For a century, the Seminole Club was a place for Jacksonville's elite. Now it's just one of many Downtown Jacksonville buildings sitting empty.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Named in honor of the Seminole Indian tribe, before its closure, the Seminole Club was Jacksonville's oldest social club for men and seventh oldest of its type in the country. This building was constructed in 1903 as a two story structure, featuring a rooftop garden. Its architects were Rutledge Holmes and Arthur Gilkes. In 1907, a third floor, rumored to be a bordello, was added for affluent bachelors. Throughout the building's years, a number of famous people have visited the site including President Teddy Roosevelt, Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower, and President John F. Kennedy. The club's popularity declined with the rest of downtown in the second half of the 20th century, leading to its closure in 1990. In 1998, local investors known as Restitution, Inc. reopened the club. However, by 2004, the building was closed for good. A full decade has passed since its closure, despite the building's history and centralized downtown location. Despite the absence of life, the Seminole Club appears to be one of downtown Jacksonville's most well kept abandoned buildings.