National Trust to Map Built Environment in Jacksonville

NTHP_LOGO_1C_TaglineThe Jessie Ball duPont Fund has engaged the National Trust for Historic Preservation to conduct a county-wide analysis of Jacksonville, Florida’s historic districts and identify strategies to strengthen reuse of existing buildings throughout the community.

The National Trust analysis will complement both the Fund’s work in affordable housing as well as its work around energy conservation and sustainability.

With a grant of $100,000 awarded by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund trustees, the National Trust will conduct the Jacksonville analysis in the first half of 2016.

The analysis involves detailed maps of Jacksonville’s older and historic buildings, with specific data on age, size and character. The analysis also will evaluate the social, cultural and economic characteristics of building clusters and highlight areas where targeted reuse could positively influence community development.

The Trust has performed similar analyses in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit.

The trustees and staff of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund are deeply interested in building reuse for multiple reasons:

  • Reusing existing buildings is more energy efficient than demolishing them and building new structures.
  • Building reuse is a significant strategy for cities to mitigate their climate change impact.
  • Research shows that neighborhoods with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better along a range of economic, social and environmental measures when compared with newer neighborhoods with larger structures.

In 2015, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund completed restoration of the 50-year-old haydon Burns Library in downtown Jacksonville, converting it into offices and gathering spaces for Jacksonville area nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

Also that year, the Fund engaged The Reinvestment Fund to do a detailed analysis of Jacksonville residential housing stock. That study – The Block by Block Study – was released in fall 2015. (The report can be found under Housing in our Reports & Research section of our website.)

The National Trust report will be used in concert with the Block by Block Study to encourage local policymakers to support reuse of existing structures, particularly with an eye toward affordable housing options.

Posted February 2016