Author Topic: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street  (Read 5018 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« on: February 04, 2010, 06:04:36 AM »
Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street



Metro Jacksonville takes a look at Main Street's evolution over the last century.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-feb-ruins-of-jacksonville-main-street

billy

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 06:25:28 AM »
Great story.
Springfield Atlantic Bank is an odd looking bilding.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 07:09:19 AM »
Great article... Love the large numbers of street cars up and down main street.  Were these lines privately owned and operated?  Were the rail tracks privately constructed and funded?  Did the city fund the construction of the lines and a private company buy the trolleys and run them?  If there was such a public/private coexistence then can it be achieved now?

Quote
The Pine Street Railway, was formed by B. Upton and built a line up Pine (Main Street) to 8Th Street. In 1884 the company was leased to G.A.Blackstone, who constructed a popular resort, skating rink, dinner hall and restaurant. The project fell short of paying for the improvements and the transit line so the property was sold to S. B Hubbard. Hubbard extended the street railway East on 8Th to Walnut, South on Walnut to First and West on First back to Pine. When the namesake "Pine Street" became "Main Street," the company changed it's name to "The Main Street Railway."

When news of Spague's experiment with electric powered trolleys in Richmond, Virginia, swept across the land. Jacksonville was caught up in "electric fever." The Main Street Railway, was first to string electric wire and bring in the new era of clean transport to Jacksonville. On February 24, 1893, the first electric streetcar rolled up Main Street from Bay to the Water Works at 1St. By March, the entire Main Street Railway was ready for electric service, and the cars were running up Main and around the Walnut Street loop on 10 minute headway's.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

ralpho37

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 11:24:25 AM »
It's a ghost town down there now compared to what it used to be...

iloveionia

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 05:27:51 PM »
I love the pictures of Main Street in Springfield.  REALLY love the tree canopy.  REALLY makes a stark difference with the canopy gone.  Why established trees are cut is beyond me.  It seems to be a practice in many cities.


DemocraticNole

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 08:24:39 PM »
Anybody know what year they changed the name of Miami Road to Prudential Drive? They ought to change it back to Miami Road. Prudential Drive sounds like some street in the exurbs off of the interstate with boring office parks.

If the city really wants to make Main Street more of a destination, they ought to make it two-ways all the way through.

thelakelander

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 08:32:21 PM »
The name was probably changed when the Prudential building (now the Aetna Building) opened in 1955.  At the time, it was the tallest building in the Southeast.

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stjr

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 10:06:21 PM »
Great story.
Springfield Atlantic Bank is an odd looking bilding.

I had the same observation, Billy.  The two stars of David on there tell me it may have been a small or temporary synagogue at one time before it was a bank.  I don't think that would have been something the bank would have added.

By the way, Atlantic Bank was a large Jax bank that expanded statewide becoming one of the state's 5 largest banks.  Led by bank legend Billy Walker (still alive), it was the first bank acquired by First Union in Florida and established Jax as First Union's Florida HQ's.  First Union eventually acquired two other very large Florida banks, each of which at one time were the largest banks in Florida: Jax-based Florida National Bank (of Ed Ball days) and Miami-based Southeast Banks (bought through FDIC out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy).  First Union eventually acquired Wachovia, taking their name, and was itself acquired last year by Wells Fargo.


« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 10:08:16 PM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

stjr

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2010, 10:19:59 PM »
I note note the bounty of street level retail in the older pix as well as covered sidewalks and large awnings.  Now, those are pedestrian friendly streets that stand in stark contrast to the concrete and brick walls that represent Main Street downtown today.

What is worse, is that the architecture of modern Main Street continues to spread to other Downtown streets like a cancer, signaling a possible fatal illness for Downtown.  Office towers (BBT, ATT, BofA, Modis, Wachovia, etc.), government buildings (Federal building, Federal Courthouse, City Hall, JEA Chiller plant, JEA Building, City Hall Annex, Library, new and old County Courthouses, etc.), parking garages, hotels (Omni, Hyatt), LaVilla projects, Condo Towers (Berkman, Peninsula, Strand, etc.), empty lots - none of these offer street level retail today. The lack of continuous retail strips lining both sides of a street for blocks at a time should be a major concern for all Downtown lovers.  Until the City insist on this for all Downtown development, Downtown will suffer.

Pocket parks, street rebuilds, landscaping - will do no good without designing buildings featuring retail lining streets.  Downtown planners would do good to visit "Main Street" at Disney World for a refresher of what works.  A doctorate in planning is not required.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 11:22:03 PM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

904Scars

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 06:57:08 PM »
Couldn't have said it better stjr! Main St just looks so boring and dull now. God what I would do to see some of those old building rise from the dead. I was recently traveling through Macon, GA man their historic distric and building are simply gorgeous. Jacksonville needs a big slap in the face.

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 08:38:10 PM »
The name was probably changed when the Prudential building (now the Aetna Building) opened in 1955.  At the time, it was the tallest building in the Southeast.



Jacksonville named quite a few downtown/urban core streets after office buildings.  Not just Prudential but Independent Dr., Gulf Life Dr., even some more obscure ones off Riverside like Computer Power (Court?) and Peninsular Pl.
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stjr

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 08:50:42 PM »
Jacksonville named quite a few downtown/urban core streets after office buildings.  Not just Prudential but Independent Dr., Gulf Life Dr., even some more obscure ones off Riverside like Computer Power (Court?) and Peninsular Pl.

There is also Coast Line Drive, named after Atlantic Coast Line RR, now CSX, that ran along the bulkhead and under the Main Street Bridge.  Most of it was swallowed by the Riverwalk improvements and Jax Landing but a remnant remains in front of the Hyatt.

In the suburbs, there is Centurion Way, named after the logo icon of American Express when they HQ'd their Optima Card operations here.  I believe Citicard is also on a street bearing the company name. 

Gulf Life drive is now Riverplace Drive, still named after the office building.  For those new to Jax, Computer Power became Alltel Information Systems and is now Fidelity Information Systems.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

samiam

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 08:59:14 PM »
Does anyone know the location of the Market that Market street is named after and when it was active.
I'm not talking about the Winn Dixie or any other modern store

Dan B

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Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 09:26:23 PM »
I believe it was named after wharf market, at the river. Market St in Springfield was originally Helen St.