Author Topic: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville  (Read 5542 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« on: February 09, 2016, 03:00:03 AM »
The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville



Metro Jacksonville takes a look back at the six downtown highrises (10 stories and above) that no longer exist.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2016-feb-the-lost-skyscrapers-of-jacksonville

Downtown Osprey

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 09:53:47 AM »
great history yet so sad and frustrating at the same time.

Gunnar

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 10:37:25 AM »
Quote
Despite its size, history and the abundance of surface parking lots on nearby blocks, the City of Jacksonville selected it as the preferred site for its new main library. At the ripe old age of 88 on August 17, 2002, the Rhodes-Futch-Collins Building was imploded on live television to make room for the main public library that stands today.

Why, oh why.... This is something I still don't get - empty lots all around and they just have to tear down the one interesting building that's still around.

I found the old Rhodes furniture building both interesting and attractive, plus it seems to me that the size / shape should have made a loft or office conversion feasible.

Used to walk past it pretty much every day during my lunch break while interning with the COJ.

Quote
In the name of preservation, some architectural elements from the building's facade were used on the design of the library building

Really - where ? I don't quite see that.
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ChriswUfGator

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 10:42:02 AM »
The library was an especially bad design, it leaves a solid brick wall facing the street on 3 out of 4 sides of one of the most central blocks downtown. What would have been so hard about adding a mezzanine at ground level and putting street level retail?


Steve

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 11:25:25 AM »
^The library and federal courthouse projects were especially frustrating (So was the county courthouse, but for different reasons). There was miles of vacant land, yet we had to demolish buildings for them. I don't get it at all - so we can cluster 9-5 Offices and have a dead public square between them?

thelakelander

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 01:02:52 PM »
Them being long abandoned could be a big reason their locations were selected. What could have been seen as blight holding DT back was "removed" and "redeveloped" with a new public use. Sort of shortsighted, as far as urban planning goes, but no different from LaVilla's redevelopment.
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Tacachale

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2016, 01:24:39 PM »
The library was chosen because that was where the city could get the amount of land needed, in the area close to similar services. And yes, most of the buildings were empty and/or condemned, and if I recall correctly it was cheaper even than some of the mostly empty lots that are farther away. It's weird, but for whatever reason property owners downtown think that their lots are more valuable than they are, sometimes even when there's nothing there but a parking with some chain around it.

As an aside, the original plan for the library included incorporating the Rhodes building and others into the design, but the architects couldn't do it within the budget. MOCA acquiring the Western Union Telegraph Building also complicated things, though it worked out for the best.
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CCMjax

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 01:26:16 PM »
I actually like the new library quite a bit and think it places a very nice civic building fronting a fairly nice civic park that is improving.  The scale is great, I think they nailed it combined with the museum and I like the design too both inside and out.  There is plenty of vacant nearby space for retail and ground floor storefronts.  They didn't have to do that for south and east sides of this building.  Not a fan of tearing down historic buildings, but if they do come down at least replace them with something respectable.  The Library certainly beats what they replaced 90% of the other historic buildings with, ie surface lots and parking garages
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spuwho

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2016, 04:47:09 PM »
The library was chosen because that was where the city could get the amount of land needed, in the area close to similar services. And yes, most of the buildings were empty and/or condemned, and if I recall correctly it was cheaper even than some of the mostly empty lots that are farther away. It's weird, but for whatever reason property owners downtown think that their lots are more valuable than they are, sometimes even when there's nothing there but a parking with some chain around it.

As an aside, the original plan for the library included incorporating the Rhodes building and others into the design, but the architects couldn't do it within the budget. MOCA acquiring the Western Union Telegraph Building also complicated things, though it worked out for the best.

As far as owners over estimating their value......if I could acquire cash flow on a vacant lot with just a slab on it and all I have to do is pay taxes and collect parking fees, and not take any risk in building anything on it, then its "buyout" value would be a simple NPV calculation.

To someone who sees a simple unimproved lot, it may have little value.  To the owner who runs parking on it, its a great little annuity going down and would want a lot of dough to make up for the lost income. It just depends on how you look at it.

The only thing that drives out these lots is either competition or nearby land values change the NPV equation significantly.

If land values in the core go up to the point it flips the near term value as better than the parking revenue model, typically, the owner will sell it. But if surrounding values are stagnant and grow at the rate of inflation, they will hold it as long as it keeps bringing in revenue.

coredumped

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 05:26:51 PM »
If anyone is looking for the column, here it is on google maps:
https://goo.gl/maps/qMTwxuG94DS2
I had no idea about this, and have drove by it countless times. It's too bad more wasn't saved.
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Keith-N-Jax

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 05:58:42 PM »
At least they kept that column, that offers a nice piece of history. Glass half full effect.

coredumped

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 08:36:35 PM »
True, it could always be a little worse, but it could also be so so much better. ;)
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cellmaker

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Re: The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2016, 08:03:25 AM »
It's hard to fathom the lack of imagination and foresight that continues to condemn downtown's historical and interesting buildings.  Instead we have surface parking lots, individual skyscrapers pushed back and disconnected from the street, and expensive public buildings like the Courthouse that look cheap and disposable as soon as they're complete.  It's like the movers and shakers in Jax have never gone elsewhere to see how cities with more pride of place treat their most visible assets, and in turn their residents, visitors, and prospective investors.