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Historic Elements, Location Attract Jacksonville Native to The John Gorrie a condominium

March 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mark Pariani, homeowner at The John Gorrie a condominium

Jacksonville-area native Mark Pariani has proudly called The John Gorrie a condominium “home” since November 2014. Recently approved for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) financing, owners within The John Gorrie are a combination of young professionals like Pariani, as well as families and retirees seeking its convenient location and historic charm.

“I first heard about The John Gorrie through word of mouth and from seeing the building itself and signs throughout Riverside, but its historical significance and how well the exterior and some of the interior elements have been preserved is what attracted me,” said Pariani. “The artifacts in the hallways, such as chalkboards and auditorium seats, give a sense of what used to be, while making it a fun and entertaining space.”

The John Gorrie’s owner, Delores Barr Weaver, completed an extensive renovation and restoration to transform the historic landmark school into 68 residences with luxurious contemporary amenities including 12-foot ceilings, expansive windows, stainless steel GE appliances, CaesarStone countertops and hardwood floors.

“My home overlooks the courtyard and receives wonderful morning light and is well-insulated from the outside elements,” Pariani explained. “The windows are protected from an overhang, so even on a rainy day I can have all my windows open and listen to the rain while reading or working. Enough natural light comes through the windows during the day that I rarely need to turn on the lights until dusk.”

Designed by noted Jacksonville architects Roy A. Benjamin and Mellen C. Greeley, the school’s ornate design reflects Mediterranean Revival architecture popular in the early 1920s. The former John Gorrie Junior High School was built in 1923, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and later closed in 1997. After a dozen years of neglect and disrepair, Weaver began the meticulous restoration and renovation of the two buildings that housed the school, investing a substantial amount of her own time and money into the project.

 “One of my favorite things about life at The John Gorrie is the convenience of its location. On any given afternoon I can grab a cup of tea, stroll through Memorial Park, take in a matinee movie, eat Asian-inspired street fare and pick up some light reading at the book store – all without having to get in my car,” said Pariani.

The John Gorrie offers one- and two-bedroom residences and two-story townhomes. Amenities include a custom fitness center, a private courtyard, elevators, private gated parking and a resident reading room with Wi-Fi Internet access. Residents are also in close proximity to the St. Johns River and a variety of beautiful parks. Owners at The John Gorrie a condominium receive an ad valorem tax abatement toward their homeowner’s tax bill through 2021.

“One of the most unique things about The John Gorrie is it is a historical preservation project,” said Pariani. “I believe the landscape in Jacksonville is ripe for these type of projects and I feel honored to be living in one.”

For more information about how you can be part of The John Gorrie community, call (904) 383-3688 or visit www.TheJohnGorrie.com.

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