Ebb and Flow on Jacksonville's Northbank

January 21, 2016 4 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

From EU Jacksonville: a brief history of Jacksonville's northbank

The Great Depression, caused in part by speculation in the Florida real estate market, announced the end of the Northbank building spree. Construction did not recover until after the war years of the 1940s. By then, shopping malls in the new suburbs of Arlington and Southside hampered efforts to build downtown. Nevertheless, Mayor Hayden Burns‘ “Decade of Progess” in the 1950s produced a new courthouse, city hall, coliseum, and civic auditorium on the Northbank.

Urban renewal began in earnest under Mayor Hans Tanzler‘s newly consolidated city government. With big money on the line, Tanzler succeeded in clearing legislative obstacles to allow Jacksonville access to the same federal dollars bankrolling redevelopment throughout urban America. In 1970, the Hogan’s Creek Renewal Project included the demolition of 600 structures deemed unsafe. In 1971, the Downtown Development Authority was granted bonding and eminent domain powers. The School Board closed Stanton the same year, moving students to a new location on 13th Street. Over the next several decades, hundreds of neglected historic buildings fell to the wrecking ball to make way for promised development that rarely materialized.

In the year 2000, citizens voted in a tax increase to fund Mayor John Delany‘s “Better Jacksonville Plan,” which included funding for a new arena, baseball park, library, and courthouse. Today, revitalization efforts continue to lure citizens to the Northbank with daily entertainment programming at Hemming Park, a once-a-month Art Walk, and a burgeoning nightlife district.

Article David Pordis

Article provided by EU Jacksonville

EU Jacksonville supports local art, culture and entertainment in Northeast Florida. From local artist interviews, restaurant reviews to in-depth neighborhood coverage, EU Jacksonville has informed the music, theatre, and art communities for over 30 years.

 PREV 1 2