Neighborhoods: Springfield Warehouse District

February 13, 2013 19 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Telfair Stockton & Company developed a significant chunk of Jacksonville's urban core that we know and love today. While Springfield, Avondale, and San Marco stand out to most, Stockton also was heavily involved in Jacksonville's growth as an industrial center. Here is a before and after look at the remains of Stockton's largest manufacturing center in Jacksonville's urban core: The Springfield Warehouse District.


The Studebaker Corporation in 1926. Courtesy of the Telfair Stockton & Company industrial advertisement.

In 1922, the Studebaker Automobile Company opened a parts distribution warehouse at 2551 (now 2335) North Market Street.  Studebaker was founded in 1852 as a wagon manufacturer in South Bend, IN.  Studebaker entered the automotive business in 1902 and had established an enviable reputation for quality and reliability. At the time of their Springfield Warehouse District's opening, the company's assembly plants were located in South Bend, Walkerville (Canada), and Detroit.

Studebaker's time in Springfield would not last long as a result of the Great Depression and by 1932, the building was occupied by Universal Tractor & Equipment Company.  Studebaker went on to merge with Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit in 1954, leading both operations to cease in existance by 1966.

In recent years, 2335 North Market Street had been occupied by Tison-Demar Woodworks.  Recently listed for sale, it appears the building has been purchased.


The Chevrolet Motor Company in 1926. Courtesy of the Telfair Stockton & Company industrial advertisement.

In 1920, rapidly growing Jacksonville was noticed by Henry L. Innes, who established the American Motors Export Company auto assembly plant in Durkeeville.  Innes, who died in 1921 after producing only six vehicles had previously worked for Chevrolet's William C. Durant in Flint, MI.

Shortly, after Innes' death, several Midwestern-based automakers established major operations in Jacksonville, with the affiliation of Telfair Stockton & Company. Studebaker Corporation opened a Springfield Warehouse District warehouse in 1922 and Henry Ford purchased the former Bentley Shipyards for an assembly plant in 1923.

Soon Chevrolet was sold on investing in the Jacksonville market. In 1926, this building at 2310 North Market Street was constructed for the Detroit-based Chevrolet Motor Company. The company had been founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted General Motors founder William C. Durant in 1911 and had grown to be a major competitor to Henry Ford's company.

Chevrolet quickly outgrew this facility and constructed a larger facility one block east in 1929. After Chevrolet relocated, this building housed several businesses, including the Carling Brewing Company durint the 1950s.  

Carling was a Canadian and United Kingdom based brewery that utilized the Springfield building for distribution.  The rights to the Carling label are now owned by Molson Coors Brewing Company. Today, the warehouse is occupied by Cotney-Rich Tires.


2111 N. Liberty Street was designed by noted architect Albert Khan and constructed in 1929 for the Chevrolet Motor Company.  It replaced a smaller parts warehouse, one block west, that the company quickly outgrew.  Parts were brought in via rail and shipped out by truck. Chevrolet used this structure from 1929 until 1958. Since that time, the space has been used as a printing shop, plastic recycling center, and as a speculative property investment, among other things.

In 2012, Paul Davis Restorations invested $1.6 million in restoring the 40,000 square foot warehouse for their offices, processing space, and fleet vehicles. Paul Davis Restoration employees 35 at the site today.

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