A Day in Gainesville, Florida

A Day In…..Gainesville, FL

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

First, let me give you the back story:  we fled to Gainesville on the prior Sunday to escape Hurricane Dorian.  After nearly 24+ hours pretty much glued to the TV nervously watching the growth and progress of that monster storm, we awoke Tuesday morning, and learned our home and community would not be struck by the category 5 we had feared.  Dorian had “wobbled” to the east and spent much of her fury over the Atlantic.

And so, we sallied forth to explore Gainesville, the largest city in North Central Florida; the Alachua County Seat; and home of the University of Florida.

Here are the photos:

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Gainesville was founded in 1853. It is named after Edmund P. Gaines (3/20/1777-6/6/1849), a U.S. Army general and veteran of the War of 1812, Seminole Wars, Black Hawk War, and Mexican-American War.
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Gainesville has been recognized as a “Tree City , USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation every year since 1982. It’s tree canopy covers 47% of the city’s land area with broad-leaf evergreens, conifers, and deciduous trees.
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Driving through the city is beautiful, charming, calming. The tree lined streets of Gainesville provide a cool respite to the typical heat of Florida. The landscape design was created by the Olmsted Brothers (of NYC Central Park fame) in 1926.
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We are here as students arrive for the Fall semester. The streets are busy with traffic; cafes are full,; and the atmosphere crackles with anticipation.
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The University of Florida (UF) dates to 1853 and has operated on the Gainesville campus continuously since 1906. It’s a research university with 16 academic colleges and 150 research centers; administers 123 master’s and 76 doctoral degree programs.
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The architect William Augustus Edwards set the tone for the design of the new University of Florida campus in 1905 when he constructed Buckman Hall and Thomas Hall in the Collegiate Gothic Style. This is Anderson Hall, completed in 1913.
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Edwards oversaw the campus design though 1924 when Rudolph Weaver took over (1925-1939). Weaver also built the Kelley Hotel in 1926. Undergoing a total renovation in 1983, the building is now a commercial/condo mix and is known as the Seagle Building.
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On April 20, 1989, the University of Florida Historic district was designated and became a Gainesville treasure. Within the district are several Victorian homes that now comprise the B&B district. This is the Sweetwater Branch B&B.
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The Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is affectionately known as “The Swamp” and is home to the UF football team, the “Gators.” Built in 1930, the stadium is the largest in Florida and the 18th largest in the world. The architect was Rudolph Weaver.
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Albert E. Gator and Alberta Gator are the official mascots of the University of Florida. they can be seen at the Alumni Affairs Building.
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The day we toured Gainesville, the UF campus was closed. We assumed that was due to Dorian. Businesses, however, were all open so we enjoyed some eating, drinking and shopping before our return home.

It was a relief to return home and find no structural damage!!!  The worst that Dorian wrought along our coast was beach erosion.  We were so very lucky!!!  Others felt the brunt of this category 5 hurricane and our hearts ache for the people in the Bahamas.  They suffered the full fury and devastation of this monster storm.