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Downtown Historic District

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:09 am
by JaxUnicorn
Yesterday I attended a DIA Historic Workshop. The City is attempting to designate downtown as a National Historic District. Susan Grandin, the COJ attorney who is assigned to HPC, read the City's definition of historic. I'm waiting for a copy of the presentation but from what I gathered, the boundaries would be from Riverside (at Fuller Warren bridge), some of Brooklyn, downtown from State to the river, part of Talleyrand, part of LaVilla, and part of the Southbank. A National designation would not afford any Code Enforcement protections like a local designation would, but I think this is a start.

Flag Design Studio has been contracted to do a photo/site survey of the area and prepare the application. The following number of structures were provided as 'contributing' during the meeting:
  • Southbank - 35
    LaVilla - 21
    Brooklyn - 103
    Tallyrand - 37
    Downtown - 226
In addition, the DIA board was very interested in Mothballing. I happened to have the photo I made showing the before/after of 1325 Laura on my phone and shared that with them. The only concern was with boarding the downtown buildings.

Also discussed was the Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund. This was implemented in 2002 and currently has 5.7 million dollars available. One of the board members even suggested potentially using the trust fund to mothball, placing a lien on the property to ensure the trust was repaid. All VERY positive!!

During public comment, I made sure to point out that mothballing was way less expensive than demolition - the cost of mothballing 1325 Laura was under $10k, versus way more for demolition. Suggested that the DIA encourage Code Enforcement to mothball instead of demolish. I then asked if the earlier mothballing concern was due to the size of the windows and suggested if that was the case, go ahead and board, and contract with local artists to paint them, similar to the Jaguars on the Bostwick Building windows (they seemed to like the idea). I also said Downtown can always use more art (sorta a jab on the recent Clay Yarborough incident)!

After the meeting, I asked Susan for a copy of the definition and she provided that in email (copied below). I can't remember if it was Susan or Lisa Sheppherd who also said if the DIA advocates mothballing instead of demolition for the downtown area, that would certainly be used to do the same for areas outside of downtown. All in all, I believe it was a very positive meeting!

From: Shaw, Cherry
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 12:42 PM
To: Grandin, Susan
Subject: Historic Definition

Hi Susan: Here is the definition:

Historic Structure shall mean any structure, fifty years old or older, and that is designated a City of Jacksonville landmark; a contributing property in a City of Jacksonville historic district; listed on the United States Department of Interior, National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places or a contributing structure in a National Register district; or has been determined as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as contributing to a potential district based on the Florida Master Site File or with respect to any other structure over fifty years old as determined by the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department to be eligible for such listing.

Cherry A. Shaw
Assistant General Counsel
Office of General Counsel
117 W. Duval Street, Ste. 480
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Ph: 904-630-1722
Fax: 904-630-1731

Re: Downtown Historic District

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:33 am
by jmarkusic

Re: Downtown Historic District

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:22 am
by JaxUnicorn
I cannot a attach the PowerPoint presentation that was given at the meeting because it is over 2MB and the site won't allow it. Johannes, how can I upload to our "cloud"? Or if someone wants to see it, let me know and I'll email it. It is just under 4 MB.

Re: Downtown Historic District

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:20 pm
by Gloria
Great work Kim. Thanks so much for going.

Re: Downtown Historic District

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:59 pm
by iloveionia
I loved everything you said! When is the next meeting?

Re: Downtown Historic District

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:39 am
by JaxUnicorn
They did not state when they will hold another meeting, but Gloria is who received notice of the meeting so I'm sure she'll let us know. :)