Images of Woodstock Park
1. Deeded to the City in 1927, and filled with towering pine trees, Woodstock Park is a 15.8 acre public space in the lower central section of the neighborhood.
2. 2801 Broadway Avenue was completed in 1933. It was originally occupied by George and Pensie Allison. At the time, George was a farmer. His son, George Allison, Jr. also lived in Woodstock Park and was the owner of Allison’s Garage Company at 348 West Forsyth Street.
3. The New Vision Assembly occupies a building at 795 Ontario Street. In 1948, it was originally built for the Woodstock Park Methodist Church.
4. When the former Beaver Street Baptist Church completed this mid-century modernist sanctuary in 1955, the church was one of the largest Baptist churches in the South. Founded during the 1930s by Reverend George Hodges, the church fell into decline after Hodges was murdered in the church’s parking lot by a church member he had been involved with in an affair. Today, Fellowship Outreach Ministries, Inc. occupies 2591 West Beaver Street.
5. The House of Faith Church of God at 2934 Lowell Avenue was built overlooking Detroit Park in 1927 for the Woodstock Park Methodist Church. After the church relocated to Ontario Street in 1948, it was used by the Woodstock Park Church of Christ.
6. The residential side of this community is dominated with various styles of architecture, but most structures are modest in size.
7. Looking south into Woodstock Park from Broadway Avenue.
9. Annie Morgan Elementary School (Public School No. 21) was completed in 1916. It was one of 12 schools funded by a $1 million bond issue approved by Duval County voters in 1915. Others included Annie Lytle, Central Riverside, Fishweir, Murray Hill (Ruth Upson), Brentwood, and South Jacksonville Grammar Schools.
10. The Joshua Christian Faith Center at 912 St. Clair Street. The building was constructed in 1961 for the Woodstock Park Baptist Church.
13. 805 St. Claire Street was built in 1927 for Louis, Ella, Ester, and Frieda Denner. Ester was employed as a sales lady at S.H. Kress & Company. Frieda was employed at F.W. Woolworth.
14. 821 Allison Street was completed in 1959.
16. 839 Dixon Street was completed in 1928.
17. 1025 Melson Avenue was completed in 1926 for David and Vesta Horne. At the time, David Horne, Jr. was employed as a salesman for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.
18. Paxon School for Advanced Studies was originally named Paxon Field Junior-Senior High School when it opened in 1954. It included 7th through 12th grades until 1957, when Paxon Junior High was built nearby. Paxon became a college preparatory school and an International Baccalaureate school in 1996 and is now one of the top high schools in the nation.
The site where the school was built was Paxon Air Field, where Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was killed in a plane accident in 1926. Coleman was the first African American (male or female) to become an airplane pilot, and the first American of any race or gender to hold an international pilot license. Paxon Field was probably Jacksonville’s first airfield, with the exception of the beaches. The Navy used the (grass) airfield for training during World War II, but eventually declared the site excess in January 1947.</i>
21. Commonwealth Boulevard serves as the neighborhood’s main east-west route north of West Beaver Street.
22. 978 Melson Avenue was constructed in 1916 for David and Mary Melson. David was the son of Samuel J. Melson and vice president of the Samuel J. Melson Company, which was involved in real estate development. Edward H. Paxson was the secretary of the S.J. Melson Company. Paxson was married to Samuel Melson’s daughter, Lily Fay Melson Paxson. Lily Fay once owned the airport that Bessie Coleman would fall to her death in 1926.
23. The Woodstock Park Congregational building at 3201 Columbus Avenue was constructed in 1954.
24. The New Mount Moriah AME Church at 880 Melson Avenue was completed in 1950.
25. During the mid-20th century, H.W. Lay & Company operated a potato chip manufacturing plant at 2910 West Beaver Street
26. 2762 Beaver Street was originally built by Florida Feed Mills, operating as a grain mill in 1947. The mill was eventually taken over by the ConAgra Feed Company to sell corn to dairies that used to be located in the Green Cove Springs area. As the number of dairies declined locally, so did ConAgra’s business, leading the mill’s closure in the early 1990s. Today, the site is occupied by Shaw’s Tree Service.
28. Paxon Shopping Center was one of Jacksonville’s first major retail developments outside of Downtown when it opened in 1955.
Editorial 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 ModernCities.com and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at email@example.com