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This control panel has been in the basement at the former Haydon Burns Public Library for 50 years. It soon will be removed and displayed at the Johnson Controls office in South Jacksonville.
Jax Daily Record Thursday, May. 1, 201412:00 PM EST

Preserving a piece of history

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

A piece of industrial equipment that has rested beneath the street Downtown for five decades is destined to be a permanent display of technological history.

The pneumatic control panel for the original heating and cooling system installed in the former Haydon Burns Public Library will be removed from the basement and transported to the Johnson Controls office in South Jacksonville, where it will serve as a reminder of the energy management industry’s beginnings.

The company invented the first electric room thermostat in 1885 and now manufactures and markets products that ensure efficient use of resources.

“It will be a good way of showing how our systems have migrated through the years, from this huge control panel to the tools we use today to manage systems,” said Rich Jeffers, Johnson Controls account executive.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund purchased the building in 2013 and is transforming it into the Jessie Ball duPont Center, an office building and gathering place for philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. It is scheduled to open in June 2015.

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