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1 minute ago, orange87 said:

I'd be curious for people on here to look up Hartford and give their impressions of it. Check it out on Google Maps 3D view, look at it's Wikipedia page etc. I moved back to Connecticut a few months ago and I live in the metro area of Hartford, in one of the surrounding suburbs. I'd be interested to see an outsiders opinion on Hartford, and possibly how it compared to Orlando.

One of our downtown towers used to be anchored by The Hartford. Does that count?

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Went to downtown Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Tampa and Orlando this week in that order.  All have great points and all have things they can improve upon.  I can't help but wonder what if the Orlando

Hey guys! I'm in San Diego!

For anyone into bridge porn, this one's for you: LA is replacing the 6th Street Bridge / Viaduct (you know it, its the one from the drag scene in Grease) as it became structurally unsound and was

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12 minutes ago, orange87 said:

Well that's pretty interesting. I didn't know they had offices in other cities.

Most insurance companies did once upon a time. That all changed in the ‘80’s with the coming of the internet. They may not anymore. 

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5 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

Downtown was still in good shape when Mayor Bill left office. Sadly, we haven’t seen that same level of progress in his successors. Glenda concentrated on the neighborhoods and then was sidetracked with the conversion of NTC to Baldwin Park (which worked out better than anyone expected) and shot down by her own party on light rail.

Buddy just decided to take The Simpsons’ Springfield approach to downtown, “can’t someone else do it?” And so it goes.

You make a valid point, however. By 1992, Orlando was regarded as the example of how to bring back Florida’s downtowns. Today, most of the other cities have taken those lessons to heart. Their downtowns are improving while ours has slipped into mediocrity due to a lack of leadership.

One reason it hasn’t been smooth sailing is that just about every mayor in my lifetime (I was eight when Carl became mayor and he’s the first one I remember) stayed too long. 13 years for Carl, 12 for Bill, 10 for Glenda and Dear Leader Buddy seems to plan on staying for life. Every one  of them would have been considered more successful if they had passed the baton after eight years. To his credit, Mayor Bill acknowledged as much (although he thought 10 should be the max).

Not the way I remember it.

The only real retail downtown was The Exchange which was mainly a tourist trap.

The only locals who ever went there were teenagers on weekend nights and during summer vacation.

Aside from that, Woolworth, McCrory's and JC Penney might have still been in operation, but if so, their days were numbered.

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The latest on the Ybor plan for a new Rays stadium:

https://www.tampabay.com/news/real-estate/2021/09/03/how-would-a-rays-stadium-work-in-the-ybor-city-gas-worx-plan/

From The Tampa Bay Times 

Btw, it will soon be two years since Pat Williams announced the Orlando Dreamers. He should be announcing his stadium any day now, right? Along with Baseball Buddy who said he was “all in on baseball”! Of course, maybe this is another of those 18-year projects we’re so fond of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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2 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

The arches on Miami's new signature bridge are taking shape:

https://www.thenextmiami.com/spider-like-arches-of-downtown-miamis-signature-bridge-begin-their-rise/

Orlando:  you could have done this!

Sort of a cross between St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and the Southgate Center in Lakeland (think Edward Scissorhands) - very funky!

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Jax City Council approves financing package for historic Laura Street Trio Redevelopment:


https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/council-approves-laura-street-trio-redevelopment-plan

From The Jaxson

It’s been a long time coming (Cameron Kuhn even had a hand in it before he went to the Dark Side thanks to you-know-who) and is absolutely huge for Downtown Jacksonville.

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10 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

Jax City Council approves financing package for historic Laura Street Trio Redevelopment:


https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/council-approves-laura-street-trio-redevelopment-plan

From The Jaxson

It’s been a long time coming (Cameron Kuhn even had a hand in it before he went to the Dark Side thanks to you-know-who) and is absolutely huge for Downtown Jacksonville.

I hope JAX actually pulls through this time and rehabs this block once and for all.

If they don’t succeed it would be hard to imagine this not falling into further disrepair and being leveled all together like much for JAX over the last half century.

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7 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

I hope JAX actually pulls through this time and rehabs this block once and for all.

If they don’t succeed it would be hard to imagine this not falling into further disrepair and being leveled all together like much for JAX over the last half century.

Not unlike Orlando’s Historic Florida National Bank buildings - the one downtown from the ‘20’s that is well into demolition by neglect and its mid-1960’s uptown replacement (which always made me think of the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills, Jed Clampett’s bank) which was leveled to be eventually replaced by some squatty nondescript apartment buildings. We’ll see how it goes.

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42 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

Not unlike Orlando’s Historic Florida National Bank buildings - the one downtown from the ‘20’s that is well into demolition by neglect and its mid-1960’s uptown replacement (which always made me think of the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills, Jed Clampett’s bank) which was leveled to be eventually replaced by some squatty nondescript apartment buildings. We’ll see how it goes.

But this is about JAX. 
Saving that block is arguably more critical to JAX than saving some of the demolished Orlando structures over the years (and you know where I sit on the issue).

JAX has an architectural legacy disappearing so I really find this encouraging. With you there it sounds like things are moving!

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1 minute ago, prahaboheme said:

But this is about JAX. 
Saving that block is arguably more critical to JAX than saving some of the demolished Orlando structures over the years (and you know where I sit on the issue).

