Riverside Avondale: Getting Over Irma!


Although Irma hit Jacksonville and its historic neighborhoods hard, we are hopeful that everyone is safe. We will share information on cleanups and resources in the coming days. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of help, and if you hear of cleanup efforts, let us know. We can help spread the word.

Please check our social media @preservationjax and @riversideartsmarket for the latest updates. We got this! #jaxstrongHistoric Buildings + Flooding

Check in with us if you have any questions on flood recovery for historic structures, or flood mitigation options  to help protect you and your home in the future. We want to help!

Have you experienced damage to your home as a result of flooding or the storm? Please let us know. We are collecting information in order to identify neighborhood needs, and also submit to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They are already gathering information in preparation for advocacy to Congress for relief funding.

Did you know that historic properties were built in ways that often protect from the worst flooding impacts?
Many historic properties have walls made of plaster and lath rather than drywall. So if you experienced flooding, don’t rip out that plaster just yet. 

“It actually can survive water damage,” Jennifer Wolfe, City of St. Augustine Historic Preservation Officer, said of the building technique. “It can be washed off because it has a cementitous substance to it unlike drywall. Drywall has a paper backing on it, and it’s subject to mold and a reduction in its strength as soon as it’s soaked up by water.”

Wolfe said another advantage for older buildings was in elevation. She said some of them were built on piers, which helps keep water out.“The water can pass underneath [the building], and it doesn’t create such a strong force because the water can keep moving,” she said. “But it also doesn’t then enter the building unless the flood waters are high enough.”

Wood floors can also potentially be salvaged as can wood framing. When working with your contractor, keep in mind that gutting is not necessarily the only option. Check out the resources below for more information.

The City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Planning Office is ready to assist with processing any needed paperwork for repairs to your property. They want to expedite the process and make it as simple as possible during this time. Remember, RAP does not approve or process any permitting or Certificate of Appropriateness applications. The City handles all of it. Please contact them at (904) 255-7859 or historicpreservation@coj.net.

Here are some general resources regarding flooding recovery:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also produces several publications that may be helpful to you. These are:


When considering contractors for repair, make sure they are licensed in the state of Florida! Check here for what work requires a license, and here to search the state’s contractor database

ALWAYS contact your insurance company before you hire a contractor. Start the claims process by calling your insurance company. If you plan to claim damages related to flooding or storm damage, first verify that you have the right kind of coverage. If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy, you can ask for one. It is recommended to ask for an electronic copy of your policy as well. If possible, take photos and videos of your damaged property. Documenting damage will help you with your insurance claim.