Celebrating the Merrill House Historic Landmark Status

From the Docent

On April 24, 2001, the James E. Merrill House was approved by the City Council as a Historic Landmark. The property satisfied at least five of the seven requisite criteria. The criteria met included: value as a significant reminder of heritage; identification with a significant contributor to development; value recognized for quality of architecture; distinguishing characteristics valuable for study, and suitability for preservation.

The James E. Merrill residence at 229 Lafayette Street was located at the southeast corner of Lafayette Street and East Monroe Street in the old neighborhood of East Jacksonville.

The house is noteworthy for its Queen Anne style, which is reflected in the three-story tower on the southwest corner of the house, the decorative roof dormer, bay windows, and elaborate spindle work on the front porch. The James E. Merrill residence was one of the few remaining large and grand residences that were once common in the exclusive residential community of East Jacksonville.

As a basis for rehabilitation guidelines, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Ordinance has adopted the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. As a Historic Landmark, any work on the exterior requires a review through a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process.

The National Park Service wrote the Standards. The intent of the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation is to assist the long-term preservation of a property’s significance through by preserving historic materials and features. This includes the interior of a building, related landscape features and the building’s site and environment.

The Jacksonville History Center is proud that our other properties are designated local landmarks: Old St. Andrews Church was approved in 1994 and Old St. Luke’s Hospital in 1998. The deconsecrated church and the former hospital are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with St. Andrews being a National Historic Landmark since 1976 and St. Luke’s since 1972. These National Historic Landmarks were approved by the U. S. Department of the Interior. Take the time to visit our local landmarks. By saving these landmarks, we have the opportunity to see the beautiful interiors of the buildings, the material used during that period, and to learn about the people who lived and worked there. It’s up to us to save the great landmarks in Jacksonville for the next generation. To visit the Merrill House, please call the Jacksonville History Center at 904.665.0064 to make an appointment.

Nancy Gandy
Merrill House Museum Coordinator