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newzgrrl

Brief re-introduction

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Hi there! This is a brief re-introduction because I haven't posted in a while but do receive the daily update digest. I hope this is okay to post; if not, please delete.

I moved to Springfield in the end of January and love it. I can bike to work (Henrietta's) and Downtown. Usually I bike out to San Marco and sometimes Riverside. Currently my bike is my only transportation (my car was vandalized last weekend while parked in Brooklyn; it's still in the shop) and I don't mind until I need to leave the Downtown area. Or when it's raining.

I'd like to see more restoration of the historic buildings, particularly the Klutho-designed buildings. But for now I just want a pharmacy closer than Park and King or San Marco.

Aside from serving up sweet potato fries and lattes, I'm a photographer, writer and editor.

Hope to see ya around Springfield, or at least the forum.

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The reason I ask is I was wondering how the rental market is in SPringfield. Is it easy to find decent, non-week-to-week tenants, for example? I love the area, but live in Riverside currently. I would like to buy a multi-family and rehab it in Springfield though. What do you think?

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Hi there! This is a brief re-introduction because I haven't posted in a while but do receive the daily update digest. I hope this is okay to post; if not, please delete.

I moved to Springfield in the end of January and love it. I can bike to work (Henrietta's) and Downtown. Usually I bike out to San Marco and sometimes Riverside. Currently my bike is my only transportation (my car was vandalized last weekend while parked in Brooklyn; it's still in the shop) and I don't mind until I need to leave the Downtown area. Or when it's raining.

I'd like to see more restoration of the historic buildings, particularly the Klutho-designed buildings. But for now I just want a pharmacy closer than Park and King or San Marco.

Aside from serving up sweet potato fries and lattes, I'm a photographer, writer and editor.

Hope to see ya around Springfield, or at least the forum.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Glad to see you came back, Newzgrrl. Walgreens has been interested in building a store in Springfield, but I don't know what's their time schedule. With 8th & Pearl now under construction and the streetscapes to Main & 8th scheduled to get underway soon, this should be a good year for new commercial projects coming online in Springfield.

As far as the Klutho Buildings go, I'd really like to see the Laura Trio get going. It think that's probably the most important block in downtown. In Springfield, I'd Klutho's Florence Court Apartments redone. Its a beautiful building, that if renovated, would energize the main intersection in Springfield.

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I guess Newsgrrl doesnt want to answer my question. :(

As to the Florence Court Apartments, I have liked that building since I was a kid. I believe I saw an old photo recently of the building and it was called the Springfield Hotel or something like that, so it may have been a hotel at some point. That would be an interesting use too. It appears to be pretty vacant right now. There are so many great buildings in Springfield that still need work.

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The reason I ask is I was wondering how the rental market is in SPringfield.  Is it easy to find decent, non-week-to-week tenants, for example?  I love the area, but live in Riverside currently.  I would like to buy a multi-family and rehab it in Springfield though.  What do you think?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh I don't mind answering your question! I went to sleep and just got back online.

I rent an apartment in a quadraplex. The patio/porch design (red brick with a cutout - Spanish? Moorish? - looks like a giant mushroom, imo) is distinct and I haven't seen anything like it elsewhere in Springfield.

My upstairs neighbor moved in a few months before me and the downstairs family has lived there for about a year. The other downstairs family is newer than me and really keep to themselves.

You'd probably be better speaking with my landlord about good tenants, but he's the main reason I moved in. He's a nice guy who cares about his building and tenants so I think that helps him keep turnover low.

I think you have a great idea but I'm still getting acquainted with most of the area so it's tough for me to recommend any place. I've driven or biked past many beautiful homes with potential.

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i think the real question is ... what in the world did you park your car in brooklyn for?? ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The short story - I had a flat and needed a second tire so I had the car towed to Tires Plus. It was a Sunday because I knew I didn't have enough time to do it Monday before work. Bad judgement call.

Being carless has only been a problem today since it's raining and I have places to go that are all quite distant (Park and King, then to San Marco). And this morning I remembered that my umbrella is in my car. Doh!

Time to get a bus schedule!

