The Jacksonville park that served as the backdrop for some of the most iconic images from Hurricane Irma has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places while still undergoing reparations from the storm.
After a years-long effort, Memorial Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places last week.
Thursday, Memorial Park Association President Percy Rosenbloom pointed out the areas most damaged by the storm as crews worked to assess the bulkhead.
“I think Irma was a different story [compared to other storms] altogether,” Rosenbloom said. “Probably the most damaging to the park ever.”
Rosenbloom pointed to the ruins of the balustrade to illustrate the storm’s damage.
“[It looked like] somebody had raked their hands across a chess board and all of the pieces were just laying around the park,” he said.
The balustrade will likely take more than a year to replace, Rosenbloom said.
Rosenbloom said it’s unclear whether the park’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places would expedite funding in the event of future disasters, but he said the awareness it brings to the community is beneficial in itself.
“Just making the community more aware of what we have here, what a treasure this park is to the Jacksonville community is incredibly important,” he said.
Memorial Park was built in memory of the 1,200+ Floridians who died in World War I.