Author Topic: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs  (Read 4043 times)

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34657
    • Modern Cities
1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« on: December 05, 2023, 08:14:08 AM »
Quote


Scenes from the streets of Downtown Jacksonville from the Jacksonville Public Library Florida Collection. The photographs were taken by Norman N. Griffith in 1971.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/1971-downtown-jacksonville-photographs/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3109
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2023, 09:21:43 AM »
Sad to see so many great buildings gone.  While our skyline was "lower" then, in many ways, it was much more appealing and interesting due to the architecture of the buildings and not being cookie cutter glass boxes or painted walls.

Also, there were not many empty store fronts then even though Downtown's decline (and building demolitions as exemplified in one of the pictures) had already begun following the opening of Regency Square and other suburban shopping meccas.

Steve

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4069
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2023, 09:40:20 AM »
What. the. heck. Did. We. Do.

Perfectly good bones in that picture for an amazing downtown. Wow.

Charles Hunter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4900
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2023, 11:10:19 AM »
Brings back memories.

Captions would be nice ...

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4334
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2023, 12:50:29 PM »
The city was so clean.  I couldn't find one piece of trash in any of those pics.



thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34657
    • Modern Cities
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2023, 05:28:04 PM »
Even in decay, there was beauty. What stands out the most to me is the diverse collection of building styles, wide streets, business signage and sidewalks with no trees or landscaping. I can only imagine what it felt like going down Bay, Forsyth and Adams, with nothing but built pedestrian scale density from I-95 to Maxwell House. While we have a lot more height now, it had to feel like a city that was several times larger than what we are today.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

heights unknown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
  • HEIGHTS UNKNOWN (HOT DAMMIT!) YES...SUPER TALLS!!!
    • FRESH START SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2023, 08:32:26 PM »
Wow. Yes...what memories. I was in Junior High School then, but even in 1974 when I had joined the Navy and was stationed at Cecil Field (now Cecil Commerce), it (downtown) still pretty much looked like these pics. There were numerous bars, strip joints, night clubs, etc. still downtown; and don't get me started on restaurants. One of my favorites was a Japanese Restaurant on Duval just before Main Street called Iaeyasu of Tokyo; loved that place. And after we would tumble over and destroy the bars and Night Clubs, we'd hit the Amber House, and I also remember a White Castle downtown that we'd hit. I saw a pic (LOL) of a strip joint that I and other Sailors used to hit called R&R Bar; it was soooooooooooo good, REAL GOOD. Another Strip Joint was the Night Owl not too far from it. Used to also frequent a "Hole In the Wall" Bar on Main off of Duval called "The Flamingo Bar and Liquors," another one that was real good, so very good. Jacksonville yes was on the decline in 1974 and just starting to decline in '71, but there was a lot to do, see, visit, and oh, Movie Theaters were still downtown LOL. Lastly, one word comes to mind when looking at these pics; DENSENESS! Clean streets, not many empty parking lots LOL...but, the past is done, gone. Hopefully we can correct the numerous mistakes of the last 5 or so decades for the future!!!
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ACCESS MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE AT: https://www.facebook.com/garrybernardcoston.personal/ or, access my Social Service national/world wide page if you love supporting charities/social entities at: http://www.freshstartsocialservices.com and thank you!!!

heights unknown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
  • HEIGHTS UNKNOWN (HOT DAMMIT!) YES...SUPER TALLS!!!
    • FRESH START SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2023, 08:36:29 PM »
The city was so clean.  I couldn't find one piece of trash in any of those pics.



I'm a little older than most of you, and as I remember, they used to daily have people go up and down the streets picking up trash; no, not in a vehicle, but they had good sized light barrels with them and the poker picker uppers to pick up the trash. I do remember that. There may have been some vehicles also picking up trash but I don't remember seeing them.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ACCESS MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE AT: https://www.facebook.com/garrybernardcoston.personal/ or, access my Social Service national/world wide page if you love supporting charities/social entities at: http://www.freshstartsocialservices.com and thank you!!!

