The building along Hendricks Avenue that now houses San Marco Preservation Society and Greenscape of Jacksonville is one of just a few remnants of the town of South Jacksonville. In fact, it was originally built as South Jacksonville City Hall.
The municipal structure, located at 1468 Hendricks Avenue, was constructed in 1915. The town of South Jacksonville had been incorporated eight years earlier, having grown to a population of hundreds in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1901.
The city hall building was designed by local architecture firm Mark and Sheftall, and funded by $65,000 in municipal bonds. The two-story brick structure housed the town’s offices as well as a garage for its only fire truck.
The building served as South Jacksonville’s city hall until 1932 when the town was annexed by Jacksonville. As city property, it was utilized as office space for several different government-related organizations; its surrounding area took on the name San Marco.
The building had most recently been home to local firefighter union offices when the city designated it as a local historic landmark in 2002. Around that same time, the San Marco Preservation Society began discussions with the city about the possibility of restoring and reusing the building as its new headquarters.
The preservation group, founded in 1975, aims to maintain the historic integrity of the San Marco area, making it a natural fit for the old structure.
Over the next few years, SMPS secured over $300,000 combined in city and federal grants for their planned redevelopment project. It then began repair efforts, aided by AccuBuild Construction, which included restoring the building’s original decorative features and interior finishes.
By 2008, San Marco Preservation Society was ready to take up residence in its new facility. The city then leased the remaining office space within the building to Greenscape of Jacksonville.
Today, both tenants remain, and its surrounding area has since been filled in with a brewery, Panera Bread, La Napolera, and several other new additions, complementing a renewed stretch of Hendricks Avenue in San Marco.