Tag Archives: Henry John Klutho

Hogans Creek, Barometer for the Health of the City

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Hogans Creek, part of Jacksonville’s “Emerald Necklace,” reflects the level of care the city takes of itself. It always has. It’s been both garbage dump and pseudo-Venetian “Grand Canal.” It’s taken lives. It’s provided a getaway route for the city’s most famous alligator. Now it’s part of Groundwork Jacksonville’s plan for an Emerald Trail. Hogans Creek is a barometer of the health of the city. 

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 Old Fed; Or, How Henrietta Dozier Bent the Rules

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The Old Fed is as full of contradictions as was Henrietta Dozier, the Jax architect who sometimes went by “Mr. Dozier” and “Harry.” She didn’t break the rules but she bent them all. Recently I wandered with architect Brooke Robbins through Dozier’s Federal Reserve Bank Building, one of a dozen historic structures being restored within a couple blocks downtown. 

Resuscitating Klutho’s Last Downtown Design, the Florida Baptist Convention Building

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For 40 years, the Florida Baptist Convention Building has stood abandoned. Now architect Brooke Robbins is bringing the old building, the last downtown design by architect Henry John Klutho, back to life. Recently I wandered with Brooke up the stone stairwell, through the building’s history, to its rooftop.

New Story: Architect Ted Pappas’s Design for St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church

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The first solo design for architect Ted Pappas, son of Greek immigrants, was the new home of the city’s Greek Orthodox church. The history of St. John the Divine reflects the history of the Greek community in Jacksonville. The icon screen, built by George Doro a century ago, moved to Pappas’s postmodern design from the original church, a historic landmark demolished for a parking lot. Now, a new congregation has saved this sanctuary for another generation.

Springfield’s Florence Court Apartments

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Cyara likes to imagine herself “Queen Florence.” More than a century before, the builder of the Florence Court named these apartments for his wife. On the sidewalk, you’d buy linen spats and a ham and beef tongue sandwich. So why was the architect’s name an open secret for 50 years? Mushrooms grow downward from ceilings. This building’s declined almost all its life. Who’s ready to step forward and save it? 

Walking the Vanished Old Panama Road

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The Old Panama Road disappeared beneath the Northside of the city 120 years ago. This story tracks it. It heads north from the murder of Marie Gato, past Club Steppin’ Out, through the diary of a black Civil War soldier reading Lord Byron, a Spanish American War camp teeming with Typhoid Fever and the burning of a sawmill the size of a small town. 

Story #509: Riverdale Inn / Brazile House / Kelly House

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Walter Brazile founded B & B Exterminating Co. in his rambling old boarding house. He nurtured the business and nurtured people, including Rufus King, Jr., brother of Virginia, author of that 8,448-page book about Jax. William Kelly, turpentine magnate, built the house 115 years ago. Albert O’Neall, though a Quaker, took a job here building bombing ranges. Now the former HQ of B & B has been restored as a bed-and-breakfast. One of my favorite writers stayed here just last week.

Ellenelle: An Architectural Tribute and Shrine to a Great Writer

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The house called Ellenelle is a tribute to the architecture of Henry John Klutho. It’s also a sacred space, a private literary and family temple. Ed had hoped that perhaps in his aunt’s last years, the great writer might come to live here. The bedroom to the side of the library is hers, even if she never inhabited it.

The Life and Multiple Deaths of the Drew Building

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The story of the building at 45 West Bay Street concerns a bear, Jacksonville’s first bookstore, Ottis Toole, the tragic deaths of construction workers, multiple demolition plans, the ghost of a third floor and the love of an architect who refused to let this building die. Now Urban Grind Coffee, Folio Weekly and other businesses call the Drew Building home. Click below for the story.