Author Topic: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?  (Read 15027 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2009, 01:36:13 PM »

what does the city intend to do with the old courthouse once the new one is finished. Does it not make sense to have a plan in place for that also to avoid our common move/neglect/demo mentality?

I believe the plan is to either set aside the land for convention space or sell the property back to the private sector.  That property has been included as a part of the Mayor's visioning process.
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Steve

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2009, 01:37:35 PM »
what does the city intend to do with the old courthouse once the new one is finished. Does it not make sense to have a plan in place for that also to avoid our common move/neglect/demo mentality?

My personal feeling is that we should relocate our convention center to this property, through a public private partnership with the Hyatt Ownership (remember, this building is not owned by Hyatt, but by a franchisee, similar to a McDonalds), then turn teh other facility back into a Transportation Center.

TD*

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2009, 02:55:31 PM »
I hope the land is sold to a developer and quality Pedestrian Oriented Design is constructed

Jason

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2009, 03:06:10 PM »
Part of me would rather see the lawn sold off to private developers.  Another part of me likes the idea of a public space the creates a great looking "front yard" for the courthouse.

Either way, it has to be done right.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 03:14:14 PM by Jason »

Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2009, 03:50:38 PM »
A great green space in front of the courthouse would excellent for rallies and that sort of thing if there is enough space to hold that kind of crowd. Have speakers speaking right from the courthouse steps flanked on each side with gardens and maybe a couple fountains. Could be quite a scene.

stjr

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2009, 05:13:07 PM »
How many acres is the green space?  Will it have utilities to support public events on it?  Any tree plantings, fountains, sculpture, seating, lighting, etc.  Or, just a great big grassy area??

I'm still waiting for an explanation of the traffic flow between the side streets and the arching road (Monroe) immediately in front of the building.  From the drawing in the article, it looks like Monroe may convert from one way eastbound to two way in front of the Courthouse.  Is this the plan?

While I recognize the need to keep continuity with Monroe, it sure looks awkward in connecting with this and other area streets and cuts substantially into whatever ambiance the green space might offer city dwellers.  In other words, a little of a lot of things but none done right.  Just like the building itself!

A real missed opportunity not to line the parking garage "out front" with what will be much needed retail when all the lawyers and their clients "cluster" around this area over the next few years.

Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2009, 05:24:25 PM »
I believe that garage does have empty retail spaces along Adams, facing this space and the courthouse.  From the courthouse drawings, all I can tell at this point is that there will be a large sidewalk between Adams and Monroe, with green space on either side.



Looking at the site layout, it might be better to just go ahead and close that weird curved section of Monroe.  The money used to construct it, could be put into making the public space in front of the courthouse more impressive.
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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2009, 07:31:36 PM »
I'm expecting only the best from our city leaders, perhaps a mobile home park on the riverfront? Or a courthouse made of double-wides... Hey, it would be within the theme of the "city".

OCKLAWAHA

tufsu1

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2009, 09:15:38 PM »
I'm still waiting for an explanation of the traffic flow between the side streets and the arching road (Monroe) immediately in front of the building.  From the drawing in the article, it looks like Monroe may convert from one way eastbound to two way in front of the Courthouse.  Is this the plan?

The graphic posted by Lake makes it clear that Monroe will continue to be one-way eastbound...and that the streets on either side will also remain one-way
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 09:18:05 PM by tufsu1 »

stjr

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2009, 09:49:53 PM »


I'm still waiting for an explanation of the traffic flow between the side streets and the arching road (Monroe) immediately in front of the building.  From the drawing in the article, it looks like Monroe may convert from one way eastbound to two way in front of the Courthouse.  Is this the plan?

The graphic posted by Lake makes it clear that Monroe will continue to be one-way eastbound...and that the streets on either side will also remain one-way

Tufsu,  I can see that possibility but not knowing the width of the road, striping, or the signage, it's not a given that it's not a two-way segment. Especially, if one doesn't automatically take the implication of your one-way comment:  That Monroe street's upper angled exit to Pearl Street (which is the right-side vertical street in the drawing that is currently one-way toward the drawing bottom) must be designated "Do Not Enter" facing the oncoming Pearl street traffic and that all traffic taking such exit from Monroe MUST cross Pearl and continue eastward on the remainder of Monroe.

