1. Looking north at the intersection of East Forsyth and Main Streets.

  2. Looking south, from East Forsyth Street, at the Main Street Bridge. Main Street has not been converted for one-way traffic.

  3. Looking at the downtown skyline from the Lee Street viaduct in LaVilla.

  4. Aerial view of downtown.

  5. A busy downtown street scene before the passage of the sign ordinance.

  1. Looking south, at the intersection of North Laura and West Duval Streets.

  2. A view of the Jacksonville Shipyards from the Cathedral District. This scene changed forever with the demolition of these streets to pave the way for the construction of the jail.

  3. Railcars can be seen under the new Hart Bridge Expressway ramps.

  4. The last days of buildings on Main Street, before they gave way to surface parking lots. 11 East Forsyth dominates the background.

  1. Looking west at the intersection of West Bay and North Laura Streets. The Sears Cadillac Store can be seen in the distance.

  2. Working class density before urban renewal.

  3. Despite the 1970s being viewed as “down” years, the street scene was still vibrant, compared to the 2010s.

  4. Looking east on East Monroe Street, from North Ocean Street. The new public library stands on the site of the “Auto Insurance Center”.

  5. The Ed Ball Building on West Monroe Street. Photograph taken from North Julia Street.

  6. The Riverside viaduct in Railroad Row. The Jacksonville Terminal’s columns can be seen in the distance.

  7. The riverfont 15 years before the construction of the Jacksonville Landing.

  8. This railroad line served as the border between Springfield and “across the tracks” Eastside.

  9. Signage was a big part of the unique downtown experience.

  1. Looking south on Main Street from Union Street. Remember when highway symbols came with color?

  2. Riverside’s Five Points shopping district.

  3. A mid-20th century suburban ranch style neighborhood with no sidewalks.

  4. Looking south from the intersection of 8th and Main Streets in the heart of Springfield’s shopping district.

  5. A sidewalk view of Springfield’s Main Street.

  6. Riverside’s Park and King district.

  7. A view of the old Fuller Warren Bridge as seen from Riverside.

  8. The Robert Meyer Hotel on Julia Street was the largest hotel in the city.

  9. This Main Street block would soon be removed to make way for a metal parking deck.

  1. Looking south along Hogan Street.

  2. An example of racial disparity. Inner city shotgun neighborhood still lacking paved streets in the 1970s.

  3. Waiting for the bus in Hemming Park.

  4. A “pedestrian scramble” in full effect at Adams and Hogan Streets. Also known as a “Barnes Dance”, this was a pedestrian crossing system that stopped all vehicular traffic, allowing pedestrians to cross intersections in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time. First used in the late 1940s, it fell out of favour with traffic engineers because it prioritized flow of pedestrians over flow of automobile traffic. The Florsheim Shoes store is currently occupied by Downtown Vision, Inc.

  5. Looking north of Laura Street, from West Adams Street.

  6. Still a mixed-used community with commerical within walking distance of residential uses.

  7. Looking towards downtown from the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Forest Street. Anyone notice the fire station?

  8. Brooklyn’s congested Riverside Avenue. Continued roadway widenings significantly reduced sidewalk width.

  9. Urban renewal! A sign of things to come.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro Jacksonville.com and ModernCities.com — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com