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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #1
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Extensive Dowtown Jacksonville: Aerials, Nightlife, a Lambo, and more

This is a photographic tour of downtown Jacksonville. My pictures were taken on a rather hot, sultry, and rainy Friday afternoon, therefore there are not so many people out and the weather did not cooperate.

I won’t go into the details of the history of downtown except to say that the Native Americans called the area Wacca Pilatka, meaning cow’s crossing. It is and was the narrowest point in the river, even though the current is very swift here. The first actual road/highway in Florida was constructed in 1763 by the Spanish, connecting the St. Mary’s River at the FL/GA border to St. Augustine with a crossing at Wacca Pilatka.

Eventually downtown came to be known in the English language as Cow Ford. The U.S. acquired Florida in 1821, and in 1822 the current configuration of streets was laid out and built. The first governor of Florida was William Pope Duval, for which Duval county is named. Jacksonville was named after general (and president) Andrew Jackson, who never visited Cowford. In 1847 Florida joined the Union as the 27th state. The first of downtown’s fires wiping out almost all buildings happened in 1854.

Local residents were split between siding with the Union or the Confederacy during the Civil War. More than half of the population fled before the war was over. People soon flocked back and the first major hotel opened in 1869. Tourism was officially the dominant part of the local economy. By 1885, there were more than 100,000 winter tourists (commonly known as “snow birds” nowadays). 25 passenger trains rolled into Union station each day and hundreds of ships filled the wharves.

Henry Flagler built his St. Johns river crossing and opened a string of resorts in St. Augustine drawing visitors further south in the 1880s. In 1888 a yellow fever epidemic ravaged the city, further hurting tourism, and about this point California began to grow as a tourist destination. While tourism declined, residents began to make Jacksonville a permanent home rather than a winter home, and the population soared.

Then came the Great Fire of 1901. Smoke was seen in Raleigh, NC and the flames were seen in Savannah, GA. 2,400 buildings burned down over almost 500 acres. Property damage was over $15M (much higher in today’s money) and almost 10,000 people were left homeless. Chicago’s 1871 fire was much larger in scope (4 square miles, 90,000 homeless), but not too many other fires have been as large as the 1901 Jacksonville fire.

After the fire many prominent architects from New York came to help rebuild the city. The rest is history.

City’s tallest: Bank of America Tower, 617 feet, 43 stories

Atlantic National Bank Building, 1908.

Looking south towards Brooklyn, then Riverside, Avondale, and Ortega.

You can see the Ortega Drawbridge open in the distance

Left center: Federal Reserve, Jacksonville terminal behind

3rd tallest, AT&T building

6th tallest, Suntrust building

2nd tallest, Modis building (not any longer) 37 floors and 535 feet, My last 2 pictures are taken from the 34th floor of that building

My dad works in the building at left

5th tallest building, Riverplace Tower, 28 floors, 433 ft, notice the rain

Here you can see the Talleyrand Terminal of our port, one of many port terminals

Church district

Look down at our Main Library (best in the SE and one of the best in the country)

New county courthouse under construction

City Hall and Hemming Plaza

Springfield, see that thread here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...t=jacksonville

Barnett Bank building, once the city’s tallest for 3 decades

Laura trio, the marble bank was built in 1902 with 1905 addition and the two buildings beside it were built between 1908 and 1912. There are plans to restore them and add condos and commercial space. Construction is set for July 2011.

Elks Club building 1925-26.

1927 Levy department building

1926 Hildebrandt Building


Skyway Monorail tracks

Hemming Plaza

1911 City Hall (notice the cornices, this is a signature element in Jacksonville buildings, mostly designed by Henry Klutho who came from New York).

Nicely restored Prairie style city offices building. It is missing a mix of uses and commercial at the bottom, though.

MOCA (museum of contemporary art, probably the best modern art museum in the SE)

Notice the skyway

Main entrance to Jacksonville Main Library, designed by Robert A.M. Stern

Elk’s Lodge

1901 Greenleaf and Crosby Clock and 1927 building. The clock face weighs 1 ton

Modern touch to Greenleaf Building, 1902 Snyder Memorial Methodist Church

The next few pics are from inside the Main Library

1926 Lynch building, now lofts and condos, mostly bought up

1926 Carling (and later infamous Roosevelt) Hotel. 22 people died in a 1963 fire at the hotel. Now the building is almost bought up as condos and lofts.

London Bridge Pub

Original fire station, now a private residence

1905 Andrew Carnegie Free Public Library, Jacksonville has one of the oldest organized library systems in the Southeast and the country.

1902 First Presbyterian Church

1907-1910 Church of the Immaculate Conception


1910-1911 Morocco Shrine

1903-1906 Diocese of Florida Episcopalian Cathedral

1920s Taliaferro Hall

Inside the nave

Reminds me of Charleston

Original Otis Elevator building

Bay Street nightlife district

New condos

4th and 8th tallest in city, the Peninsula and Strand condos

New lofts in old building

Roy Benjamin design, the Florida Theater

Inside; I couldn’t photo the stage because a group was practicing

1902 Herkimer Block

1901 Dyal Upchurch Building

Inside an old building across the street from above

1901-1902 Old Bisbee Building

Andrew Jackson

New aesthetic improvements that are almost complete here and are working their way up the street

Quiet day at the Landing

Super quiet

Ok this is embarrassing

TUPAC: Times Union Performing Arts Center (couldn’t get any photos inside of the Moran Theater and the Jacoby Symphony Hall)

A lobby connecting the office tower my dad works in with the Omni Hotel

What remains of the 1878 St. Luke’s Hospital

Veterans Memorial Arena (surrounded by these guys on pedestals that light up at night)

1885 church

1917-1919 Jacksonville Terminal designed by Kenneth Murchison out of New York and built by Irwin & Leighton out of Philadelphia. In its heyday, it handled as many as 142 trains and 20,000 passengers a day. The last passenger train rolled through in 1974. Now the center is our excuse for a convention center, with plans and almost funding to transform it back into a multi-modal transit hub.

75 foot vaulted ceilings

1903 First Baptist Church

Original 1920s Federal Reserve

Tillie Fowler memorial on the Northbank Riverwalk in Brooklyn

A look across to Baptist Medical Center (no affiliation with the church) and Nemours Clinic

A map of downtown nightlife. Black spots represent places that are at least 5 years old. Blue spots are 3-4 years old. Red spots are only a few months old to 2 years old. The spots only represent bars/clubs and do not indicate restaurants or private clubs or destinations such as Performing Arts Center, Florida Theater, etc. The purple box highlights a budding and booming nightlife district with grunge bars, a dive bar, several ultralounges, several “upscale” bars, a pub that acts as a bar, etc. The Landing also provides nightlife, but its most popular bar/club the Twisted Martini is under renovation right now, slowing overall business.

Looking down at 1 city block from the River Club on the 34th and 35th floors of the Modis Tower. You can see the Florida Theater and some buildings which house bars and clubs.

The left yellow box indicates the Regency Mall area, a dying part of town that is the perfect candidate for Ellen Dunham Jone’s idea of retrofitting suburbia/re-adapting old or dying malls. The right yellow box shows Jacksonville Beach’s skyline.

See these other threads:

Ortega’s mansions:

Florida’s largest historic district (and mansions) Riverside and Avondale:

Jacksonville’s oldest/one of the densest neighborhood Springfield:

Southside homes, Mediterranean architecture, and a touch of Europe in San Marco and San Jose:
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Old August 29th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #2
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wow, this is my first time to see an extensive photo coverage of Jacksonville
and yes this city is really beautiful and has lots of well-designed old buildings.
thanks for the photo tour.
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