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4334
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2023, 07:46:10 AM »
^ I wish we had more of that going on around town.  Its mostly the little things that make a place inviting, especially downtown areas.  DT Jax in the 70's still had that hometown neighborhood feel because so many more people actually lived there, instead of only working there.  People cared more about how their neighborhood looked and kept it up.

Thankfully, the DT area is getting more and more residents and that should help with keeping the place more tidy.



Mike D

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 55
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2023, 05:30:17 PM »
This is downtown Jacksonville as I remember it from growing up in the 60s and early 70s.  The pictures strike a nostalgic chord in me for my youth and make me sad when I'm reminded of the plentiful "raw materials" we had to work with that were squandered, lost and destroyed.  Downtown used to feel like a real city, and, to thelakelander's comment, it did feel like a bigger city than today's downtown. I remember visiting a friend in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 70s...one of the things that struck me was how small downtown Charlotte seemed compared to Jacksonville.  For a young person, going to downtown Jax was an exciting experience.  Movie theatres, restaurants and stores everywhere, and sidewalks filled with people.  There's nothing in the current environment to match it.

jaxlongtimer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3109
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2023, 11:57:56 PM »
This is downtown Jacksonville as I remember it from growing up in the 60s and early 70s.  The pictures strike a nostalgic chord in me for my youth and make me sad when I'm reminded of the plentiful "raw materials" we had to work with that were squandered, lost and destroyed.  Downtown used to feel like a real city, and, to thelakelander's comment, it did feel like a bigger city than today's downtown. I remember visiting a friend in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 70s...one of the things that struck me was how small downtown Charlotte seemed compared to Jacksonville.  For a young person, going to downtown Jax was an exciting experience.  Movie theatres, restaurants and stores everywhere, and sidewalks filled with people.  There's nothing in the current environment to match it.

I agree.  Going to May Cohens, Sears, JC Penney, Woolworths, Iveys, Furchgotts, Underwoods, Jacobs, Purcells, etc. with family was an engaging experience with lots of buzz in the city.  Stores were also well staffed with friendly and helpful clerks who often knew their regulars.  Not like today, where staff is thinned out and not as consistent.  If one didn't find what they wanted at one store, there was always another around the block so no need to leave downtown.  In many ways, that "redundancy" is a strength of Town Center as a shopping magnet.

Banks and savings and loans (remember those :) ? )opened to the street and encouraged you to come in to.  Then there were the hotels:  Especially the Robert Meyer, Mayflower, Roosevelt and George Washington.  Of course, the theaters and restaurants.  And, the Civic Auditorium had a convention/exhibition hall where the symphony hall is now.  While small by today's standards, it still managed to attract a lot of diverse activities with thousands of attendees to the heart of downtown, not off by its lonesome self like the Osborne is today.

Due to technology, there is no longer a post office downtown and most banks have closed or are closing their downtown retail branches.  In the old days, you had to visit these downtown locations as they had what the suburban versions lacked in service capabilities.

There was a certain innocence to the era that seems lost today.  Most things we encounter seem contrived to appeal to our base instincts in such blatant ways... not much is subtle or understated but rather over the top.  The sense of discovery of something special and unexpected is rare.  Maybe I have become a more cynical person as an adult but I think today's kids are rarely impressed or excited by as much as kids were when we were so or it takes so much overkill to get similar reactions we got from relatively simple matters.  If there are such moments, attention spans have shortened for so many that such doesn't seem to be savored for very long.  Kids today are exposed to almost every corner of life and the world by such young ages that they seem to quickly become jaded or callous to the joys and simple pleasures of everyday life.  We can think the internet and social media for popping so many bubbles.

