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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 12:27 AM
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LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
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Jacksonville/NE Florida - It's a Trip! (part 2)

Continued from Jacksonville/NE Florida - It's a Trip! (part 1)

77. Historic Buildings on N. Laura Street.

78. Modis Building

79. Bank of America Tower, Jacksonville Center and the Modis Building

80. Main Street Bridge and the South Bank through the trees from the North Bank of the St. Johns River

81. Main Street Bridge and the South Bank from the North Bank of the St. Johns River

82. A wider view showing The Peninsula, The Strand, Riverplace Tower & the Crown Plaza with Main Street Bridge in the foreground.

83. The whole South Bank. The Acosta Bridge is at far right.

84. Wachovia Bank Tower - 21 floors - completed in 1986

85. CSX Transportation Building from the Acosta Bridge

86. Downtown core from the Acosta Bridge

87. The Peninsula, The Strand, Riverplace Tower & the Crown Plaza from the Acosta Bridge

88. Skyline from about midway across the Acosta Bridge

89. Jacksonville Landing & the Florida Theatre from the Acosta Bridge. On the horizon, above the Florida Theatre, you can see the spans of the Dames Point Bridge

90. Jacksonville Skyway

The "Skyway" is one of five urban "people mover" systems that were built in the U.S. beginning in the 1970's It is an automated system, 2.5 miles long, that uses two-car trains running on an elevated monorail guideway. The route is in the shape of an inverted "Y" with the FCCJ (Florida Community College of Jacksonville) station at the "base" north of downtown Jacksonville One branch ends at the Convention Center station, next to the Prime Osborne Convention Center (formerly Jacksonville Union Station) and the other branch extends across the St. Johns River to the South Bank area via the Acosta Bridge.

System Map from Wikipedia

The Skyway's crictis call it a "train to nowhere" and it only operates on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on weekends during special events.The one-way fare between any of the eight stations is $0.50. I didn't get to ride it while I was there, but judging from this video on youtube, it looks to be a good way to see the skyline

Video Link

92. Another skyline View from the Acosta Bridge

93. The South Bank and marina from the Acosta Bridge. The highrise with the red roof is San Marco Place - a 21 story condominium completed in 2006.

94. Skyline, marina and the Main Street Bridge from the south end of the Acosta Bridge

95. A nice couple (who we kept running into later) offered to take our photo.

96. Last look at the skyline from the Acosta Bridge

97. Museum of Science and History

98. Friendship Fountain

99. On the way back to the car

100. Looking back towards downtown

101. Riverplace Tower, The Strand and The Peninsula from the parking lot,

102. On the way back to la casa de Ginger. And the recliner. And an adult beverage

After all that walking, there was no way we were going out again. We stayed home the rest of the night.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The next morning started out rainy and Ginger got a run to Gainesville to deliver a computer part to a Dillard's Department store at a mall on the outskirts of Gainesville.

103. Road in Gainesville on the way to the mall

After delivering the package, we decided to take the back roads back to Jacksonville.

104. The road out of Gainesville

105. Rural Highway between Gainesville and Jacksonville

106. Rural Highway between Gainesville & Jacksonville. It turned out to be a pretty nice day.

106. Rural highway near McClenney. The tower reminded me of the Eiffel Tower

107. Back to civilization

108. And traffic/road/construction/confusion

109. I hope this is the right way. Blue Cross Blue Shield Building - 19 floors completed in 1971

110. AT&T, Bank of America & Modis Towers

111. One Prudential Plaza (with the Aetna signage.) 22 floors - completed in 1955. The lobby contains a 2-ton piece of the Rock of Gibralter. Was used in the movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon." Riverplace Tower is to its left and San Marco Place is the red-roofed building on the right. If you look closely, on the horizon between the Crown Plaza and Riverplace Tower, you can see the dark red spans of the Matthews Bridge.

After running home to let the dog out, we headed to Mayport Florida fto meet some friends for dinner at Singleton's Seafood Shack.

