Project schedule
 Title Page

Jacksonville Station Center : a development proposal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101451/00001
 Material Information
Title: Jacksonville Station Center : a development proposal
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Ferro, David E.
Publisher: David E. Ferro
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Copyright Date: 1977
Spatial Coverage:
Coordinates: 30.327851 x -81.672247
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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System ID: UF00101451:00001


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Table of Contents
    Project schedule
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Full Text
AE 629




Week 1 (10-14 January): Preliminary Project Feasibility Study

Weeks 2-3 (17-28 January): Site Study

a. Existing character of surrounding area

b. Circulation study

c. Proposed future development in the area

d. Ownership of the site

e. Zoning of site

f. Physical characteristics of site

g. Existing structures on site: survey and evaluation

Weeks 4-5 (31 January-ll February): Feasibility Study and development Po-
tential Analysis

a. Study of market demand as determined by:

.i. Compatibility with adjacent Jacksonville Station
Complex redevelopment

ii. Analysis by the Jacksonville Downtown Development

iii. Recent area development potential studies

iv. Compatibility with other proposed ~area development

b. Development potential analysis

c. Recommendation of primary development concept

Weeks 6-7 (14-25 February): Program Development

a. Determination of activity mix

b. Functional relationship studies

c. Development of physical requirements: spatial, equip-
ment, etc.

Week 8 (28 February 4 March) : Building and Zoning Code Review

Week 9 (7-11 March) : Assemble Program Development Study

A Development Proposal



David E. Ferro

A Terminal Project Presented in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements Leading to
a Masters of Arts in Architecture Degree

Historic Preservation Option

University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

May 1977


I wish to express my appreciation to William Howard,

developer of the Jacksonville Terminal Complex; Don Ingram,

director of the Jacksonville Downtown Development Authority,

and Dr. Wayne Wood, chairman of the Jacksonville Historical

Commission for their interest, cooperation and assistance

in this study.

Others whose assistance was instrumental to'the success of

this project are:

G. E. Bagwell, Jacksonville Zoning Board

Barbara Jo Cekosh '

Marvin Hill, K.B.J. Urban Space Design

Gene Pandula

Owen Pride, SCL Public Relations- and Advertising


Ruby Roberts, Jacksonville Area Planning Board

...and finally, for their continued guidance and encourage-

ment, I would like to thank the members of my committee:

Professor Carl Feiss, chairman; Professor F. Blair Reeves,

and Professor William Wagner.


May 1977


The objective of this study is three-fold: (a) the investi-

gation of development potential, (lb) the formulation of a

definitive development program, and (c) the proposal of a

design to compliment and reinforce the currently proposed

redevelopment of three architecturally significant struc-

tures on West Bay Street in Jacksonville, Florida.

The design generated by this study, Jacksonville Station

Center (JSC) will be proposed for development on a 7.6 acre

site in the blighted area to the west of Jacksonville's

central business district (CBD) to the north iof the city's

1919 Union Terminal, 1897 Union Station and 1932 West Bay

Street Annex Post Office. Redevelopment of the two railroad

structures, the principal elements of the Jacksonville

Terminal Complex (JTC), as a railroad car -hotel-shopping

and-restaurant compiled, is currently being planned by .a

development organization based in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Although all three structures have stood vacant for s-everal

years, they represent not only a great cultural legacy as

physical link with Jacksonville's past', but also an -enor-

mous capital investment and potentially rewarding redevelop-

ment undertaking which may well serve as a catalyst for the

full-scale redevelopment of the surrounding blighted


The post office annex is currently in danger of being de-

molished in the wake of the Jacksonville Transportation

Authority's (JTA) development of its proposed $4,000,000

Major Transit Operations Center. A major concern of this

study will be the demonstration of the structure's value,

not only to the successful redevelopment of the area sur-

rounding the JTC but also the the JTA. The Post Office

structure is a dignified, stable and quite adaptible

structure which could economically house the JTA's proposed

Operations and Administration Center. For the purposes of

this study it has been assumed that the JTA will redevelop

the structure as office space.

In summary, this study has resulted in the ,proposal of a

small-scale convention hotel/commercial/office center in-

tegrated with the Jacksonville Terminal Complex-in a cohesive

and vigorous whole, Jacksonville Station Center (JSC),~ linked

to the city's CBD hy a proposed fixed guideway peoplemover


The success of the integrated JTC and JSC activity center

will depend to a great extent on their ability to achieve

a new vital image, which will not only overcome~the. negative

elements of the immediate environment, but also serve to

increase the public's perception of the cultural integrity

of the preserved environment.


The JSC site, bounded on the north by West Forsyth Street,

on the South by West Bay Street, on the east by Lee Street

and on the West by Interstate 95, has a distinct linear

east-west orientation and is composed of the properties

described below:

Division C, LaVilla: Block 3C, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7;

Division D, LaVilla: Block 5D, Lots ,1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6;

Block 6D, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8;

Jacksonville Terminal Company's Plat:

Block 11, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6;

Block 13, Lot 8.

