6 Lost Districts of Downtown Jacksonville

May 20, 2015 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A district is defined as an area of a country or city, regarded as a distinct unit because of a particular characteristic. In an era where the pedestrian was king in Jacksonville, downtown was loaded with distinct districts-- many of which are no longer with us. Here are a few lost districts that you may not be familiar with.

1. Main Street's Auto Row


Scott Wiley Used Cars near 5th and Main in the 1950s. Courtesy of the Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department.

Auto rows developed in numerous cities in the mid-20th century as car companies sought to create districts where the sale and repair of cars could become an easy urban shopping experience. Springfield’s Main Street was Jacksonville’s first major auto row. Major dealerships on Main Street included Claude Nolan Cadillac, Downtown Chevrolet, Brumos Porsche and Massey Motors.


Gateway Motors near Main and State in the 1950s. Gateway was replaced with the Heart of Jacksonville hotel (Parkview Inn) a few years after this image was taken. Courtesy of the Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department.


Triangle Motors in Springfield. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.


Claude Nolan Cadillac at Main and Orange in the 1910s. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.


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