Wow. Yes...what memories. I was in Junior High School then, but even in 1974 when I had joined the Navy and was stationed at Cecil Field (now Cecil Commerce), it (downtown) still pretty much looked like these pics. There were numerous bars, strip joints, night clubs, etc. still downtown; and don't get me started on restaurants. One of my favorites was a Japanese Restaurant on Duval just before Main Street called Iaeyasu of Tokyo; loved that place. And after we would tumble over and destroy the bars and Night Clubs, we'd hit the Amber House, and I also remember a White Castle downtown that we'd hit. I saw a pic (LOL) of a strip joint that I and other Sailors used to hit called R&R Bar; it was soooooooooooo good, REAL GOOD. Another Strip Joint was the Night Owl not too far from it. Used to also frequent a "Hole In the Wall" Bar on Main off of Duval called "The Flamingo Bar and Liquors," another one that was real good, so very good. Jacksonville yes was on the decline in 1974 and just starting to decline in '71, but there was a lot to do, see, visit, and oh, Movie Theaters were still downtown LOL. Lastly, one word comes to mind when looking at these pics; DENSENESS! Clean streets, not many empty parking lots LOL...but, the past is done, gone. Hopefully we can correct the numerous mistakes of the last 5 or so decades for the future!!!

I recall Iaeyasu of Tokyo.  Was excellent and he opened another location in Mandarin that was short lived (now where Ackerman Cancer is).  I thought that came to downtown a little later, like around 78 or 79.  Owner was a character.  There was a Chinese restaurant next to Jake's Newsstand for many years before that but I can't recall the name now.  Wendy's also used to be on Main around the corner from Iaeyasu.  Squeezing between surrounding buildings for their drive through was an adventure.

heights unknown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2375
  • HEIGHTS UNKNOWN (HOT DAMMIT!) YES...SUPER TALLS!!!
    • FRESH START SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCY
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2023, 05:18:23 PM »
This is downtown Jacksonville as I remember it from growing up in the 60s and early 70s.  The pictures strike a nostalgic chord in me for my youth and make me sad when I'm reminded of the plentiful "raw materials" we had to work with that were squandered, lost and destroyed.  Downtown used to feel like a real city, and, to thelakelander's comment, it did feel like a bigger city than today's downtown. I remember visiting a friend in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 70s...one of the things that struck me was how small downtown Charlotte seemed compared to Jacksonville.  For a young person, going to downtown Jax was an exciting experience.  Movie theatres, restaurants and stores everywhere, and sidewalks filled with people.  There's nothing in the current environment to match it.

I agree.  Going to May Cohens, Sears, JC Penney, Woolworths, Iveys, Furchgotts, Underwoods, Jacobs, Purcells, etc. with family was an engaging experience with lots of buzz in the city.  Stores were also well staffed with friendly and helpful clerks who often knew their regulars.  Not like today, where staff is thinned out and not as consistent.  If one didn't find what they wanted at one store, there was always another around the block so no need to leave downtown.  In many ways, that "redundancy" is a strength of Town Center as a shopping magnet.

Banks and savings and loans (remember those :) ? )opened to the street and encouraged you to come in to.  Then there were the hotels:  Especially the Robert Meyer, Mayflower, Roosevelt and George Washington.  Of course, the theaters and restaurants.  And, the Civic Auditorium had a convention/exhibition hall where the symphony hall is now.  While small by today's standards, it still managed to attract a lot of diverse activities with thousands of attendees to the heart of downtown, not off by its lonesome self like the Osborne is today.

Due to technology, there is no longer a post office downtown and most banks have closed or are closing their downtown retail branches.  In the old days, you had to visit these downtown locations as they had what the suburban versions lacked in service capabilities.

There was a certain innocence to the era that seems lost today.  Most things we encounter seem contrived to appeal to our base instincts in such blatant ways... not much is subtle or understated but rather over the top.  The sense of discovery of something special and unexpected is rare.  Maybe I have become a more cynical person as an adult but I think today's kids are rarely impressed or excited by as much as kids were when we were so or it takes so much overkill to get similar reactions we got from relatively simple matters.  If there are such moments, attention spans have shortened for so many that such doesn't seem to be savored for very long.  Kids today are exposed to almost every corner of life and the world by such young ages that they seem to quickly become jaded or callous to the joys and simple pleasures of everyday life.  We can think the internet and social media for popping so many bubbles.