One-block segments of Hanover Street (closed), Cleveland

Street (closed), Stuart Street and Johnson Street also lie

within the boundaries of the JSC project site.

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Jacksonville's emergence as a major transportation center

began in the mid-nineteenth century and by 1893 it was the

chief railroad center of Florida, serving as the terminus

of seven separate and distinct :railway sys tems Four of

these systems--the Plant System; the Florida Central and

Peninsular; the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Indian

River; and the Jacksonville, Tampa and KeyWest--were trunk


Following the trend of many large communication centers

during this period toward consolidation of the-railroad

terminal facilities serving the city into one "Union Station,"

a movement for a Union Station in Jacksonville was started

by Henry Morrison Flagler. In 1890, he purchased the prop-

erty on which the 1897 Union Station stands, and in 1894

the Jacksonville Terminal Company was chartered, its offi-

cers including Flagler as president (Jacksonville, St. Augus-

tine and Halifax River Railroad) and H. B. Plant as vice-

president (Savannah, Florida and Western Railroad). Im-

mediately plans were begun for the construction of Jackson-

ville's new Union Station.

Diane Greer credits the design of the station to architect

W. B. W. Howe. Before the station was constructed the two-

story brick building which stands to the west of the station

was used as a temporary passenger station.' It is unclear

whether this building was constructed specifically as a

temporary station or was an existing commercial building

which was temporarily converted to that use.

In June 1896 the $58,000 construction contract for the new

station building was awarded to contractor S. S. Leonard

and the building was opened to the public on January 15,


The largest station in the -South at the time of its com-

pletion, Jacksonville's Union Station was a significant

step in Flagler's plan to develop southern Florida as a

major resort area.

As illustrated by the 1897 Sanborn maps, the areas to the

north, east and west of the new station were characterized

by scattered single-family residential development. The

residents of the area were primarily Black as evidenced by

the existence of a Negro Baptist church one half block north

of the station on Stuart Street, and the La Villa Negro

School on the southeast corner of Stuart and Houston Streets.

In 1897 the block directly to the north of the station stood


One of the few commercial structures to survive Jackson-

ville's devastating 1901 fire, the station was soon over-

whelmed by the phenomenal increase in rail travel during

the first decade of this century.

By 1903 the area north of the station had not changed ap-

preciably although stores lined Bay Street between Johnson

Street and downtown, to the east.

The Sanborn maps recorded in 1913 reflect a considerable

change in the character of the area immediately surrounding

the station. The Negro Baptist church had disappeared from

Stuart Street although the La Villa School, one block north,


Hotels now lined Bay Street between Johnson and Davis

Sifreets with warehouses standing in the east of Davis

Street. By 1913 the Jacksonville Terminal Company's Freight

Depot has been completed (today the Atlantic and East Coast

Terminal Company's Freight Depot). To the west of the sta-

tion, the Southern Express Company occupied today's Southern

Brewing Company structure and a few single-family residences

still stood beyond on Bay Street. Stores began to line

the north side of Forsyth and there were several wholesale

liquor and bottling concerns in the area.

The need for a larger "more presentable terminal" was

pressing by the early teens and a competition was conducted

for the design of a new station in 1914. Kenneth M. Murchison,

a New York architect, submitted the winning design and by

1917 plans for Jacksonville's new Union Terminal were


A conflict concerning the selection of a site for the new

Union Terminal culminated in a 1917 court battle between

the Jacksonville Terminal Company and the City of Jackson-

ville. The terminal company emerged victorious, saving

the 1897 station from demolition and fixing the location

of the new terminal immediately to the east of the earlier

structure. With the construction of the new terminal in

1919, the expansive 1895 train shed was dismantled and a new

baggage facility was constructed to connect the old and new

structures. r'

The development of Post Office Station A and an adjacent

Post Office Garage is recorded by the 1921 Sanborn maps

on the north side of Bay Street west of Stuart. These

structures, after the construction of the Bay Streen Annex,

became the Post Office Garage and stand today as part of

the vacant Stansal warehouse.complex. The La Villa School

structure was being utilized as a barrel and cotton store-

house. Bay Street, between Lee Street and Davis Street,

was crowded with wholesale stores ,dealing in liquors, gro-

ceries, textiles, sundries, etc. Further to the east, more

warehouses had been constructed.

The automobile played a major role in the area's development

between 1921 and 1949. In 1949 Forsyth Street's north side,

between Cleveland and DavisStreets, was lined with auto

and truck sales and service establishments and an.auto

unloading platform had been constructed directly to the west

of the freight depot. The Crane Building, constructed 19

years earlier, housed a wholesale plumbing fixture company

and several restaurants had been constructed on the same

block oriented toward the railroad terminal across Bay Street.

The upper stories of the deteriorating buildings which lined

Bay Street east of the terminal complex were occupied by

transient accommodations while the first stories were oc-

rcupied by various wholesale establishments dealing in every-

thing from drugs and notions to liquors .and paper products.

