On June 15, 2017, the Jacksonville Historical Society released its annual “Most Endangered Buildings” 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 the preservation of our historic landmarks.
Jefferson and Church Streets
Originally moved from 612, 614 and 616 North Lee Street
The city spent over $100,000.00 to move those houses to that location. These “shotgun” houses were under construction near the Cleveland Fiber 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. 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.
1501 Riverplace Blvd.
Architect: Kenneth Bangs Kellog
Style: Modern Architecture
This is one of Florida’s best example of modern organic architecture. The American Institute of Architects Florida named it as one of the state’s top 100 buildings. Last September South Florida investor Ramon Llorens purchased the riverfront acreage in front of the Lexington Hotel & Conference Center. This 6.14-acre site includes the Chart House restaurant.
Ramon Llorens also purchased the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant.
245 West Third Street
Style: Elements of Tudor Revival, Queen Anne and Spanish Colonial Revival styles
Date: ca. 1909
This exotic residence is a highly visible Springfield landmark. It also exhibits one of the most inventive uses of of concrete blocks as a building material in Jacksonville. Dr.Horace Drew, a physician and grandson of Jacksonville pioneer Columbus Drew, was the first owner of this house.
Wambolt Street at the St. Johns River
Architect: Albert Kahn
Best viewed while riding westward over the Mathews Bridge and looking down to the right near the end of the bridge. This is one of over 1,000 buildings designed for Henry Ford by Albert Kahn, an internationally recognized industrial architect. In its heyday, the Jacksonville plant manufactured over 200 cars per day and employed 800 people. The Ford Motor Company occupied this site until the late 1960’s.
21 West Church Street
Architect: Ketchum & Sharp
Style: Mid-Century Modern
Originally topped with Embers Restaurant, a revolving restaurant that rotated 360 degrees every hour-and-a-half, the building was completed in 1962. It stood nineteen stories tall making it the tallest building on the northbank and second tallest in the city. JEA has occupied the building since 1989, and as of June 2017, JEA has announced that it will vacate the building leaving the mid-century modern buildings future in question.
851 North Market Street
Architect: Talley & Summer
This building is monumental and fortress-like with battlemented towers and parapets. The dramatic arched entrance at the center of the facade echoes this corbeled effect. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt came for a speech in 1936. Duke Ellington and his band played the Armory in the 1950s, and Ray Charles performed there in the early 1960s. Janis Joplin packed the house for a concert in 1970 just a few months before she died. Designated as a local landmark in 2001, the building has suffered flood damage and would require significant renovations.
347 Riverside Ave
Built in 1910 to accommodate two fire wagons, five horses and 14 firemen, Station #5 served Jacksonville for nearly one hundred years. This fire station originally had two distinct arched doorways on the facade, an ornate scrolled dormer and a clay tile roof. As of 2005, The building that housed generations of firefighters, and was a “working” fire station as recently as 2010, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. bought it from the city. The fire station that was in use as recently as 2008 is in danger of demolition.
937 North Main Street
Architect: H.J. Klutho
Style: Prairie-style design
Designed in a Prairie-style design, this building was saved from demolition only to be remolded beyond recognition in 1948.
1701 West 16th Street
Jax Beer was started by William Ostner, a German-born brewwer from St. Louis who moved to Jacksonville. Jax Beer was one of the most successful breweries between the years of 1913 to 1956, taking time out for ice and near beer during Prohibition.
339 Park Street
Style: Art Deco
Closed in 2011, this is one of the best remaining Art Deco commercial buildings in Jacksonville.
1011 Peninsular Place
Architect: Rutledge Holmes
Style: Neo-Classical features
Originally known as Public School No. 4, it was renamed Annie Lytle School after its former principal. It was condemned in 1971 and abandoned. I-95 & I-10 interchange was built only a few hundred feet from the second story windows in the 1950s. Annie Lytle Preservation group has waged a brave fight to stabilize the building. It was sold for taxes $106,800 on May 17, 2017.
218 West Church Street
Architect: H.J. Klutho
Style: Classical and modern features
The Florida Baptist Convention was the first in the nation to construct its own office facility for a state Baptist organization. This building was the last downtown Jacksonville office building designed by Klutho. The building is in obvious disrepair and is need of major renovation.
328 Chelsea Street
A large contingent of black Union Soldiers came to Jacksonville in 1864 during the town’s fourth occupation of the Civil War. A garrison of both white and black Federal solders were stationed in Brooklyn for several years after the war as part of military occupation to restore order. Some of the black Union veterans remained or returned to live in this neighborhood and were joined by other former slaves, making the northwestern portion of Brooklyn a black residential community. It is extraordinary that this modest two- and three-room wooden cottage has survived for over a century, providing and important link with Jacksonville’s Reconstruction period.
In the 1920’s San Marco was developed as an eighty-acre subdivision by Telfair Stockton & Co. Although it was in the city limits of South Jacksonville, its architectural character and period of development distinguished it from earlier neighborhoods around it. San Marco’s success carried it through the economic decline of the late 1920’s. While most other neighborhoods stalled by the 1929 Stock Market crash, its scenic layout, lack of commercial intrusion and proximity to downtown made, and continue to make, San Marco one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.
A recent story by Action News Jax’s Letisha Bereola highlights the areas dilemma. Watch here.
325 West Duval Street
Style: Colonial Revival
Founded in 1911 as the Young Women’s Christian Association of Jacksonville, or YWCA, the organization became Community Connections in 2000. Community Connections provided transitional housing, day care and after-school programs for needy families. The nonprofit received the majority of its funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development, but that agency shifted priority from transitional housing to permanent housing. As a result, Community Connections was forced to close. Recently purchased, the buildings future is uncertain.
520 North Hogan Street
Architect: Jefferson Powell
Style: Mediterranean Revival features
The company was founded in 1902 and owned by W.G. and Michael K. Jones. Constructed of reinforced concrete and originally had a suspended canopy over the main entrance. This building is seven stories tall and has set vacant since 1987.
112 West Adams Street
Architect: Mowbray & Uffinger
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 two-story arcade faced with limestone makes up the street level facade, and the building is topped with double-arched windows and a parapet with obelisks. A series of lion heads between the third and fourth stories are among the other interesting details.
Corner of Laura and Forsyth Streets
Architect: H.J. Klutho (Bisbee & Florida Life); Glidden, 1902, and Mowbray & Uffinger, 1916 (Marble Bank)
The Bisbee Building (right), designed by architect H.J. Klutho, was Florida’s first skyscraper in 1909. 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 significant — and endangered — architectural groupings in Florida.
Known locally as the “Laura Street Trio,” the Florida Life Building, 1912 (left), the Marble Bank, 1902, (foreground), and the Bisbee Building, 1909, (right) are some of Jacksonville’s most significant–and endangered–buildings.
17 West Union Street
Architect: Mark & Sheftall
In 1856, Calvin Oak went into the marble and mortuary business, and his company later merged with the Moulton & Kyle, making this Jacksonville’s longest operating business until it closed in the 1990s. It was abandoned in 2013. A garage addition was added in 1926, also by Mark & Sheftall.
10 North Pearl Street
Style: Art Deco
25 State Road 13
Architect:Robert C. Broward
Now Westminster Woods on Julington Creek
25 State Road 13
It was the largest commission of Robert Broward’s career and one of his most innovative. A St. Johns County PUD from 2015 indicates the demolition and replacement of nearly all of the Broward structures.