Tag Archives: Regency Square Mall

When the City Dumped Sewage Sludge on the Regency Dunes

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National headlines announced fecal matter raining across the city. Sewage lines collapsed without being replaced. Treatment facilities were overwhelmed. Tankers dumped sewage sludge on the sand dunes behind Regency Square Mall where kids had jumped their dune buggies and dads shot World War II rifles. The mayor jumped into the sludge wars.

The Rise and Fall of Regency Square Mall

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“All roads lead to Regency Square,” they said, “the largest shopping center in the Southeast,” a “city within a city.” The shopping mall seemed to replace the heart of the city itself. All spectacles converged there — dancing bears, the Easter Bunny, art shows, wax figures of English monarchs. Then came the fall and the era of the “dead mall.” 

New Story: Wandering the Ruins of the Thunderbird Motor Hotel

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The Thunderbird Motor Hotel lies in ruins on 19 acres. We wander through it. It was “one of the brightest jewels in the Florida Crown,” created to “give Jacksonville a Las Vegas, New York, big-city type of night club atmosphere.” It featured multiple lounges like The Zodiac Room and The Wonderfall, dinner theatre and convention space. The stars came. For a while. Few realized its full history of financial troubles. Now a hawk flies over the abandoned swimming pool. Click below for the story.