Only three blocks outside Jacksonville's central business

district, the area surrounding the JSC site, is today

characterized by a maze of railroad tracks and heavily

blighted industrial and commercial development. Many of

the structures in the immediate area of the site date back

to the first of the century, and with .few exceptions, they

now stand vacant. Several groups of structures have been

condemned and one entire block of deteriorated commercial,

warehouse and hotel building, located directly to the east

of the 1919 terminal is currently being demolished. A more

thorough description of the area surrounding the JSC site

is included in section


Structures currently occupying portions of the JSC site

include the 1930 Crane Building, now occupied by the Barsco

Restaurant Supply Company, Inc., the offices and warehouse

of the Gorman Plumbing Supply Company, and the now vacant

Postal Employees Development Center.

The Crane or Barsco Building is the only structure worthy

of note on the site. The three-story structure has a re-

inforced concrete frame with brick masonry infill walls.

Characteristic of commercial structures of its time, the

building's dark brick masonkry Bay Street facade is high-

lighted by clean lines, pleasing proportion and an interest-

ing three-dimensional checkerboard masonry detail within

its spandrel panels.

The Gorman structure is -an industrial concrete block and

prefabricated metal structure while the Postal Employees

Development Center is a small one-story concrete block

structure of strictly utilitarian designs. Neither of

these structures if of any consequence with regard to

the development of the JSC site.

Although the Crane Building is a stable structure, its

potentially disruptive influence on a cohesive JSC design

and its inappropriateness as a primary facade element

dictate its removal.

The north half of the JSC site is tangled in a maze of

deteriorating railroad trackage which infrequently serves

the Atlantic and East Coast Railroad Freight Depot, one

block to the east. This trackage is scheduled for removal

by the Seaboard Coastline and Florida East Coast Rail-



Ownership of the properties comprising the JSC site is

recorded in the following table (refer to figure ):

Legal Description

Division C, La Villa
Block 3

Lots 1, 2, 3

Lot 4, Whi Lot 5

ER Lot 5

W~f of E~ Lot 5

Lot 6

Division D, La Villa
Block 5

Block 6

Lots 1, 2, 3, 4

Lots 5, 6

W3 Lot 7

ER Lot 7


Assessed Value


Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company $

Lease Investors, Inc.

Desoto Liquors, Inc.

Dana A. Carantzas

Adele Friedman

Jacksonville Terminal

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

H. H. Gorman, Jr.

H. H. Gorman Jr--
Gorman Profit Program
Employees' Trust

H. H. Gorman, Jr.












The segments of Cleveland, Stuart and Johnson Streets are

dedicated streets and are the property of the Consolidated

City of Jacksonville.

The organization involved in the redevelopment of the

Jacksonville Terminal Complex, based in Melbourne, Florida,

and represented by Mr. William Howard, is currently nego-

tiating for control of that part of the JSC site immediately

north of the Union Station (La Villa, Division D, Lot 5) .

Legal Description

Owne r

Assessed Value Structure

Wh Lot 8

SB Lot 8

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Jacksonville Ter-
minal Company



40, 800





Block 11

Lots 1-5

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Atlantic and East Coast
Terminal Company

Lot 6

Block 13

Lot 8

60' x210' strip
between Blocks
11 and 13
(Hanover Street

Mr. Howard' s organization ~now holds options on both of the

railroad structures comprising the Terminal Complex.

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Currently the property included within the JSC site boun-

daries is zoned.IH, permitting heavy industrial development

under the provisions of the Jacksonville Zoning Code.

The city's.1973 master plan recommended commercial develop-

ment for the area although this recommendation was amended

to light industrial development by the city's short-range

plan (1974-1979).

For any type of commercial development of the site, it

would have to be rezoned. This process is initiated by the

submission of a petition for rezoning to the office of the

City of Jacksonville, Chief of Building and Zoning Inspection


A development potential report prepared for Seaboard Coast-

line Industries (SCI) by Gladstone Associates concerning

a 90-acre study area, which includes bo-th the JTC and JSC

sites, recommended that the entire study area be rezoned

CCBD (commercial,central business district), permitting the

development of retail, office, transient hotel and motel,

and commercial parking facilities as well as museum, com-

munity center and entertainment facilities. There is no

specific requirement under CCBD zoning for the provision of

parking spaces or specific FAR limitations.


The following is a summary of Jacksonville's weather condi-

tions as recorded by the U.S. National Weather Service:

Mean temperature--67.8 degrees F

Mean temperature for the month of December--

54.7 degrees F

Mean temperature for the month of July--

80.7 degrees F

Average annual rainfall--54.47 inches

Average days of sunshine per year--277

Prevailing winds--from the southeast


A long-range plan currently being considered for the year

1995 recommends primarily medium-density (20 families per

acre) residential development to the north and east of the

project site. In the immediate future 19 blocks to the

north and west of the CBD are earmarked for clearing and

inclusion in a land bank for future high-density residential

development (50+ families per acre). Jefferson, Broad,

Union and State Streets are scheduled for redevelopment

as boulevards, further defining the land bank area.


