Urban Parks: Northbank RiverwalkJanuary 13, 2009 63 comments Print Article
The ever expanding Northbank Riverwalk is one of the most popular and well-used attractions in Downtown Jacksonville. The 2 mile greenway connects Riverside with Downtown.
The east end of the Northbank Riverwalk will eventually be completed between the Berkman and Shipyards properties. When complete, the riverwalk will reach Kids Kampus and Metropolitan Park.
The Jacksonville Fire Memorial was erected to remind our community of the disaster our city faced and survived. The memorial was dedicated in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of what many have called the most destructive burning of a southern city in history.
In 2002, the Jacksonville Track Club partnered with the city in commissioning 'The Runner', a statue of a sprinting man on the riverwalk.
At the center of the Northbank Riverwalk is The Landing, a complex of restaurants and assorted shops where numerous events take place. Next door, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts hosts everything from touring Broadway shows, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and popular music acts.
The Northbank Riverwalk initially only stretched from Berkman Plaza, west to the CSX Building. Restaurants along the riverwalk in this area include Plaza III, Benny's Steak & Seafood, American Cafe, Hooters and Koja Sushi.
In January 2005, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of the latest extension of the Northbank Riverwalk. Construction took nearly two years for the 1.5-mile, $8.7 million project. The landscaped brick walkway connects the existing Riverwalk at the CSX building to Riverside Avenue.
Its features include historic lighting, water fountains, trash receptacles, bike racks, irrigated landscaping, bathrooms, and over 100 benches.
The City of Jacksonville and Fidelity National Financial executed a land swap in 2008 that added more access to the river in the form of a 1.3-acre park with 28 public parking spaces in exchange for the parcel of land under Riverside Avenue's historic fire station.
Artists' Square will be the latest attraction along the Riverwalk. The new public space will feature an artist market and space for musicians and performing artist. Located under I-95, this attraction is tentatively set to open on March 14, 2009.
The west end of the Northbank Riverwalk will eventually be extended from Riverside Artist Square to Cummer Museum, Five Points, and Riverside Memorial Park.
Photo article by Ennis Davis
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