Architecture of Jacksonville

The architecture of Jacksonville is a combination of historic and modern styles reflecting the city's early position as a regional center of business. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, there are more buildings built before 1967 in Jacksonville than any other city in Florida,[1] but it is also important to note that few structures in the city center predate the Great Fire of 1901.[2] Numerous buildings in the city have held state height records, dating as far back as 1902,[3] and last holding a record in 1981.[4]

Prominent architects

Contributing heavily during the reconstruction period following the Great Fire of 1901, a young New York architect named Henry John Klutho would come to influence generations of local designers. Klutho's works exhibit elements influenced by both the Chicago School, championed by Louis Sullivan, and the Prairie School of architecture, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright. As a result, Jacksonville has one of the largest collections of Prairie Style buildings outside the Midwest.[5]

By the 1950s, modernist design principles would permeate throughout the United States, transforming the rapidly growing State of Florida.[6] During this period, local architects Robert C. Broward, Taylor Hardwick, and William Morgan adapted a range of design principles, including International style, Brutalism, Futurism and Organicism, all applied with an American interpretation generally referred to today as Mid-century modern design.[7] The architecture firms of Reynolds, Smith & Hills (RS&H)[8] and Kemp, Bunch & Jackson (KBJ) have also contributed a number of important works to the city's modern architectural movement. In particular, KBJ has designed more buildings in the contemporary skyline of Jacksonville than any other architectural firm. Of the 30 tallest buildings in the city, 17 are associated with KBJ.[9] With the notable exception of works by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Welton Becket, Paul Rudolph, and Helmut Jahn, many of Jacksonville's modern landmarks were designed locally.

Residential architecture


Few structures survive from the earliest period of Jacksonville's history, though there are a handful of notable exceptions. Built in 1797, Kingsley Plantation is the oldest surviving structure in the city and is currently maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Located on Fort George Island, the plantation is a unique two-story house that resembles 17th century British gentry homes. The Red Bank Plantation House is a Georgian Revival style structure built in 1854. Marabanong Mansion is a Queen Anne style home built in 1876. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward House, built in 1878, and the Merrill House, built in 1886, are two examples of Victorian style homes in Jacksonville.

The Great Fire of 1901 consumed much of central Jacksonville, leaving thousands homeless, and simultaneously sparked a significant period of growth lasting up until the end of the Florida Land Boom. Springfield, Riverside, Avondale, Eastside, Oakland and Fairfield had been platted and annexed into the city prior to the fire, and experienced much of the related growth after the disaster. Architect Henry John Klutho would become a popular figure in the reconstruction of Jacksonville, contributing his designs to many of the new structures, including dwellings. Built in 1902, The Thomas V. Porter House is a Classical Revival and Colonial Revival style mansion designed by Klutho. He is better known for his works in the Prairie School style of architecture. His own home, Henry John Klutho House, is a prime example. The architecture firm of Marsh & Saxelbye would also establish itself during this period of growth. In 1925, the firm designed the Tudor Revival style Lane-Towers House. More famously, Epping Forest, completed in 1927, is a Spanish Colonial Revival style mansion designed by Marsh & Saxelbye.

Following World War II, suburbs rapidly developed throughout the United States, due in large part to the rise of personal automobile ownership. Following the opening of the Mathews Bridge, Arlington would become the most important of these developments locally. This period would also coincided with the popularization of Modern design in architecture. Designed by Robert C. Broward, the Butterfly House was completed in 1957 in the Arlington neighborhood. Its design elements, including the butterfly wing shaped roof, are sometime more broadly categorized today as Mid-century modern design.[10] The Jacksonville Beaches also host a number of modern homes built during this period. Famed architect Paul Rudolph designed the iconic Milam House in 1961, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. William Morgan designed the Williamson House in 1966, and his own home, Morgan House, in 1974. Both located on the beach.[11]

