• "It's sentimental, but it's time": Former mayor talks future implosion of Jacksonville Old City Hall

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax

    Updated:

     Demolition day for the Old City Hall Annex building in Downtown Jacksonville is under a week away!

    This project is coming just two months after the start of the takedown of the old court house.

    Action News Jax Courtney Cole shares what you need to know before the big day and speaks to a former Jacksonville mayor, who shares memories he has inside the building.

    "It's sentimental, but it's time,” Tommy Hazouri told Action News Jax.

    The City Hall Annex has been sitting on the corner of East Bay Street in Downtown Jacksonville  for nearly six decades.

    “I was here, born raised in Jacksonville, so I saw them when they built it,” Hazouri said.

    Hazouri is not only a native to Jacksonville, but a former mayor, too.

    He served 1987-1991.

    He currently serves as an At-Large City Councilman.

    “When I was mayor, I used to go in there every day, it was like going into the U.N. building with the glass front,” Hazouri told Action News Jax.

    The glass, and the rest of the building, is set to come down Sunday.

    Hazouri said the building may be coming down, but the memories will remain.

    “My most memorable aspect, well it was a lot of things! We had a lot of celebrities there, a lot of business, a lot of public policy made between the council and us,” Hazouri said.

    The implosion will begin at 8:00 a.m.

    Access in and around the downtown area will be restricted beginning at 7 a.m.

    This restricted area, or “exclusion zone,” includes Main Street, Liberty Street, Adams Street and the St. Johns River.

    The city expects it to be closed up to three hours following the implosion for inspections and post clean-up.

    Action News Jax First Alert Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh said rain is forecast for Sunday, along with gusty winds.

    The city said if weather becomes a factor, they will continue the implosion once it winds subside.

    As for what happens to the bricks that make up the building—Hazouri said he thinks they should be up for sale.

    He told Action News Jax he'd buy some.

    “I think a lot people would. Maybe put some money in the general fund by doing it,” Hazouri said 

    In the meantime, Hazouri said he looks forward to seeing what will be built in place of the old City Hall Annex.

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