112. Moon rising over Atlantic Blvd on the was to dinner.

113. Sunset on the way to dinner

114. Sunset on the way to dinner.

Singleton's is very casual and has great seafood. I had the New England clam chowder and a plate of fried shrinp, collard greens, hush puppies and a baked potato. And lots of wine.

115. The Dynamic Duo at dinner

116. We originally thought we might go out for a drink on the way home, but by the time we left the restaurant I was so stuffed I didn't want to go anywhere but home. So we did - and I think I was asleep by 10:30. Too pooped to party.

Sunday February 28, 2010

I lay in a coma until about 9:30 .a.m. When I finally do get up and find my way to the coffee pot Ginger is nowhere to be found, but the dog is there. She finally shows up. Oh - she's been up for hours. She's already walked the dog three miles then another two by herself. And now we have to get ready because we planned to meet friends for brunch around noon. We went to a place called the Metro Diner. I had a dish that was Chala (sp?) bread infused with a mixture of cream cheese & hazlenut liquer and topped with raspberries. Suger rush!

Our two friends, Quinten & Justin live in Fernandina Beach, but were staying in JAX for the weekend with their dog, Tigger at a La Quinta. After brunch, they were going back to their hotel to get tigger, then downtown to take Tigger for a walk. And they were going to a section of the downtowm waterfront I hadn't been to, yet - on the North Bank east of where Ginger & I had walked on Friday. Ginger was kind of tired (I guess so - walking 5 miles before breakfast,) so she decided to go home and I went with Quinten & Justin back to the hotel to get Tigger & go on the walk.

117. After leaving the hotel we head back into downtown.on Interstate 95. You get another view of San Marco Place on the left in front of Riverplace Tower. Also, the Modis Building looks like it has a pointed crown from this vantage point, but it's actually the top of the Bank of America Tower peeking over the top. Note the sign about bed bugs on the far right. It read. Bed Bugs are Back! Better call Abbey. (I guess "Abbey" is an exterminator.)

118. Another view as we round the bend

119. We took the Main Street Bridge to reach the North Bank.

120. Florida Theatre (website)

More info from the website

The Florida Theatre originally opened to the public on April 8, 1927, as downtown Jacksonville's 15th—and largest—movie theatre. With lavish interior decor unmatched in Jacksonville, the Florida Theatre is the city's last remaining example of 1920's fantasy architecture. The architects envisioned a Moorish courtyard at night, resplendent with glittering stars, grand balconies and fountains. An ornate proscenium arch that reaches nearly six stories high dominates the auditorium. The incredible acoustics and near-perfect sight lines make every one of the theatre’s 1,900 seats exceptional. On the building’s original roof garden, patrons in the late 1920s danced under the stars, while the theatre provided a nursery for the patrons’ young children. The theatre boasted many features unique in the 1920s, including central heating, air-conditioning and vacuuming systems.

One of the most memorable events in the theatre's history occurred in 1956, when Elvis Presley came to the Florida Theatre for one of his first headline concert appearances on an indoor stage. Presley, the City of Jacksonville and the Florida Theatre found themselves subjects of a LIFE Magazine feature when Juvenile Court Judge Marion Gooding sat through the performance to ensure that Presley's body movements would not become too suggestive.

121. We found a place to park and headed east along the waterfront.

122. Turning north. The completed tower on the left is the Berkman Plaza Condominiums I. The tower under construction on the right will be its twin - Berkman Plaza II.

123. Berkman Plaza II Condominiums. A couple of years ago, during initial construction, the six story parking garage collpased as workers poured cement on the top level. The collapse killed one and injured 15.

124. Looking east of Berkman Plaza II Condominiums at the Maxwell House Coffee Plant which was completed in 1924. This is one of two U.. loctions where Maxwell House coffee is produced. The other is San Leandro, CA. A plant in Hoboken, NJ was demolished and another plant in Houston, TX was divested by Kraft Foods to Maximus Coffee Group LP in 2006.

