The Different Faces of the Jacksonville Shipyards

March 6, 2015 33 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

For over 140 years, East Bay Street was home to one of the largest shipbuilding operations on the east coast. Since 1992, this site has become known as a field where revitalization dreams come to die a bitter death. Here's a brief look at the site's past, present and possible future.

Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc. (JSI) - 1850s - 1992

Renamed the Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc. (JSI) in 1963 by W.R. Lovett, shipbuilding operates on this site dated as far back as the 1850s. For decades, JSI was one of Jacksonville's largest employers and a dominate feature of the downtown scene and riverfront.

JSI's decline began in the 1980s, shutting down briefly in 1990, laying off 800 workers. It would reopen briefly, only to close permanently  in 1992 after selling its drydocks to a shipyard in Bahrain. 23 years later, Jacksonville is still struggling to find a new use for the industrial brownfield site.

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