The Ghosts of Jacksonville's Past

October 2, 2009 45 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Arguing the merits of historic preservation can be a difficult task in a city that does not value its history. However, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, Metro Jacksonville kicks off a new photo series illustrating what's been lost in our urban core.

The Old Union Terminal's shell still remains after a 1979 fire gutted the rest of the building.

The Crane Company Building featured some of Jacksonville's finest decorative brickwork from the 1930s.  However, that wasn't enough to keep it from being a victim of the LaVilla demolition derby.

At the corner of Adams and Broad Street, the Newsome's Furniture Building lasted until a few years ago and came down without a fight from local preservationists. Today, the site is a grass parking lot for courthouse construction workers.

The corner of Forysth and Main was once dominated by pedestrians. Today, the pedestrians are gone along with the buildings and retailers that once attracted them.

Across from the Lynch Building (11 East), this old Lane Drugs building was replaced by a metal parking deck.

At the corner of Bay and Main, the parking garage also took out a building once home to JCPenney.

The Arcade Theatre was the largest and best equipped movie house in the South when it opened on Adams Street in 1915. If preserved, it would have given more life to the Adams/Laura corridor. Nevertheless, after years of decay it was finally unable to structurally support itself and it came crashing to the ground.

At one time, Forsyth Street was a place to be seen. Today, this collection of retail shops have been replaced with a block long asphalt parking lot.

The corner of Adam's and Laura is one of the most vibrant in all of downtown, yet it is still home to four large abandoned buildings, including Florida Life, and several empty grass lots.

At one time, nearly every square inch of land in the Northbank had a building on it. Due to rampant demolition, this is no longer the case today.

Graphics by Daniel Herbin and Ennis Davis