Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayport Plans Major Facelift Improved Lighthouse Part of Project

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayport Plans Major Facelift Improved Lighthouse Part of Project

Article excerpt

MAYPORT -- The St. Johns Lighthouse that beckoned ships to

Mayport's shore more than a century ago now has supporters

working to restore its structure and hoping it will again draw

newcomers to the fishing village.

In addition to refurbishing the lighthouse, which this past

weekend's Mayport-Fort George Seafood Festival will help pay

for, Mayport is undergoing a facelift.

"While we encourage the lighthouse as something to see, it's

all part of several things developing in Mayport," John Meserve,

chairman of the Mayport Waterfronts Partnership, said.

A small museum is planned for the St. Johns Lighthouse and a

representative for the Maritime Museum, which used to be located

at The Jacksonville Landing, said he would like to reopen that

attraction in the Mayport village.

Mayport is part of the historic Buccaneer Trail, a state scenic

highway that follows Florida A1A from Fernandina Beach in the

north, across the St. Johns River Ferry to Mayport, heads through the Jacksonville Beaches, south to St. Augustine.

Also, Meserve asked Jacksonville's Public Works Director Sam

Mousa if the city would improve Washington Street, which is the

first street that crosses A1A as one drives into Mayport.

The street, which resembles an overgrown lot, connects to

Ribault Park Street, a street that runs parallel to A1A but is

not easily visible. Improving Washington Street and joining it

to Ribault Park Street would create a back loop with easier

lighthouse access to Mayport from Bayshore Drive North, off

Mayport Road.

Meserve said the Jacksonville City Council needs to vote on the

issue, but Meserve said public works expects the project of

surveying and paving Washington Street to be approved.

Hornblower Marine Service, which manages the St. Johns River

Ferry, is a member of Mayport Waterfronts Partnership. Meserve

said the company suggested its maintenance building be used for

the Maritime Museum.

"I fully support anything that would bring more life and

renewed vigor to Mayport," said Gary Seabrook, general manager

and vice president of Hornblower. …

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