Author Topic: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel  (Read 32446 times)

Lunican

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2009, 03:39:54 PM »
A condemned building certainly can be renovated. There are examples all around the city.

jason_contentdg

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2009, 03:40:17 PM »
Up front I must tell you I had the mis-pleasure of checking into the Ambassador Hotel in 1990, then immediately checking out after viewing my room. Back then it wasn't suitable for human inhabitants. This building was condemned for countless reasons and absolutely needs to be demolished. It cannot be renovated enough to be a safe structure for modern living. Not to mention the current codes that could never be met considering it's antiquated infrastructure. What may be next for this parcel of land should be decided between the city and any interested parties. But one thing's for sure. This building needs to go. It's not a historical building but in the minds of old men holding onto the past.

Thank you for pointing out the mindset of how Jacksonville got to be where it is now.

Sorry you misinterpreted my observation but the reality is this. A condemned building cannot be renovated. It can be demolished then replaced only.

However. There are many buildings in downtown Jacksonville that are "not" condemned and "are" capable of being renovated. Look at my other explanation and you will catch my drift. It's not my mindset it's reality. I've lived downtown for the last 13 plus years. How about you?

Simply not true.

GENTRY

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2009, 03:41:10 PM »
I would challenge Gentry to cite one example of an historic (or even simply "old") building being razed and replaced with something better and more useful than a vacant lot over the last 15 years (River City Renaissance and BJP eras).

That strategy clearly isn't working any better than leaving the buildings to stand empty.

I'm not saying that a better building has replaced landmarks. It's just an unfortunate truth that some buildings cannot be saved. I would love to see the Ambassador Hotel brought back to it's glory days but this is one building that won't stand the test of time much longer.

I believe the River City Renaissance has been poorly managed for the most part because in my humble opinion I believe too many handshakes have been and are being given to the wrong people. I have lived in downtown Jax for 13 plus years and welcome every renovation, that is feasible. The Ambassador Hotel is not.

JeffreyS

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2009, 03:42:00 PM »
Injecting emotion is actually the best way to get a difficult thing done. That does not mean ignore facts.
Lenny Smash

jason_contentdg

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #49 on: November 16, 2009, 03:44:58 PM »
I would challenge Gentry to cite one example of an historic (or even simply "old") building being razed and replaced with something better and more useful than a vacant lot over the last 15 years (River City Renaissance and BJP eras).

That strategy clearly isn't working any better than leaving the buildings to stand empty.

I'm not saying that a better building has replaced landmarks. It's just an unfortunate truth that some buildings cannot be saved. I would love to see the Ambassador Hotel brought back to it's glory days but this is one building that won't stand the test of time much longer.

I believe the River City Renaissance has been poorly managed for the most part because in my humble opinion I believe too many handshakes have been and are being given to the wrong people. I have lived in downtown Jax for 13 plus years and welcome every renovation, that is feasible. The Ambassador Hotel is not.

So you're saying the current developer, architect, and structural engineer didn't do any due diligence on the building?

GENTRY

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2009, 03:51:00 PM »
Up front I must tell you I had the mis-pleasure of checking into the Ambassador Hotel in 1990, then immediately checking out after viewing my room. Back then it wasn't suitable for human inhabitants. This building was condemned for countless reasons and absolutely needs to be demolished. It cannot be renovated enough to be a safe structure for modern living. Not to mention the current codes that could never be met considering it's antiquated infrastructure. What may be next for this parcel of land should be decided between the city and any interested parties. But one thing's for sure. This building needs to go. It's not a historical building but in the minds of old men holding onto the past.

Gentry; respect your thoughts and opinions but I disagree.

And thanks Lake for laying out the justification for renovation of this Jax jewel so eloquently and succinctly. I need not say more.

Heights Unknown

Thanks for the respect. But understand that "justification for renovation" is emotional. The reality is that a condemned building cannot be renovated. Come downtown where I live and look at the difference between the signs posted on buildings. I think that's where people are missing the point. There are a number of buildings with "condemned" signs but there are many more with "for sale or rent" signs. That is a big difference. There are many other buildings downtown that are not condemned and should be renovated. I would love to see many of these buildings brought back to good use. They would be my neighbors.

