7 buildings that don't look as good as they once did

Be careful the next time you curse a building as a bad piece of architecture. Sometimes looks aren't always what they seem. Here's seven downtown Jacksonville buildings that have been modified beyond recognition. With a little hope, maybe it's not too late to restore a few back to their original grandeur.

7. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Police Memorial Building

501 East Bay Street

The Police Memorial Building during the late 1970s. (G.E. Kidder Smith Image Collection MITLibraries)

When it was completed in 1977, the Police Memorial Building combined an often formidable municipal function with a welcoming public park. Designed by William Morgan, the modern building featured a below ground parking garage and a rooftop neighborhood garden with multiple terraces, plantings, a pool, fountain and heliport.

At some point, the publicly accessible rooftop park was declared a security hazard and closed, transforming the complex to the formidable structure Morgan’s original vision intended to soften.

Vintage rooftop plaza view of the Police Memorial Building, circa 1977. (Times-Union archives slide show)

The demolition of the Police Memorial Building’s rooftop terrace. (J. Register Company)

The demolition of the Police Memorial Building’s rooftop sculpture and fountain. (J. Register Company)

The Police Memorial Building in 2016.

One can only imagine the masterpiece that could have anchored East Bay Street if the landscaping in Morgan’s rooftop park would have been allowed to mature, similiar to that of the Oakland Museum of California.

An aerial of the mature Oakland Museum of California’s roof garden. (Connections Architecture and Urban Design blog)