Your observation does seem to be the most plausible one and I will take it on your authority that it is correct unless otherwise overruled.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

brainstormer

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2009, 09:04:22 AM »
I am all for an interactive public space in front of the courthouse, however, I am beginning to worry that once again the city has Attention Deficit Disorder. 

With public funds hard to get and our local economy fairly stagnant, I would like to see us approach projects one at a time.  We must make sure that our parks are unique, have a purpose, and fulfill a need in the city as well as complement the surrounding environment.

We have heard recent talk about improvements to Metro Park, a new park around Friendship Fountain, the new Unity Plaza on Riverside, and now designed public space in front of the Courthouse.  We need to focus on an area and get it off the ground before moving to another.  I feel our city planners fail to realize that all of these public spaces will not survive with out the public.  Why is RAM successful?  Because it is close to residential areas and provides a unique service.  Why do we see people enjoying a picnic in Memorial Park and not Metro Park?  Because people want to walk or bike to a picnic, not drive for 30 minutes and because there are shops and restaurants across the street.

I think Unity Plaza has by far the most potential because of the planned hotel, future restaurant and its location.  If this plaza is done right it will create a unique place for intimate outdoor performances.

With regards to a Courthouse Square, I think a logical purpose for right now is to be designed as a space for public rallies, weekend fundraisers.  Keep in mind that this area will continue to be a M-F 9-5 area of downtown because no one lives in this part of downtown.  No one will drive to have a picnic by the courthouse on the weekends, and RAM and Unity Plaza are going to make Riverside the place to be on Saturdays. 

Honestly for right now, I would prefer it to be simple and inexpensive.  Make it all grass and plant some trees.  In the future, we can look at how Lavilla grows and then remake the courthouse green into a park that fulfills the neighborhood's need.  This makes more sense to me and when we do create something in the space, we won't have to wreck millions of dollars of pavers and fountains to do it.  Let's leave it as a true green space for the time being and put our energy and money into making Unity Plaza work.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 09:53:58 AM by brainstormer »

vicupstate

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2009, 09:23:32 AM »
^^  Very, very well said, brainstormer.

I fear all the money spent on Metro Park will be largely a waste until development of The Shipyards takes place.  It has all the potential to be another mega Main Street pocket Park.
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thelakelander

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2009, 09:30:44 AM »
I do agree that the city continues to spread themselves out too thin.  All of these spaces (including Unity Plaza) will be seldom used until they are fully integrated and connected with their surroundings and existing destinations.  This is why I keep hammering home the point of connectivity and compact clustering of complimenting uses.

For example, RAM is great for what it is, but because its isolated, we can't get the most out of it.  Bridge aside, imagine if it were actually in Five Points or adjacent to the Landing?  You would have a tone of people visiting the market and mixing in with the commercial district surrounding it.

At some point, if we really want true vibrancy (quick), we're going to have to pick a central spot and focus on adding a mix of things immediately adjacent to each other to take it to the next level.
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brainstormer

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2009, 10:06:21 AM »
Both of you, Vic and Lake are right on.

I don't think Met Park improvements right now are going to make a difference because we still haven't come up with a plan to connect this area with the rest of the urban core.  If we develop the Shipyards, incorporate residential units into the area, tear down the expressway between Liberty Street and the Hart Bridge, and add skyway/streetcar to connect the stadiums to the core, I guarantee the city would see the benefits of putting $20 million into Met Park.  But until the above happens, the park will continue to be neglected by the public.

I also agree that the city needs to pick one area to focus attention on.  Until we have one vibrant spot to use as a model, the city will continue it's back and forth growth.  One restaurant opens over here, another closes over there.  A building is built here, another one torn down there.  We aren't getting anywhere!!!  It's so frustrating!!!

BridgeTroll

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Re: Urban Infill: A Courthouse Square for Jacksonville?
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2009, 12:38:11 PM »
I have often wondered what the building is on the right side of the photo.  It is equipped with generators and razor wire around the roof... seems alot for such a small nondescript building...

« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 12:39:53 PM by BridgeTroll »
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