Archive for the ‘Florida Theatre’ Category

Florida Theater Building

I met with Joel McEachin on Thursday for our interview in the historic commission office. The majority of the Planning and Development department’s administrative offices, including the historic section, are located in the Florida Theatre Building. Joel informed me that the planning and development department will eventually move into the Ed Ball Building next to Hemming Plaza. That will allow them to have all of their offices on one floor. Which, after taking a tour of the office, I can completely understand the merit in moving. We had to travel around a few different offices on two floors to see all of the historic section’s files and document archives.

One of the filing rooms is in an old projector room.  When the theater was in its heyday, the staff would use a small screening room (about half the size of San Marco Theatre) to view prospective entertainment.   The projector room had to be fireproof so it was surrounded in concrete walls.  And because the the person running the projector could not leave his/her post during a screening, there was a built-in, single restroom.  It looked like the restroom hadn’t been used in forty or fifty years.

Joel informed me about the projects that he hopes that I and the other volunteer, Brian, will be able to work on.  The Parks and Recreation department requested ther Historic section to research the history of all Jacksonville parks.  Fortunately, a man had already done extensive research on many of the parks.  Joel would like for us to continue the work.  He also mentioned a project on local cemetaries as well.  Other office duties (mundane but necessary) will be filing publications, helping set up for the commission meetings and data entry. 

I am very excited to get started.  I’m a little nervous to meet the rest of the historic section’s employees.  Although given Joel’s laidback, accepting nature I just don’t see how anyone in that office could be super uptight.


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