The Neighborhood: Joy + Ed Walker
Joy + Ed Walker: Avondale: Jacksonville, Florida
Year built: 1911
Size: 4,894 ft² (home) 898 ft² (carriage house)
Homeowner since: June 1999
It was only two blocks until we arrived to our April visit in The Neighborhood. We were greeted by homeowners Ed + Joy Walker, residents since 1999. Their home sits tucked away off St. John’s Avenue, beneath centuries-old live oaks, draped in moss.
Ed + Joy moved to Jacksonville in 1999. It was real estate that brought the couple to Jacksonville from Atlanta. Joy wasn’t originally sold on the move, spurred by Ed’s employer at the time, but quickly fell in love.
TBFCS: What sold you on the home?
Ed: It was the character of the neighborhood.
Joy: The butler’s pantry with original tin ceiling.
TBFCS: What style is your home?
Ed: It’s traditionally southern with New England flare. With the cedar shakes + white trim, you look at it + think… that’s something that I would find in Cape Cod.
TBFCS: In your experience, what are the neighborhoods’ selling factors?
Joy: People are moving from all over Jacksonville to this neighborhood. You won’t find many new developments with this level of walkability. We see many empty nesters who are moving to the neighborhood after raising their kids.
TBFCS: Why buy in a historic district?
Joy: Each of these homes are an investment; they’re one of a kind. Home prices will continue to go up in Riverside + Avondale.
TBFCS: What’s in store for Riverside + Avondale with downtown development?
Ed: I expect a boom in the neighborhood from limited supply + increased demand. Being close to the river + having access to areas like the Shoppes of Avondale is unique + desirable. I also expect an increase in business; Retail follows rooftops.
The Walkers have four porches which beg for a visit + a glass of sweet tea. It’s a place where Joy says you might find Ed taking a nap.
TBFCS: What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
Ed: Shoppes of Avondale, the parks + 5 Points.
Joy: The Cummer Museum. We’re so lucky to have that in the neighborhood.
TBFCS: Tell us more about this history of your home.
Joy: We purchased the home from a young couple. He was an officer in the Navy + she was an artist.
Ed: [pointing to picture below] This picture is of the original homeowner, Mrs. Terry, + her son. It was taken in the front yard + if you look, you can see the river in the background.
Joy: Mrs. Terry’s sister, who lived down the road, moved in after the Terry’s divorce in the 1920s. The sisters would host extravagant cocktail parties. Ladies wore white gloves + were driven to the curb by their chauffeurs.
“This is one of the earliest houses built in Riverside by Mellen Greeley after he established his own architectural practice in Jacksonville in April of 1909. Although it typifies no particular style of architecture, this design is appealing for its profusion of windows + porches, as well as for the pleasant contrast of the dark cypress shingles + the light-colored wood trim. It was built for Dr. Charles E. Terry, president of the Duval County Medical Association + Jacksonville’s first full-time City Health Officer from 1910 to 1917.” – Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future
Behind the Walker’s home is a carriage house. Ed showed us where the horses were loaded + unloaded. Now, the carriage house is used for friends and family visits. It’s recent tenant, Nicole Cole (a mutual friend + The Neighborhood: September 2013 feature) stayed in this carriage house while working on 1880 Edgewood Avenue.
TBFCS: Talk to us about your involvement with RAP.
Joy: We both are active members of Riverside Avondale Preservation. Ed serves on the Public Safety Committee + I’ve been the Chair of the Home Tour for four years. I’m responsible for recruiting homes + their owners.
TBFCS: What makes homeowners interested in participating?
Joy: I’ve called some of the homeowners for four or five years encouraging them to be on the tour. This year, I received more calls from people wanting to participate. It’s an honor to be featured. All of the homeowners work so hard to get their homes ready.
Many thanks to the Walkers for opening their home to a visit in The Neighborhood.
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Stay tuned for our next visit in The Neighborhood with the Aaron + Daniel Irving.