Community Call to Action: Save the Bostwick Building

The fate of the Bostwick Building will be decided over the next three weeks.

On Tuesday, January 8, City Council will hold its first public hearing regarding the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission’s (JHPC) recommendation to designate the Guaranty Trust and Savings Building, also known as the Bostwick Building, a historic landmark through ordinance 2012-720. DVI needs you to make your voice heard.

The hearing will be held at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Public comment is limited to three minutes per speaker. If you cannot attend the public hearing, please call or email City Council representatives. Building facts and contact information is provided below.

In the past twenty years, Downtown Jacksonville has lost nearly 30 historic buildings.

People want a place with a vibe, with character. A healthy stock of historic buildings gives a place personality, and allows that place to attract the creative class: creators, innovators and investors. Historic buildings foster small business incubation and affordable housing. Historic buildings help stabilize neighborhoods. Historic buildings attract arts, culture and heritage tourism.

“Every study of travel motivations has shown that an interest in the achievements of the past is among the three major reasons why people travel. The other two are rest or recreation and the desire to view great natural sights… Among cities with no particular recreational appeal, those that have substantially preserved their past continue to enjoy tourism. Those that haven’t receive no tourism at all. It’s as simple as that. Tourism does not go to a city that has lost its soul.” -Arthur Frommer Preservation Forum [1988]

The Bostwick Building is historically significant.

Guaranty Trust and Savings Bank/Bostwick Building (Photo provided by The Jacksonville Historical Society)

The Bostwick Building was among the first buildings permitted following the Great Fire in 1901. It contains bank vaults that survived the Great Fire and once housed the office of Henry Klutho, a noted architect who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and designed many iconic Downtown buildings, including the St. James Building. It made the Jacksonville Historical Society’s “12 Worth Saving” list. It is located in perhaps the most intact block of historic buildings that exists Downtown today. 
And, according to the JHPC the Bostwick Building meets six of the seven criteria established for landmark structures exceeding the requirements for landmark status.

What about property owner rights?

DVI believes that awarding the property owner’s request for a demolition permit rewards property neglect. Property owners have a responsibility to their neighboring properties and the community at large to maintain their properties. And, as a community, we have an obligation to collectively raise our expectations of standards to which we hold our Downtown.

Designating a building, such as the Bostwick Building, as a historic landmark is not just about preventing its destruction; it is a tool that adds value to the building and can make the cost restoration much more feasible. At the local level, landmarks within Downtown can access the Downtown Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Additionally, historically designated properties that undergo substantial rehabilitation may be eligible for an ad valorem tax exemption. Tax credits for up to 20% of the total rehabilitation cost are also available at the federal level for certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure.

District Council Members

District 1: Clay Yarborough. 630-1389 |

District 2: William Bishop. 630-1392 |

District 3: Richard Clark. 630-1386 |

District 4: Don Redman. 630-1394 | (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 5: Lori N. Boyer. 630-1382 | (Land Use & Zoning Chair)

District 6: Matt Schellenberg. 630-1388 | (Land Use & Zoning Vice Chair)

District 7: Dr. Johnny Gaffney. 630-1384 |

District 8: E. Denise Lee. 630-1385 |

District 9: Warren A. Jones. 630-1395 | (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 10: Reginald L. Brown. 630-1684 |

District 11: Ray Holt. 630-1383 |

District 12: Doyle Carter. 630-1380 |  (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 13: Bill Gulliford. 630-1397 | (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 14: Jim Love 630-1390 |

At-Large Council Members

Group 1: Kimberly Daniels. 630-1393 |

Group 2: John R. Crescimbeni. 630-1381 |

Group 3: Stephen C. Joost: 630-1396 |

Group 4: Greg Anderson. 630-1398 |

Group 5: Robin Lumb. 630-1387 |

More on the Land Use & Zoning Committee here.