Apartments and condominiums

Commercial architecture

Places of business


Shopping centers

Institutional architecture




Jacksonville is home to a variety of museums of varied styles. Completed in 1921, the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is a Classical Revival building originally constructed for the Church of Christian Scientist. It was designed by the local architecture firm Marsh & Saxelbye. Also designed by Marsh & Saxelbye, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville was originally built in 1931 for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and stands as one of Jacksonville's best examples of Art Deco in architecture.[29] Another example of Art Deco is the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. Completed in 1961, the fine arts museum was designed by Saxelby & Powell. Constructed in 1965, the Jacksonville Art Museum was predecessor of what is now the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Designed by Taylor Hardwick, the building is located in the Midtown Centre office complex. Originally built in 1969 as the Jacksonville Children's Museum, William Morgan's Brutalist designed museum currently houses the Museum of Science and History.

Houses of worship

Cultural architecture

Entertainment venues

The city host a number of music and performance venues, most notably the Florida Theatre. Designed by local architect Roy A. Benjamin, the Mediterranean Revival style theater opened in 1927. Benjamin designed a number of other local venues, including the Renaissance Revival style Riverside Theatre in 1927 and the Art Deco style San Marco Theatre in 1939. Designed by Jefferson Davis Powell in 1929, the Ritz Theatre is another local example of Art Deco architecture in Jacksonville entertainment venues. The Mid-century modern Jacksonville Coliseum was built in 1960 and designed by A. Eugene Cellar and George Ryad Fisher. Demolished in 2003, the building exhibited what is now coined as Googie architecture. Built in the International Style in 1962, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts is one of many examples of buildings designed locally by the firm of Kemp, Bunch & Jackson. The newest addition to the local entertainment venue stock is the Populous designed Daily's Place. Completed in 2017, the venue is attached to the southern edge of Everbank Field.

Sports venues

Jacksonville is home to several major sports venues, most notably EverBank Field, home stadium facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). Completed in 1995, it was designed by the architecture firm HOK Sport. Opening in 2003, the Postmodern styled Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and Veterans Memorial Arena were both designed by the architecture firm Populous.

Transportation architecture

Parks and historic sites

Tallest buildings

The 10 tallest standard structures:

Name Year
1 Bank of America Tower 1990 North Laura Street & West Bay Street 42 617 188
2 Wells Fargo Center 1974 Laura Street & Independent Drive 37 535 163
3 EverBank Center 1983 West Bay Street & Pearl Street 32 447 136
4 The Peninsula at St. Johns Center 2006 1401 Riverplace Boulevard 36 437 133
5 Riverplace Tower 1967 Riverplace Boulevard & Flagler Avenue 28 432 132
6 SunTrust Tower 1989 Laura Street & Independent Drive 24 357 109
7 The Strand at St. Johns Center 2006 1401 Riverplace Boulevard 28 328 100
8 Eight Forty One 1954 841 Prudential Drive 22 309 94
9 Two Prudential Plaza 1985 Museum Circle & San Marco Boulevard 21 305 93
10 One Enterprise Center 1986 Water & Hogan Streets 21 299 91

Chronology of the tallest buildings in Jacksonville:

Years tallest (Florida) Years tallest (city) Name Std.
Year completed Notes
1902-1909 1902–1909 Dyal-Upchurch Building 82 / 25 6 1902
1909-1912 1909–1912 121 Atlantic Place 135 / 41 10 1909
1912-1913 1912–1913 Florida Life Building 148 / 45 11 1912
1913-1926 1913–1926 Heard National Bank Building 180 / 55 15 1913
1926–1954 Barnett National Bank Building 224 / 68 18 1926
1954–1967 Eight Forty One 309 / 94 22 1955
1967-1972 1967–1974 Riverplace Tower 417 / 127 28 1967
1974-1981 1974–1990 Wells Fargo Center 535 / 163 37 1974
1990–present Bank of America Tower 617 / 188 42 1990


