Urban Parks: St. Johns River Park

February 13, 2009 10 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Now known as Friendship Park, the 11 acre St. Johns River Park Marina is one of the most underutilized popular public spaces in Downtown Jacksonville.

About Friendship Fountain and  the St. Johns River Park & Marina 

The St. Johns Marina is located on the south bank of the St. Johns River, just east of the Acosta Bridge, which opened in 1921 and was replaced in 1994. At one time part of the St. Johns River Park and Marina (a/k/a Friendship Park), the marina is now a separate entity. When it opened, it was the first municipal marina in the downtown area.

The park is also the home of Friendship Fountain.  When the park opened in 1965, the Fountain of Friendship (named at the suggestion of a Rotary Club member because one of the Club’s cardinal principles is friendship) was the world’s largest and tallest fountain, capable of spraying 17,000 gallons of water a minute to a height of 120 feet. Accentuated by colored lights at night, it soon became a popular tourist destination and local recreation site. Currently, both the Museum of Science and History and a popular restaurant with its own marina occupy portions of the original park property. The park provides a wonderful view of downtown Jacksonville and access to the Southbank Riverwalk that opened in 1985. In addition, the Jacksonville Maritime Museum is located on the Riverwalk, adjacent to the northeast corner of the park.



St. Johns River Park Throughout the Years




St. Johns River Park Today 

Photo Tour by Ennis Davis