The provisionsof the City of Jacksonville Zoning Code and

the City of Jacksonville Building Code apply to the develop-

ment of the proposed JSC site.

The mixed-occupancy classification which accommodates the

proposed JSC development program includes the building code

regulations which apply to assembly, business and mercantile


The JSC site is located within the fire limits established

by the City of Jacksonville Building Code and as such anyJ

proposed development is subject to stringent enforcement

of those sections of the code dealing with fire safety.


As noted previously, the JSC site is located in generally

deteriorating area of the city, with many turn-of-the-century

or early twentieth-century buildings.

To the south of the site are the 1919 Jacksonville Union

Terminal, the 1897 Union .Station and the 1932 West Bay

Street Post Office Annex.

1919 Union Terminal

The Union Terminal, designed in a style typical of the

grandeur of larger early twentieth-century railroad terminals,

is especially reminiscent of McKim, Meade and White's New

York Penn Station. Constructed of reinforced concrete and

sheathed in a veneer of limestone, the one-story structure

measures 72 feet by 360 feet. The terminal's principal

facade is dominated by a 200-foot long Doric portico com-

posed of 14 colossal limestone columns. Within the portico

is a three-bay composition of windows and doors, each bay

composed of a large metal framed window with a semi-circular

arched head which rises above and behind the portico. The

east and west facades of the terminal's central mass are

crowned by a tri-gabled parapet corresponding to the three

great arched windows of each elevation.

A large arched window also crowned by a gable occurs at the

north and south ends of the central building mass.

Two lower wings flank the portico at the north and south

ends of the -central mass. Their limestone ashlarr walls,

resting on granite foundations, are divided: horizontally

by a low cast-iron canopy plane. The industrial-like

awning system with its suspension chains and massive metal

brackets seems incongruous to the terminal's strong classi-

cal image, although early drawings prove it to be a part of

its original design.

A series of fine industrial windows, each with an indented

panel above, rises above the heavy canopy plane.

Both the wings and the multigabled central mass of the

structures are capped by a classical architrave and cornice.

A grand vaulted waiting area occupies the central mass of

the structure. Although the vaulting high above is con-

cealed by a dropped accoustical ceiling system, it will be

exposed and restored with the structure's redevelopment.

This structure stands in remarkably stable condition

and enjoys the greatest potential for redevelopment of any

of the three structures being studied.

1897 Union Station

The modified Italian Villa or Railroad style design for \

Jacksonville's 1897 Union Terminal, credited to architect

W. B. W. Howe, reflects a trend in American railroad archi-

tecture which began to peak in the 1850s.

The station, occupying the whole block on West Bay Street

between Stuart Street and Johnson Street, is basically

rectangular in plan, measuring 317 feet by 128 feet. It

is .principally a one-story structure except for a relatively

small second-story office element, directly behind the

low Italianate entry tower which rises above the north

facade. Two more smaller towers flanked the station's

original east facade, but these were removed during the con-

struction of the adjacent 1919 Union Terminal.

The gable roof of the original general waiting room, to the

west of the entry tower, is raised above the roofs of its

flanking side bays to create a clerestory, which extends

the length of the room's north and south walls.

That part of the station ix> the east of the two-story of-

fice element is largely the product of a series of altera-

tions executed between 1903 and 1920. The roof of this

area and that of the second-story office element are flat

while the entry tower is capped by a low pyramidal roof.

The structure's original bearing walls are constructed of

red brick and range from 16 to 30 inches thick.

A tan or light buff stucco covers the exterior of the

structure's original walls and contrasts sharply with

the red brick and mortar of decorative trim elements. Ar-

ches, door and window surrounds, water tables, numerous

belt courses, window sills and parapet copings are all

accented by this contrast.

The station's tower is roughly square in plan and rests

on four round arches which are six feet deep. The three-

story windows of the tower's north facade are capped by

three contiguous, hooded, round arches, in the Italianate
manner. Single, double and triple belt courses accent the

floor, sill, roof and arch spring lines of the tower and

the structure's other original walls, increasing the visual

continuity of tis original form. Although open as late

as 1913, today the base of the entry tower is enclosed and

only one .of its massive arches is visible from the exterior.

The tower base now houses the sales office of the Wilshire

Gooden Paint Company.

The six deeply recessed round arches to the west of the

tower, on the station's north elevation, create the effect

of an arcade, mirroring the arches of the trackside elevation.

The timber trusses which span the original waiting and dining

rooms are the architectural highlight of the station's

original fabric. The trusses, spanning 48 feet, are orna-

mented in the manner of the English Gothic hammerbeam truss,

with pierced wooden infill panels, pendents and heavy arched

braces. In actuality the trusses are simple Howe trusses,

with a continuous 10 x 10 bottom chort supported by three

vertical iron tension rods. The columns supporting the

waiting room truss system are cruciform in section, composed

of five 10 x 10 posts, sheathed with 7/8-inch thick wooden

casing, and capped by simply ornamented wooden modillions.