Wow. Yes...what memories. I was in Junior High School then, but even in 1974 when I had joined the Navy and was stationed at Cecil Field (now Cecil Commerce), it (downtown) still pretty much looked like these pics. There were numerous bars, strip joints, night clubs, etc. still downtown; and don't get me started on restaurants. One of my favorites was a Japanese Restaurant on Duval just before Main Street called Iaeyasu of Tokyo; loved that place. And after we would tumble over and destroy the bars and Night Clubs, we'd hit the Amber House, and I also remember a White Castle downtown that we'd hit. I saw a pic (LOL) of a strip joint that I and other Sailors used to hit called R&R Bar; it was soooooooooooo good, REAL GOOD. Another Strip Joint was the Night Owl not too far from it. Used to also frequent a "Hole In the Wall" Bar on Main off of Duval called "The Flamingo Bar and Liquors," another one that was real good, so very good. Jacksonville yes was on the decline in 1974 and just starting to decline in '71, but there was a lot to do, see, visit, and oh, Movie Theaters were still downtown LOL. Lastly, one word comes to mind when looking at these pics; DENSENESS! Clean streets, not many empty parking lots LOL...but, the past is done, gone. Hopefully we can correct the numerous mistakes of the last 5 or so decades for the future!!!

I recall Iaeyasu of Tokyo.  Was excellent and he opened another location in Mandarin that was short lived (now where Ackerman Cancer is).  I thought that came to downtown a little later, like around 78 or 79.  Owner was a character.  There was a Chinese restaurant next to Jake's Newsstand for many years before that but I can't recall the name now.  Wendy's also used to be on Main around the corner from Iaeyasu.  Squeezing between surrounding buildings for their drive through was an adventure.
My first time going to Iaeyasu of Tokyo was after we came from an overseas Mediterranean Cruise in 1975. The name of the Owner/Cook was Yani, don't know if I am spelling it right, but I was 18 when I first started going there and I became a regular over the years and he watched me grow from a teen boy to a 37 year old man in 1994 when I retired from the Navy; 19 years I believe. I think it was 1994 the last time I went there or it could have been earlier, but, even though I got older, every time I went in there he always knew me and remembered me.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ACCESS MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE AT: https://www.facebook.com/garrybernardcoston.personal/ or, access my Social Service national/world wide page if you love supporting charities/social entities at: http://www.freshstartsocialservices.com and thank you!!!

duvaltilidie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2023, 02:40:15 PM »
The 7th picture down, the building with DREW CO. on it. Where did that building stand? I've tried figuring that one out and I just can't. I feel like it's on Bay Street?

Here's the link: https://photos.smugmug.com/History/Downtown-Jacksonville-1971-Jacksonville-Public-Library/i-LgxP92Z/0/434f7238/X2/Bay%20Street-X2.png

Edit: I now see it does indeed say Bay Street in the link, however.. where on Bay?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2023, 02:42:06 PM by duvaltilidie »

Steve

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4069
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2023, 02:59:54 PM »
The 7th picture down, the building with DREW CO. on it. Where did that building stand? I've tried figuring that one out and I just can't. I feel like it's on Bay Street?

Here's the link: https://photos.smugmug.com/History/Downtown-Jacksonville-1971-Jacksonville-Public-Library/i-LgxP92Z/0/434f7238/X2/Bay%20Street-X2.png

Edit: I now see it does indeed say Bay Street in the link, however.. where on Bay?

I think on the site of the Independent Life/Wells Fargo building.

duvaltilidie

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: 1971 Downtown Jacksonville Photographs
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2023, 03:22:35 PM »
The 7th picture down, the building with DREW CO. on it. Where did that building stand? I've tried figuring that one out and I just can't. I feel like it's on Bay Street?

Here's the link: https://photos.smugmug.com/History/Downtown-Jacksonville-1971-Jacksonville-Public-Library/i-LgxP92Z/0/434f7238/X2/Bay%20Street-X2.png

Edit: I now see it does indeed say Bay Street in the link, however.. where on Bay?

I think on the site of the Independent Life/Wells Fargo building.

That definitely makes sense, I see the 11E building and that lines up. All these photographs show a side of downtown that I've only ever read about on here and seen photos of from pre-1960's. I so hope there's more found, including what's been unfortunately demolished.