Tag Archives: Thunderbird Motor Hotel

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.