1. Looking south along North Laura Street from Hemming Park.

2. The intersection of Main and Monroe streets. Anchored by the 10-story Rhodes Furniture Building, this block was demolished in the early 2000s for the construction of the main branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.

3. The former Center Theatre on West Adams Street. Adjacent to the Florida Life Building, this site will soon become the location of a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

4. This former furniture store and warehouse was demolished for the construction of a parking garage at the northeast corner of Forsyth and Newnan streets.

5. Genovar’s Hall at Jefferson and Ashley streets in LaVilla. Still standing, this former saloon, jazz bar and Jim Crow era African-American hotel predates the Great Fire of 1901 by six years.

6. A row of buildings on East Monroe Street that were demolished for the construction of the Jacksonville Public Library. The details of these buildings can be found on the walls of the library’s Monroe and Duval Street facades.

7. Looking west toward the intersection of Forsyth and Main streets.

8. The Elk’s Building at the intersection of Adams and Laura streets.

9. Now the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, this building once housed the University of North Florida’s former downtown campus.

10. The Laura Trio once housed NCNB National Bank.

11. Looking east on Forsyth Street toward the Florida Theatre and Newnan Street. The two large buildings on the left were demolished during the 1990s.

12. The Southern Bell Building was demolished for the Duval County Courthouse. After several design modifications, the courthouse was constructed on an adjacent block. The Jacksonville Electric Authority is now planning to construct its new headquarters on this long abandoned block.

13. This image shows the current Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts under construction.


15. The intersection of Bay and Laura streets.

16. A waterfront view of the then brand new Jacksonville Landing.

17. The construction of the Skyway on Hogan Street between Monroe and Adams streets.

18. The demolition of the former downtown Kay Jewelers store at Adams and Laura streets.

19. A group of Monroe Street buildings that would later be demolished for the construction of the Jacksonville Public Library.

20. A man poses for a photograph at the intersection of Adams and Hogan streets.

21. Underwood Jewelers preparing to close their downtown store at Hogan and Monroe streets.

22. A look down East Beaver Street near Talleyrand.

23. The 500 block of Broad Street in LaVilla. The intersection of Broad and Ashley streets can be seen in the background.

24. West Bay Street buildings in LaVilla’s Railroad Row before demolition.

25. Main Street in Springfield.

Photographs courtesy of the City of Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission. 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