The Last Days of LaVilla

March 2, 2015 31 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Sometimes the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. 21st century LaVilla is known as a section of downtown that's characterized by blighted surface parking lots and failed dreams of urban renewal. Before it's wholesale demolition in the early 1990s, it was one of the densest neighborhoods in the city. Today, Metro Jacksonville presents a collection of images illustrating the last days of LaVilla.


941 West Bay Street was the West Bay Hotel during Railroad Row's vibrant days. This block is now a surface parking lot at the northeast corner of West Bay and Lee Streets.


Lee Street during the construction of the JTA Skyway.


Cruising down North Davis near Beaver Street. The Great Fire that destroyed most of Jacksonville in 1901 originated on this block.


North Davis Street near the Ritz Theatre.


901-927 West Bay Street during its final years of existence. During Railroad Row's bustling days, these buildings were occupied by the Maxwell Hotel.


Last but not least. This image was taken decades before the 1980s. However, it's a good shot of Railroad Row dominating the background.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at

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