Jacksonville’s Five Points
Riverside Park in 1900. (State Archives of Florida)
Carved out of the former sea island cotton cultivating Dell’s Bluff Plantation for $10,000 in gold in 1868, what would become known as Five Points was still a sparsely developed area when a mule drawn streetcar was extended in the vicinity in 1886. A year later, this area of Riverside was annexed into the City of Jacksonville. During the 19th century, the development platted by Boston’s John Murray Forbes and Florida Times-Union editor Edward M. Cheney, remained primarily residential.
Memorial Park prior to World War II.(State Archives of Florida)
Efficiently connected with downtown, the neighborhood was engulfed by growth after the Great Fire of 1901 and the 1908 extension of the streetcar system to Ortega. During the height of the 1920s Florida Land Boom, residences around the intersection of Park, Lomax and Margaret Streets began to give way to commercial development. Although officially a part of the Riverside-Avondale Historic District, Five Points has evolved into one of Jacksonville’s most vibrant pedestrian friendly districts.
Looking south down Park Street during the 1930s.
A Virtual Tour of Five Points
*Reserved as a 14-acre space for a park, in the 1869 plat of Riverside, Riverside Park is the second-oldest park in Jacksonville. *
During the 1890s, walk paths, a carriage lane, and two spring-fed lakes stocked with ducks were created. With the addition of ornamental stone bridges and camphor trees, it was said to be one of the South’s loveliest parks by 1907.
Designed by architects Mark & Sheftall, the Riverside Presbyterian Church was completed in 1927.
The intersection of Park and Post Streets. The high-rise in the background was developed by the Riverside Presbyterian Church in 1970.
Park Street between Margaret and Post Streets represents the historic commercial center of Five Points. A residential area during Riverside’s formative years, Five Points developed as a commercial district during the 1920s Florida land boom.
Sun Ray Cinema originally opened in 1927 as the Riverside Theater. Designed by Roy Benjamin, it was the first theatre in Florida built to show “talkies.”
The Park Street building occupied by New Leaf Vapor Company and Boger’s Shoes was completed in 1930.
The iconic Five Points signal.
Lomax Street, between Park and Oak Streets, developed into commercial uses between 1954 and 1956.