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I guess Newsgrrl doesnt want to answer my question.  :(

As to the Florence Court Apartments, I have liked that building since I was a kid.  I believe I saw an old photo recently of the building and it was called the Springfield Hotel or something like that, so it may have been a hotel at some point.  That would be an interesting use too.  It appears to be pretty vacant right now.  There are so many great buildings in Springfield that still need work.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Last week I was reading the Klutho architecture book and it says Florence Court has always been an apartment complex. The building really hasn't changed much since 1910, but the Main & 8th intersection has!

There are a few people living there - sometimes I hear a radio on from a balcony as I pedal by - but it sure seems empty.

I don't know what it's like inside but from the outside, it looks like it only needs a cleaning. The fountain is still in the courtyard and the capital designs (I hope that's right) are intact at the top of the building.

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Is that the gray building near the newly restored Klutho building? I remember seeing some fading old building that had two rather large concrete walls facing Main Street. I envisioned tearing out some doors and windows on the first floor and putting retail on Main.

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Is that the gray building near the newly restored Klutho building?  I remember seeing some fading old building that had two rather large concrete walls facing Main Street.  I envisioned tearing out some doors and windows on the first floor and putting retail on Main.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup, that's probably it. I never liked how it had those blank walls facing the street.

But as newzgrrl pointed out, the building is actually more-or-less how it was 90 years ago. The historic district regulations would prevent anyone converting it into retail use, or altering the preserved fascade.

Sadly, just because it's historic doesn't make it ideal design ;). Just wait until we get our first 1950's historic districts! Government-protected bad design, galore!!

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Yup, that's probably it. I never liked how it had those blank walls facing the street.

But as newzgrrl pointed out, the building is actually more-or-less how it was 90 years ago. The historic district regulations would prevent anyone converting it into retail use, or altering the preserved fascade.

Sadly, just because it's historic doesn't make it ideal design ;). Just wait until we get our first 1950's historic districts! Government-protected bad design, galore!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, just because a structure is in a historic district does not put an iron-clad guarantee that it will never be altered or even demolished. Even being on the National Register of Historic Places does not bring such protection. It merely makes it more difficult to do so. It also makes it more lucrative (and therefore financially feasible) to preserve a building because it is eligible for certain tax credits.

Also, if the design is not significantly altered, the USE of the property is not an issue in terms of historic preservation. Controversy surrounding the USE of the property is 90% of the time based on commercial encroachment on a residential area, parking concerns, late hours of operation, etc. Changing the zoning of a parcel can be just as controversial for new construction in the suburbs as in a historic district.

REGARDLESS, putting retail in the ground floor of this building actually would be RESTORING it to it's original purpose/design. See the next post.....

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The information below is from Page 210 of "Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage" published by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission. There are two pictures and a drawing on this page. There is another picture on pg. 176.

Florence Court Apartments

1751 N. Main St.

Circa: 1911

Architect : H.J. Klutho

Builder: Frank M. Richardson

Frank M. Richardson was a well respected contractor working with KLutho on several Prairie-style projects, including Morocco Temple and the Florida Life building, when he contructed this building for himself in 1911. He named it for his wife, Florence. It was built with shops on the ground floor and eight apartments on the upper two stories, each of which had its own recessed balcony and overlooked a central courtyard. Originally the storefronts had suspended metal and glass canopies over the sidewalk in front. In 1929 these canopies were removed, as were the tile pent roofs above the upper balconies facing Main Street. At this time the courtyard was enclosed. A few years later Florence Court was converted into a hotel, but the building continued to decline and was partially vacant in recent years. In 1984 the building was remodeled into apartments again. Crowned by Klutho's Prairie-style cross motifs atop two towering stucco piers, the courtyard was reopened and has once again become the focal point of the facade. This long-awaited restoration of the courtyard was devalued by the awkward enclosing of the storefront openings. The "remuddling" was made even more unsympathetic by covering the exterior with modern textured stucco and by packing thirty-six apartment units into this single building.

This is also several pages and pictures of this building in "The Architecture of Henry John Klutho, The Prairie School in Jacksonville" by Robert C. Broward. There is also the original floor plans to this building. The first floor shows two store fronts on each Main and 8th St. as well as a corner unit. An 1911 advertisement for the apartments is given also. Rents ranged from $420-$540 per year.

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