Riverside & Avondale:
Riverside and Avondale are chiefly residential, but they have some commercial zoning, including several commercial centers that are architecturally integrated with the rest of the neighborhood.
Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points: Five Points is a small commercial district centered on and around the five-way intersection between Park, Lomax, and Margaret Streets. The area was originally residential, but transitioned to commercial uses after World War I and several retail buildings were constructed. The Park Arcade Building, an Italian Renaissance revival structure with storefronts marked by variant rooflines, set the architectural tone for the district when it was completed in 1928. Other notable features include Sun-Ray Cinema, formerly Riverside Theater, which opened in 1927 as the first movie theater in Florida equipped to show talking pictures. Over the last several decades, Five Points has become known for its edgy, bohemian character and many independent shops, restaurants and businesses.
The King Street District originated with Whiteway Corner, a group of commercial buildings at the intersection of King and Park Street built by the Nasrallah brothers beginning in 1927. The Nasrallahs’ buildings included the novelty of electric exterior lights, hence the name “White Way”. Other notable buildings at this corner are a 1942 Style Moderne structure built for Lane Drug Company by Marsh & Saxelbye, and the 1925 Riverside Baptist Church, designed by prominent architect Addison Mizner.
Subsequently, commercial development and zoning spread along King Street and its cross streets. After several decades of decline, King Street has experienced a revival since 2005 following a successful streetscaping project. A popular beer bar that opened that year set the tone for later establishments, many of them craft beer oriented. Subsequently, the district has become the home of many bars, restaurants, stores, and night clubs, as well as an arts district and two craft breweries to the north. As a result of this growth, the King Street District emerged as Jacksonville’s beer hub in the 2010s.
The “Shoppes of Avondale” is an upscale shopping center comprising about 46 storefronts on St. Johns Avenue. Like Five Points, it dates to the 1920s, when Avondale was first developed. Its small-scale buildings were designed to blend with the residential neighborhood; the most notable is a 1927 edifice designed by Henry J. Klutho in partnership with Fred S. Cates and Albert N. Cole at 3556-3560 St. Johns Avenue. The center was renovated in 2010 under Jacksonville’s Town Center Program, which allocated funds for revitalizing neighborhood commercial districts.
The boundaries of Springfield are well defined. Hogan’s Creek lies along its south edge, and railroad lines are found on the north and east. Boulevard defines the western limit of the district where a later commercial strip abuts the earlier residential area. Contemporary with the overall residential area are two commercial strips along Main and Eighth Streets which join at the heart of the district. The district contains 119 city blocks in an area of approximately 500 acres (2 km\0xB2), or slightly less than one square mile. Hogan’s Creek separates the residences of Springfield from the downtown business district. North of the creek few buildings rise above two stories and parks and tree lined streets are common.
The blocks of the historic district are laid out in a regular grid, with named streets running north and south and numbered streets east and west. Most of the blocks have alleys, usually arranged in an “H” pattern, although other configurations are found. A few streets retain their original brick pavers and granite curbstones, but the majority are now covered with asphalt and have concrete curbs. Sidewalks feature both the earlier hexagonal pavers and modern poured concrete sections. Trees lend considerable distinction to the neighborhood. Oaks predominate. Scattered throughout the neighborhood are such decorative elements as hitching posts, cast iron fences, rusticated concrete block walls, and carriage stepping stones, testimony to the area’s turn-of-the-century origins. There is, however, no great concentration of such elements.
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