Friday, January 6

Doors Open Historic Jacksonville?

I got a news feed article about Doors Open Milwaukee. 120 historic buildings and museums opened their doors (at least to some extent) so that residents could learn more about the city. Maybe buy memberships, tickets, t-shirts, etc. I'm not sure if Jacksonville has a similar weekend, but it's worth considering for our city leaders.

The idea is that big cities like Milwaukee and Jacksonville have historic buildings, whether they are museums, bars, factories, or private residences. Making a list of the buildings of interest and then asking the owners to open them up to the public seems like a good idea. Of course, we're not talking totally open free-for-all, especially the homes. I'd imagine seeing the foyer and dining room or living space would suffice. Maybe just the garden. And it's not like the public needs factory tours, but I'm sure there are old-timey entries and offices out there. Basically, if you own an old home or building and want to show it off in order to just show off or drum up some business, opening your doors to the public isn't such a bad idea.

I know, it's Florida. We're all worried about someone casing the joint to steal stuff later. But with small admission fees and a bit of owner diligence, I don't think opening doors will result in mass burglaries. Granted, this is the city that saw folks stealing saved items from in front of burning homes during the 1901 fire, so we do have a history of of the have-nots taking when it's there for the taking. Anyhow, let's at least try to pretend there's a circle of trust amongst people interested in history and culture. By all means, hide the silver and Faberge eggs, but trust us to not steal the area rug from under the dining room table.

I hope Jacksonville's historical society looks into some kind of open doors event for the city as it grows with mostly new Floridians who likely have some interest in the history of their new town.

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