Tag Archives: Taylor Hardwick

The Autobiography of the San Juline

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The story of the San Juline Apartments includes artists, historians and Congressmen; social introductions, deaths and secret loves. A great old building has a dense life story. The speaking tubes are still in the walls and on certain nights, perhaps the spectral tour buses from a century ago still make stops from the grand downtown hotels. 

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.

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.

Jefferson Davis Junior High School

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My father and I were the only white people on the basketball court. He was 40 years older, at least, than everybody else. I’m writing this story on his 96th. He died six months ago tomorrow. 

Of what beloved Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick thought of designing new schools with the names of Confederate leaders, there’s no record. The only black faces in 1960s Jeff Davis yearbooks are those of the custodial staff. And the school principal, Wilber C. Johnson, standing beside a Confederate flag and wearing blackface.

“We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree. / We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree. / We will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree, / As we march along!”

St. Johns Flower Market’s Long Strange Trip

From Moonies to “flower pimps” to midcentury modern architecture, Click here for the strange and wondrous story of St. Johns Flower Market.

The Jacksonville Free Public Library–Whose Heads These Are I Think I Know

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Shakespeare and Herodotus look out across downtown from the tops of these columns. Whose heads would I stake here?

In a special election, Jacksonville nearly rejected Andrew Carnegie’s magnanimous donation for a new library.

I’d still like to find Elizabeth Long. I wonder if she’d touch me the way she touched the armless Hermes.