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william

What you might not know about Jacksonian/Rochfords

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Friends,

The owners of the beautiful Jacksonian (may she forever be remembered) were a group of Rochford relatives (not including John Rochford, the local developer). If I recall the story, there were at least three sibling groups, one of which is in Nashville and includes Trey and Dianne (I've met both and feel they are good, decent people). The other members of the ownership group lived in (again, if I recall correctly) South Carolina and/or Georgia. Those Rochfords did not care about the Jack. But Trey and Dianne say they did, as did their father, John Rochford. I believe Trey and Dianne did their best in what was a difficult situation. Their relatives, living far removed from the emotion at that time, simply wanted to sell and make their money. Trey and I have spoken various times regarding this matter and he does seem to feel geniunely badly about the old gem being demolished. Now I could be wrong. It's possible Trey and Dianne are greedy and don't care about Nashville. But it seems they were in a tough position with their relatives pressuring them to sell.

Regardless, the fall of the Jack is one of the single most disturbing happenings related to the history of this city's built environment. The building was a priceless jewel. I have never set foot in that Walgreens and have no plans too. In fact, I have rarely shopped at any Walgreens since. Walgreens is a good company in that it provides people jobs but they show minimal respect for the built fabric of cities and towns. Ditto for McDonalds, Wendy's, etc. Those places are eyesores.

William

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A long-time restaurant on the Northshore of Chattanooga's downtown dating back to the 1940s was demolished for (you guessed it) a new Walgreens. As I recall from renderings, the damn thing does not blend in at all with the neighborhood of new lofts and condos over retail. It's a shame.

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A long-time restaurant on the Northshore of Chattanooga's downtown dating back to the 1940s was demolished for (you guessed it) a new Walgreens. As I recall from renderings, the damn thing does not blend in at all with the neighborhood of new lofts and condos over retail. It's a shame.

Walgreens is notorious for destroying things of beauty with a vigor that almost resembles maniacal religious zeal--as is Home Depot. I do not shop at either one of these places.

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Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man... er person. Just bought about $200 worth of supplies there yesterday.

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Friends,

The owners of the beautiful Jacksonian (may she forever be remembered) were a group of Rochford relatives (not including John Rochford, the local developer). If I recall the story, there were at least three sibling groups, one of which is in Nashville and includes Trey and Dianne (I've met both and feel they are good, decent people). The other members of the ownership group lived in (again, if I recall correctly) South Carolina and/or Georgia. Those Rochfords did not care about the Jack. But Trey and Dianne say they did, as did their father, John Rochford. I believe Trey and Dianne did their best in what was a difficult situation. Their relatives, living far removed from the emotion at that time, simply wanted to sell and make their money. Trey and I have spoken various times regarding this matter and he does seem to feel geniunely badly about the old gem being demolished. Now I could be wrong. It's possible Trey and Dianne are greedy and don't care about Nashville. But it seems they were in a tough position with their relatives pressuring them to sell.

Regardless, the fall of the Jack is one of the single most disturbing happenings related to the history of this city's built environment. The building was a priceless jewel. I have never set foot in that Walgreens and have no plans too. In fact, I have rarely shopped at any Walgreens since. Walgreens is a good company in that it provides people jobs but they show minimal respect for the built fabric of cities and towns. Ditto for McDonalds, Wendy's, etc. Those places are eyesores.

William

I agree wholeheartedly re Walgreens--it's a national offender that has been specifically singled out by the National Trust as being aggressive about destroying historic urban structures.

However, I don't let the local Rochfords off quite so easily. Trey is the son of the developer John, and while developer John didn't technically own an interest (apparently) he was very active in the family's decision to sell out to Walgreeens. No serious effort was made by the Rochfords to develop this property because they didn't believe (erroneously, of course) that it was suitable for upscale residential development (!) and Walgreen's was offering them what seemed at the time to be a good price.

I don't believe that they are bad people, or that they don't care about Nashville, but they made a very poor decision that has been bad for the city in a very prominent location. Is it fair to single them out? Maybe not, because many other Nashville families have made equally stupid decisions to destroy beautiful buildings. But ever time I drive by that corner (which is just about every day) I feel regret at what happened to the Jacksonian.

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