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Endangered Properties

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Jacksonville’s Most Endangered Historic Properties

The Jacksonville Historical Society releases its annual “Most Endangered” list to draw attention to the plight of significant historical structures that are in danger of being lost because of neglect, development pressures and/or demolition. The purpose of selecting the most imperiled structures is to increase the public’s awareness of the need for conservation.

Annie Lytle Public School No. 4
Built 1917

Annie Lytle School -- Public School No. 4

Built in 1917 at a cost of over $ 250,000 and originally known as Public School Number Four, it was renamed Annie Lytle School in honor of its former principal. Architect Rutledge Holmes designed a Neo-Classic portico that is now seen daily by motorists passing by on the three levels of the new I-10/I-95 Interchange.

Vandals frequently trespass inside the structure; drawn by rumors the building is haunted. They spray graffiti, and contribute to the deterioration of the building. The building remains structurally sound, and could be put to a number of uses.


Location: 1011 Peninsular Place
Barnett National Bank
Built 1912

Barnett National Bank Building

The design of the 1926 Barnett National Bank reflects the eclectic influences of commercial architectural styles of the 1920’s. At eighteen stories, it remained the tallest building in Jacksonville for over 28 years. A failed attempt at renovation has further damaged this historic building.

location: 112 West Adams Street
Fire Station No. 5

Fire Station No. 5

Built in 1910 to accommodate two fire wagons, five horses and 14 firemen, Station #5 served Jacksonville for nearly one hundred years. A 2003 economic incentive package to lure a “Fortune 100” company to relocate nearby included the City of Jacksonville deeding the property to this company. The City retained the right to relocate #5, but has not seen fit to do so. The building that housed generations of firefighters, and was a “working” fire station as recently as 2008, is in danger of demolition.

location: 347 Riverside Avenue
Laura Street Trio
Built 1902-1911

Laura Street Trio

The Bisbee Building (right), designed by architect H.J. Klutho, was Florida's first skyscraper in 1908. The Florida Life Building (left) was also designed by Klutho 3 years later, and is one of the most elegant skyscrapers in the South. The two Klutho high-rise office building frame the classical "Marble Bank," making this one of the most unique architectural groupings in Florida.

In 2002 the City of Jacksonville purchased both the Florida Life and Bisbee buildings, as well as the “Marble Bank”. Known as "The Laura Street Trio," all three buildings are in deplorable condion, and were listed by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation as among "The Eleven most Endangered Buildings in Florida. Preservationists are hopeful that this significant complex of buildings in the heart of Downtown will be restored.

location: Corner of Laura and Forsyth Streets

LaVilla "Shotgun" Houses
Built 1901

LaVilla "Shotgun" Houses

These "shotgun" houses were under construction near the Cleaveland Fibre Factory when the Great Fire of May 3, 1901 broke out. They were damaged by the fire, but survived. These three survivors represent a distinctive architectural style and are stored for future restoration, yet they are rapidly deteriorating beyond economical repair. Working people lived in these practical one-story homes in which one could shoot a shotgun straight down the long interior hallway and out the front door.

location: Intersection of N. Jefferson and W. Church Streets
Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant
Built 1924

Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant

One of over 1,000 buildings designed for Henry Ford by Albert Kahn (no relation to Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn) , an internationally recognized industrial architect. The 1924 building may be seen when driving westbound over the Mathews Bridge and looking east near the north end of the bridge. The 200 foot wide by 800 foot long building was an assembly plant for Model-T Fords. In its heyday Ford employed 800 people at the plant, and built 200 cars per day.

location: Wambolt Street at the St. Johns River
Atlantic Coast Line Locamotive
Built 191

Atlantic Coast Line Locomotive #1504

This P-5 design, 4-6-2 wheel arrangement coal-burning steam engine was built by the American Locomotive Company in Richmond, Virginia. It spent most of its working life pulling passenger trains between Richmond and Jacksonville, and was capable of speeds of nearly eighty miles per hour. Retired in 1952, it has been on display outdoors for fifty years.
Designated in 1990 as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the engine survives in its original condition. Last refurbished in 1989, Number #1504 is rapidly deteriorating and should be restored and displayed indoors.

location: 1100 Block of West Bay Street
Dr. Horace Drew Residence
Built 1909

Dr. Horace Drew Residence

The eclectic design borrows elements from the Tudor Revival, Queen Anne, and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. Its base is elevated more than adjacent residences, adding to the vertical projection of the multi-planed roofline, gables, and three-story tower. The composition is enriched by harmonious colors found in the gables with half-timbering over stucco, the clay tile roof, and concrete block walls.

location: 245 W. Third Street
St. Johns River Ferry
In operation since 1948

St. Johns River Ferry

In operation since at least 1948, the St. Johns River Ferry provides motorists a break from the traffic and saves 38 miles of driving using the alternate route to the other side. The Ferry is endangered due to a half million or greater annual operating deficit, and the unwillingness of the State of Florida and/or the City of Jacksonville to maintain this vital transportation link. Also a historic tourist attraction, the current vessel is named in honor of French Explorer Jean Ribault

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