Lerner Shops Demolished Downtown

May 18, 2009 123 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Despite being featured by the Content Design Group's 'Urban Facelift Project' as a neglected structure ripe for redevelopment, the Lerner Shops at 118 Main Street has been demolished.

118 North Main Street
This small storefront is more significant for its remodeling than for its original architecture. The building was probably constructed shortly before it first appeared in the 1909 city directory as Spiro P. Schiadaressis's grocery. Over the next two decades, various businesses were listed at this location, including a saloon, a cigar store, and a billiard parlor. Photographs as early as 1917 show the upper one-half of the building much as it is today.

In 1928 Lerner's clothing shops took over the building, and it is presumed that shortly thereafter the splashy Art Deco facade was added to the first story. The burst of metallic bas-relief decoration above the entrance and above the display windows is one of the city's most exuberant remaining specimens of Art Deco ornamentation.  The stylish lettering denoting "LERNER SHOPS" also displays the Art Deco flair.  A remnant of the original cast-iron storefront can be seen at the extreme left of the facade.
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This building was also featured on May 8th, 2009 in Recreating Jacksonville: The Urban Facelift Project