Author Topic: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010  (Read 13810 times)

floridaforester

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2010, 07:34:26 PM »
Regarding the Powers Park "reconstruction" that is the best spin I've heard in quite awhile and I don't think that is anything to praise in this update.  The City & DOT have destroyed a beautiful greenspace and set a very bad precedent as well. This was a city park with 60+year old Loblolly & Slash pine that was absolutely picture perfect until DOT clearcut 70% of the park and dug a retention pond.  In my understanding, city park land is supposed to be protected from this sort of travesty by deed restriction.  I can almost guarantee you this will end up being a disgusting eyesore.  You know the drill, dig a retention pond, put up a chain link fence and watch the garbage accumulate against it as we've seen all over the city.

This neighborhood was turning the corner before the RE downturn and this is an unnecessary nail in the proverbial coffin.  I sold a home to customers a couple years ago that overlooked this park and this was one of the major selling points.  This has easily taken away an additional 10-20% of their value.  It is disgusting to behold right now. Neither they nor their neighbors were never notified of this work even though DOT says that it sent out notices and no one ever responded.  I know several people in the area that would have responded vehemently had it not been planned in secrecy.  I see exactly how it happened, someone "in the know" decided that this n'hood wasn't worthy of notice or due process.

grimss

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 09:39:05 PM »
Re. the engineering firm offices newly built on Herschel, I see no problem with the building trying to echo its neighbors. In its setback and massing, it was clearly trying to look like a residential structure that had been turned into a commercial structure--a not uncommon circumstance in the neighborhood--which means it was trying to blend into, not disrupt, the historical fabric. I have absolutely no problem with cool, modern new construction in the historic districts, but if the owner/builder doesn't want to go that route, then God bless him for building beautiful, new, historically influenced designs. What's the beef with that? It's clearly new, but doesn't try to bludgeon that fact into your brain.

grimss

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2010, 09:47:56 PM »
Of course it's a forgery to in-fill and redevelop lots in a diverse historic nieghborhood with replicas (albeit watered down). This point has already been stated better elsewhere, but consider this: with regard to tear downs and redevelopement in Riverside/Avondale, it's only newer structures that fall,(post 1950) often to be replaced with the "faux historic style".

The national mall is filled museums, and other structures, that convey history. Think about what we have all in a row, from the Smithsonian "castle", the Modernist Hirschorn Musum (It's a big concrete cherrio with legs, if you haven't seen it), the Native American Museum, which looks like a block of sandstone carved up by martians. Next door to that, sits the botanical garden building, classical, flutted roman (inspired) collunms and 150 years of white paint. While everyone may claim a favorite (or LEAST favorite), I believe what we get from that is harmony (through diversity) and a genuine, narritive history.

This issue is of great concern for me, I remain emotionally invested in the future of the reminaing (shrinking) historic bits of JAx, and I wish that a more enlightened view of development was the rule instead of the exception.

Actually, your assertion about only the post-1950 Riverside buildings falling is flat out wrong. Between 1970 and 1995, when the Riverside Historic district was formed, more than 1400 of the 5500 structures that predated 1930 were torn down. Honestly, much of what was built in the district post-1950 was pure crap--just a low-grade commercial response to the opening of the zoning floodgates by city planners.

As an aside, I respect your comments about the Native American Museum on the mall, but--as a DC native--I must urge you to get inside that thing. The interior is one of the most stunning, spiritual places I've ever seen.  A true testament to how an architect can craft an interior space to both shock and awe.

stjr

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2010, 09:56:19 PM »
Neither they nor their neighbors were never notified of this work even though DOT says that it sent out notices and no one ever responded.  I know several people in the area that would have responded vehemently had it not been planned in secrecy.  I see exactly how it happened, someone "in the know" decided that this n'hood wasn't worthy of notice or due process.

Forester, you wouldn't be talking about those public FDOT hearings that Ock and Tufsu hold up as sterling examples of "American democracy in action", would you?  The ones everyone in town is supposed to be informed of and drop everything to rush out become instant experts on or waste time being dismissed as a non-professional that lacks standing in the court of FDOT ideas?

Just like roads become irreversible projects in some mysterious system of cross-approving bureaucracies ("You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"), it appears you were steamrolled by the mass transit avoiding FDOT road building machine.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

tufsu1

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2010, 10:44:02 PM »
do you have any better ideas for public involvement/engagement?

floridaforester

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2010, 11:54:26 PM »
do you have any better ideas for public involvement/engagement?
I think it is the best method if, indeed, notices are actually sent to the affected neighborhood.  My guess is that, at most, it was posted inconspicuously once or twice in the Daily Record just in case a concerned attorney living there happened to notice it amongst the numerous other notices.

