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Longtime Jacksonville Residents End Their Home Search at The John Gorrie a condominium

February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Homeowners at The John Gorrie a condominium, Valerie Williams and Charlie Bell

After one year of searching for the perfect home to buy, married couple Valerie Williams and Charlie Bell were drawn to the atmosphere, amenities and surrounding community of The John Gorrie a condominium.

“Charlie was born and raised in Jacksonville and moved to the Riverside/Avondale area about five years ago. I moved to the Beaches area in the eighties, but after I started dating Charlie I was spending more time in this neighborhood and it began to feel like home,” said Williams, a retiree of Duval County Schools. “I love the old neighborhood atmosphere that is not found in the suburbs and the ability to walk to restaurants, shops, the grocery store, salons, live music venues, churches and more – all in a scenic, vibrant and artistic community with a diverse population.”

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.

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.

Williams and Bell first toured The John Gorrie during the Riverside Avondale Tour of Homes. Upon entering the building, Williams quickly recalled that she had previously been there when the building was being used as a middle school.

“I was very impressed that the building still had the feeling of being a school,” she said. “Original doors, window frames and radiators align the hallways and some of the homes even have original wooden floors from the former gymnasium and classrooms.”

The charm of The John Gorrie was not lost on Williams.

“Every home is unique because Mrs. Weaver did all that she could to retain as much of the historical aspect of the building as possible, yet each home has modern amenities,” she said.

Home owners at The John Gorrie for four months, Williams and Bell have enjoyed the amenities and have attended social gatherings with other residents.

The John Gorrie offers studios, 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.

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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