JAX has an architectural legacy disappearing so I really find this encouraging. With you there it sounds like things are moving!

LOL - I’m just proud to be a very small part of solid preservation organizations striving to save things. It’s something we’ve never really had in Orlando.

The fate of downtown Jax was controlled for so long by pro-development Republican governments that had little use for preservation downtown even as the grassroots outfits were saving Riverside/Avondale, Springfield and San Marco. Until a few years ago, those groups were mostly siloed in their neighborhoods but slowly realized they could no longer ignore downtown. As the city’s politics changed, they’ve been able to slow the bulldozers. It’s been invigorating. I wish Orlando had something like it. We’ll just have to wait for a mayor who values trees and history, I guess.

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Hillsborough County may go nautical again with a second ferry route. This one would carry vehicles across from Gibsonton (along I-75) to MacDill Air Force Base (at the end of Dale Mabry in South Tampa):


https://www.tampabay.com/news/hillsborough/2021/09/16/chambers-endorse-south-hillsborough-to-macdill-ferry-service/

From The Tampa Bay Times 
 
I’v e always thought we should consider ferries that might cross from Enterprise/Deltona to Sanford across Lake Monroe (perhaps a less congested approach to FL 417?) or maybe across Lake Apopka from South Apopka to Winter Garden. Of course, I just like ferries. One of my favorite things to do in Jax is to ride my bike out to catch the Mayport Ferry and then ride back to town past the zoo on Heckscher Drive.
 
An aside from the article is that MacDill is one of Hillsborough’s top five employers. That made me want to give a shout out once again to Rep. Bill McCollum for “saving” (the theme of his campaign ads just before the closure was announced) our “Navy Base” and the accompanying Nuke School…(Recruit Training moved to the existing older facility in Chicago and the Nuke School to Goose Creek, SC). Ummmmm, thanks, Bill!

 

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While the DeVos clan has been twiddling their thumbs, another billionaire, Steve Ballmer (formerly of Microsoft) has been privately funding a new complex for the LA Clippers that is the talk of the NBA:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/09/20/steve-ballmer-clippers-intuit-arena/

From The Washington Post 
 

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On 9/19/2021 at 1:22 PM, spenser1058 said:

One of my favorite things to do in Jax is to ride my bike out to catch the Mayport Ferry and then ride back to town past the zoo on Heckscher Drive.

I'll be in Jax this weekend, staying downtown for the Jazz fest.  I have plans for a tour from the fine folks at the Jessie Ball DuPont fund to see their building -- what else is worth doing in the area?  Particularly looking for good food and coffee that are walkable from the Hyatt.

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7 hours ago, smileguy said:

I'll be in Jax this weekend, staying downtown for the Jazz fest.  I have plans for a tour from the fine folks at the Jessie Ball DuPont fund to see their building -- what else is worth doing in the area?  Particularly looking for good food and coffee that are walkable from the Hyatt.

I mostly do ‘cue places in Jax (there’s so many!) like Fred Cotten’s on N Main St in New Springfield. There’s not a whole lot to do downtown other than to check out buildings we’re trying to save like the Ambassador Hotel, the old Fed and the Laura Street trio.

Not far from downtown on Riverside is the Cummer Gallery and Gardens which features a tree that’s several hundred years old (THEY SAVED THE TREE). It leads you toward Riverside/Avondale, an amazing story of a grassroots neighborhood restoration.

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A feel good story. A very bad area of Hartford called Frog Hollow got a brand new 13,000 sq ft state of the art library. That 2,000 sq ft shack that they used to have looks like something from a third world country.

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8 hours ago, smileguy said:

I'll be in Jax this weekend, staying downtown for the Jazz fest.  I have plans for a tour from the fine folks at the Jessie Ball DuPont fund to see their building -- what else is worth doing in the area?  Particularly looking for good food and coffee that are walkable from the Hyatt.

Like downtown Orlando, Jax is bereft of good food offerings.  However, wonder over to Intuition Brewing because... beer, maybe check out Nola Moka and  Bellweather for a lunch and dinner.  Riverside Arts Market is a long walk, but is a nice way to spend Saturday- https://riversideartsmarket.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwwNWKBhDAARIsAJ8HkhdM5HtGZBTviIYJknop5I2FDvH62-r02s_8wptFvS0jXMK2ugKss5EaAo7xEALw_wcB

Have a nice weekend.

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The latest on the Rays in Ybor - looks like the state will contribute via infrastructure around any possible stadium.

The team still seems to be pushing the split with Montreal but I have a hard time seeing either city buying into that. I guess we’ll find out if I’m wrong…


Rays pitch state help for Ybor City stadium plan
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/os-sp-tampa-bay-rays-ybor-city-stadium-20211008-5zv5n3twpzdafm4coq34imjooi-story.html

From The Sentinel 

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Joy Wallace Dickinson at The Sentinel heads to Ybor City and its Museum, which is part of the Florida State Parks system.

She also talks about how half of Ybor was destroyed by “urban renewal” and the folks who fought back to preserve it in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/os-fe-joy-wallace-dickinson-1010-20211010-5ogpv3jdxzadvowvq4ufmdf4mm-story.html
 

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