Lakewood history

Located along San Jose Boulevard, between New Rose and Christopher Creeks, Lakewood is a neighborhood that was developed following the end of World War II, as a result of the G.I. Bill. Also known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the G.I. Bill provided a range of benefits for World War II veterans, including low-cost mortgages and low interest loans. Intended to accommodate Jim Crow laws, the administering of the G.I. Bill was discriminatory in nature, fueling segregation and White flight from America’s urban centers.

In Jacksonville, the G.I. Bill and complementary public policy and infrastructure investment, led to the rapid development of unincorporated Duval County. Taking advantage of this trend, local real developer and lumber company owner, Walter Crabtree moved forward with the development of Lakewood in 1946. At the time of Lakewood’s development, the neighborhood was located outside of the city of Jacksonville’s municipal boundaries, which ended at Emerson Street. Of interesting note, the majority of streets within Crabtree’s Lakewood development were named after colleges and universities. Largely built out by 1961, today Lakewood is a neighborhood known for its mature landscape and Mid-century Modern architecture.

Lakewood photo tour

New Rose Creek serves as the northern border of the Lakewood neighborhood. During the 18th century, the site of the 3,000-acre Jericho Plantation owned by St. Augustine merchant James Penman and later Denys Rolle, was located along this creek. With 120 enslaved laborers, Jericho was one of East Florida’s larger plantations, producing rice, indigo, lumber, tar, pitch and turpentine.

Six Thousand On the River is a 12-story condominium tower that was built in 1981.

Rosenblum’s is a local men’s clothing chain that dates back to the late 19th century. In 1898, Frank Rosenblum founded Rosenblum’s in Downtown Jacksonville, selling pots, pans and linens from a horse and buggy. The Lakewood store opened in this building in 1996. This building was once occupied by American Federal Savings and Loan.

Lakewood Promenade is a 200,000-square-foot open-air shopping center that was built around the intersection of San Jose and University Boulevards. Anchored by Winn-Dixie, the shopping center was originally developed by Walter Crabtree. Original tenants included McCrory’s 5 & 10, A&P Grocery, and Lakewood Pharmacy. In 2019, the 9.01-acre shopping center was acquired by Sleiman Enterprises.

MOJO BBQ was established in Lakewood in 2003. “Mojo” comes from the Blues, denoting a good luck feeling or vibe, and when it was paired with barbecue, a divergent atmosphere erupted. MOJO BBQ has since exanded intoa premier barbecue, southern food, and craft cocktail destination with eight locations across North and Central Florida.

6022 San Jose Boulevard is an office building that was completed in 2008.

Located at 6133 San Jose Boulevard, the Lakewood United Methodist Church sanctuary was completed in 1952.

Located at 6140 San Jose Boulevard, the San Jose Baptist Church sanctuary was built in 1972.

Located at 6233 San Jose Boulevard, the San Jose Church of Christ sanctuary was completed in 1962.

Christopher Creek serves as the boundary between the Lakewood and San Jose neighborhoods.