Local Folks: Lauren Carlucci

Local Folks: Lauren Carlucci
The Carlucci Family

As of May, Lauren Carlucci is the newly elected president of the San Marco Preservation Society, this role following her one-year stint as vice president. She’s a natural fit for the organization, folks agree, and some are curious to know how she got there.

As a Jacksonville University student, Carlucci changed her major seven times before graduating from the University of North Florida with a communications degree centered on advertising. She then entered the workforce as a teacher. “I tend to be interested in a lot of different things,” she said.

Carlucci began teaching as a long-term substitute at Twin Lakes Academy Middle School for a sixth-grade class. From there, she took on third-grade classes for two years at Chaffee Trail Elementary. “It was wonderful!” she said of her time in the classroom. But she left when she and her husband (Matt Carlucci Jr., co-owner of Brightway Insurance on Hendricks Avenue) decided they wanted to start a family and that she would be a stay-at-home mom.

Caring too much for her students to ever consider leaving in the middle of a semester to give birth, Carlucci planned it so that she left teaching at the end of a school year and took on interim work before her children arrived. In 2012, in the gap between teaching and motherhood, she landed a paid office position at San Marco Preservation Society. Now, she has 8-year-old Matthew III and 6-year-old Lilly Kate.

In 2019, the Carluccis stepped into an opportunity to move from Worth Drive to Alexandria Place North. While they were deciding to make the purchase, there was a development project happening nearby. Carlucci involved herself with Right Size San Marco, a grassroots group of concerned neighbors. She felt it wouldn’t be right to get upset about the building of structures just because she didn’t like it; she was more concerned with knowing if the project coordinators were complying with the law. “I went knee-deep into the zoning code,” she said of her year-long research on land use laws. She and her husband ended up buying the house. The developers proceeded with the nearby project.

Carlucci’s involvement in that process required talks with her former employer, the San Marco Preservation Society. Robin Robinson, Chair of the Nominating Committee and Linzee Ott, President of the Society at that time took notice of Carlucci’s zeal and asked her to join the Society’s board as the Land Use and Zoning Chair. Carlucci accepted the voluntary position. That was in 2020. The following year, Carlucci became VP. Now, she’s the newly elected president.

To lead an organization whose mission is to preserve, protect, and renew is an apt role for Carlucci, as one of her many passions is for restoration. “Just the idea of taking something old and making it new again,” she said. With no background in architecture, she planned and designed the renovations of her family’s house. “I love interior design and space planning. I love the historic character that these older homes have. You just don’t get that with new construction,” she said. Carlucci likes to retain the historic character and combine it with modern flair. She enjoys restoring old furniture, too. “I love to go to the antique stores around town and window shop or take something home.”

Carlucci said of her family, “We love the idea of a walkable neighborhood.” It’s one of the many reasons they relish their Alexandria Place home. They can walk to their church, Aspire, for worship. They can walk to The Square for dinner. They can walk to Heyday to buy toys and clothes for the kids. They can walk across the street to Brown Whatley Park to play. “It is lovely, too, living right across the way from my in-laws,” Carlucci said. No matter where they walk, they meet people they know. Carlucci likes that. “In San Marco, you really have a community that you don’t have everywhere,” she said.

Lauren Carlucci loves San Marco! But she likes to travel, too. In fact, the family returned recently from a trip to Italy, where her husband was able to engage his Italian conversation skills while she browsed antique shops.

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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