Tag Archives: Helmut Jahn

This is Where the First House Stood

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Here, Lewis Zachariah and Maria Hogans built the first house. It preceded the city (if you could call it that) of Jacksonville by six years. Oddly, the Spanish had built houses here before the “first house” was built. When hotels replaced it, the Old Hogans Well remained. The city burnt and rebuilt and burnt and rebuilt. Today, the concrete discus atop the city looks like a UFO landing pad.

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.”