The beauty and adaptability of architectural concrete are demonstrated in monumental fashion in the widely acclaimed Police Memorial Building in Jacksonville, Florida. Normally, both the exterior and the interior of a police headquarters appear severe, streamlined and secretively functional. Jacksonville's building could be called streamlined, but it is neither severe nor secretively functional. It can be entered from the north, south, east or west and during entry from any direction one passes through attractive park settings that are an integral part of the building.
The horizontal profile for the new police structure was kept as low as possible so its terraced roof could serve as a civic park, complete with plantings, trees, and fountains accessible to the public. The roof treatment also provides an attractive view which future surrounding buildings will overlook as the city grows. Structurally, the building proper is supported on spread footings. As an innovative way of reducing floor-to-floor heights, the architect and engineers developed a system of structural precast concrete "trees." Each tree is 20 feet square and consists of a cruciform column that supports two cantilevered beams at right angles, framing into a smaller edge beam. Each 20-foot square tree is separated from the next by a 6-foot-wide beam-free space which accommodates the horizontal mechanical and electrical services.
Exterior walls and some of the interior walls are rough-textured cast-in-place concrete between smooth-rubbed concrete bands. The textural richness of the fluted bushhammered surfaces introduces shadows and thereby reduces reflected glare; it also discourages graffiti. Ceilings are painted exposed concrete with metal slats hung below the beam-free distribution chases. Concrete on the roof terraces is broom finished.