Abandoned Jacksonville: Coca-Cola Bottling Company

October 7, 2014 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

When traveling on the forgotten side streets of Jacksonville's older neighborhoods, one can't help but have a bit of "factory nostalgia" due to the eerily quiet ruins of industrial sites that once buzzed with activity. Here's a story of the rise and fall of a Jacksonville bottling factory that represents the early 20th century manufacturing history of Coca-Cola and Pepsi: The Springfield Warehouse District's Coca-Cola Bottling Company.



Now: The former Jacksonville Coca-Cola Bottling Company site


The former Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant was built in 1926.






From left to right: The Jacksonville Cola Cola Bottling Company building, Mehlas warehouse complex, and the Mavis Bottling Company building.


The Mehlas warehouse building was utilized as warehouse space by Coca-Cola before operations were relocated to the Huron Street bottling plant in 1968.


The Mehlas warehouse buildings were completed in 1926. The complex initially housed companies that supported the larger manufacturing and distribution companies in the area. Some of its earliest tenants included the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company (bakery), Michelin Tire Company, and Excelsior Mills Corporation (automobile upholstery).


Considered modern in 1926, by 1968 this urban manufacturing complex had become obsolete for accommodating significant tractor trailer loading and unloading.


The remnants of a railroad siding that once served the Mavis Bottling Company parallels East 14th Street.


Looking east on 14th Street from left to right: Mavis Bottling Company and Mehlas Warehouse buildings.  The original 1926 Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant is located in distance behind the Mehlas buildings.


The modified facade of the Mavis Bottling Company building. Mavis was absorbed into Pepsi after its owner purchased Pepsi for $10,500 in 1931. After the Jacksonville Mavis plant was shut down in 1930, the complex was utilized for truck storage, sign painting, and a cooler department by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com


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