Our readers and viewers have told us over the years what they love about Jacksonville and the First Coast area. This time we asked what their favorite structure is and we received quite a variety of responses. Here they are:

 

Hands down — the Dames Point Bridge!! It represents all that downtown isn’t: Contemporary. Distinctive and Inviting.

Pat Evert, Jacksonville

I love the downtown Main Library Branch. It is an edifice in which we as a community can take great pride. Incorporating classical design elements of many venerable and historic libraries such as those of Boston and New York, it is also uniquely Jacksonville with its prairie style adornments and Florida-themed children’s rooms. Light filled and spacious, the interior welcomes while the exterior blends seamlessly with the older buildings around it. The open-air garden is a lovely oasis in a bustling downtown. The owl and key sculpture adorning the facade remind us that knowledge should be accessible to all. The library reminds us that public places can be both functional and beautiful.

JeanTepas, Avondale

I have long thought the Gulf Life Tower on the southbank as the most appealing structure in Jacksonville. Its name has changed over the years, but its structure features vertical columns supporting the cantilevered floor levels without obvious means of support at the building corners. In all, a pretty slick trick.

Bill Dryden, Arlington

My favorite structure in Jacksonville is the Dames Point bridge. It gives you a great perspective of the vast expanse Jacksonville covers. You get a wonderful skyline view to the west and a commanding view of the river heading to the ocean to the east. And, if you time it right, you can see the cruise ship either leaving or returning to port. It’s a terrific snapshot of some of the many features the city has to offer.

Sharon N. Grube, St. Marys, Ga.

My favorite structure is the Jacksonville International Airport Terminal complex. There is no other structure in Jacksonville and surrounding area that fosters a more positive impression of Northeast Florida for newly arrived visitors. With its soaring arched concourses, peaceful colors, a courtyard full of music on most days, it is in a class by itself. Add to this the ever-changing display of great art by local and nationally recognized artists, we have a facility that the citizens of this area can be proud.

Linn Grayson, Switzerland

I have to respond with a bit of personal interest since I am a resident in this building: The 11 East Building on the corner of Forsyth and Main streets. This is a high rise that once housed an insurance company that was renovated into a wonderful secured apartment complex in what I consider the center of downtown Jacksonville. The lobby is reminiscent of its first life from 1928. This is a fine example of what can be done - - has been done - - to save these buildings. More needs to be done to bring the other 20 or so threatened buildings into the 21st century and save them for future generations.

Richard Wishart, Jacksonville

I love the old train station, now the convention center. When my family moved from the Pacific Northwest in 1959, we came by train, as my dad thought we should have a train ride before the old passenger trains faded away. It was exciting to pull into the Jacksonville terminal. The terminal building, with its beautiful tall windows and all those wooden benches, was awesome. Sounds echoed through the lobby, broken by announcements of arriving and departing trains. People were constantly coming and going. It was a thrilling start to a new life in Florida. When I attend an event there now, I always sit on one of the old benches and remember my first visit.

Louise Sweatt, Amelia Island

The Florida Theatre is my favorite Jacksonville structure. When I was married, my husband’s law office was in that building. There was a man actually operating the elevator. The inside and the acoustics are so impressive for live productions. I used to take my son and my students to play there. One time, as a teacher, I was invited to join a group of dancers to come on stage. I’ll never forget that!

Barbara Bennett, Jacksonville

My favorite structure in the Jacksonville area is the 37-story building that was originally the Independent Life building. I believe it’s now Wells Fargo. I worked there from its opening in1975 to 1993 and was part of the group who came there from the company’s former building on Duval Street. We were taken to see the groundbreaking and watched its progress. I worked on the 13th and 16th floors in several river view offices, one facing south and another facing east. I got to see window washers occasionally and admire their bravery. It was built to sustain about 150 mph and occasionally swayed, which was a good thing. It certainly seemed a sign of progress for downtown Jacksonville in 1975.

Diane Young, Southside

My favorite structure? Berkman Plaza II, because that abandoned, neglected and good example of blight, shows the commitment and dedication of our city leaders to making Jacksonville a great city.

Richard Daro, Jacksonville

My favorite structure is the former Gulf Life Building on Riverplace Blvd. It is unlike any other building and creates a distinctive landmark for the city.

Carol Grimes, Jacksonville

That’s easy — the Isaiah David Hart Bridge. The 24 times I have crossed it on foot during the Gate River Run have all been memorable! The incredible view of the city is unmatched and the minutes it takes to cross the bridge in the race allow time to take it all in. And, to top it off, so to speak, during one running of the race a pair of participants exchanged their wedding vows at the highest point of the bridge!

Larry Roberts, Jacksonville

My favorite structure is the Dames Point bridge. It is a truly beautiful piece of architecture and design. If the same style bridge was built across the St. Johns River downtown it would make the Jacksonville skyline truly unique.

Raoul A. Arreola, Baymeadows area

Favorite is The Landing, because I’m looking so forward to the day they bulldoze that disgusting waste of precious real estate in the heart of downtown.

Paul Poidomani, Jacksonville