Downtown Buildings Altered Beyond Recognition

November 28, 2011 27 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

While much of the local preservation discussion focuses on treasures lost or those well-preserved success stories, downtown Jacksonville is still home to several structures that were and still could be architecturally significant in their own right. Here are six downtown buildings that have been altered beyond recognition.

1. 404 North Julia Street

While the Ambassador Hotel is the major focus of this block, the former Chamber of Commerce building was a beauty in her own right.  Completed in 1927, this massive Mediterranean Revival structure was the home of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and then the Merck Drug Company before its facade was radically altered by the Marine National Bank in 1957.  In 2001, First Alliance Bank purchased Marine National Bank. Two years later, it acquired EverBank, an online bank with $250 million in deposits. The company later adopted the EverBank name and the rest is history.

The original facade of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce building at the intersection of Julia and Duval Streets.

2. 112 East Forsyth Street

Now the location of the Ann Teague Bonding Agency, this building was constructed in 1904 for the NY Steam Laundry Company.

A NY Laundry advertisement from the 1910 City Directory.

3. 29 East Adams Street

The Burrito Gallery's neighbor was the long-time offices of the Jacksonville Gas Corporation.  It was built in 1915 for the Home Telephone Company and was one of H.J. Klutho's last Prairie School buildings in downtown Jacksonville.  In 1965, the facade was radically altered by a Hardwick & Lee Architects-designed renovation for the Florida Gas Company.

29 East Adams as the H.J. Klutho-designed Jacksonville Gas Company offices.

4. 170 Hogan Street

Orginally called the Akers-Cody Building, this structure was designed by E.R. Merry Architect and constructed by Griffin Construction Company in 1921.  The original facade appeared to be Prairie School.  The building would become the long-time downtown location of Rosenblums.

170 Hogan Street as Rosenblums.

The original Prairie School-influenced Hogan Street facade.

5. 119 (right) & 129 (left) West Adams Street

Constructed in 1922, the building where Le Shea's & Minggle City Cafe (119 West Adams) are located was originally built by W.P. Woodcock for the Buckman & Ulmer Company.  Professional Auto Supply and Goodfellow's Cafe were the original tenants.  Morrison's Cafeteria occupied the space between 1929 and 1950.  In the 1960s, the French Novelty was located there and in 1975, it housed Vogue Shops.  The adjacent building (129 West Adams) was constructed in 1924 as the Arnold Edwards Building and housed the Edwards Piano Company.  During the 1950s, it was the Eastman Kodak Store.  By the 1980s, it was Scottie Discount Drug Store.  Today, its Scottie Stores.

129 and 119 West Adams Street can be seen to the right of the Levy-Wolf Building in the 1930s.

6. 214-218 West Adams

Mellon C. Greeley's 1929 Adams Street elevation drawing for the Monticello Drug Company building (218 West Adams).

This seven-story, Chicago-style building was designed by Mellen C. Greeley in 1929.  It was constructed to be the offices of the Monticello Drug Company.  The Monticello Drug Company was founded by T.S. Roberts in Monticello, FL in the 1890s and manufactured a patent medicine for malaria.  The company relocated to Jacksonville in 1908 because of better transportation facilities.  During WWII, it manufactured pills and liquids to treat cold symptoms. The building's first floor was radically altered in 1982 when the fixed plate glass storefronts and cast stone facade were filled in.

The Adams Street facade in November 2011.