Southern Brewing Company Building

The Southern Brewing Company Building, now standing vacant

and awaiting demolition, is a two-story brick commercial

structure which served from 1895 to 1897 as the city's tem-

porary passenger depot.

West Bay Street Post Office Annex

The Post Office Annex, M~h~ich originated in the office of

noted Jacksonville architect H. J. Klutho, is a concrete

framed structure faced with glazed brick in a restrained

yet monumental art deco style. The two-story structure, of

approximately 60,000 square feet, is from its outward appear-

ance structurally stable. Its vast interior open spaces

and.its restrained dignity can fulfill the requirements of

a variety of redevelopment program types.

The post office structure is of great importance to the

development of the JSC in that it serves as a physical

buffer between the JSC development and the JTA s proposed

Major Transit Operations Center. Beyond serving as a buffer,

the structure can add both a significant architectural ele-

ment and increased activity to the proposed JSC project.

A rational analysis of the problem of providing a new

18,500 square foot operations and administrative center for

the JTA cannot ignore the feasibility of the post office

structure's redevelopment. The JTA's insistence on the

construction of a new administrative center under these

circumstances would seem to be inconsistent with the best

interest of the city and people of Jacksonville.

It is the recommendation of this study that the possibility

of the structure's use by JTA be given further consideration,

perhaps as a joint venture with the city or the Chamber of

Commerce. Phasing of such a project is a definite consider-

ation. There is no reason in this case that the entire

structure be developed at one time.

For the purposes of this project, it will be assumed that

the annex will be redeveloped as a joint office complex

for the JTA and the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Other Surrounding Development

To the southeast of the JSC site, across Lee Street on

the south side of Bay Street, stands a row of vacant and

deteriorating, two and three story brick hotel, commercial

and warenouse structures. All are condemned and demolition

of the entire block is underway.

The north side of Bay Street on this block is the site of

another row of deteriorating two and three story commercial

structures, two vacant lots and the-renovated Trinity

Rescue Mission.

Three blocks to the east lies the edge of Jacksonville's


On the south side of Forsyth Street, directly to the east

of the JSC site, a raised automobile unloading dock stands

in disuse.

The north side of Forsyth Street, in this block, is dominated

by an older three-story brick building which now houses the

Standard Sales Company.

The north side of Forsyth Street, adjacent to the JSC site,

is lined by a row of vacant industrial, warehouse and commer-

cial structures penetrated by several vacant lots.

The block between I-95 and Stuart Street is composed of a

vacant lot, the condemned and partially demolished Quinn R.

Barton IHC Truck Center, and the vacant Stansal warehousing

complex. The Stansal complex is composed of a group of

small brick buildings varying greatly in age and form. One

of these buildings, the three-story structure on the corner

of Forsyth and 'Stuart predates 1897 and onc'e served as a

cigar.factory. The north side of Forsyth between Stuart and

Johnson includes similar development.

A truck service facility and a two-story brick commercial

structure fill the next block to the east. Only the first

floor of the commercial structure, which once housed the

Duval Motor Company, is now occupied.

To the west the project site is bounded by Interstate 95

which at this point is an elevated six-lane expressway.

In general, the entire area surrounding the site is laced

by a network of railroad tracks, many of which are soon

to be removed for use in a new switching yard being built

to the west of Jacksonville.

Several of the vacant warehouse structures scattered

throughout the area are too low for economic reuse and

others are in a delapidated condition.

A structure of major interest in the immediate area of

the site is the Atlantic and East-Coast Terminal Company

Freighthouse. Located two blocks to the east of the JSC

site, this brick structure consists of two 350-foot-long,

gable-roofed warehouse structures joined at their east end

by a two-story office structure fronting on Jefferson Street.

Between the two parallel warehouse structures is a narrow

open space occupied by the railroad tracks which serve

the facility. The strength and rhythm of the warehouse

structure's long row of arched openings hint at the possi-

bility of a future dynamic and innovative commercial or

residential redevelopment program.

Three blocks north of the JSC site lies a low-income

residential area with nearly a 100-percent Black population.

In this pre-1900 Black neighborhood, the single-family

detached and multi-family dwellings are generally sub-

standard, the majority of its housing stock having decayed

beyond the point of rehabilitation. There are several

structures of architectural and historical significance

in this area, including a group of three turn-of-the-century

brick houses on Houston Street which have been identified as

a portion of Jacksonville's earliest red-light districts.

Although still occupied, the three structures, known as

the LaVilla boarding houses, are all seriously deterior-


Although the population makeup of the neighborhood to the

south of the Terminal COmplex and McCoy's Creek is similar,

the nature and condition of the development there is

markedly different. Park Street, an old and established

commercial artery bisects the neighborhood, provides a

vitality to the area lacking in the neighborhood to the

north. This McCoy Creek neighborhood is characterized by

a mixture of low-density commercial and residential develop-

ment with older but maintained single and multi-family



The proposed JSC site is currently accessible by automobile

and bus. As noted earlier, the linear site is truncated

by I-95 to the west and Lee Street to the east. Four of

the city's bus routes, to north and west Jacksonville,

utilize the Park Street Viaduct and Lee Street.