Lunican

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2009, 03:56:57 PM »
Gentry, it's weird to keep claiming that something is not possible when it happens all the time.

jason_contentdg

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2009, 03:58:18 PM »
Condemned buildings are renovated all of the time, sometimes they are not economically feasible, but other times they are.  When a building is condemned, it means the public can't be allowed inside of the building, that doesn't mean that work cannot be done on the building to bring it back to a point where it can be inhabited once again, with certain measures in place.

If this were the case there would be quite a few more vacant lots in Springfield.  
« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 04:11:54 PM by jason_contentdg »

thelakelander

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2009, 04:07:30 PM »
A picture speaks a thousand words. 

2065 North Market Street, condemed in 2005

This 2005 aerial shows the building and it's collapsed roof.

It was restored in 2007




Conclusion:  Condemed buildings can be restored.
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Dan B

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2009, 04:12:56 PM »
Another example is the Klutho Apartments.

GENTRY

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2009, 04:16:56 PM »
what an uninformed rant, Gentry.

1.  Since Jacksonville's downtown has the lowest crime district in the city, it would be a safe bet that Lakeland's would compare pretty equally per capita.

2.   There is a difference between 'condemned' and 'ready to demolish'.. and a little trip over to the renovated Klutho Apartments would give you a pretty clear example of how far a line that can be.

3.  I was a friend of Paul Hazlett, the developer at the Carling building in the 1980s whose plumbing woes and omni directional goat humping at the hands of the City saw the incurring of those 700k fines (they obviously were not annually assessed).

You should have seen what the City Hall looked like.  Or for that matter the AHL building that is currently serving as John Rood's other renovated masterpeice, 11 east.

The fact that the building is renovated and is a pretty nice establishment at the present time kind of makes your points wrong dont they?  It was condemned as well.

In fact they kind of make you look a little nuts.

Sorry but I'm not ranting. Look up the definition. Unlike you I'm not making emotional attacks. I'm just stating facts as an intelligent person would.

1. Sorry you are wrong. This zone (not district) in Jacksonville has the worst crime rate in the city as ranked by Forbes magazine. Where are your facts coming from? Sorry the two cities don't compare.

2. "Condemned" is the word used for "ready to demolish." What you've missed is the red tape between the two. The lowrise Klutho Apartments at 1830 N. Main St. did not pose the same problems a high rise hotel brings to the table. That's comparing apples and oranges. That makes no sense.

3. Again your facts are erroneous. You are talking about your friend at the Carling which is irrelevant. I was talking about 11 East. You referred to fines incurred on a building I don't know about. I was talking about my friend who with his partners owned 11 East (not Carling) and were paying $700.000 a year for property taxes. Get your story straight.

I've lived in downtown for the last 13 plus years. Care to set me straight on anything else you don't understand?

Look at some of my other posts and you may understand a bit better than you come across. I don't see why you have an emotional investment.

GENTRY

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2009, 04:24:36 PM »
Up front I must tell you I had the mis-pleasure of checking into the Ambassador Hotel in 1990, then immediately checking out after viewing my room. Back then it wasn't suitable for human inhabitants. This building was condemned for countless reasons and absolutely needs to be demolished. It cannot be renovated enough to be a safe structure for modern living. Not to mention the current codes that could never be met considering it's antiquated infrastructure. What may be next for this parcel of land should be decided between the city and any interested parties. But one thing's for sure. This building needs to go. It's not a historical building but in the minds of old men holding onto the past.

Thank you for pointing out the mindset of how Jacksonville got to be where it is now.

Sorry you misinterpreted my observation but the reality is this. A condemned building cannot be renovated. It can be demolished then replaced only.

However. There are many buildings in downtown Jacksonville that are "not" condemned and "are" capable of being renovated. Look at my other explanation and you will catch my drift. It's not my mindset it's reality. I've lived downtown for the last 13 plus years. How about you?

Simply not true.

I wish it weren't true but...

thelakelander

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2009, 04:27:54 PM »
What makes you think the Ambassador is not structurally sound?  Is there information out there supporting this claim or is it a hunch?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

GENTRY

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2009, 04:28:35 PM »
A condemned building certainly can be renovated. There are examples all around the city.

Ask yourself. Do you know that the buildings you have seen renovated were condemned? Or did they simply look like they should be condemned? Big difference. So many buildings survive because some group, company or individual saves it before the city labels them.

Lunican

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: The Ambassador Hotel
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2009, 04:30:59 PM »
Wasn't the Pearl condemned for a weekend?