Images of Modern America: Jacksonville

October 6, 2015 9 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

After months of development, Metro Jacksonville's fourth book is now available from Charleston, SC-based Arcadia Publishing. This time, Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis provides readers with a different story on Jacksonville's history. Images of Modern America: Jacksonville covers the transformation of Jacksonville from 1950 through the present. Take a look and order your autographed copy now!

Free shipping. Priced at $22.99 each.

This autographed book explores Jacksonville's transformation into the largest city (by land area) in the contiguous United States with images of significant events in the city's history. Like many of the country's older cities, Jacksonville suffered from the negative impacts of rapid urban sprawl after World War II. Amid a declining tax base, public schools losing their accreditation, and government corruption scandals, Jacksonville voters approved a referendum to consolidate the struggling city with Duval County to create the "Bold New City of the South." These changes, along with many others, have continued to guide this Southern metropolis into the 21st century.

Using postcards, photographs from personal collections, and images from various state and local sources, author Ennis Armon Davis takes readers on an iconic journey through the evolution of Jacksonville from a stagnant postwar community to a 21st-century metropolis. Davis is an urban planner who has been involved with the revitalization of Jacksonville's urban core since 2003. Davis, a co-founder of, also wrote Reclaiming Jacksonville and Cohens: The Big Store for History Press.

"Images of Modern America: Jacksonville" Table of Contents

A bond election campaign billboard located on the site of the proposed Haydon Burns Library. The billboard was one of three such billboards sponsored by Citizens for Progress, a group which handled promotion for civic improvements, approved on April 3, 1962. The buildings in the background, the old city hall and Windle Hotel, were soon demolished to make way for the new public library. (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department.)



 Chapter 1 - 1950s: The Jacksonville Story

 Chapter 2 - 1960s: Jacksonville Consolidation

 Chapter 3 - 1970s: The New Bold City of the South

 Chapter 4 - 1980s: The Billion-Dollar Decade

 Chapter 5 - 1990s: River City Renaissance

 Chapter 6 - 2000s: The Better Jacksonville Plan

 Chapter 7 - 2010s: Taking Jacksonville to the Next Level

What's Next

An automobile filled Jacksonville Beach scene during May 1973. In 1968, when most residents of Duval County voted to approve consolidation between the county and the City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, together with Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and the Westside community of Baldwin voted to retain their own municipal governments. As such they are not part of the City of Jacksonville, but receive county-level services from Jacksonville, and vote for Jacksonville's mayor and City Council. (Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.)

The official launch of Images of Modern America: Jacksonville will be held as a book signing at San Marco Bookstore on October 12, 2015 at 6pm. San Marco Bookstore is located at 1971 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207. A second book signing event will be held at the Book Mark in Neptune Beach on October 17, 2015 at 7pm.  The BookMark is located at 220 1st St, Neptune Beach, FL 32266.

A view of a pristine, well-maintained Hogans Creek Promenade in Springfield. The promenade was the aesthetic centerpiece of Henry J. Klutho’s Hogans Creek Improvement Project in 1929. Intended to prevent flooding, the creek channelization project added bulkheads, ornamental foot bridges, 10,000 square yards of sidewalks, decorative balustrades and light fixtures, transforming the park into one of the city’s most scenic promenades.(Courtesy of the Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department.)

A firefighter walks past the Wilshire-Gooden Paint Company, while engulfed in flames. The building was Jacksonville's first Union Depot when it opened on Opened on February 4, 1895. Known as the Flagler Depot, it was one of the busiest in the nation before being replaced by the larger Jacksonville Terminal in 1919. After the 1985 fire, Wilshire-Gooden Paint relocated to 200 Park Street where it continues to operate as Brinton's Paint Company. (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Fire Department)

Images of Modern America: Jacksonville will officially be available on October 12, 2015. Pre-orders for autographed copies are available now.

For questions, please contact Ennis Davis at