Four blocks to the east, Riverside Avenue and the Acosta

Bridge provide access from the San Marco and South Jackson-

ville areas.

Forsyth, Bay and Wanter Streets provide direct access to

the CBD, to the east.

Presently, major circulation problems do exist with respect

to the development of the JSC site. Although I-95 lies

directly to the west of the site, the nearest exits are

at Monroe Street, four blocks to the north, and Myrtle

Avenue, three-quarters of a mile to the south. Area feeder

streets including Church, Duval, Monroe, Adams and Houston

are inadequate for large volumes of traffic. Any traffic

increase on them would be incompatible with the residential

character of the area to the north of the site.

A study has been recently commissioned by the JTA to in-

vestigate the feasibility of developing Forsyth Street as

a "major new entry into downtown." Redevelopment of For-

syth as a primary connector between I-95 and the CBD would

involve the construction of a new exit ramp system at

Forsyth and the widening of the street from the Interstate

to the CBD, providing minimum disruption to the.existing

or future development to the norht of the JSC site.

More importantly, the proposed Forsyth redevelopment would

provide direct access to the site from I-95 and indirectly

from I-10, three-fourths mile to the south and the Jackson-

ville International Airport, 12 miles north. While enhancing

the development potential of the JSC site, it would at

the same time create a strong definitive boundary and physi-

cal barrier to future expansion of the JSC development to

the north.

According to city officials, this proposal will be realized

in the near future.

Jacksonville's traffic problems have been greatly intensi-

fied with the recent completion of the Independent Life

Tower and furdhem complications are anticipated with the

development of the proposed Riverfront Cetner and St. John's

Place projects. Presently the four bridges serving the CBD,

and I-95 experience heavy traffic congestion during peak

hours, greatly restricting circulation in the CBD and sur-

rounding areas.

In October of 1976 planning began on a four-lane high-speed

arterial corridor which will follow McCoy's .Creek, to the

south of the Terminal Complex, to connect the Acosta Bridge

with Beaver Street, one mile to the west. The arterial,

designed to alleviate the rapidly increasing pressure on

the CBD's outmoded circulation system will provide improved

access to the JSC site from both west and south Jacksonville.

One of the most important elements to the updating of

Jacksonville's CBD circulation is the proposed fixed guide-

way peoplemover system. Basically the system's aim is to

convert commuter parking structures and- bus stations at the

perimeter of the CBD to a relatively pedestrian-oriented

central city core.

Since 1970 the city has invested considerable energy and

funds in the competition for federal peoplemover system

development funding. After failing earlier this year in

their initial attempt to win federal development money,

the city is currently vying for one of three additional

development grants being offered by the federal government.

Don Ingram, director of Jacksonville's Downtown -Deve~lopment

Authority, indicates that the city's chances are excellent

for being the recipient of one of these grants, to be

awarded later this year.

The peoplemover system has the potential of being a prin-

cipal design determinant in the development of the JSC

A series of perimeter multi-level municipal parking struc-

tures and feeder bus terminals are being planned as an in-

tegral part of the city's peoplemover development program.

With the redevelopment of Forsyth Street, the development

of such a structure in the vicinity of the JSC site is

entirely feasible, strengthening the case for development

of a peoplemover link to serve the JSC project.

A parking structure, if located at the extreme west end of

the project site, could be utilized .gs an effective buffer

between I-95 and other development on the site.

An even stronger case for the development of a peoplemover

link to serve the JSC site is created by the development

of the JTA's Major Transit Operations Center in close proxim-

ity to the site. Efficient peoplemover vehicle maintenance

would be facilitated by the extension of the guideway system

directly to the MTOC.

The peoplemover could provide the needed physical connection

which would strongly tie the JSC and Terminal Complex projects

to the propsoed CBD convention hotel, business, trade center.

Pedestrian Circulation

At the present time pedestrian circulation in the area

is limited to travel along Lee and Bay Streets, to the

bus stops located at their intersection. The area to the

west of Lee Street is devoid of pedestrian-oriented activity

and is a dead end with respect to pedestrian travel.


The following is a brief overview of the influences which

have shaped the recent development of Jacksonville's urban

core, influences which will directly influence the develop-

ment of Jacksonville Station Center.

Deterioration of Jacksonville's Main Street commercial

center began shortly after World War II with the opening

of the Main Street Bridge. Inceasingly heavier volumes of

through traffic, the elimination of on-street parking and the

relocation of bus stops on Main Street resulted in a shift

of the downtown retailing center westward to Hogan, Laura

and intersecting streets.

During the 1950s and 1960s Jacksonville's downtown retail

center was greatly affected by increasingly dispersed

private investment as over 50 shopping centers were con-

structed in the city's suburban areas. Two of these centers,

Regency Square and Gateway Center, contain a combined

1,400,000 square feet of retail space which offer direct

competition to the city's traditional core retail center.

