During the early 1900s, few Jacksonville architecture firms were in higher demand than Marsh & Saxelbye.
The creative team of William M. Marsh, a Jax native, and Harold F. Saxelbye, a native of England who also worked in New York, designed a massive collection of buildings throughout Jacksonville over a span of more than twenty years. In some sense, they inherited the throne of great local architecture from Henry J. Klutho.
Their work was featured in both the urban core and the city’s suburbs, which at the time were mostly separate municipalities. They were critical in defining the residential styles of Riverside, Avondale, San Jose, and more. Many of their buildings still stand today, though some have evolved past their original purpose. Over three dozen Marsh & Saxelbye designs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There’s a good chance you’ve admired a Marsh & Saxelbye-designed building before without even realizing it. To highlight and honor their work, we’ve compiled a small collection of the best buildings designed by the firm – all of one of which are still standing.
In the mid-1920s, local jewelry company Greenleaf & Crosby commissioned Marsh & Saxelbye to design a new, larger headquarters building for its operations at 204 N. Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville.
The building, designed with strong Art Deco elements including elaborate terra-cotta cornices and plaques, opened in 1927. Its unique configuration features one span rising twelve stories and another with just two stories. The company’s antique street clock was placed at the corner of Laura and Adams streets.
Greenleaf & Crosby rebranded as Jacob’s Jewelers just a few years after opening its new building, and it has survived decades of ups and downs in downtown Jax to still operate from the same building today. The remainder of the building is utilized for office space; the Law Offices of Phillips and Hunt recently claimed the building’s third floor and is turning the roof of the two-story span into a rooftop deck.