Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Meurice

Here's a larger building that, at first glance, looked like a school to me.  But this three story apartment house in Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood sold late last year, and units are now on the market as condominiums.

The Meurice apartments, 2061 Forbes Street, Jacksonville, Florida, built in 1926.  This red brick building contains 12 apartments.  There are nine two-bedroom and three one-bedroom units.  According to Trulia, the Meurice sold for $710,000 in September 2011.  In 2000 it had sold for $385,000; based on pictures, the previous owner had extensively renovated the interior prior to the most recent sale last year.

There are several entrances to this handsome building, which is located at the corner of Forbes and Goodwin Streets.

Welcome to the Meurice.  The name is spelled out on the tile floor of the landing at each of the entrances.

Looking up as you stand at the door--

And here's a peek inside.  The apartment interiors have many original features, including high ceilings, fireplaces, and formal dining rooms.

These are sun-filled apartments judging from the many windows.  The window style varies.  Here's a casement window with a fancy cast-stone pediment.

Here, a more simple casement.

And, elsewhere in the building, traditional sash windows.

There is interesting brick work across the facade, and ornamental barrel-tile along the roof line.

This positive message on the sidewalk outside the Meurice told me something about the people who live there.

A little further along I found this one:

Finally, upon returning to the front door, I noticed this:

I think some nice people reside at the Meurice!

The Meurice is another example of how large and small-scale multi-family buildings co-exist nicely with single-family homes in this historic neighborhood.  It is a pleasant location.  The 5 Points shopping district is a block away; the beautiful St. Johns River is a comfortable six block walk.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

An Oak Street Mixed Use Building

Here's another interesting example of a vintage mixed-use building in Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood, providing retail space on the ground floor and apartments upstairs.

2253 Oak Street, Jacksonville, Florida.  My best guess would date the building back to the mid-1920's.  It is located on a commercial stretch of Oak Street, with residential buildings and single-family homes in close proximity.  This pleasant building features a curious mix of Tudor-revival and Mediterranean-revival styles.

Quoins surround the entrance to the upstairs apartments; a cast-stone shield and the inscribed address hover above the door which is shaded by a steeply pitched barrel tile roof.

The "A" on the shield no doubt refers to the building's original name, but I have not been able to find any information on the name or the architect

Store-fronts are reminiscent of another era, but these are retail establishments of the new century.

Signage in this laundry helps reinforce the vintage feel of the building...

Upstairs, apartments feature balconies.  Exposed "timbers" reinforce the Tudor-revival style while the green barrel tiles are more in keeping with the neighborhood's many Mediterranean-revival buildings.

This balcony is one side of the building; there's no overhang, but an awning does the trick.

Wrought-iron railings help set off the balconies.

Behind the building, tenants find parking space in the ruins of a one-time garage. 

Mother nature is only too happy to take over what's left of the structure...

Here's a bonus.  I found this beautiful staghorn perched on a wall on the side of the building.  I've got a smaller staghorn I brought to Atlanta when we moved up here from Miami.  I've managed to keep it alive by bringing it into the basement every winter.  Once the weather warms up I take it back outdoors.  This annual moving no doubt prevents my staghorn from getting this large...but keeps it a manageable size!

Now back to our featured building...

2253 Oak Street may very well be the work of one of Jacksonville's premier architects (or teams) from the 1920's.  There are commercial buildings nearby by Mark & Sheftall and Marsh & Saxelbye.