The Lost Skyscrapers of Jacksonville

February 9, 2016 12 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a look back at the six downtown highrises (10 stories and above) that no longer exist.

3T. Rhodes Furniture Building - 11 floors

Looking north down Main - Intersection of Main & Forsyth. Courtesy of the Florida State Archives.

The Rhodes-Futch-Collins Building was the last skyscraper built in the city's post-Great Fire of 1901 building boom. Permits for the construction of the 11-story concrete tower were issued to furniture magnate Amos Giles Rhodes in early 1913. Rhodes Furniture was founded in 1879 when Rhodes established a small furniture store in Atlanta, Georgia. By the early 20th century, Rhodes Furniture had become a chain and this large structure served as Rhode's expansion into Jacksonville.

The Rhodes-Futch-Collins Building rises in the background of this 1970s view looking east along Monroe Street and the Ed Ball Building. Courtesy of the City of Jacksonville.

Situated on Main Street, between Monroe and Duval Streets, Rhodes hired the Pittman Construction Company of Atlanta to build the Jacksonville store which was completed in 1914. For most decades, the Rhodes-Futch-Collins building dominated Main Street's skyline and its sign, painted on its north facade, could be seen as far away as 20th Street in New Springfield.

Despite its size, history and the abundance of surface parking lots on nearby blocks, the City of Jacksonville selected it as the preferred site for its new main library. At the ripe old age of 88 on August 17, 2002, the Rhodes-Futch-Collins Building was imploded on live television to make room for the main public library that stands today. In the name of preservation, some architectural elements from the building's facade were used on the design of the library building.

Site of the Rhodes-Futch-Collins Building in 2016.

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