125. There's a nice pool with a fountain surrounded by potted flowers and palm trees in front of Berman Paza I.

126. Tigger took a breather at the fountain.

127. Looking back at the path we'd already covered

128. Fountain at Berlman Plaza I with towers in the distance. The building between Modis & BOA is the County Annex Building.

129. Heading further east, we pass John E. Goode Pretrial Detention Facility. (The jail)

130. Signage on the west side of the Maxwell House Coffe Plant

131. Signage on the south side of the plant. Maxwell House. Good to the Last Drop

132. Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville - home of the Jacksonville Suns. The $34 million ballpark, which opened in 2003, has nearly 6,000 stadium-style chairs and can accommodate more than 11,000 fans with an old-fashioned design, brick facade and a grass seating berm and bleacher seating. It also features 12 luxury skyboxes, four skydecks, a large scoreboard and videoboard, a playground, and the "knuckle," a unique nine-foot high mound for seating at the left field corner.

Across the street is the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (basketball) and up the street is Old St. Andrews Church.

133. Old St, Andrews Curch

133. Informational sign on Old St. Andrews Church

134. Another view of the Church

135. Nearby is the James C. Merrill House circa 1879

More info from the James E. Merrill Residence history page at jaxhistory.com

In about 1875 James E. Merrill started a small iron works in Jacksonville after learning the black-smithing trade from his father. Known as the Merrill-Stevens Engineering Co. by the late 1880's, the iron works became one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the South. In 1886 Merrill built this house at 229 Lafayette Street, just a short walk from his iron works on East Bay Street. It exemplifies the Queen Anne style, with a square tower on the southwest corner and an elaborate vergeboard in the north gable. The porch posts, brackets, and spindles reflect the Eastlake style.

In recent years it suffered lamentable deterioration. The Jacksonville Historical Society, in cooperation with the Mayor's office of the City of Jacksonville, undertook the saving of this house in 2000. The building was moved to 311 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. next to Old St. Andrews Church, where its restoration was begun.

In March 2002, the Merrill House was moved again, to be better situated further from the construction of the new baseball stadium. Its new location is one block to the north.

136. James E. Merrill House

Photos of the Merrill House restoration from jaxhistory.com.

137. From there, we headed further east to the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

138. The stadium is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The stadium sits on 10 acres of land and was built using portions of the historic Gator Bowl Stadium, itself dating from 1949. However, all of the elements included from the older stadium—the pedestrian ramp system and the more recent West Upper Deck section of the complex—dated back only to 1982. Construction started January 3, 1994 and the new stadium opened on August 18, 1995 with an exhibition game with the St. Louis Rams. Total construction time was under 20 months and total cost was $134 million The stadium was known as the Alltel Stadium from 1997-2007 and reverted back to the original name after the contract with Alltel expired

139. Another look as we head back to the west. This entire area of downtown is known as the Sportsplex.

140. Buildings along the north side of Bay Street as we head west - back towards the car.

141. Buildings along the east side of Bay Street. Berkman Plaza II Condominiums at left. Berkman Plaza I Condominiums next door. Modis Tower in the distance.

142. Bank of America Tower and Bay Street

143. After that, we took Tigger back to the La Quinta, then went out for drinks and later had dinner at a Restaurant called Moss Fire. I can't remember the name of the neighborhood, but this was a home across the street from where we parked.

After dinner, Quinten & Justin dropped me off at Ginger's and we watched Desparate Housewives and Brothers & sisters before bed.

Monday March 1, 2010

144. On the road again. This time, Ginger's gotten a run to Live Oak, FL to deliver a computer part and I'm along for the ride. Live Oak is west of Jacksonville past Lake City off of Interstate 10

145. Ohio Street - Live Oak's main thoroughfare.

Although I didn't know anything about Live Oak, I had heard of it before. I'm one of those old-fashioned people who still writes checks and there's a company in Live Oak called Checks Your Way that lets you send in your own photograph and they print your checks using your photo as the background.

