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Photo by Max Marbut - Legislation to designate the First Guaranty Trust & Savings Bank along East Bay Street, often referred to as the "jaguar building," a local historic landmark has been filed with City Council.
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Dec. 6, 201212:00 PM EST

Bill filed to make 'jaguar building' historic landmark

by: David Chapman

Legislation to designate the First Guaranty Trust & Savings building a local historic landmark has been filed and will be introduced Tuesday to the full City Council.

Also known as the "jaguar building" and the Bostwick Building, the designation would prevent the structure at 101 E. Bay St. from being demolished, which has been requested by its owners. The City Historic Preservation Commission denied the application for the demolition permit in favor of seeking historic status for the building.

The legislation refers to the building as one of the first buildings constructed after the Great Fire of 1901. Along with the Florida National Bank, it is one of the oldest Downtown bank buildings.

The proposed legislation further elaborates on its historical nature and features and references that it is a candidate for mothballing, which would include partial rehabilitation to make it water-tight.

The legislation was filed by the Council president on behalf of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission, which Nov. 13 reviewed and recommended its historic landmark designation.

As reported in the Daily Record, the building has been owned by the Bostwick family since 1902 and its owner and applicant for the demolition permit, Guaranty Trusts Investments President Inc. Karl Bostwick, has opposed the designation.

The City denied the demolition application Sept. 26 and the historic designation was recommended by the commission Nov. 13 with a 4-0 vote.

The City is levying upon the building owner a fine of $100 per day because the structure does not comply with the building code.

"They all came to the same conclusion. The cost associated with renovating this building is not economically feasible," Bostwick said during the Sept. 26 commission meeting, referencing engineer's evaluations from the past 16 years.

The legislation states the building satisfies at least four of the requisite criteria set for designation. Joel McEachin, City historic planner, said during the Nov. 13 meeting the building met six of the seven criteria.

The legislation will be heard at the committee level in mid-January.

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