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The Historic Preservation and Renovation of The John Gorrie a condominium

November 22nd, 2011 · Leave a Comment

In 2009, Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and a tireless community advocate, took a leap of faith and purchased an old, abandoned school that had once been an architectural gem in the historic neighborhood of Riverside/Avondale. Designed by architects, Roy A. Benjamin and Mellen C. Greeley, John Gorrie Junior High School was built in 1923, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and officially closed in 1997. After 12 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.

The restoration and renovation of the former John Gorrie Junior High School began in 2009, and the birth of The John Gorrie a condominium, was revealed in 2011. Given the size of the building and its surrounding site, in addition to its historical significance, the renovation of John Gorrie Junior High School is an important component of the continued revitalization of the Riverside-Avondale historic neighborhood and a monument to the rich architectural heritage of the area. The John Gorrie a condominium, is of the Mediterranean revival style, which contains architectural elements of both Spanish and Italian influences.

Many of the floor plans offered by The John Gorrie a condominium, feature distinctive layouts based on the original John Gorrie Junior High School classrooms. One residence features the original flooring from the stage in the auditorium, while another home features the original crest with reproduced molding around the front of the stage. Several residences have exposed brick walls; others have private verandas or access to the interior courtyard. The former principal’s office now serves as a reading room for residents, adorned with refinished cabinets from the school, a pedestal from a former bird bath provided by the June 1926 class, as well as concrete benches donated by the 1929 class of students. The hallways display as artwork original windows and doors, chalkboards, radiators and a teachers’ mail cubby.

Great lengths were taken to modernize the building to today’s housing standards. During the renovation, more than 81 miles of electrical wire, 78 separate air-conditioning units, and 25,000 concrete pavers were used to complete the building. Old wood flooring was retained where possible, but nearly 30,000 square feet of new wood flooring were also installed. The two buildings combined boast a total of 725 new exterior windows. Modern luxuries in all residences include stainless steel GE appliances, CaesarStone countertops, gourmet kitchens and pedestal sinks in bathrooms. Contemporary amenities include a custom-designed fitness center, elevators, private gated parking and a resident reading room featuring Wi-Fi internet access. The restored original private courtyard provides residents with a tranquil outdoor gathering space.  The John Gorrie a condominium, features 68 residences including studios, one and two-bedroom condominiums, and two-story townhomes ranging in size from 800 square feet to 1,800 square feet.

For more information about the opportunity to own a piece of local history and to schedule a sales appointment with the onsite Prudential Network Realty representatives Lee Elmore and Wes Dailey, call (904) 383-3688 or visit www.TheJohnGorrie.com.

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