More info from wikipedia:

The town started out as a resting area for the railroad workers of the late 1800s. The railroad workers would stop and eat out by a fully grown water oak. Eventually, everyone started to like the place so some of the engineers and workers started to build houses. After the houses came, then the businesses and by 1885, we have ourselves a town. The city was almost completely built and designed by one man, Thomas Dowling. He built and designed the courthouse, water tower, sewage system, water lines, and the famous Dowling house (a.k.a. The Grace Manor Restaurant).

146. Ginger had to deliver the computer part to the Suwannee County Courthouse annex off to the side of the courthouse.

Suwannee County is named for the Suwannee River, which surrounds the town on three sides. The river is the subject of the Stephen Foster song Old Folks at Home with the first line of the song being "Way down upon the Swannee River." (Foster misspelled Suwannee.) Old Folks at Home has been the Florida State song since 1935.

147. Looking for a place to park.along Ohio Street

148. We found a place across the street and down about half a block.

149. We went inside, and it was going to take awhile, so I left and decided to take some photos along Ohio Street. (Hey, as long as I'm here, right?) The side of the courthouse on the way back to the street.

150. First United Methodist Church

151. Bank of America. I think the skybridge is so the tellers can safely transport money from the main lobby to the drive-thru.

152. Live Oak City Hall

153. A last look at the courthouse before heading back to Jacksonville. As an Austinite, it reminds me of a mini-version of the UT Tower or Frost Tower.

154. Later that afternoon, Ginger got "local" run - delivering a package to the baggage office of American Airlines to be put on a flight to Miami. Baggage Claim area of Jacksonville International Airport.

155. Crossing the Dames Point Bridge on the way to dinner.

After dinner, we went back out to the UPS warehouse to pick up another package that Ginger would have to deliver to Ormond Bech, Florida the following morning. Ormond Beach is just north or Daytona Beach. The package was due at 7:45 a.m. We got home, watched the season finale of The Bachelor, and I packed during the commercials. It would be an early day tomorrow. - which will be continued in Part 3.

Last edited by LoneStarMike; Mar 18, 2010 at 5:11 AM. Reason: forget to include image #143
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 1:18 AM
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boden boden is offline
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Fantastic! Great Jax coverage.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 3:22 AM
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Lakelander Lakelander is offline
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Enjoying the tour. Great shots! Btw, locally we're wondering if Berkman II will ever be completed. Its been two years since the garage collapsed. The tower is our local monument to the real estate bust.
Metro Jacksonville
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 6:12 AM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
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Very enjoyable threads, Mike.

I've always liked the Riverplace Tower. I don't know, it just looks good.
My girlfriend has a dog named Kevin.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 1:28 PM
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Very awesome!
"Occasionally I think about doing something to change my situation, but where am I going to get hold of a stealth bomber?"
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2010, 8:50 PM
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Double L Double L is offline
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skyscraperfan23 will love this thread!!!!
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2010, 12:51 AM
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LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
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Originally Posted by Lakelander View Post
Btw, locally we're wondering if Berkman II will ever be completed. Its been two years since the garage collapsed. The tower is our local monument to the real estate bust.
So has construction completely stopped, or is it just going really slow? I didn't notice any construction workers that day, but it was a Sunday. Has Berkman I done well - are most of the units taken or are there still a lot of vacancies?
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2010, 1:19 AM
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simms3_redux simms3_redux is offline
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Construction on Berkman II has stopped completely (at least for the past two years and most likely until the economy picks back up). Berkman I has done alright, but so many units are underwater right now that some residents have had to foreclose and walk away. The management has begun leasing some units and working out deals with current owners. Jacksonville has been struggling to get people to live downtown, and the problem with the northbank is of a certain perception and the problem with the southbank is it is too isolated and not within walking distance of enough places. As soon as the economy picks back up, I think Jax will be poised to see a large boom, though. We are doing some improvements now that will mean a lot in the future and our next mayoral election in just over a year will see a downtown advocate because all of the major contenders running are huge downtown advocates and have their business downtown.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2010, 1:15 AM
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Nice pictures. Live Oak looks like a nice Florida town.

Rural Florida, in Winter, looks like the eastern half of Virginia.
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