Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Hartmore

Here's another of the "grand dames" of Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood, an apartment house constructed because there was a need for, according to the Florida Times-Union, "an apartment deluxe, something exclusive, in the exclusive residential neighborhood."

The Hartmore Apartments, 2970 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida, 1924, Roy Benjamin architect, H.F. McAden contractor.   This was one of several upscale apartment houses built by the Benjamin-McAden team in Riverside. 

The Hartmore contained eight apartments, which ranged in size from three to six rooms.  According to Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Landmarks for the Future, there was a built-in garbage burning system and a separate garage for each tenant's automobile.  Cast-stone ornamentation surrounds each of the two main Riverside Avenue entrances to the building. 

Ornamental wrought-iron showcases the arched entry and is mirrored in the arched fan-light over the front door.

Other interesting details include elaborate tile work on the floor of the entry and iron railings flanking the front steps leading to the doorway.

A peek inside reveals a vestibule at each entrance leading to two ground-floor apartments and the stairway to the two upstairs units. 

The doorways to the apartments are glassed at the top to allow light from the hallway into each apartment.

The building's windows are in groups of three with a brick lintel and keystone above.  The windows flanking the main entrances feature cast-stone window boxes.

A cast-stone title is centered on the building.  Though the name is a bit faded by the years, you can still read "Hartmore".

Time, in the form of nature, is creeping up on some parts of the facade, as here around one of the lights.

Parking for tenants is in back.  There are no longer any signs of the garage parking that was once part of life at the Hartmore.

The Hartmore was constructed by Mrs. Daisy Hart Smith, described by the Florida Times Union as one of "Jacksonville's wealthiest women."  It was Mrs. Smith who determined the city was in need of "an apartment deluxe." 

Daisy Hart Smith's desire for a high-class apartment house became a reality in 1924 and continues its life as a good citizen in this historic neighborhood.  This fine building is one block from the St. Johns River.

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