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Deciding the future of history for The Bostwick Building, a downtown Jacksonville landmark

5:51 PM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At the corner of Bay and Ocean streets downtown sits the vacant Bostwick Building that some want to save because of its historical value, but the owner says demolition is the only option he sees.

The "jaguar building" as it is referred to because of the jaguar paintings on it that greet visitors coming off the Main Street has an uncertain future.

"We are between a rock and a hard spot," said Val Bostwick, whose family has owned the location since the mid 1800s.

The original building burned down after the city's Great Fire of 1901.  Still inside is a vault that dates back to when the building was a bank in the late 1800s.

"The city just put us in the position where have to apply for a demolition permit because they're fining us $100 a day," said Bostwick.

The building's structural, roof and foundation problems resulted in the code enforcement action.

This week, the Jacksonville Historic and Preservation Commission voted with a recommendation that the city council deny the demolition permit. The commission is looking at options, one of which is to have the building designated as a historical landmark.

Bostwick says he doesn't want to demolish the building either, but with no buyers for the building, the options are limited.

The City Council on October 9 is poised to hear Bostwick's appeal for a demolition permit.

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