The point I was trying to make is that this should never have been allowed to happen to a City park in any neighborhood.

thelakelander

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2010, 12:06:07 AM »
floridaforester, I was shocked to see the destruction myself, considering it was a pretty nice passive urban park.  Do you know if plans include building the pond as an amenity with landscaping and paths?
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stjr

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2010, 07:12:36 AM »
do you have any better ideas for public involvement/engagement?

Tufsu, yes.  I posted such thoughts on another MJ board where we discussed this a few weeks ago.  No time to retrieve now.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

tufsu1

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2010, 08:17:19 AM »
do you have any better ideas for public involvement/engagement?
I think it is the best method if, indeed, notices are actually sent to the affected neighborhood.  My guess is that, at most, it was posted inconspicuously once or twice in the Daily Record just in case a concerned attorney living there happened to notice it amongst the numerous other notices.

The point I was trying to make is that this should never have been allowed to happen to a City park in any neighborhood.

nope...PD&E studies requires that notices be sent to folks living within at least 350 feet of the proposed corridor...and my guess is that the Outer Beltway study (which stjr keeps harping on) may have been sent to even more folks than that

choosing2disappear

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2010, 11:34:49 AM »
Of course it's a forgery to in-fill and redevelop lots in a diverse historic nieghborhood with replicas (albeit watered down). This point has already been stated better elsewhere, but consider this: with regard to tear downs and redevelopement in Riverside/Avondale, it's only newer structures that fall,(post 1950) often to be replaced with the "faux historic style".

The national mall is filled museums, and other structures, that convey history. Think about what we have all in a row, from the Smithsonian "castle", the Modernist Hirschorn Musum (It's a big concrete cherrio with legs, if you haven't seen it), the Native American Museum, which looks like a block of sandstone carved up by martians. Next door to that, sits the botanical garden building, classical, flutted roman (inspired) collunms and 150 years of white paint. While everyone may claim a favorite (or LEAST favorite), I believe what we get from that is harmony (through diversity) and a genuine, narritive history.

This issue is of great concern for me, I remain emotionally invested in the future of the reminaing (shrinking) historic bits of JAx, and I wish that a more enlightened view of development was the rule instead of the exception.

Actually, your assertion about only the post-1950 Riverside buildings falling is flat out wrong. Between 1970 and 1995, when the Riverside Historic district was formed, more than 1400 of the 5500 structures that predated 1930 were torn down. Honestly, much of what was built in the district post-1950 was pure crap--just a low-grade commercial response to the opening of the zoning floodgates by city planners.

As an aside, I respect your comments about the Native American Museum on the mall, but--as a DC native--I must urge you to get inside that thing. The interior is one of the most stunning, spiritual places I've ever seen.  A true testament to how an architect can craft an interior space to both shock and awe.


My assertion isn't wrong; I just neglected to put it in context. I will correct that. My statement refers to post 1995, but allow me to clarify even further. I'm fully aware that Jacksonville has a horrible track record in regard to demolition of historic structures of all periods; I know this is nothing new. Yet, my larger point is that the battle lines, have changed and that has yet to be acknowledged in a comprehensive way. Ex: we aren't fighting the demolition of the mansions on "the row" in 2010, that fight was lost 30-40 years ago. Today we rally around a tiny wooden bungalow on greenwood ave. Should it be saved? Probably so. Is it as historically significant as any 5 star property from Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, nope it's not. But we fight to protect it because the battle over the relevancy of historic structures from say 1885-1945 is over in 2010, and the vast majority of whatever is still standing, will still be here 50 years from now (even though it took the loss of most of the best examples from the period to drive this point home). This is fact. If Tony Slieman wanted to knock over a klutho, in 2010 that ain't gonna happen, even though history shows we didn't have much of a problem with that 25-30 years ago. Yet, I repeat that the argument is settled, We value "old buildings" even though it feels like it just happened, it's been that way for some time.
Now if your name is Broward, Hardwick, or Morgan, the story changes. Your assertion that much of what was built was pure crap hardly seems scientific, and frankly it will be difficult to prove one way or the other, since the decision was made (unconsciously I would assume) on expunge as much of it as possible from the historical record of the neighborhood. We'll never know what would have become of (my favorite example, but there are many, many more) the 1661 building (off Margaret st) .It would be 53 years old this year, had it not been torn down. I don't advocate to save everything from the period, but certainly a building such as that, which was known internationally, met all the criteria for preservation.
So instead of educating our community about broadening the definition of what should be considered historic, what I primarily see is that we are quite oblivious to seeing mid century works as valuable and worth saving. Besides all the value you see present in the faux-prairie style building boom, in the greater context of what we have done right and wrong as custodians of our heritage, it reads as a sentimental  (and guilty) response to the demolition of years past. Visual harmony is a cop out because the layman's notion of harmony is itself misinformed. Riverside/Avondale evolved naturally as a diverse neighborhood, but it seems to be becoming less so every day.





« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 11:41:00 AM by choosing2disappear »

Dog Walker

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2010, 01:30:10 PM »
Quote
As an aside, I respect your comments about the Native American Museum on the mall, but--as a DC native--I must urge you to get inside that thing. The interior is one of the most stunning, spiritual places I've ever seen.  A true testament to how an architect can craft an interior space to both shock and awe.

IMHO, the Native American Museum is second only to the I.M. Pei addition to the National Museum of Art across the Mall in appearance.  Besides having a stunning and unique interior, the cafeteria has some of the best food in Washington.  Certainly the best on the Mall, all with a Native American theme.  Roast quail with wild rice, venison, buffalo burgers, corn pudding.  Yum!

I am very familiar with the Taylor Hardwick medical office building that was replaced by 1661.  It was a cheaply built strip mall with a wavy canopy.  The plain box interior was falling down, the flat roof leaked  and there was nothing but a parking lot outside.  It fell into the same category as the "updating" that J. Brooks Haas did to the outside of the 5 Points Theatre Building; cheap, ugly, crap.
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choosing2disappear

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2010, 03:13:36 PM »
Quote
As an aside, I respect your comments about the Native American Museum on the mall, but--as a DC native--I must urge you to get inside that thing. The interior is one of the most stunning, spiritual places I've ever seen.  A true testament to how an architect can craft an interior space to both shock and awe.

IMHO, the Native American Museum is second only to the I.M. Pei addition to the National Museum of Art across the Mall in appearance.  Besides having a stunning and unique interior, the cafeteria has some of the best food in Washington.  Certainly the best on the Mall, all with a Native American theme.  Roast quail with wild rice, venison, buffalo burgers, corn pudding.  Yum!

I am very familiar with the Taylor Hardwick medical office building that was replaced by 1661.  It was a cheaply built strip mall with a wavy canopy.  The plain box interior was falling down, the flat roof leaked  and there was nothing but a parking lot outside.  It fell into the same category as the "updating" that J. Brooks Haas did to the outside of the 5 Points Theatre Building; cheap, ugly, crap.

Well, you sure know how to get my attention. I'm not sure where to start. 1661 was nothing like what you have described ( I will show you what you got wrong). It was a premiere example of the Mid century modern style of architecture. When it first opened , 1661 was a featured in a major french architectural magazine; it had an international reputation, it was cutting edge and thoughtfully designed.  It did have a lovely folded-plate roof. All buildings roofs will leak if not well maintained. Did you already know that? NPR stated recently that 1/2 of the remaiming buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright are in danger of structural failure, due mostly from neglect (that nice one used in blade runner was on this list). So the fact you heard that 1661 had some leaks ininteresting trivia, but it's silly, to equate that with the building's lack of historical significance. Upon closer inspection you would have noticed a arrangement of colorfull, Italian glazed bricks placed randomly in the exterior, for a whimsical design element. All the meters and other industrial detritus were carefully hidden from view, a fact I am reminded of each time I walk around all those bits bolted to the wall across the street, behind papa john's and FedEx. Another point your unfortunately misinformed about is cost .(I have it written down around here somewhere) It was far from cheap. In fact each office had to be custom built, as each doctor needed different space/ ceiling height requirements, so in many ways the roof provided a unifying element, as well as a design element.

It also doesn't matter from a preservation P.O.V that you think that style is ugly. That irrelevant. This isn't a fashion show, it's our historic record. If we let folks demolish older buildings just because something about it bothers you, what would we have left? The unbiased assessment of its virtue is for future generations to make.

Know the facts next time before you get involved in these public dialogues. UNF has a fine documentary on Hardwick, shot in 2002, you could begin your education there. :)

« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 03:20:29 PM by choosing2disappear »

Miss Fixit

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2010, 04:25:10 PM »
Perhaps someone could post a photograph of 1661?

choosing2disappear

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Re: Urban Core Construction Update - March 2010
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2010, 04:42:40 PM »
Perhaps someone could post a photograph of 1661?

I'll do it in a flash, if someone would tell me how to upload it.