Somewhat smaller, but significantly competitive centers

include: Philips Mall, Normandy Mall and Roosevelt Mall,

The completion of Orange Park Mall in 1975 (750,000 square

feet), a new regional retail center in southwest Jackson-

ville, was another negative blow to the downtown retail


Increasingly important in the late 1960s and early 1970s

was the loss of the sales potential generated by downtown

workers as such major office buildings as the Gulf Life

Tower and the Prudential Building were constructed outside

the city's core area. The 1975 completion of the Independent

Life Tower and the Atlantic National Bank Building, in the

city's traditional retail core, may mark the reversal of

the decentralization trend in office development.

Drastic changes are also evident in the patterns sof recent

residential and industrial development in Jacksonville.

In-town residential areas have experienced a shift in

racial composition as nearly all residential construction

in the past twney-five years has occurred in suburban

areas. Industry and warehouseing, following a pattern

typical in many medium and larger metropolitan areas,

have sought cheaper and more plentiful land in outlying

areas for relocation and expansion.

With the realization that the economic viability of Jack-

sonville's traditional retail core was rapidly disappear-

ing, the Jacksonville-Duval Area Planning Board commissioned

RTKL, Inc. to prepare a Plan for Downtown Jacksonville in

September 1969. Development of the plan, completed in

September 1971, followed a three-phase strategy. Phase I

included an evaluation and recommended growth alternatives

for eight primary urban land-use functions: office, retail,

parking, residential, entertainment, cultural, institutional

and open-space recreation.

The following is a summary fo RTKL's findings as a result

of the Phase I evaluation:

Current indicators point to a favorable market

for new prime office space in the core area for

the next several years (1,400,000 square feet

during the period 1970-1980 and 1,600,000 square

feet during the period 1980-1990).

There is an immediate market for medium and

higher quality restaurants in the core area.

Although there is an adequate supply of fast-

food facilities, it is difficult to find a res-

taurant with a pleasant atmosphere and reasonable

prices. First-quality cocktail lounges and

supper clubs are limited to the Robert Meyer

and Hilton Hotels and one discotheque-type


Jacksonville's several active theater groups

are all housed in facilities outside the core

area and the city's quality movie houses are

located in the suburbs, predominantly in

shopping centers.

Conditions seem favorable for the development

of Jacksonville's potential as a major conven-

tion city. Its favorable climate, convenient

accessibility, proximity to the ocean, river-

front location, and existing coliseum and au-

ditoriumi facilities make the core area a prime

location for a major new hotel/convention

complex. RTKL's recommendations include the

development of a 400-unit convention-oriented

motor hotel on a site adjacent to the city's

riverfront Civic Auditorium. The development

should include on-site parking, meeting and con-

ference -facilities, food service facilities,

and convenience shopping for convention-goers.

In response to travel mode shifts and public

preferences in accommodation types, new motels

and motor hotels have been developed in the

city's central and suburban areas. With the

development of Disney World and othe~rFlor-

ida attractions in recent years a potential

new market for transient: accommodations has

been created.~ OVer 200 million tourists

arrive by automobile each year, the majority

traveling .cu I-75 to the west of Jacksonville.

Jacksonville would need to attract only a

small share of this tourist market to support

a dynamic expansion of downtown hotel and

motel facilities.

At the present, downtown Jacksonville is not

a particularly attractive setting for new

residential development. A demand for luxury I

residential units is anticipated-after 1980.

The development emphasis in the core area

should be on creating a total, protected en-

vironment with suitable on- and off-site

amenities, and a positive link to supporting

retail sales and service facilities in the

core area.

During Phase II of the RTKL project the Plan for Downtown

Jacksonville was formulated. The plan, adopted on January

12, 1971 by the Jacksonville City Council, consists of three

major elements: a coordinated vehicular and pedestrial pub-

lic circulation system, concentrated and mixed land-use



The following is a summary of the findings of the report

"Jacksonville Terminal Company Site Development Potentials,"

prepared for the Jacksonville Terminal Company in July

1974 by Gladstone Associates, Inc., a Miami-based economic

consultant firm. The report is an investigation of the

redevelopment alternatives of the JTS's 92-acre site, lying

to the northwest of the SCL industries headquarters in down-

town Jacksonville. Preliminary development alternatives

investigated include office, commercial retail, residential,

motel/hotel, parking and industrial development, and reuse

of the 1919 Union Terminal.

Recommendations presented in the JTC report are based on

three primary preconditions: improved access to and from

I-95; reuse of the 1919 Union Terminal, with compatible

reuse of the middle and western portions of the site, and

development of the SCL multi-use project. It should be

noted that due to the size and varying characteristics of

the property elements, it is treated in the report's analy-

sis as three separate and distinct parcels.

The major element in the report's recommended development

plan is a 1,000,000 square-foot office complex, proposed

for development on the 23 acres of Parcel A. Associated

retail space, from 30,000 to 40,000 square feet, is en-

visioned as serving mainly on-site office-using employment,

not attempting to attract an expanded ~market from tradi-

tional downtown office using employment or from residential

areas outside the immediate site area. Among the conven-

ience-oriented retail recommendations for the complex are:

fast-food and quality restaurants, barber shops, beauty

salons, dry-cleaning establishments, gift shops, liquor

stores, a branch bank, and small specialty shops.

