Bliss: ‘We were looking forward to new neighbors’

The Jacksonville Historical Society CEO says the fire is a setback for Downtown.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 12:00 a.m. February 2, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Alan Bliss is CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society.
Alan Bliss is CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society.
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One of Rise Doro’s neighbors, who wasn’t a fan of the apartment development’s design, said that the fire that substantially damaged the building is a great loss for the Downtown Sports Complex.

“We really lament the damage and the setback for the rejuvenation of the neighborhood,” Alan Bliss, CEO of the Jacksonville Historical Society, said Jan. 29.

“We were looking forward to having it complete and having some new neighbors.”

When the project was being considered by the Downtown Development Review Board in 2020, the historical society advocated for the developers to preserve at least a portion of the more-than-100-year-old Doro Fixture Co. building and include it as part of the new 247-unit apartment structure.

Documents from the Florida Division of Historical Resources presented to DDRB said the building was reviewed by state officials in 1983, 1991 and 2003 and the structure was potentially eligible for a local historic designation, but no action was taken for the designation by the city.

“We hoped to preserve some of the original Doro building, but that ship sailed,” Bliss said.

The society’s headquarters building, the old St. Luke’s Hospital at 314 Palmetto St., is two blocks southwest of Rise Doro.

Bliss said the society’s building was not affected by the fire or by the water poured on Rise Doro in an effort to extinguish the blaze.

“We had some staff members who had a problem with the smoke, so they went home to work Monday,” Bliss said.



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