Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

Remembering the Be-Ins at Willowbranch Park

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For the briefest of moments, it was the most magical time, wild yet somehow innocent. The be-ins at Willowbranch Park in the late ’60s featured a broil of young musicians, out of which rose the Allman Brothers Band. The be-ins meant long hair, beads and tie-dye, hippies walking barefoot through Riverside, cheap rent in old mansions, but more than anything, they meant music.

The Last Remaining Doro Artwork in Jax

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Months ago, the historic Doro Fixture Co. Building in Downtown Jax was demolished. It’s a shame. George Doro’s sole lasting architectural masterpiece, however, might just be the icon screen he designed and built for St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church. His signature was an unblinking eye. His iconostasis just moved to its third location and now has a chapel all its own. Make your pilgrimage to Doro’s great artwork. 

New Story: The Ancient Timucuan Community of Sarabay

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This is the ancient Timucuan Indian community of Sarabay. For more than two decades, UNF archaeologist Keith Ashley suspected it. Now he’s sure. European pottery found here matches notes in French and Spanish writings from the 1560s to the early 1600s. For the Mocama, the Timucuan people who lived here for thousands of years, European contact meant the beginning of the end.

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: Hogan’s Creek Tower

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Who were they, these women in these earliest photographs? Who called this tower their “poor man’s penthouse”? Opened in 1976, Hogan’s Creek Tower, designed by architect Ted Pappas, is one of Jacksonville’s best examples of Brutalism. Like any community, it has its stories. Like the resident who wandered away and spent his 100th Christmas meandering for 17 hours across the city.

Two Stories for Mother’s Day

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Two weird little stories for Mother’s Day. About two memorials to Patricia Ann Lynch Austin, former Jax first lady, one memorial missing a tree, the other accidentally raising hard questions about motherhood. My mother always encouraged my writing. She died three quarters of my life ago. Hopefully she’d like these two weird little stories.

Here’s the first: https://jaxpsychogeo.com/the-center-of-the-city/mother-and-child-sculpture-downtown/

& here’s the second: https://jaxpsychogeo.com/west-riverside-avondale/willowbranch-park-and-cenotaph-for-dogwood/

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The Strange Florida Gothic Epic of Kelnepa

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The original house exists beneath the house poured on top. Raymond Saleeba remembers his grandmother’s Lebanese cooking and playing with his siblings here as the happiest times in his life. The strangeness came later, with the house redubbed “Tuscan River Estate.” The sports car bought with worthless stock. Multi-million dollar con jobs. Brides who had to find other venues for their weddings.

New Story: Schools Named for Confederates and the Demise of Manhattan Beach

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Joseph Finegan Elementary School, named for a Confederate general, stands where segregated black Manhattan Beach once was. White developers said they wanted “Negroes removed from the oceanfront” and the one business whose family didn’t sell was destroyed in a “mysterious fire.” So, “what’s in a name?” Juliet asked. 

New Story: Epping Forest

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Epping Forest is the grandest historic estate in Jacksonville. Well known, the summits of world leaders here. Well known, its original owner’s personal manipulation of banking in the Great Depression. Why, however, did Alfred Dent believe his grandmother, Jessie Ball duPont, and her brother, Edward Ball, had murdered his grandfather, Alfred duPont? Also, what’s up with the pelicans and squirrels and vampire faces?

New Story: Doty Apartments/Red Cannon’s Barbershop/Ted Pappas Associates

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Here was Red Cannon’s political hq. Here, that old jazz musician once lived. Here, indictments against city officials arrived. Here, the young architect Ted Pappas opened his first office. In the Doty Apartment Building were cigar packers and tax collectors, attorneys and physicians. It’s history is as full and diverse as that of a city.