Archive for the ‘Springfield’ Category

I want to preface this entry with a few comments. I will be talking a bit about race relations in the United States and I want to be clear that I am not an expert on the subject. The opinions that I give are just that. I have taken a few classes at UNF that have dealt with race issues, like the Civil Rights Movement and a sociology class or two, but it takes someone with years of experience to give an educated viewpoint. This obviously will not stop me from providing my ignoble observations. I certainly do not want to say that I am representing the views of my school or the City of Jacksonville. So enough of the paid program disclosures and on with the writtin’.

Back in the mid-twentieth century, Jacksonville used incinerator plants as means to rid the city of solid waste.  There were many plants around town and some were even close to residential areas.  After the plants closed due to more modern waste management methods, the land where the plants once occupied were often redeveloped.  Recent studies have shown, however, that these plants have contributed to ground and water pollution with deposits of harmful chemicals, including lead.  

One of the areas that was due to higher levels of lead was an elementary school called Forest Park in North Riverside.


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Wing Hotel ca. 1930’sMy first visit to the historic commission office was in the fall of 2006 when I researching the town of Bayard, FL for a class project. My professor of Public History, Dr. Carolyn Williams, referred me to Mr. McEachin for assistance. At the time, I was only slightly aware of the historic commission’s function for the city.  I gleaned a lot of knowledge in that first visit.

I knew that they wielded some degree of local authority over the city’s designated historic areas and landmarks. Areas like Riverside/Avondale, Springfield and downtown  were certain historic districts.  But, I was surprised to find out that San Marco and Murray Hill have not been given such designations.

Some of the functions that I learned about in that first visit was documentation and historic appropriateness. They keep a library of archival files on thousands of historic structures and landmarks in town. The information they had on Bayard became my primary source of reference for my project. (Side note: Before having to go to a city office, I would recommend researching structures at local libraries (of course), historical societies and preservation associations first.)

It was also interesting to overhear a conversation one of the planners had with a contractor. Apparently the contractor was trying to replace some windows on a house in Riverside with a modern style sash. The planner was trying to work with him on alternate window options that would meet the historic board’s approval. If you have ever had to submit architectural plans to the city for permitting, you might have had a similar encounter with a plans examiner. Not only are they there to approve or disapprove plans but they are also available for consultation. The planner in the historic commission seemed to work in a similar sort of fashion. It makes sense that the administrative arm of the historic commission is housed in the same overall department as building inspections and permitting offices.

I will be meeting with Joel McEachin, big boss man in the historic commission office, on Thursday to discuss my internship/volunteer job. Hopefully, everything will go well and I won’t make a big fool of myself like I did in my interview with his boss. (For some odd reason I kept saying that I “loved” everything. My neighborhood, my house, my professors. I think I was a bit nervous and couldn’t get my brain to come up with any other verbs.)

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