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Old Posted Apr 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Jacksonville: The City Florida Forgot

I've been a member of SSP for a decade but I rarely post images. However, I've taken a ton over the years from cities all across the country.

Since I've noticed quite a few Florida threads over the last few weeks, I decided to share a compilation of images I've taken over the last two years. However, all of these images are of various neighborhoods within the original 30.2 square mile pre-consolidated City of Jacksonville.

In 1950, this area had 204,517. As of 2010, the population had declined to 104,047. To get started, here is a map of the area covered. Green illustrates the limits of Jacksonville before the 1968 merger with Duval County.




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Yes, there are hidden underground tunnels in Florida. Some of the abandoned ones are just a little flooded.

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Metro Jacksonville

Last edited by Lakelander; Apr 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 12:09 AM
Shawn Shawn is offline
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Thanks for sharing these, Lakelander! I think your thread title is perfect, as Jacksonville doesn't seem typical of the rest of Florida and especially from your photo selection has a palpable Georgia/South Carolina feel. I'm sure that's not even right, but to my Northeastern eyes it seems that way.

I love the shots of all the people fishing. Any river or coastal city where you have lots of people from all backgrounds and walks of life enjoying some fishing is OK by me.

Also that interior cathedral shot is fantastic - I am assuming that's a Catholic church? Looks really beautiful.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Thanks for sharing these, Lakelander! I think your thread title is perfect, as Jacksonville doesn't seem typical of the rest of Florida and especially from your photo selection has a palpable Georgia/South Carolina feel. I'm sure that's not even right, but to my Northeastern eyes it seems that way.

I love the shots of all the people fishing. Any river or coastal city where you have lots of people from all backgrounds and walks of life enjoying some fishing is OK by me.

Also that interior cathedral shot is fantastic - I am assuming that's a Catholic church? Looks really beautiful.
Visually from my up-close personal experiences, Orlando and Tallahassee (especially) are more atypical to what one may expect of Florida than Jacksonville. I think of water, the ocean, beaches, flatness, palm trees, etc. and Jacksonville has a degree of that. To me, it differs from a lot of Florida more so because it doesn't seem so tourism driven.

Last edited by L41A; Apr 12, 2013 at 2:49 AM.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:38 AM
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Thanks Lakelander for posting. I enjoyed the pics and brief history. I am somewhat familiar with Jax because of family and friend connections. But between you and Simms, I've learned a lot of history of Jacksonville on this forum.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 2:19 AM
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Easily my favorite Jacksonville tour since JFD was on here. Thanks!
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 2:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Thanks for sharing these, Lakelander! I think your thread title is perfect, as Jacksonville doesn't seem typical of the rest of Florida and especially from your photo selection has a palpable Georgia/South Carolina feel. I'm sure that's not even right, but to my Northeastern eyes it seems that way.
No Shawn, actually you are spot-on. I have several friends from other parts of Florida that jokingly refer to Jacksonville as "the second biggest city in Georgia."

I like Jacksonville. It has great bones, beautiful old neighborhoods and was Florida's original "big city."

Thanks so much for the great pics, Lakelander.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 3:18 AM
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Tis true. It's not peninsular, it's not the panhandle, it's just kind of stuck up there. Jacksonville is kind of like the older brother who moved away and doesn't come home that often. They do their own thing.

But I've learned a lot from Lakelander over the years. It's got good bones (what bones are left). Looking forward to more threads.
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Last edited by brickell; Apr 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 4:18 AM
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Nice thread. Jacksonville is also somewhat reminiscent of some of the Midwest. Its' architecture is not unlike Kansas City or St Paul, or the sort of stuff you would see in small towns in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa. Products of the same era I guess.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Thanks for sharing these, Lakelander! I think your thread title is perfect, as Jacksonville doesn't seem typical of the rest of Florida and especially from your photo selection has a palpable Georgia/South Carolina feel. I'm sure that's not even right, but to my Northeastern eyes it seems that way.
Economically, it has more in common with coastal port cities such as Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah. All are seaports, are/were home to major military bases, shipbuilding centers, etc. Jax and Norfolk are also railroad hubs for CSX and NS. In the case of Jax, just about anything being shipped to and from Florida by rail has to come through here. Charleston and Savannah, just happened to end up losing the early 20th century economic battle, which in turn, became a plus in the 1990s because of what was not torn down.

Quote:
Also that interior cathedral shot is fantastic - I am assuming that's a Catholic church? Looks really beautiful.
Yes, that's the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickell View Post
Tis true. It's not peninsular, it's not the panhandle, it's just kind of stuck up there. Jacksonville is kind of like the older brother who moved away and doesn't home that often. They do their own thing.
This is true as well. We have a weird history that features a blend of a several cultural influences. We even have our own unique dishes, such as the camel rider and steak-in-a-sack. You can find these in most of our local delis.

