In our popular article series Jax Evolved, we discuss historic buildings in Jacksonville that have been repurposed into new uses and, as a result, are preserved and protected for the foreseeable future.
But for each of those buildings that find new life, there’s at least one historic property that continues to rot away. Whether it’s due to poor maintenance, structural issues, or lack of demand, many key historic properties in Jax – particularly in the urban core – continue to go unused.
And the longer they go unused, the worse their condition becomes, until eventually the city or the property owner opts to demolish them. It’s what’s happened to many properties over the years, decimating parts of the city’s history that could have been restored and lived on for years.
We’ve compiled a list of a few properties that would be great candidates for a Jax Evolved-style re-purposing, due to their historic value or their location – or both. For the purposes of this article, we left off buildings like the Laura Street Trio that have pending revival plans in the works.
Built in 1910, the old Fire Station No. 5 building served the Brooklyn and Riverside area for nearly 100 years before shutting down for good over a decade ago.
Since then, the building has sat boarded up and unused, and its very existence has remained in limbo.
The city actually gave the property the building sits on to Fidelity National Financial. The company owns the building next door and at one point was planning to expand their campus onto the land where the fire station is currently located.
So far, those plans haven’t materialized. And the fire station has been allowed to remain standing. It’s likely that, if Fidelity ever does develop the property, the fire station building could be moved to a lot nearby in Brooklyn.
With Brooklyn’s residential profile expanding rapidly, a building like the old Fire Station No. 5 building could be useful to re-purpose into retail or restaurant space – whether it happens at its current spot at Riverside Avenue and Forest Street, or somewhere nearby.