Stories Behind the Concrete Slabs of Jax: Part II

June 24, 2015 2 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Part two of Metro Jacksonville's series that highlights the lost stories behind downtown Jacksonville's surface parking lots.

Pierce-Wall Furniture

Looking down West Forsyth Street from Jefferson Street. This block on fire in November 2014.

The area around the intersection of Broad and West Forsyth Streets developed into a furniture district by the mid-20th century. Major furniture anchors of this district included the Cunningham, E.C. Newsom, Davis, and Pierce-Wall furniture companies. For many years, this block of West Forsyth Street, between Jefferson and Broad Streets, was anchored by the Pierce-Wall Furniture Company. Pierce-Wall was established on January 1, 1929 by William Swepston Wall. Margaret Bazemore was the Treasurer and Robert Bazemore was the Director.

One building on this site served as a military jail during the Spanish-American War. During the 1990s, it was decided that the time had come to revitalize this section of downtown through the practice of wholesale demolition. This block was one of many lost. During the 20 years of waiting for revitalization, the block has served as a surface parking lot.  Recently, the foundations of all buildings on this block were removed, in the owner's preparation to sale the site. While the foundations were removed, no one bothered to address the former building edges along the sidewalk. Thus, today, you can walk on Forsyth Street and easily identify where storefront entrances once stood.

Sanborn map of the 600 West Forsyth Street block prior to Pierce-Wall taking over most of it.

Pierce-Wall Furniture Company block in 2015

Stories Behind the Concrete Slabs of Jax - Part 1

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