Virtual Tour of Grand Park
Developed in a low lying area, for decades Grand Park was known for its chronic flooding problems. To resolve the problem, the City of Jacksonville invested millions into replacing the neighborhood’s open drainage ditches with underground drains, curbs, sidewalks and stormwater retention ponds. However, that work was not done with the thought of integrating and enhancing public recreational space with stormwater infrastructure investment. In this case, examples of tactical urbanism where residents have found ways to create their own makeshift parks and recreational spaces can be found throughout the neighborhood.
Old Kings Road was the northwest gateway to Jacksonville and Grand Park. Traffic patterns changed with the construction of New Kings Road and the 20th Street Expressway. Considered to be dangerous due to the proximity of the CSX Transportation Moncrief Yard, the Old Kings Road railroad crossing was closed in 1998. Originally an Atlantic Coast Line Railroad yard that employed early Grand Park residents, the Moncrief Yard receives Inter-modal trains, Auto Racks, and Manifest freight. It is also an interchange point with the Florida East Coast Railway and Norfolk Southern.
The original Grand Park was located within a circular street, split by Division Street just north of Kings Road. At one time, this park included a body of water known as Juanita Lake. Today, this space is home to Fire Station No. 7.
Located at 2335 West 18th Street, Public School No. 14 opened in 1914 to serve the Grand Park community. Today, it is known as the Grand Park Educational Center.
AAA Cooper Transportation occupies a terminal built in 1955 and once operated by Ryder Truck Lines, Inc. at 2050 Kings Road. Prior to the development of this industrial property, this land separated the then white community of Grand Park from the black community of College Gardens.
Ryder Park was dedicated in November 1973. It materialized through a donation and land and development funding as an act of goodwill for the community by Ryder Truck Lines, Inc.
Formerly known as Grand Park, Johnnie Walker Park replaced the original Grand Park during the mid-1960s. It is named to honor Johnnie W. Walker, the former president of the Grand Park and Brooklyn Community Associations. Walker was also a civil rights volunteer with the NAACP, the Democratic Party and a sister of the Order of the Eastern Star.
The Sunrise Fresh Produce Distribution Center opened at 2208 West 21st Street in 1971.