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Does Jacksonville resemble a Midwestern city?

Here are a couple of photographs I took around downtown Jacksonville and two of its older neighborhoods, the other day. After, living in Jax for more than a month, I have come to the conclusion that the development patterns the architectural styles in Jax's 30 square mile "pre-consolidated" city limits has more in common to that of Midwestern cities instead of typical fast growing Southern cities. For part #1, I'll take you on a brief tour through two Jacksonville neighborhoods, tell me you what do you think?


Springfield was originally laid out and planned in the late 1870's. Although growth was slow at first, after a streetcar line was built, it started to grow rapidly and boomed after a devastating fire destroyed most of the city in 1901. Its now in the process of genification after being one of the most dangerous areas of the city.

Lauderdale Apartments on Market St. (1912)

1206 Hubbard St. (built in 1890)

originally First Church of Christ Scientist (1921)

This residence is being renovated into lofts

Kirby-Smith Junior High School (1923)

a couple of houses along Laura St.

more homes along Laura St.

This house with the flag is the only new one

houses awaiting restoration on Silver St.

Main Street

an older warehouse district forms the North boundry of Springfield

This former Chevrolet Parts Depot (1929) was one of a couple of industrial buildings in the area, designed by Detroit architect, Albert Kahn

an overgrown railyard forms Springfield's eastern boundry

a large hospital sits on Springfield's western boundry

La Villa

Once called the Harlem of the South, La Villa is the oldest African-American community in the state. This community was incorporated as a town in the late 1860's. It was annexed into the city in 1887. By the late 1880's the southeastern section of this community had become a red light district and a busy warehouse & manufacturing center. A major African-America nightlife district, similar to Beale Street in Memphis, also sprung up on Ashley Street. This community took a downward turn after segregation ended and unfortunately has almost completely been torn down during the great urban renewal years.

Many people lived in shotgun houses

These houses will be restored to live on as an example of what existed in the past

Genovars Hall (1895) awaiting reconstruction

The Ritz Theater (1929)

The Masonic Temple (1912) housed the city's first black bank as well as dentists, physicians, insurance agents and other professionals. The Richmond Hotel (background right) was built in 1909 as the finest hotel for the city's black citizens during the years of segregation. Its guest included Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and other jazz greats who came to town to play in the numerous jazz clubs that existed on Ashley St.

The Jacksonville Terminal (1919) was modeled after Penn. Station, in New York City. It was the largest in the South and in its heyday, it handled 142 trains & 20,000 passengers a day. It was converted into a convention center in 1985.

Part II: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=10065
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Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Super Amputee Cat said:
Except for the trees and shotgun houses, it most definately has the aura of a Midwestern City. Interesting

I agree. That apartment building in the first pic screams Detroit, Cleveland, or Chicago.

I like the look of the res. streets in Springfield. Expecially like the wonderful infill house you pointed out. They did a great job of fitting the context.

Great pics!!!!


I couldn't help but think how much I'd like to have the job of redevelopment director in a place like that....

Yes, except for the architecture and the palm trees, this might easily be a midwestern city.