RAP celebrates neighborhood’s best with annual awards

RAP celebrates neighborhood’s best with annual awards
Southern Grounds

Two homes, an animal hospital, a new coffee shop, and park flower beds were among the honorees during the Riverside Avondale Preservation awards that were presented virtually during the nonprofit’s annual meeting Feb. 18.

More than 70 residents tuned in on Zoom to attend RAP’s first virtual annual meeting Feb. 18. Speaking at the event were RAP Board Chairman Brooks Andrews, RAP Executive Director Warren Jones, and District 14 City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor, who updated the community on projects of interest to its members treasure historic preservation.

The main event, the awards presentation, is held each year to celebrate individuals, organizations, and businesses who have greatly contributed to the historic ambience and welcoming, inclusive nature of the neighborhood. This year the awards were presented via a special video created by Jones. Another main feature of the meeting was the election of new board members, who have been nominated to serve the nonprofit. Andrews also announced the retirement of Jones, who has served the organization in an invaluable way as executive director for the past three years. After the awards presentation and election, viewers were transferred to special committee “break-out” sessions to discuss points of interest in smaller groups.

The awards were divided into two categories, Design and Construction, and Service.  The Design and Construction awards recognize the diligent work, careful design and craftsmanship of homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, and construction professionals.

Bold City Properties, owned by Glenn Chandler, won the “New Construction Residential Award” for a new home built at 3698 Eloise Street. Initially mistaken by the jury as a renovation, the home was found to be “the right size in the right place,” with a lovely wooden entry door and simple brick detailing to add scale and authenticity to the design.

3698 Eloise Street
3698 Eloise Street

Winning the “New Construction Commercial” category was Southern Grounds—Stellers Building by Skinner Jones Properties, Group 4 Design, and Angelo Group. The building is located in the Shoppes of Avondale. A large structure that is broken down into two unique storefronts of differing heights, the jury noted that the design helps transition from taller buildings at the center of the block to lower facades further out. Also, the large outdoor seating area in the main building adds “to the public space while respecting the line of the street façade,” said the jury. Of particular note was the gray color chosen for the taller section, which was deemed “quiet and simple,” and “delightfully focuses attention on the historic art deco façade” of Cady Realty to its right.

A modern home located at 2111 River Blvd. won the “Architectural Rehabilitation—Residential” category. Originally built for the Fisher Family by architects Fisher and Associates, it was restored by Zinn Architects & Interiors after the house was damaged on the first floor by Hurricane Irma.

2111 River Boulevard
2111 River Boulevard

Avondale Animal Hospital was recognized in the “Architectural Rehabilitation – Commercial” category. A combined effort by ShayCore Enterprises, Lane Architecture, and JAA Architecture, the project converted what was originally a residential structure and then a hair salon into a fully functioning veterinary clinic. “A large addition was seamlessly integrated with the massing of the original bungalow,” said the jury. “A thoughtful update of the existing exterior used the porte-cochere to incorporate the required handicap entry. The team also preserved most of the original exterior elements including the historic windows,” jurors added.

A restoration of the landscaping beds in Memorial Park by the City of Jacksonville received kudos in the “Landscape Design” category.  The goal of the restoration was to preserve the main components of the original 1922 plan by the Olmsted Brothers, which includes open space, key vistas, and a strong focus on the memorial sculpture. All plantings were diversified for seasonal interest and ease of maintenance.

Winning service awards were Cool Moose Café, Riverside Park United Methodist Church, Missy Kampmeyer, Margaret Dick Tocknell and the RAP Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the City of Jacksonville and Karissa Moffett, Go Tuk’n, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Sun-Ray Cinema, Noel Michael, and Nancy Powell.

Receiving “Good Neighbor Awards” were Cool Moose owners Tony and Laurie Jarvis, Riverside Park UMC, and Kampmeyer. The restauranteurs were recognized for the money they have raised for City Rescue Mission during the pandemic through their family meals program. The church was honored for its work providing free meals to front-line workers during the first weeks of the pandemic when restaurants were closed and workers were laid off. Meanwhile, Kampmeyer was celebrated for planning and hosting a free movie in Boone Park in December, where attendees enjoyed “Elf,” while feasting on free popcorn and hot cocoa. Kampmeyer also has started the “Love the 904” brand as a tribute to Jacksonville’s small business owners and locals. She is an advocate for community outreach and awareness in Avondale.

Honored with a “Community Support Award” were Tocknell, who chairs the RAP Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. After major flooding events last year, Tocknell’s committee developed a mapping program to pinpoint the areas in Riverside and Avondale experiencing major flooding issues. The map is currently being used by the Northeast Florida Regional Council and has been presented to the City of Jacksonville’s Committee on Resiliency that is chaired by District 14 Councilwoman Randy DeFoor. The committee also mapped all the alleyways in the historic district to determine their uses and maintenance status.

Heralded as “Project of the Year” was the Oak Street Bike Lanes, which were overseen by the City of Jacksonville and Moffett. When Oak Street was slated for repaving, city staff identified it as a bike lane candidate. Working with RAP and DeFoor, they endeavored to gain public support for the project, which was completed last year.

Stephanie Dale, owner of Go Tuk’n, a licensed touring company, was recognized as “Business Partner of the Year.” She has developed a historic Tuk Tuk tour through the Riverside Avondale area that explains the unique architectural styles and parks in the neighborhood. Her vehicles also provide a shuttle service to help support many local businesses.

JSO was bestowed with RAP’s “Public Partner of the Year Award,” for its ability to provide a safe environment throughout the neighborhood so residents and visitors and their families can enjoy the nonprofit’s Luminaria event.

The new “COVID-19 Innovation Award” went to Sun-Ray Cinema, a business that aptly reconsidered how to deliver its services when the pandemic hit. Cinema owners Shana David-Massett and Tim Massett decided to take their movies outside by showing drive-in movies around Jacksonville after the pandemic caused their 5 Points theater to temporarily close. Since then, they have found a more permanent drive-in location in Riverside for movie lovers to enjoy while also providing in-house movies where patrons can safely socially distance.

Bello Boopie, owned by Noel Michael, was named “Riverside Arts Market Maker of the Year.” He provided support and assistance to fellow vendors and customers when the pandemic descended and has helped RAM to develop an online market.

“The Wayne Wood Award,” which recognizes outstanding service to the Riverside Avondale neighborhood, was bestowed upon Nancy Powell, who has served the nonprofit as its board member and past chairman of the board of directors. Powell served on the board six years and was chair of RAP’s Zoning Committee. She also served on the Home Tour, Parks Task Force, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. Over the years she has led the City of Jacksonville pilot program called RAP ReLeaf, which worked to plant trees in city right of ways to help replenish the community’s aging tree canopy. Powell developed a Parks Task Force to focus energy on the 75 acres of park land in the historic neighborhood. Her work on the Zoning Committee was instrumental in preserving appropriate land use, zoning, and historic regulations.

New Board Members

Jeff Graff, Debi Pyne, Perry Reynolds and Ben White were elected as new board members for the 2020-21 term that expires in January 2023. They join several existing board members whose terms are renewed. Serving a second term will be Brooks Andrews, Jim Busch, Michele Luthin, Tenley Detrich and Laurie Jarvis. Lawson Carr will serve a third term.

Returning to the board will be Bill Shelton, Thad Crowe and Angela Schifanella.

Andrews will continue to serve as chairman of the board in 2021. Also, serving as officers will be Elizabeth Loftin as secretary, Shelton as treasurer, David Chauncey as governance officer, and Schifanella and Luthin as At-Large officers.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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