Urban Neighborhoods: Norwood

May 12, 2010 15 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville explores the Metro North neighborhood known as Norwood.

Norwood is located just north of Gateway Town Center, along Norwood Avenue.

Norwood History

Norwood Smoke Shop at the corner of Norwood Avenue and Crestview Street in 1949.

The original Norwood Plat was filed in 1912 and was roughly bounded by Moncrief Creek to the west, Lem Turner Road (Norwood Avenue) to the south, West 47th Street and the railroad tracks to the east, and Jefferson Road to the north.  The area had sufficiently grown to require the construction of Norwood Elementary School in 1926, which was expanded in 1930, 1941, and 1946.
Source: Joel McEachin, Senior Historic Perservation Planner, Jacksonville Planning and Development Department

Residential Norwood

During the 1930's, many of the houses being built in such areas as Norwood-Northshore tended to be smaller and more scaled down than their predecessors designed in the earlier Victorian and Revival styles.  These residences were constructed to meet the housing needs of the growing middle class population of Jacksonville, many who were taking advantage of the Federal Housing Authority's guaranteed mortgages.
Source: Joel McEachin, Senior Historic Perservation Planner, Jacksonville Planning and Development Department

Norwood Avenue

Norwood Avenue serves as an important link between the Gateway Town Center area, I-95, Golfair Boulevard and Lem Turner Road. Future plans call for this road to become a part of JTA's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) North corridor. As a part of an integrated transportation plan, this line will connect the community to nearby streetcar and commuter rail corridors, improving transit mobility and options for neighborhood residents.

The old Norwood Elementery School was completed in 1926 and served the community for 82 years, before closing in 2008.

Purchased by Grace and Truth Community Development Corp., plans call for a $15 million project to convert the complex into 84 affordable housing units, retail space in former classrooms and a 500-seat auditorium that will be open to the public.  Called the Norwood Business and Development Center, the project is planned for completion in 2012.

This church building at 6225 Norwood Avenue dates back to 1938.

Millennium Specialty Chemicals

Located at 601 Crestwood St., Millennium Specialty Chemicals uses pine-based waste-products of the paper industry to replicate the molecules of roses and other flowers used to create the fragrances in detergents, soaps and other personal care items. It is the largest manufacturer in the world of pine oil used to make cleaners and disinfectants.  This massive industrial complex also covers up about a quarter of the neighborhood.

Glidden Chemical Company (now Millennium) in 1960.

The 4-acre Norwood Park is located just east of Lem Turner Road, along Norwood Drive. It is a passive park, providing fishing from the banks and shady areas for relaxation along Moncrief Creek.

Barney Browning Park is located in the Norwood section of north Jacksonville, and was previously known as the Norwood Playground until the name change in 1976. Eight different owners deeded portions of the park to the City between 1926 and 1951. Barney H. Browning Sr. (1917-1975), was a long-time North Jacksonville community leader. He founded Barney Browning & Sons, a fuel oil distributor that for many years sponsored local baseball, football, and bowling teams. Mr. Browning served as president of the Northside Business Men's Club, the Springfield Lions Club, and the North Jacksonville Civitan Club, and served on the boards of the Halfway House and the Rescue Mission. Park improvements over the years include the 1990 installation of sports lighting. In 2006, new playground equipment was installed to update the park.

Norwood is one of many Jacksonville neighborhoods that were split by the construction of the Jacksonville Expressway System in the mid-20th century.  One-quarter of the neighborhood now lies west of I-95 and is connected to the rest of the world by one street (Crestview Street) and a pedestrian overpass.

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Article by Ennis Davis