"Florida Architecture: 100 places, 100 years", compiled by the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects.[30]

Rank Building Architect
4 University of North Florida Student Union Dasher, Reynolds & Belyea
6 St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Blake Ellis
14 Bolles School Marsh & Saxelbye
26 Florida Theatre Roy A. Benjamin
48 Epping Forest Marsh & Saxelbye
51 Jacksonville Public Library Robert A. M. Stern
55 Unitarian Universalist Church Robert C. Broward
57 Haydon Burns Library Taylor Hardwick
64 St. James Building Henry John Klutho
68 Chart House Restaurant Kendrick Bangs Kellogg
70 Riverside Baptist Church Addison Mizner
87 Riverplace Tower Welton Becket
92 Florida Life Building Henry John Klutho
96 Westminster Woods Robert C. Broward

Styles and schools

Jacksonville architects used many design styles and belonged to a variety of architectural schools. Below is a list of those styles and schools.

See also


  1. "The rich history of Jacksonville - the one you probably didn't know about". J Magazine. Florida Times-Union. December 17, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  2. "Distinguish Jacksonville: The Great Fire of 1901". Metro Jacksonville. January 6, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  3. Ennis Davis (March 6, 2008). "A Century of Florida's Tallest Skyscrapers". Metro Jacksonville. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  4. "Wells Fargo Center, Jacksonville". Emporis. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  5. Wayne W. Wood. "Jacksonville's Lost Treasures". Prairie School Traveler. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  6. Lesa Lorusso. "Identifying American Architectural Styles: Midcentury Modern". Florida Preservationist. Florida Historical Society. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  7. "When Does Modern Architecture Become Historic?". Jacksonville Historical Society. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  8. Ennis Davis (April 12, 2012). "The Premature Destruction of Downtown Jacksonville". Urban Issues. Metro Jacksonville. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  9. Jessie-Lynne Kerr (January 24, 2008). "Architect transformed city waterfront". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  10. Reynolds, Tiffanie. "Broward's 'Butterfly House' restored to former glory". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  11. "University of Florida honors architect William Morgan with a Lifetime Achievement Award". Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  12. "Historic Properties in Jacksonville: John Gorrie Junior High: A school, a home". Jacksonville Historical Society. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  13. "Shaping Downtown Jacksonville's Skyline". KBJ Architects. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  14. "Groover-Stewart Drug Company Building". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  15. "Schultz Building". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  16. "Levy Building". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  17. "Hildebrandt Building". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  18. "Greenleaf and Crosby Building". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  19. "Prudential Insurance Company of America – South Central Home Office Retrofit Project". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  20. "Modis". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  21. "Prudential Insurance Company of America – South Central Home Office Operations Center". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  22. "American Heritage Life Insurance Co. – Corporate Headquarters". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  23. Metro Jacksonville
  24. "Henrietta Dozier (1872-1947)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  25. "Former Post Office and Federal Courthouse". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  26. "United States Courthouse". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  27. "Duval County Courthouse". KBJ Architects. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  28. "J. Henry Gooding Building". Historic Campus Architecture Project. Council of Independent Colleges. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  29. "Western Union Telegraph Building (MOCA)". University of North Florida. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  30. "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places". American Institute of Architects Florida. Retrieved May 7, 2013.

Further reading

  • Wood, Wayne W., Davis, Judy (1989). Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-0953-7
  • Broward, Robert (1984). The Architecture of Henry John Klutho. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-0731-3
  • Hochstim, Jan (2005). Florida Modern: Residential Architecture 1945-1970. Rizzoli. ISBN 0-8478-2603-1
  • King, Joseph (2005). Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-5689-8551-7
  • McCarter, Robert (2002). William Morgan, Selected and Current Works. Images Publishing Group. ISBN 1-8769-0702-9
  • Taylor Hardwick (2014). Taylor Hardwick: 60 Years of Design. Taylor Hardwick. ISBN 0-6159-7671-9

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