SPRINGFIELD, Fla. — From afar, the Karpeles Museum in Springfield has the historic charm of what many have come to expect in the neighborhood.
“You look up at it, you’d see how grandiose and the history. If the walls could talk kind of thing.”
These walls though reveal years of decay when you look closely. It’s the result of years of deferred maintenance. It was built in the early 1900s ′s as a church and was most recently the Karpeles Manuscript Museum until it was closed last year and sat empty until now.
“This is a labor of love,” Joshua Pardue, a Springfield resident and developer said. He’s now working to convert the building into an event space. But the vision comes with a high cost.
Pardue said renovating historic buildings is expensive and timely which is one reason many sit empty especially in and around downtown Jacksonville.
“It’s hard. And it doesn’t make a profit,” Pardue said.
The building sits right next to what will soon be the Emerald Trail and serves as the connection between downtown and Springfield. Pardue has another project along the trail at the site of the old Jewish Center.
Action News Jax told you that the building has sat empty for years as well, and in some instances attracted crime.
Pardue is working with the Mayor’s Office to form legislation to help fund the project. He said renovating downtown and Springfield will happen with community effort.
“It really takes everyone with vision and belief and pushing on these challenges.”
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