Criteria 5: Its value as a building is recognized for the quality of architecture, and it retains sufficient elements showing its architectural significance
The Sunday school building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure to the Downtown Jacksonville Historic District. According to the NRHP, it contributes to a district that “contains a contiguous group of resources that relate to the development of downtown Jacksonville as a commercial, institutional, and residential hub for the city following the Great Fire of May 3, 1901.” In other words, the building is historically significant not only in its own right, but also as as valuable part of Downtown’s architectural fabric.
Criteria 6: It has distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials
The Sunday school building is in the Renaissance Revival style, an architectural movement most popular in the U.S. in the 1880s and 1890s. As its name implies, it incorporated influences from the Italian Renaissance in contemporary designs. According to Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage by Wayne Wood, the building’s upper level is “richly adorned with terracotta ornaments, basket-weave patterned brickwork, and paired arched windows within larger arches, which surmount uninterrupted vertical piers.” Built during the height of Florida’s 1920s land boom, it is a relatively late Renaissance Revival building. This, combined with the fact that Florida developed largely after the style’s heyday, means that it is one of the few Renaissance Revival buildings remaining in Florida. There are only 9 buildings of this style in the Downtown Jacksonville historic district, comprising the bulk of the Renaissance Revival buildings still standing in the city.
Criteria 7: Its suitability for preservation or restoration
Structurally, the Sunday School Building is in perfectly good shape, inside and out. In fact, it’s currently in use as the home of First Baptist’s singles ministry. It is certainly a good candidate for preservation and restoration.
Saving the Sunday school building
The Sunday school building passes the criteria for being designated an important Jacksonville landmark, and we at The Jaxson strongly encourage the Historic Preservation Commission to recognize it as such.
We encourage our readers interested in saving the building to contact the Historic Preservation Commission and ask them to landmark the Sunday school building with a policy-based argument centered around the criteria. If possible, attend their meeting, which will be held at the Ed Ball Building at 214 North Hogan Street at 3 p.m. Wednesday, February 26. Contacts for the members, as well as Jacksonville City Council and the Downtown Investment Authority, are below.
Historic Preservation Commission
Commission contacts: Phone: (904) 255-7800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Planner Supervisor: Christian Popoli Phone (904) 255-7859 Email: CPopoli@coj.net
Downtown Investment Authority
CEO: Lori Boyer Phone: (904) 255-5301 Email: email@example.com
Mayor Lenny Curry Phone: (904) 255-5000 Email: MayorLennyCurry@coj.net
District Council Members
District 1: Joyce Morgan Phone: (904) 255-5201 Email: JoyceMorgan@coj.net
District 2: Al Ferraro Phone: (904) 255-5202 Email: Ferraro@coj.net
District 3: Aaron L. Bowman Phone: (904) 255-5203 Email: ABowman@coj.net
District 4: Scott Wilson Phone: (904) 255-5204 Email: SWilson@coj.net
District 5: LeAnna Cumber Phone: (904) 255-5205 Email: LCumber@coj.net
District 6: Michael Boylan Phone: (904) 255-5206 Email: MBoylan@coj.net
District 7: Reggie Gaffney Phone: (904) 255-5207 Email: RGaffney@coj.net
District 8: Ju’Coby Pittman Phone: (904) 255-5208 Email: JPittman@coj.net
District 9: Garrett L. Dennis Phone: (904) 255-5209 Email: GarrettD@coj.net
District 10: Brenda Priestly Jackson Phone: (904) 255-5210 Email: BPJackson@coj.net
District 11: Danny Becton Phone: (904) 255-5211 Email: DBecton@coj.net
District 12: Randy White Phone: (904) 255-5212 Email: RandyWhite@coj.net
District 13: Rory Diamond Phone: (904) 255-5213 Email: RDiamond@coj.net
District 14: Randy DeFoor Phone: (904) 255-5214 Email: RDefoor@coj.net
At-Large Council Members
Group 1: Terrance Freeman Phone: (904) 255-5215 Email: TFreeman@coj.net
Group 2: Ronald B. Salem Phone: (904) 255-5216 Email: RSalem@coj.net
Group 3: Tommy Hazouri Phone: (904) 255-5217 Email: THazouri@coj.net
Group 4: Matt Carlucci Phone: (904) 255-5218 Email: MCarlucci@coj.net
Group 5: Samuel Newby Phone: (904) 255-5219 Email: SNewby@coj.net