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Retirement facility set for historic Annie Lytle School site


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A St. Augustine developer intends to demolish the historic Annie Lytle School Building to erect a $14 million, 140,000sf/140 unit retirement facility in its place. However, the Historic Preservation Commission voted not to allow demolition of the historic school, which the developer plans to appeal to the city council.

Build in 1918, Neoclassical building was designed by architect Rutledge Holmes and was originally planned for lofts, but that deal fell through when it was discovered that an I-95 ramp would cut directly in front of the building.


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If this is the building I think it is (old school at I10 and I95), I do have a fairly simply quesiton...

With the way they are building the new merger, what can feisibly be done on this site. Dont get me wrong, I think it is a beautiful buiding, and would love to see some practicle use for it. Sadly, i think considering the simply logistics of the site now, I dont think this is possible. If anyone wants to use this site, it may all but have to be torn down and something more friendly to the logistical layout of the property be used. I think this might be a case where we dont have a chose. If they can move it, (doubtfull) im all for it, but i do think if we are ever going to ahve any sort of developemtn on that site, the building will need to be removed.

Again, I would HATE to see that happen, I just dont see any other way at this point...

I do say this...


what would you do with the site if they ahd to keep the building entact on its current location.

I dont see anyone wanting to live that close to the HYW, and I dont know of any other tennate that would either

Anyway What are your thouts or valid uses for this site.


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This is a terrible idea. The Lytle School should be saved at any cost. This out of town woman should simply not be allowed to come in and tear it down. It is a beautiful structure which, because of the geniuses at the DOT, is in a bad location next to the Interstate. However, it still would be viable as office condos, I think. People love to have their offices in Riverside and this area and I think it would go over well. And, I have been in the bldg and it is in bad shape in some places, but it is far from being neyond salvaging. That is a lie. So, it must be saved, the City Council should tell this woman to take a hike and maybe we should call in Kuhn to do the office condo conversion.

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  • 2 months later...

Hmm... Retirement Facility... now lets see. It didnt fly TWICE as a condo development, so now lets tear it down and put a retirement facility there. Somehow to me, that doesnt fit. I really cannot envision retirement-age people (absolutely no insult or disrespect intended to the elderly) liking a similar view of the expressway in their living room any more than Folks would want to pay for a luxury condominium with a breathtaking (from all the fumes and noise) view of the traffic round the clock.

I definitely belive and always will, that the Annie Lytle School should remain right where it is. It was there long before the expressway , It is incredibly beautiful , even in its present state,, tho some folks consider it an eyesore,but hey opinions are like eyeballs in that most of us have one, and no two are exactly the same and savable? Definitely !!!! I recently was allowed, escorted by an employee ,into the building to video and photo the majority of the interior and exterior. The damage( from vandals and Vagrants and little to no upkeep) to the inside is sad, and extensive. Most of it from Vandalism and lack of upkeep, but it is FAR FAR from needing a wrecking ball,and being turned in to a retirement facility. Something that another member mentioned, makes alot of sense, and that is to convert it into a Community Center. It certainly has the square footage ( 40,000 sq ft Auditorium and School Combined). But it is in really bad shape, horribly neglected in care, would need all new Roofing Throughout, particularly the Auditiorium, all new wiring , plumbing, fixtures, heating and air, basically an overhaul. The Structure is made mostly of Brick, Concrete, and Steel. As most people know the roof of that area, which in my opinion was one of the most beautiful areas inside, is on the ground.

We will soon know its fate. on 7 Feb 2006, the City Council will decide and deliver its decision on whether it stays or goes. If anyone is interested in speaking up about this School Building , Id suggest you do so either by appearing in person to this Council Meeting, which commences at 4:15 pm and speak up OR go to the city of Jacksonville website...www.coj.net.. search for pending legislation and bills the bill # for this proposed demolition is 2006-0024 you also can comment and cast a vote in favor of (demolition) or against this legislation

I know everyone has different viewpoints on the School and whether it should stay or go. I have talked at great length to the trustee of the property, who indicated that they have tried for over 20 years to save it. They say they are always open to suggestions, so lets see about that.

I think it is now in the hands of the City Council and the good people of Jacksonville. Keep this in mind.. IF some non-profit organization or group of them would be interested in not only saving , but purchasing, there are grants /assistance availiable to these types of organizations, unlike a for profit business, which bears most of if not all the cost of restoration. Which is why to me , the community center idea is a good one. Or possibly a non-profit affordable loft apartment building. There are certainly ways, even with the expressway as close as it is , to obscure the view there, and plenty that could be done to quiet the noise , improve the West view and so forth. I only regret that i dont have the money . because this Demolition proposal would NEVER happen if i had my way. This School deserves a facelift, and loving caring people to own/occupy it. not some corporation wanting a Retirement Facility. That just seems proposterous to want to stick the elderly , whether in that building or a completely new one, on that site. but that is again just an opinion, and we all have one.

Let me know your thoughts on this Incredibly Beautiful School and Ideas /suggestions as to how to save it. apparently the right group of minds have not come together. I sincerely belive where there is a will , there is a way, and this Example is no exception. Tearing this School down should never be even a remote consideration. no way no how. :thumbsup:

Peace ! Tim

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