Tag Archives: Epping Forest

Hove Hall and the Sacrifice the House Demands

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It’s not just that John Hove, Florida businessman and former Swedish judge, has spent a decade renovating this 1920s riverfront mansion that his renaming the house makes a necessary romantic sense. He never knew what strange Christmas pasts the house harbored and couldn’t have predicted the scale of personal tragedy. Still, this renovation will mark the achievement of a lifetime!

The Hidden House, by Ted Pappas, a Mediterranean Revival Revival

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This house hidden behind a house on the river, is both classical and contemporary. Ted Pappas designed it when he was restoring the Mediterranean Revival mansion called Epping Forest. Indeed, you could call this house Mediterranean Revival Revival. Its current occupant must go unnamed. He does not speak into his shoe, though he did once have a STU-III.

The Dramatic Story of the Pappas Building

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It was architect Ted Pappas’s artistic self-portrait. It’s when the State of Florida decided people, and neighborhoods, mattered less than cars and through-traffic. It’s also a mystery. Why Pappas salvaged the stones and where he placed them. What else do you do when your city shoots itself through the art you bequeathed it? I’ll be damned if there’s not hope still.

The Strange Florida Gothic Epic of Kelnepa

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The original house exists beneath the house poured on top. Raymond Saleeba remembers his grandmother’s Lebanese cooking and playing with his siblings here as the happiest times in his life. The strangeness came later, with the house redubbed “Tuscan River Estate.” The sports car bought with worthless stock. Multi-million dollar con jobs. Brides who had to find other venues for their weddings.

New Story: Epping Forest

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Epping Forest is the grandest historic estate in Jacksonville. Well known, the summits of world leaders here. Well known, its original owner’s personal manipulation of banking in the Great Depression. Why, however, did Alfred Dent believe his grandmother, Jessie Ball duPont, and her brother, Edward Ball, had murdered his grandfather, Alfred duPont? Also, what’s up with the pelicans and squirrels and vampire faces?

The Barnett National Bank Building, Its Deep Roots and Tendrils through Time

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It was “the Year of the Skyscraper.” The 10 story building next door began to tilt. Alfred duPont raised Florida from the Great Depression, merely from infusions of his personal wealth. When Barnett began the Bank of Jacksonville in 1877, he couldn’t have known it would grow into one of the largest banks in the South. After Herbert Hoover, Alfred’s wife, Jessie Ball duPont, changed direction. Her hair was graying, but her eyes still sparkled.

Barnett’s personification of its first Automatic Teller Machine frightened Southern working class families. Charles Rice said he’d never sell “Bion Barnett’s bank.” Then he checked into rehab. Then he sold. Then he drowned in his own swimming pool. Now UNF is making the Barnett “the front door to the startup community in Jacksonville.”