At the corner of Main and State Streets in Jacksonville sits the Park View Inn, previously one of the city’s premier lodging destinations is now undergoing demolition after years of neglect and contamination. Originally the “Heart of Jacksonville Motor Hotel” built in 1966, the hotel was condemned in 1999 because of fire damage and multiple code violations, including electrical and fire code hazards, making the building dangerous to live in.
In a span of seven months, two fires were deliberately set while a third fire remained undetermined as to how it started. Inspections afterwards found the hotel didn’t have a working fire alarm, had exit doors chained shut which would prevent people from escaping, electrical wires protruding from walls and overhead lighting, missing or broken fire extinguishers, and defective smoke detectors.
In 2000, a study made by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection found tar residuals underneath the hotel, barring any current or future plans for redevelopment of the property. The coal gasification plant which operated on the site between the 1880s and the early 1900s had no real regulations to protect the public from contamination.
After it’s abandonment, the former hotel became a haven for transients and vandals. Throughout the years, many fires have been set due to transient camping inside. In 2006, the property owner presented a plan to convert the old hotel into a housing facility for students, but the plan quickly fell through as the real estate market collapsed soon after. In 2010, the city planned to demolish the building but stopped due to a proposal made by the property owners to convert the building’s first floor into storefronts while demolishing the top floors. Floors 2-5 would be demolished and a parking deck will be built on top of the first floor, which is currently the original parking garage built in the 60s.
Demolition of the hotel was completed September 2011.