Indications are that the development of a major regional

shopping complex on the JTC site would not be desirable.

Thd site's location is relatively remote from other down-

town commercial retail activity and it is highly unlikely

that a major retail tenant could be attracted to such a

development. The planned SCL retail complex together with

proposed St. John's Place additions, immediately across the

St. John's River, should provide downtown Jacksonville

with high-quality, unique and exciting shopping opportun-

ities which are currently unavailable.

Projections indicate that residential development should

not be contemplated until after 1990.

In view of the long-term growth potential in Jacksonville's

transient accommodation market (a demand increase of from

250 to 280 units per year is expected until 1985), and the

JTC site's unique site location, adjacent to I-95, a strong

potential exists for a successful motor hotel development

on Parcel 2, immediately to the east of I-95. A 200-unit

motel complex, located near the Terminal Complex, would be

in an excellent position to permit a strong capture of

northbound and southbound I-95 motorist traffic as well as

spillover from downtown's major hotels. The motel should

have a medium-quality image, according to the report, and

living quarters quality should be emphasized rather than

elaborate recreational or eating facilities. If the City

of Jacksonville could be persuaded to locate one of its

planned multi-story parking structures on Parcel B, the

facility could quite conceivably be shared by the motel

and the city, since motel usage would be concentrated in

the evening hours.

Although there is a current need in downtown Jacksonville

for additional exhibition space, plans exist for convention-

scale exhibition facilities at the proposed-St. John's Place

and SCL developments. The addition of these two major ex-

hibition centers to the existing 71,000 square feet of public

exhibition space in the corea area effectively eliminates

the market for such development in the area.

An administrative office space shortage exists at the

present time in the Jacksonville governmental complex (a

short-term 1975 shortage of 47,000 square feet and a pro-

jected 1978 shortage of up to 67,000 square feet}, although

the city's policy in all likelihood will continue to reflect

a desire to keep city office space within the current down-

town area, adjacent or near to the city hall/county court-

house complex.

The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce has expressed a

need for additional space although there are no plans at

the present time for an expansion of its existing facility

or relocation to a larger one. Other cities have combined

the functions of the chamber of commerce with those of a

visitors' center and such an adaptive use seems entirely

feasible for the JSC development.

~~C ~~Bave Str~eet conerct-or.~X~,~ ~ btt~q~

d. Cponstruction o the JTAs propoWsed Maorst

Trasi DeOperationsCntro the JTCose scsBitge.

d. Development of the proposed downtown fixed-

guideway "people mover" system.

Major elements proposed for the Union Station's multi-

activity redevelopment include: a railroad car motel

complex, a shopping mall, a railroad mini-museum/visitors'

center, and a steakhouse and cocktail lounge.

Mr. .William Howard, principal representative of the develop-

ment corporation which plans to redevelop the Jacksonville

Terminal Complex, has recently completed a development

potential analysis of the complex. Having studied several

of the more successful railroad terminal redevelopment

projects in the country first-hand, Howard envisions the

development of a restaurant, motel, and retail commercial

center similar to the redevelopment of Chattanooga, Tennes-

see's Terminal Station.94

The railroad car motel would be developed to provide unique

accommodations to transient motorists, vacationers or

businessmen, traveling on I-95. Accommodations would be

of similar quality to those of the Chattanooga Choo Choo

development, with up to forty Pullman units lining the

trackage now under option. Major public motel facilities,

including its offices and lobby,could be located in the

Union Station's general waiting room. A dining car coffee

shop, a club car bar, and cars modified to facilitate meet-

ings or seminars could easily be integrated into the motel


The retail commercial development would provide mall-type

facilities to accommodate both convenience-oriented and

specialty shops, and perhaps even a small theatre. The

types of tenant shops suggested by this study include: gift

shops, a photo store, a liquor store, a branch bank, a

barber shop, a beauty salon, a dry-cleaning establishment

(pick-up), a jewelry, a tobacco shop, apparel shops, craft

shops, a book shop, a wine and cheese shop, a flower/plant

shop, a newsstand, and a bakery.

Corporate offices and perhaps a professional office suite

could be accommodated in the station's second-story office


The station's waiting room would be developed as a "turn-

of-the-century" railroad steakhouse and lounge. With a

pleasant atmosphere and reasonably priced meals, this dev-

elopment could attract businessmen from nearby-offices,

tourists from the motel, shoppers, and-even convention-

goers who are looking for a refreshing change of pace.

A railroad mini-museum,with interpretive exhibits and a

restored steam locomotive, would contribute considerably to

the total environment of ~the development. A visitor's cen-

ter, integrated with the museum, could serve to entice

travelers to spend more time and money in the Jacksonville

area. Perhaps such a development could be undertaken with

the cooperation and assistance of SCL and the Jacksonville

Area Chamber of Commerce.








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