Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

New Story: Lawton Pratt Funeral Home

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

Even today, architectural historians often fail to give Joseph Blodgett his due. Architecture, like everything else in the South, was segregated.

Anyone ready to make a joke about conflicts of interest in funeral homes running ambulance services should also know that Lawton Pratt operated a life insurance office in the building while workers built caskets upstairs in the back.

Bebe Deluxe, Storybook Pride Prom, and the History of Gay Pride at Willowbranch Park and Library

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

It’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, and at Willowbranch Library, an epicenter of gay rights history in Jacksonville, hundreds of supporters of gender and sexual minority young people rally in their defense after Jacksonville Public Libraries Director Tim Rogers canceled their sold-out Pride Prom.

Now there are two teen pride events, instead of one. The prom still takes place, at a now undisclosed location, a local church, and hundreds of supporters rally at Willowbranch Library to express their solidarity and love.

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

David Karpeles understands what Mary Baker Eddy knew: that one sheet of paper can move a planet. A decade after the founding of the Mother Church in Boston, Jax had its own Christian Science congregation. It was supposed to be a “rational approach to spirituality,” but so was Spiritualism. Now this building’s spiritual acoustics soak up the city’s art and music. And that’s appropriate. 

The Saturday night before the GMAC Shooting, How Things Could Have Been Different

Click below for the full story:

Chris Shorter and Lynette Johnson were shot Saturday night. Monday morning, the same man committed the GMAC Mass Shooting, the worst in Florida for 16 years. Chris has always wondered why the police didn’t arrest the shooter before Monday morning. So have the mother and sister-in-law of Cyndi Perry, a GMAC employee who died that Monday morning. 

The Long Strange History of the Moulton and Kyle Funeral Home

Click below for this week’s story:

The history of the Moulton and Kyle Funeral Home graphs itself across the center of the city. It includes an undertaker who sold whiskey flasks and rifles, insurance agents who stole a corpse, and a couple who married in an ambulance; an associated funeral home became a movie theater. The new owners left behind a century of personal records and cremated remains. 

The Last Days of the Jacksonville Landing

Click below for the story:

The Jacksonville Landing is coming down. Zoltar never predicted it. The toy store kept frogs in a tank. A waitress calls Hooters “the soul of the Landing.” So long, Whack-a-gator! So long, taxiderm’d lion! So long, Jägermeister! Was it ever not inevitable? Just what exactly did the Landing have to do with Downtown? 

Beat Writers in Historic Springfield: William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Lewis Marker in Jax

Click below for the full story:

In 1952, while the Beat novelist William S. Burroughs awaited trial for killing his “common law” wife, Joan Vollmer, in Mexico City, he wrote most of the novel Queer, in which a fictionalized Burroughs named William Lee pursues a fictionalized Adelbert Lewis Marker of Jacksonville named Eugene Allerton with undisguised lustful aggression through Mexico City.

When Marker sought refuge back home in Jacksonville’s Victorian Springfield, Burroughs came to call, as did Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg wrote novelist Jack Kerouac about drinking rum with Marker on East 4th Street or East 6th Street. Burroughs wrote his first two novels for Marker, said if Marker didn’t like them, he’d never write again, though he seems to have forgotten the wife he’d just shot in the forehead and killed.

Mediterranean Southern Gothic

Click below for the full story:

It’s a Mediterranean yet Southern Gothic masterpiece set beside Little Pottsburg Creek. Drivers on Atlantic Boulevard have wondered at the house for decades. The legends proliferate.

It was Harry Moyer who made this 1920s architectural gem a true work of art. He drenched the original design in his masterful tilework. The house has survived decline before, but it needs you now more than ever.

Suddath / Van Valkenburgh House

Click below for the story.

The citrus grove featured the first Satsumas in North America. Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh had brought them from Japan. He’d raised 17 volunteer regiments for the Union in the Civil War, included the one he commanded at Antietam. The Suddaths called this rambling house home for 70 years and dug old bottles from the bluff. Jessica climbed the roof as a child. 

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.