6 Lost Districts of Downtown Jacksonville

May 20, 2015 25 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A district is defined as an area of a country or city, regarded as a distinct unit because of a particular characteristic. In an era where the pedestrian was king in Jacksonville, downtown was loaded with distinct districts-- many of which are no longer with us. Here are a few lost districts that you may not be familiar with.

3. Meatpacking on West Bay

The majority of downtown's meat packing companies were clustered along Bay Street, between Hogan and Broad Streets. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

The meat packing industry handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock. While slaughterhouses and stockyards were located on the outskirts of the city, West Bay Street, between Julia and Broad Streets, served as early Jax's meatpacking district. Meatpacking companies here included Morris & Company, Swift & Company , Wilson & Company, Cudahy Packing Company, Smith Richardson & Conroy Wholesale Meats, and Armour & Company. This slice of industry and the rail yards that served it  were eventually lost during the city's mid-20th century redevelopment of the riverfront.

These companies were served by railyards where Water Street exists today. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

A look at this district from the Riverside Viaduct. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

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