Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future, a 424-page book produced by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission in 1989, has been the city’s most popular book for over a decade. It has won numerous awards and has been recognized nationally.
Written by Dr. Wayne W. Wood, with research assistance from Joel McEachin and Steve Tool, Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage is the most comprehensive work ever published on Jacksonville’s architecture.
This book evolved over 15 years beginning in 1974, when it began as a project for the American Bicentennial. As with most other American cities, Jacksonville’s urban fabric was rapidly changing in the mid-1970’s. The Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission (formerly the Jacksonville Historical and Conservation Commission) sought to make an inventory of historic and architecturally significant buildings. What started as a modest project evolved into a gargantuan undertaking. Wood, who was chairman of the Commission at the time, set out to write a pamphlet but wound up writing this 424-page book.
Not content with presenting a simple architectural description of each site, Wood has written a history of the development of Jacksonville, exploring each building in the context of the surrounding neighborhood and the people who have lived there. With restless inquisitiveness and a keen eye for detail, he has brought to life the history and architecture of Duval County in a way that will interest the layman, while at the same time satisfying those with a scholarly interest in history and architecture. The book is arranged so it can be used as a walking/driving tour of the city’s neighborhoods, as well as a volume for leisure reading or serious study.
This book contains over one thousand photographs and drawings. These pictures present an impressive record of Duval County’s landmark sites. An extensive portfolio of contemporary photographs by Judy Davis and David Vedas is complemented by several hundred old photos gathered from collections across the nation.
Types of buildings described in the text run the gamut from bungalows to skyscrapers. But many unusual and unexpected buildings are also featured, including an elephant house, gas stations, a bowling alley, garages, a lighthouse, antebellum ruins, airplane hangars, beach houses, brothels, towers, forts, factories, movie studios, a mail-order house, slave cabins, a wine cellar, a doghouse, and a pile of rocks over a mile long. The variety and richness of Duval County’s architecture is amazing.
Jacksonville also has a number of buildings designed by nationally prominent architects. It has a diversity of styles equal to any other city its size in the United States and has had more major examples of the Prairie style than anywhere else outside the Midwest. Although its emphasis is on architecture, this book also highlights many important landmarks that are not architectural. Sites such as bridges, locomotives, clocks, steam whistles, champion trees, statues, parks, brick streets, and cemeteries will capture the interest of the reader.
Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future is a monumental work that will give both natives and newcomers a comprehensive tour of Duval County’s history and architecture. It is a compelling case for the preservation of our heritage.
Dr. Wayne W. Wood has published six books on Jacksonville history and architecture, and he has presented lectures throughout the country on both optometry and historic preservation. He was the founder of Riverside Avondale Preservation, Inc., the city’s largest neighborhood preservation organization.
Hardcover, 424 pages
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Published Date: 1996
Dimensions: 12.25 x 9.5”