The Jaxson

Community => History => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on February 04, 2010, 06:04:36 AM

Title: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on February 04, 2010, 06:04:36 AM
Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/771406918_ttZ2Q-M.jpg)

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
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: billy on February 04, 2010, 06:25:28 AM
Great story.
Springfield Atlantic Bank is an odd looking bilding.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: BridgeTroll 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: BridgeTroll on February 04, 2010, 07:57:04 AM
This may be the answer... In the second column the paragraph halfway down seems to answer the question...  Tough to read so here is the link... :)

http://books.google.com/books?id=-U0LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=Jacksonville+Traction+Company&source=bl&ots=OgOmzf_LXm&sig=BRFcrw45m-_0OVMent_b3HL70K4&hl=en&ei=yMFqS7PJBZOVtgePzfCIBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Jacksonville%20Traction%20Company&f=false

(http://books.google.com/books?id=-U0LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA64&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2clDDWNKySV7PBCaO_SoyCy256lw&ci=133%2C107%2C785%2C1305&edge=0)
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: ralpho37 on February 04, 2010, 11:24:25 AM
It's a ghost town down there now compared to what it used to be...
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: iloveionia 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: DemocraticNole 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: thelakelander 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.

Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: stjr 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.


(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/770863652_6Pr3B-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: stjr 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: 904Scars 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Wacca Pilatka 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: stjr 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: samiam 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
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Dan B 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.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: samiam on February 26, 2010, 09:32:00 PM
Thanks Dan, do you have any idea what year it changed from Helen St.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: heights unknown on February 26, 2010, 10:15:42 PM
I believe it was named after wharf market, at the river. Market St in Springfield was originally Helen St.

There was a red light district on market that the locals referred to as the "meat market;" thus naming it market street.

"HU"

JUST KIDDING LOL!
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: samiam on February 26, 2010, 10:22:37 PM
There is some truth to that, Market street from 4TH to 7TH was was hooker centeral for about 20 years starting in the early 80's, The last holdouts where driven off by me in 2006
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Ocklawaha on February 26, 2010, 11:37:12 PM
Sorry guys, but this isn't how market street got it's name. While there might have been a red light district somewhere on it in the far north of Springfield, the street would have been long established. In fact Market is one of the two first streets platted for the new "City of Jacksonville."

Before incorporation, there was a fairly close group of farms located on the North bank of the St. Johns River. This would date from about 1800 to 1830. Besides farmers, and a few range rancher, we had a few fishermen, there were blacksmith's, ferryman, Indian traders, sailors, teamsters, wheelwrights, etc... on the various local plantations. Otherwise the area's claim to fame is "The Cow Ford." When we finally got a buyer or trader of produce here, he opened a small Market under a large Bay Tree. This was at the corner of today's BAY and MARKET STREETS.  This is where the first survey of the new incorporated City of Jacksonville started at the benchmark located there today.

There was a hot red light district in the old hotels on Houston Street, just a block north of the Jacksonville Terminal.



OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: samiam on February 26, 2010, 11:48:26 PM
Way cool OCK Thank you
I have been looking for that info for years. To bad we cant recreate a market like Charleston
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: samiam on February 26, 2010, 11:56:51 PM
Now I'm confused, But I did find evidence of a prior house under a house I am working on now. I found a brick pier that did not support anything and the bricks where huge compared to the ones used for the current house. The current house was built in 1914
Title: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Miss Fixit on February 27, 2010, 01:03:19 PM
Thanks Dan, do you have any idea what year it changed from Helen St.

Sometime before 1897.  Hubbard Street was then known as Adeline and Main was Pine.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: sheclown on February 27, 2010, 06:47:10 PM
Great article and exciting pictures.

Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Ocklawaha on February 28, 2010, 01:30:14 AM
There was a hot red light district in the old hotels on Houston Street, just a block north of the Jacksonville Terminal.
Hate to tell ya bob, but the one thing that is true about the post is that the Red Light District was on Houston Street.

There were farms here, no mistake about it.  But there was way more housing and infrastructure to support the turpentine, logging, and furniture making industries here than previously guessed about...

Don't know why you'd "hate to tell me..." I was responding to HU's prostitution on Hubbard comment?? Anyway, we're on the same page about Houston Street, absolutely the best, I mean deplorable.

The time frame I'm speaking of in the 1820's was really before we saw any industrialization. We actually didn't even have a town, more like some fairly close neighbors, eventually enough to support a little market. Again we agree completely, by the War of Yankee Aggression, the place was a booming metropolis.


OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: finehoe on February 28, 2010, 08:38:56 AM
What retards the understanding of the history...

Oh, god, now Sarah Palin will be coming after you.

 :D
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: sheclown on August 08, 2010, 07:24:42 PM
Would it make sense to have a "Main Street Association?"  A CDC responsible for Main Street from river to river?  An organization removed from neighborhood politics and focused on developing this one road, from river to river.
Title: Re: Ruins of Jacksonville: Main Street
Post by: Ocklawaha on August 08, 2010, 08:06:26 PM
No augment on that either Stephen, the city was home to a number of large sawmills and shipbuilding was key to our early success. Probably the most incredible sawmill story is the one I believe was around Talleyrand, when the Federal gun boats came up river, being from the "old country" he raised the Union Jack and spared his mill!

Several of the Federal occupation troops commented on the potential and industry of the town, setting the stage for a post war land rush. Why were we more like Jersey City then any other southern city? Easy, because at the end of the war we were flooded with Yankee's that remembered our perfect climate and business opportunities.

Frankly the ship building was a result of the great Water Oaks that grow in abundance here. When the Spanish first saw them they thought "corner the world furniture market." Too bad that they soon discovered that the Water Oak will split all to pieces if it is not wet...  WET! That was the Key! Wet! If you keep it wet it will not split! This was the start of the great ship building industry of Jacksonville. Keel's made of Water Oak were nearly as strong as steel and soon the worlds ship builders were begging for our hand.



OCKLAWAHA