Tag Archives: jax psycho geo

The Adams Building: from the Vice Wars to “Rehumanizing the Broken Man”

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.

New Story: Jacksonville University Apartment District: French Quarter Apartments / University Townhomes

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It was an optimistic time. 50 years ago this Christmas. Today Richard Minor stands where he first learned to walk. His father taught astronomy at Jacksonville University, across the street from this then-new apartment district. His mother, a stenographer, played the ukele, read thick novels and made the martinis at 5. The ’60s promised a younger, more prosperous and more educated America.

The 500th Story

New Story: The Park Lane Apartment Building

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When Hurricane Irma assailed the building, all they could see from the 10th floor was the water. It had been a long time since Tim first decided, at 10 years old, he’d one day call the Park Lane home. It had been a long time since the president of Barnett Bank petitioned the church to “unclaim” his “daughter” so he could marry her, since the future author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” Madeleine L’Engle called the Park Lane home. Not so long since Ivey jetted to Newport with Brownie to meet Foxy and Mary. Nor since Evelyn Nehl, who called the penthouse suite home, brought the AIDS Quilt to Jacksonville.

New Story: Sin City (the Urban Legends / the True Story)

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Actor Darrell Zwerling hadn’t yet starred in Polanski’s Chinatown, when he stayed at Fox Meadows, saying, “This is the life. Swimming & Sunning all day and acting at night.” The apartments advertised, “Luxury Living at Reasonable Rates,” but “No Children” soon became “Adults Only.” By the time Fox Meadows became the Rivermont in the 1970s, drugs and prostitution branded the apartments “Sin City,” a moniker that soon spread to the surrounding neighborhood. The urban legends are legion; here’s the true story.

New Story: The Lions of Drew and McConihe

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The lions looked out on Bay Street, facing north, four stories high, for 70 years. Irony brought them down: the life insurance company cut short their reign. Now they stand beneath the glass giant that for years so awkwardly dwarfed the city and await our pilgrimage.

This Week’s Story: Tip Top Tavern / Randall’s Ranch House Restaurant

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Before that night the Ku Klux Klan wore their hoods in for dinner, before somebody assaulted Randall Fleiss and stole his ivory, before Ron Pate initiated his “If you want to fight, you have to fight me” policy, Darryl Swearingen asked his mother if he could take a job washing dishes. The story of the Tip Top Tavern / Randall’s Ranch House Restaurant dates back almost a century.

New Story: Dix Ellis Trail

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The ghetto’s relocated to the suburbs. The cheap hotel by the interstate interchange is the port city of 500 years ago. Drugs and sex slaves do brisk business. Jacksonville murders black transwomen. I B-my-OB at suburban hotel truck stops and transcribe the “marketplace of ideas.” Get your kicks on Dix Ellis Trail!

Conflicting Tales of the Burdette/Clarke House

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This week’s story, as Hurricane Dorian bears down on Florida, proves suitable for stormy weather. The 1887 riverfront house in Floral Bluff isn’t as well known as it should be. It is, however, for sale. Its story involves moonlight shrimping, an “abandoned sanitarium,” and a frustrated artist.