Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Art Moderne Exception

I call this apartment house an exception because an Art Moderne building in a neighborhood packed with Mediterranean Revivals is exactly that.  2951 Lydia Street is also very striking.  This type of architecture was common in the 1930s and '40s. My guess is that this eight apartment building at the corner of Lydia Street and Willow Branch Avenue in Jacksonville's historic Riverside dates to the 1940s.

Many of the common elements of Art Moderne buildings show up here.  Glass blocks frame the entrance doors.

Glass block can be found elsewhere on the facade along with horizontal grooves, another hallmark of the style.

The round port-hole windows on the Lydia Street side of the building are absent on the Willow Branch Avenue elevation. 

Another Art Moderne feature: windows that wrap around the corners.  The originals were almost certainly metal casement windows, which have a cleaner, crisper appearance.  However, the replacement windows are an indication that the building is well cared for. 

The Willow Branch Avenue side of the apartment house is asymmetrical, and, as noted above, does not feature the round windows. 

It does have this, tucked away in the corner...

A rounded balcony and planter sets off the right angle turn in the building.

A wrought-iron railing follows the curve of the balcony.  You can see the door with jalousie windows that leads to one of the apartments.  These windows were popular in Florida in the 1940s and '50s.

I found some interior shots of the building in a recent on-line advertisement for apartments for rent.  It appears the kitchens have the original cabinetry.  The eight apartments are two-bedroom units.

In this view of a bathroom you can see the porthole window.
I found it difficult to get a picture that shows the entire building to its full advantage on the corner of Lydia and Willow Branch Avenue.  A big oak tree puts most of the side on the right in shadows.  A more skilled photographer could figure this out.  But you get the idea.

The building is in a nice location.  Willow Branch Park is across the street.  The King Street shopping district is just a few blocks away and the St. Johns River is an easy walk.

There are a few Art Moderne buildings in the Riverside and Avondale historic districts, but they are vastly outnumbered by the more common Mediterranean Revivals and more traditional turn of the century buildings.  They stand out for this reason, and by their own virtues.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I love all of your posts on all the Historic Apartments in Riverside. I'm looking to rent one in the near future. Do you have any contact information for the landlords of these places? Thank you so much!