Lost Jacksonville

April 13, 2012 180 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A century ago, Jacksonville was the center of a highly progressive architectural community. Over time, we have become a conservative community with little regard for the importance of architecture in our urban landscape. Here is a collection of images showcasing several significant structures that no longer exist in the downtown area. A few came down in fires; others were replaced by larger structures. Most were simply torn down and replaced with parking garages and surface lots. Hopefully, one day reminders showing what we have lost will provoke our community to work harder to save what's left.

Why is Historic Preservation Important?

Historic preservation is the practice of protecting and preserving sites, structures or districts which reflect elements of local or national cultural, social, economic, political, archaeological or architectural history. Preservation has many diverse purposes and rewards, including the strengthening of local economies, stabilization of property values, the fostering of civic beauty and community pride, and the appreciation of local and national history. Historic preservation is a public purpose that advances the education and welfare of citizens, while providing economic and aesthetic benefits as well.

Historic resources are defined as districts, sites, structures, objects or buildings that are greater than seventy-five years in age, and are significant in local, state or national history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture. History encompasses all cultures, economic classes, and social, political and private activities that form the background to the present.

What is a historic site or structure?

Historic resources fall into five categories or types: buildings, sites, structures, objects, or districts. A building is a construction created to shelter human activity, while structures are functional constructions usually created for purposes other than creating human shelter. A site is the location of a significant event, occupation or activity, while an object is primarily an artistic creation such as a sculpture, monument or statuary. A district is a collection of any or all of the above which is united historically or aesthetically.

What are the benefits of historic preservation?

The benefits of historic preservation come in many forms. The prime benefit of historical restoration is always education. It also includes both public and private benefits. Historic preservation safeguards a community's heritage, making it available to future generations for civic enjoyment and educational activities. Preservation stabilizes property values and strengthens local economies. In addition, the conservation and maintenance of historic resources and scenic areas fosters civic beauty and bolsters community pride. Finally, historic preservation has been successfully employed to improve business opportunities in many locales.

1. City Hall - NW corner of Forsyth & Ocean (current site of Haydon Burns Library)

2. Palace Theatre - SW corner of Forsyth & Ocean (current site of metal parking deck)

3. National Bank of Jacksonville - NW corner of Forsyth & Laura (current site of Jacksonville Bank Building)

4. Masonic Temple - SE corner of Main & Monroe (current site of surface parking lot)

5. Post Office Building - NE corner of Forsyth & Hogan (current site of office building)

6. Union Terminal - West Bay Street (the facade still remains)


8. SE corner of Duval and Julia (current site occupied by Federal Courthouse Tower)

9. Demolition of Post Office Building for Furchgott's Department Store - SE corner of Adams & Hogan

10. Looking south over Hemming Park (current location of Dalton Agency)

11. NE corner of Forsyth & Ocean (current location of surface parking lot)

12. JCPenney - NE corner of Main & Bay (current location of metal parking deck)

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