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Old Brewster Hospital


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I like the idea of turning this building into a welcome center for downtown. Hopefully more development will surround this building. LaVilla really needs help. BTW, I was driving through LaVilla one day, and I noticed an old elementary school. Is it being used right now? It would be neat if someone could remodel it like the old school in San Marco.

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Does anyone know anything about a proposed park called "The LaVilla Experience"? Its the block surrounded by Ashley, Jefferson, Church & Broad Streets.

The site currently includes the old Genovar's Hall, three shotgun houses and the land for the proposed James Weldon Johnson Park. Its been mentioned several times that the Brewster Hospital would also probably be moved here.

A old Times-Union article stated Genovar's Hall would be renovated into a jazz restaurant and upper level office space. The Shotgun houses would be possibly renovated into a "Ray Charles" museum and the Brewster would become a welcome center or medical museum.

I've noticed that the old architecturally significant Masonic Lodge building, a block away on Broad, is now being renovated.

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Old hospital on table for resuscitation



The Times-Union

The Jacksonville City Council could tonight finalize the second and final piece of a deal to move Florida's first hospital and nursing school for blacks a half block down Monroe Street.

The council is expected to vote on spending $800,000 to renovate the old Brewster Hospital, now a crumbling, oft-vandalized brick and wooden structure in LaVilla.

In July, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission gave the city permission to move the two-story building a half block down Monroe under the condition the city fix the historic building.

If the renovations are approved tonight, the city will take bids in October to move the building to the corner of Monroe and Davis streets. The relocation is expected to cost an additional $200,000.

The former hospital must move because architect Ted Pappas has an option on the property and plans to put an office complex there. The Historic Preservation Commission would not allow the move, however, unless the city promised to make some repairs.

There's no specific plan for the renovations, but proposed work includes replacing the windows, putting in new electric and plumbing systems and adding an elevator and restrooms to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The city plans to make the building presentable and market it to potential buyers, said Al Battle, director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, who has been working with Brewster's nurses alumni association to preserve the now city-owned building, hopes the building can be used as a visitors center or for other public purposes.

The spending was approved in two council committees last week but not all council members are on board. Michael Corrigan and Daniel Davis both voted against the proposal, saying there aren't enough details in the current plan and there's nothing to assure them the city won't end up spending more on the project.

"I have a hard time believing the costs will be where they estimate it, and, once you're into it, we're pretty much into it for the whole deal," Davis said.

Johnson says the city has a responsibility to maintain the historic structure, which survived the Great Fire of 1901 and is part of a city tour of black historical sites and the Black Heritage Trail of Florida.

"The city did not do right by this building," Johnson said.

The city had originally planned to move the building six blocks to Ashley Street, but the nurses alumni association and others pleaded with city, saying the building may not survive the move.

matt.galnorjacksonville.com, (904) 359-4550

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._16636687.shtml.

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It would be nice to see this building renovated. It is an eyesore now, but would certainly clean up well. Does anyone know anything about the office complex that will go up in the space left vacant?
The new office complex will be phase II of the 2 story complex just to the north. That developer is also planning a phase III on the block, just north of his existing development.

Speaking of old hospitals. The old St. Lukes hospital over by the new arena was going to be donated to the Jax Historical Society and a new 60 unit condo development would be built next to it. That was been a cold story since it first broke though.

I forgot all about that St. Lukes news breif. I think Captain Obvious knows a little about it.

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