The camel rider:


The steak-in-a-sack:


Quote:
THERE are subs. There are heroes. There are hoagies, po’ boys and grinders. And in this port city, which has the country’s 10th largest Arab population, there are camel riders.

Elsewhere, the term might be pejorative. But in Jacksonville, these sandwiches, also known as desert riders, are a totemic food. Often stacked with lunch meats, smeared with Italian dressing and tucked into pita bread, they are eaten with a side of tabbouleh and accompanied by a cherry limeade.

Sandwich shop owners elsewhere, including Columbus, Ga., and Birmingham, Ala., also employ the name. But only in Jacksonville are they ubiquitous.
Quote:
Middle East immigrants began to arrive in northeastern Florida in the 1890s and early 1900s, from countries like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and what was then Palestine. Many came from the rural Mount Lebanon region between Beirut, Lebanon, and Tripoli, Lebanon. Most were Catholic or Christian Orthodox.

The first to arrive worked as fruit peddlers. Within a generation, those same immigrants opened corner stores, often in working-class neighborhoods where Jim Crow laws restricted opportunities for African-Americans and dark-skinned Arabs. In the backs of those stores, they made sandwiches with meats and cheeses that they pulled from the shelves. As chains displaced mom and pop groceries, they transformed their corner stores into sandwich shops that were, in many communities, Arabic analogues to Jewish delis.
full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/di...tous.html?_r=0
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
Nice thread. Jacksonville is also somewhat reminiscent of some of the Midwest. Its' architecture is not unlike Kansas City or St Paul, or the sort of stuff you would see in small towns in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa. Products of the same era I guess.
Architecturally, the pre-Florida land boom (1920s) are different in Jax, then compared to most of the south. In 1901, most of the city was destroyed in what many believe was the third largest urban fire in the county behind Chicago (1871) and San Francisco (1906). Many northeastern and midwestern architects moved here to profit from the rebuilding effort. The most popular architect of that era was HJ Klutho, who took a liking to Louis Sullivan's work and happened to be a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright. He moved here from NYC after reading the city was destroyed by fire. Thus, we ended up with an abundance of Chicago School and Prairie Style buildings. Today, we rumored to have the highest concentration of Prairie Style architecture outside of the Midwest. I'm not sure if that's true but it appears to be the case, at least in the south.

Here's some examples:











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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:30 PM
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I lived there when I was a bit too young to remember, and haven't been back since. Next time I go to Florida, I'll definitely swing by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakelander

This shot looks more like it's in Los Angeles than Jacksonville, with the palm trees and an art deco-like design complete with what seems to be some sort of Spanish detailing.
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:31 PM
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Awesome photo thread, thanks Lake!
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:51 PM
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That's fascinating about the midwestern and northeastern influence. There's some unexpectedly high quality structures down there.


http://photos.metrojacksonville.com

This is totally strange. Apartment buildings straight out of Kansas City with a palm tree in front.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 2:25 PM
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Very nice shots, Lakelander! Thanks for sharing.

Jacksonville looks really nice. Nice buildings and houses. I´d love to visit.

Congrats and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 3:07 PM
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Love the character and also like that it's not just touristy FL, but a city in a variety of ways.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 3:11 PM
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between this thread and the birmingham thread we are on a "lost cities of the south" roll.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 3:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakelander View Post
90.
BTW this massive house on ~2 acres, riverfront, would probably sell for $5-6M, which is the high water mark for real estate in the city. The same house would probably go for $8-$12M if it were oceanfront at the beach there (Ponte Vedra Beach), so you can live like you would in Palm Beach or Southampton or Belvedere Island for 1/10 the price! For that reason there are actually far more "million dollar houses" in Jacksonville than most cities in the 1-2 million person range. I think ultimately that's what's alluring about the market for certain corporate relo prospects (but the demographics and skilled laborforce for the under 35 set are pretty dismal, which requires cheap housing for them, too). Arguably the biggest thing going for Jacksonville is cheap housing; without it there is little to nothing to set it apart from larger Orlando and Tampa. As of right now all three metros are in the $130s for median home price, well below the likes of Nashville, Charlotte, Miami and other competing cities. SF metro is approaching $600K for median home price (including Oakland). NYC and DC are in the $300s across their metros.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 3:52 PM
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Lakelander, thanks for representing Jacksonville as it should be! I'd love to see what you can do for St. Augustine -- I know you would showcase the lesser seen sides of that city as well.

Is JAX doing anything to restore the Confederate Park and canal? I feel like there is huge potential there to recapture some former glory, and it attract some decent private investment along the canal.
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Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 5:00 PM
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Great tour! I really liked the older commercial buildings and apartments. I was intrigued by the buildings in Photo 29. The tall building on the left appears to be empty. Is it undergoing a renovation? Is there much adaptive reuse to apts happening?
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