two twin glass towers for some Class A Office Space would be great there for Legal Offices and such.  I hope that they don't give up on that thought.

On another note, I REALLY hope that they don't just take something that some design-build company has sitting on the shelves and throw it up there.  If this is the crap that we're stuck with, I hope they make those two blocks iconic.

thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #70 on: April 30, 2008, 02:40:07 PM »
I agree, but what's the realistic chance on that happening, considering the whole goal has been to make the courthouse a grand civic monument?  Should anyone really believe the city would be willing to let someone build new towers, within 50' to 100' of the courthouse's walls to "cover up" the new monument up?
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Jimmy

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #71 on: April 30, 2008, 02:46:11 PM »
Survey says: no freaking way.  They're not going to build towers on the half blocks.  (I actually wouldn't want them to... green space, fountains, and maybe room for cart-based food vendors would be nice.)  We'll be lucky if they don't replicate the awesome river-front surface parking of the current Courthouse.
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Jason

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2008, 02:58:15 PM »
The problem is that Hemming is only two blocks away.  I honestly see no use for yet another expansive greens space in the urban core.  Take the money that would be devoted to that and enhance the existing park system versus creating more maintenance and further drain on the budget.  Those two triangles, like Steve suggested, would make wonderful parcels for private development related to courthouse functions.  Smaller pocket parks or plazas could easily be implemented into their design and become an instant enhancement to the courthouse and the surrounding infill that will follow as LaVilla continues to build out.

Jimmy

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #73 on: April 30, 2008, 03:03:54 PM »
Maybe Jack Diamond can fit a nine-hole course in there?  ::)
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thelakelander

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Re: The Duval County Courthouse finally moves forward
« Reply #74 on: April 30, 2008, 03:04:36 PM »
This is what happens when we plan without paying a lick of attention to how a specific project fits within the core and interacts with its surroundings.  Bill Bishop (the only architect on the council) had the same sentiment when he voted against it.  Its really difficult to see city allowing those blocks to be used for anything other than grass or surface parking.  Out of those two options, I'd prefer grass that works for a change.  In the remote event that they do sell the lots off, you won't find any complaints coming from me.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali