Meet Your Neighbor: Carlottra

Carlottra.jpgName: Carlottra Guyton

Location: Boulevard Street

Occupation: Retired financial investigator

Fun Fact: Carlottra has a heart for volunteering. She's been involved with many organizations through the years, including Leadership Jacksonville (c/o 96), Jacksonville Urban League, and served as our local SHADCO chair (now called Sheriff's Watch) for almost 10 years. She currently serves on leadership committees for the Wells Fargo Community Learning Center and Delta Sigma Theta Society Inc, Jacksonville Alumnae Chapter.

What brought you to the Springfield Historic District?

Believe it or not, it wasn't for the architecture or historic character. I know that's what a lot of people move here for now, but back when I bought in 1994, I was looking for a good deal in the place I would feel comfortable in. And it took some convincing, trust me it did, but I came around and am so glad I did. You see, I was coming out of a divorce and needed a home to call my own. Most of my friends wanted me to buy in Arlington or Southside, definitely NOT Springfield. Anywhere but Springfield! Even the thought of moving to Springfield was laughable to me at the time. This neighborhood was known for drugs and crime then, and not much else. Or so I thought. I had friend in Neighborhood Housing Services who had a meeting in Springfield. There were efforts being made, even back in the early 1990s, to turn around the neighborhood. She knew I was looking for a home and wanted me to visit the neighborhood just to see it, to see what was happening. So I did. I met her at the Woman's Club building on West 7th Street and what I saw shocked me! I saw all these white people, quite frankly, in the room, most who had relocated to live there from out of state. Locals wouldn't move here because of the reputation, you see, so we had lots of newcomers to Jacksonville in the neighborhood back then. So I knew the neighborhood was on the upswing, but I wasn't 100% sold yet. Another friend, Richard Harrell, was recruiting professional blacks to move to the neighborhood and was relatively successful at it. He had a phenomenal personality, so you couldn't help but love him and listen to what he was saying. People who turned out to be community leaders like Tonya Weathersby and The Spanns were recruited by Richard. And that's what really convinced me to come to Springfield: friends who I trusted and opened my eyes to what the neighborhood was aspiring to be. But let me tell you, most of my friends thought I had lost my mind!

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Meet Your Neighbors: The Sullivans

Meet your new neighbors, The Sullivans of 1412 Silver Street!

SPAR: Tell us a little about yourselves!
KS: We are Kristen and Neil Sullivan and we have a 7-month-old son named Brady and a cat named Milo. Neil is a naval flight officer stationed at NAS Jacksonville and works as an instructor for the P-8. I just recently left the Navy after 6.5 years of service and I am currently earning my master’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University. We enjoy playing tennis, hosting dinner parties, exploring the local area, and playing board games. Neil’s hobbies include watching sports (Patriots and Red Sox), playing water polo, and working out. My interests are photography, interior design, and thrifting. 

SPAR: When did you move to Springfield? 
KS: We just recently moved into our beautiful red craftsman on February 20th. We’re still getting settled but excited to get to know the area! 

SPAR: What drew you to this neighborhood?
KS: We decided to buy a house in Springfield after speaking to some of the neighbors. Their glowing reviews really sealed the deal for us. We love how friendly everyone is and the strong sense of community. We are also looking forward to attending the many events scheduled throughout the year. Springfield seems like a wonderful up-and-coming Neighborhood to raise a family.

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Meet Your Neighbors: The Baumann Family

Meet your Neighbors: Kealalani Baumann (and Family) of 1429 Ionia St

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My husband, David, is from Baltimore and I am from Hawaii, but we have each lived in Jacksonville for about 20 years. We have two kids, an eleven-year-old boy and three-year-old girl. We own Maddy D’s Café and Sweets in Downtown Jacksonville. We love movies and all forms of art. We go on cruises every year, that’s our form of camping.

 When did you move to Springfield?

We moved to Springfield in March 2012, renting a house on 6th and Laura. We immediately fell in love with the houses and bought our house in August 2013. We love our house and our street. It’s quiet and peaceful and we have great neighbors!

 What made Springfield a great option for you and your family?

We loved the houses, trees, and at the time the price was right for us. After buying our house, we got to know the community and all of the events in the neighborhood. We have never lived in such a welcoming and supportive community like Springfield before and count ourselves lucky to have found it!

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Meet Your Neighbors: Derek & Michelle and Aaron & Shaina

(Originally published 2010-2014)

Meet Your Long-Time Neighbors

p18-XL.jpgName: Derek & Michelle, and Family

Location: W. 6th Street

Occupation: Derek works in the computer security field and Michelle is currently on sabbatical.

Fun Fact: The family prefers to travel by bicycle, and one of their favorite places to visit on their bikes is the historic Evergreen Cemetery. Peaceful and full of history, it's just a mile North of the neighborhood.

What brought you to the Springfield historic district?

Derek: Michelle & I were looking for a house in the Tampa Heights area of Tampa, FL in 1997. But, we got pregnant and wanted to be close to family with the baby, so we decided to look for homes in Jacksonville where both Michelle's and my parents lived. We were looking in the older historic neighborhoods of Jacksonville, because we love homes with character and history. After looking in Riverside, San Marco, Avondale, Ortega, etc, we weren’t finding the right house for our budget. One evening during our search, we were having dinner at my parent’s house. My father, a retired police officer, suggested looking in Springfield. Being a native of Jacksonville, I looked at him and said “Are you crazy?”

My mother said “don’t get them killed!”, but my father went on to explain how Jacksonville Sheriffs Office and city had been putting a lot of resources in the neighborhood, and thought we should take a look. I really didn’t have a concept of even where the neighborhood was at the time. To me, historic Springfield was anything North of Downtown to Brentwood. But my father urged us to have a look for ourselves, and we did. Here we are today.

It took us about 6 months of looking, but we finally found a house that suited us. We renovated the house first, then moved in in 1998.


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Meet Your Neighbors: Randy & Connie and William & Victoria

(Originally published 2010-2014)

Meet Your New Neighbors

p4.jpgName: Randy & Connie, and Family

Location: Walnut Street

Occupation: Randy is a driver for UPS and Connie is a homemaker. The kids are students at FSU, FSCJ and Stanton College Prep.

Fun Fact: The Logan's own a kiln to make pottery. Who else has that at home?

What brought you to the Springfield historic district?

Randy: In a two words, community and history.

Connie: I'll give you a quick synopsis. We were living a neighorhood on the Southside of Jacksonville. Randy actually built the house 22 years ago. While it was a small, quiet neigborhood, we really didn't know many people there. Everyone was polite, but just kept to themselves. One day, Randy came home and suggested we sell the house. It was a good time for us personally to do it, and we were ready for something new. Personally, I've have had an interest in Springfield from afar for many years. But, Randy and the kids weren't so sure about it. But, I was adement about looking. So we did. The more time we spent in the community, the more we felt comfortable. At our realtors advice, we attended a number of the community events and social gatherings to meet people and find out first hand what type of neighborhood it is. It really opened our eyes to what kind of people live here, and how far the neigborhood has come. We moved in to our "new" old home about 7 months ago.


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Meet Your Neighbors: Will & Wendi and Leon

(Originally published 2010-2014)

Meet Your New Neighbors

p42.jpgName: Will & Wendi

Location: Market Street

Occupation: Will works in insurance & Wendi works for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

Fun Fact: This is one glamorous couple. Will once worked as a male model for Nike in New York City, and Wendi declined a date with super star Shia LeBeouf at a Hollywood movie premiere.

What brought you to the Springfield historic district?

Will: We originally moved to Springfield a couple years ago to rent, then we moved away, and now we’re back.

I’m from Jacksonville, so I’ve known of the neighborhood. But what first brought us here was the search for a bigger rental. We were renting a little apartment in San Marco and really wanted to move into a bigger space, and ideally in a cool area with interesting things & people. A bigger place in San Marco was too expensive at the time, so we looked in Riverside. But the large rentals there were more than we wanted to pay too, so I started to look at similar neighborhoods where we could get more for our money. I found a house for rent in Springfield on Craigslist, and that’s how we first came to the neighborhood.

Wendi: He had some convincing to do. I had never lived in a "transitional" neighborhood before, so I had reservations. But we had friends who lived in the area, so they helped convince me to give it a shot.

Will: And we loved it. But when our lease was up, we decided to move into a relative’s property in Murray Hill for a year to save up cash for a home purchase. When we were ready to buy, we looked at our options, missed Springfield, and knew we could find the best deal here. We purchased our home in February 2013.


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Meet Your Neighbors: Barney & Darlene and Brian & Amy

(Originally published 2010-2014)

Meet Your Long-Time Neighbors

p3-XL.jpgName: Barney & Darlene

Location: 6th & Silver

Occupation: Barney is a Vice President at Wells Fargo, and the couple are owners of Avela Day Spa on Main Street.

Fun Fact: Not only are Darlene & Barney small business entrepreneurs, but they also own an agricultural farm in South Georgia.

What brought you to the Springfield historic district?

Barney: In 1987, we were newly weds, had a two month old daughter, and were living in a one bedroom apartment in Riverside. So, we needed more space, affordable space, and Springfield had that. We looked all over town, and Springfield was centrally located between our families, which was important to us. Darlene’s family lived on Southside and mine on the Northside, so it made sense to be in the middle.

Beyond that, I could see the vision of what the neighborhood could be. There was early revitalization going on at that time, but it was still relatively sketchy. My wife was apprehensive, but we decided to jump in anyways.


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Meet Your Neighbors: Brent and Jeff & William

(Originally published in 2010-2014)

Meet Your Long-Time Neighbor

p41-XL.jpgName: Brent 

Location: Laura Street 

Occupation: Owner of  “An Olde Time Hardware” store, since 1995. 

Fun Fact: Brent worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 ½ years, and was their Union Representative for 27 years.

What brought you to the Springfield Historic District?  

I started working in the neighborhood in 1974, through job at the United States Postal Service. Our office was at 1925 Liberty Street. That’s the year I came to Springfield and that’s the year I fell in love with it. I worked in the neighborhood and became very active in the community at that time, but didn’t actually move here until Mother’s Day, 1984. But I didn’t fall in love with it as it was – there wasn’t much to like at that time. Mostly homes falling apart, rooming houses, and crime. I fell in love with the vision of what it could be. The vision and charm, that’s what brought me here.


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Meet Your Neighbors: Cherie and John & Judy

(Originally published in 2011)

Meet Your New Neighbors

p8-XL.jpgName:  Cherie & Family

Location: Pearl Street

Occupation: Cherie has taught in the Duval County Public School system for 9 years.

Fun Fact: Cherie is dancer by passion, (East Coast & West Coast swing dancing connoisseur) and trade – she also teaches Jazzercise,  a mix of dance and aerobics, in her spare time.

How did you discover the Springfield historic district?

I've been familiar with the area since childhood. As a teen, a friend's family fell in love with a great big house here and bought it to restore. I remember visiting and just loving being there in the house. That was 20 years ago, so it was a different time though. Also, my Great Aunt and Grandfather lived in the general area too. In fact, if I remember correctly, my Grandfather is now the oldest living Andrew Jackson High school Alumnus, and owned a tire shop in the area many years ago. So I've always known about the neighborhood.



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Meet Your Neighbors: Nicole and Jim

(Originally published in 2011)

Meet Your New Neighbor

p40-XL.jpgName: Nicole

Location: 9th Street 

Occupation: Medical Sales Representative 

Fun Fact: Through traveling the world in the 1940’s, Nicole’s great uncle developed one of the world’s largest and most extensive collection of mounted animals, now displayed at museums in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What brought you to the Springfield Historic District?

I first heard of the neighborhood a couple years ago when it was featured in Southern Living Magazine. Before that, I had no idea this community even existed.  I’ve always been drawn to old houses; each has a history unto itself and a story to tell. The front porches, character, and quarks. A few months ago, I was searching online for houses, looking in other historic neighborhoods in Jacksonville, and stumbled upon one in Springfield. I loved it, but wrote it off because of the perception I had of the area. After a couple months of searching, I just couldn’t let go of the Springfield house and decided to do some research. I spent a few days reading everything I could find about the neighborhood: the history, the fall from grace, the gentrification, and current events too. Pretty much everything I could find, I read. When I found all the information and stories in the site, it really sealed the deal for me. I finally decided to drive by the house and just see for myself. Luckily, someone was working outside the home and I was able to talk to them about it. I knew my search was over the minute I walked in the door! I moved in just a couple months ago.

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