Tag Archives: Sandy Strickland

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.

Curry-Thomas: A taxidermied specimen for every year of business

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70 years from the founding of Curry-Thomas Hardware and Gun Shop, two men in their 70s stare at each other. They’re both retired cops. Roger’s father Everett Curry worried about the death of the hardware trade, but Charles Thomas’s son Steve says gun sales have kept the store thriving. Big-game trophies of physicians and philanthropists take starring roles in the hardware store menagerie.

Big Jim, Mouthpiece of the City’s Wild Soul

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Rexall Drugs sold the Americanitis Elixir to salve the nerves of anxious city dwellers suffering from noises like Big Jim. The State Board of Health condemned the old steam whistle, said it brought strong, rugged men to the breaking point. 

John Einig, the same inventor who built Jacksonville’s first automobile, had designed Big Jim. The whistle sounded the end of world wars, the dawn of electric lighting, the Great Fire of 1901, and the death of its inventor. The 140 year old whistle still sounds four times a day over Springfield and Downtown.