The Sports District: Life Before Everbank Field

December 8, 2015 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

While the Jacksonville City Council is poised to pass a bill this week to add an amphitheater and indoor football facility at Everbank Field, Metro Jacksonville takes a look at what was in the Sports District before football.

Gone are the days of the Trenary Fish Company and the passenger ship docks of Clyde Line, Merchants & Miners and P&O. There's no more pine lumber and gum rosin to smell at Commodore's Point. Assembly lines sprouting out Model Ts and Model As have long been dismantled. In their place stands a hodge podge of parking garages, parking lots, and a few sporting venues sprinkled in between them.

Since Jacksonville's formative years, the link between the river and industry has served as the economic foundation of the city's growth and development. Not many know that the land around Everbank Field and many of its tailgate lots was once one of the East Coast's largest working waterfronts. Employing thousands, this area was home to many enterprises that played important roles in the development of the world we live in today.

Inside the abandoned remains of Matrix Machine & Repair Inc.

Over time, changes in technology, the city's infrastructure network, aging buildings, and a push for global peace have all indirectly led to a decline in industrial activity along East Bay Street. Despite the altering of downtown's economic scene, there are quite a few sites and altered features of the urban landscape, offering us a historical slice of what old Jacksonville used to be like.


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