World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Riverside and Avondale

Article Id: WHEBN0036468533
Reproduction Date:

Title: Riverside and Avondale  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sun-Ray Cinema, Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville, Financial News & Daily Record, Mandarin (Jacksonville)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Riverside and Avondale

Riverside and Avondale
Neighborhood of Jacksonville
Sculpture by C. Adrian Pillars in Memorial Park
Sculpture by C. Adrian Pillars in Memorial Park
Riverside and Avondale is located in Central Jacksonville
Riverside and Avondale
Riverside and Avondale
Location within Central Jacksonville
 • City Council Jim Love
Warren Jones
 • U.S. House Corrine Brown (D)
ZIP Code 32204, 32205
Area code(s) 904

Riverside and Avondale are two adjacent and closely associated neighborhoods, alternatively considered one continuous neighborhood, of Jacksonville, Florida. The area is primarily residential, but includes some commercial districts, including Five Points, the King Street District, and the Shoppes of Avondale.

Riverside was first platted in 1868 and was annexed by Jacksonville in 1887. Its greatest growth occurred between the Great Fire of 1901 and the failure of the 1920s Florida land boom; this period included the creation of the original Avondale development in 1920. Today, Riverside and Avondale are notable for their particularly diverse architecture and their emphasis on planning and historic preservation, which have made them Florida's most architecturally varied neighborhood. Both neighborhoods are listed as National Register Historic Districts.


Riverside and Avondale are located to the southwest of Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River. The neighborhood's boundaries are roughly Interstate 10 to the north, the St. Johns River to the east, Fishweir Creek to the south, and Roosevelt Boulevard and the CSX Railroad line to the west.[1] It borders the Brooklyn and North Riverside neighborhoods to the north, Murray Hill to the west, and Lake Shore and Fairfax to the south. The boundary between Riverside and Avondale is not clear cut, even for those living in the neighborhood.[2] It is sometimes given as Seminole Road and Belvedere Avenue, the northern limit of the Avondale Historic District.[3] Alternately, author Wayne Wood of the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission puts it at about McDuff Avenue.[4]



The H. D. Smith House in Riverside

Riverside and Avondale were developed out of former plantation land. Most of this area was part of two plantations: Dell's Bluff, granted by the Spanish Florida government in 1801, and a tract eventually known as Magnolia Plantation, granted in 1815. Both changed hands several times before the American Civil War.[5] In 1868, Dell's Bluff's then owner, Miles Price, sold off the southern part of the plantation to Florida Union editor Edward M. Cheney and Boston developer John Murray Forbes, who platted the original Riverside development. The northern part Price developed himself as Jacksonville's Brooklyn neighborhood.[6]

Riverside and Brooklyn saw modest growth until 1887, when the city of Jacksonville annexed them and established a streetcar line. Following the Great Fire of 1901, which destroyed most of Downtown Jacksonville, many displaced residents moved to Riverside. Wealthy citizens built mansions close to the river, while the less well-to-do purchased more modest bungalows and other homes further inland. The neighborhood grew steadily, with development continuing well beyond its original bounds to the south, until the collapse of the Florida land boom in the late 1920s. During this period, so many architects working in such a wide variety of contemporary styles experimented in Riverside that it has become the most architecturally diverse neighborhood in Florida.[5] Largely due to Riverside's profusion of bungalow homes, Jacksonville has what is likely the largest number of such structures in the state.[7]

One notable section of Riverside is Silvertown, a subdivision developed in 1887 for African Americans. Initially isolated from largely white Riverside to the east, it was eventually absorbed into the growing neighborhood. As such, Silvertown residents became some of the few black homeowners in Riverside through the period of segregation. A few one-story wood-frame houses in the area may date to the original development, including one home owned by a woman and then her daughter from 1887 into the 1980s.[8]


1487 Challen Avenue in Avondale

Avondale was developed later as a new area of Riverside on former Magnolia Plantation land. In 1884 Northern developers planned and platted a community in this area called "Edgewood", however it did not take off and the land was largely undeveloped; hunters still pursued game there until the 1910s.[9] In 1920 an investment group led by Telfair Stockton purchased Edgewood and surrounding land to develop as an exclusive upscale subdivision. Named for Cincinnati's Avondale neighborhood, home of former Edgewood owner James R. Challen, the development was billed as "Riverside's Residential Ideal", which was "...desirable because the right kind of people have recognized its worth and because the wrong kind of people can find property more to their liking elsewhere."[4]

Avondale was a restricted, whites only development, and the most extensively planned community Jacksonville had ever seen. In contrast to the architectural diversity in the rest of Riverside, Avondale featured more uniform architecture predominately in the Mediterranean Revival style. Following its success, several adjacent developments sprung up, which eventually became lumped together as part of Avondale.[4]

Later history and preservation

The mid-20th century brought change to Riverside and Avondale, including the construction of [11]

As a result, the Riverside Historic District, Jacksonville's first historic district, was added to the American Planning Association named Riverside and Avondale one of the country's top ten neighborhoods in 2010.[13]

Commercial districts

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.[4]

Five Points

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.[14] Over the last several decades, Five Points has become known for its edgy, bohemian character and many independent shops, restaurants and businesses.[15]

King Street District

Riverside Baptist Church in the King Street District

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".[16] 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.[17]

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.[16] 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.[18][19]

Shoppes of Avondale

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.[20] The center was renovated in 2010 under Jacksonville's Town Center Program, which allocated funds for revitalizing neighborhood commercial districts.[21][22]


City parks in Riverside and Avondale include Riverside Park and Memorial Park, which is situated on the river and features a statue of the "winged figure of youth" sculpted by C. Adrian Pillars.[23] The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is located in Riverside; founded in 1961, it contains one of the world's three most comprehensive collections of Meissen porcelain, large collections of American, European and Japanese art, and two acres of Italian and English gardens listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[24][25][26] The neighborhood is home to Robert E. Lee High School, one of the city's oldest schools still in use,[27] and the Kent Campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville, the institution's oldest campus.[28]


  1. ^ Wood 1992, pp. 110, 111–112.
  2. ^ Carbone, Reiss & Finotti 2010, p. 178.
  3. ^ a b Duval County listings at National Register of Historic Places.
  4. ^ a b c d Wood 1992, p. 111.
  5. ^ a b Wood 1992, p. 110.
  6. ^ Wood 1992, pp. 105–107, 110.
  7. ^ Wood 1992, pp. 146-147.
  8. ^ Wood 1992, p. 128.
  9. ^ Wood 1992, pp. 110–111.
  10. ^ Wood 1992, pp. 111–114.
  11. ^ a b "History of RAP". Riverside Avondale preservation. 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ Wood 1992, p. 114.
  13. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J. (October 12, 2010). "Riverside-Avondale named one of 10 great neighborhoods in the nation".  
  14. ^ Wood 1992, p. 138.
  15. ^ Maria Connor (June 17, 2010). "Five Points stays up late on first Fridays". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Davis, Ennis (May 28, 2008). "A Walk through Park & King".  
  17. ^ Wood 1992, p. 141.
  18. ^ Dare, Stephen (February 7, 2013). "Against The Odds: Miracle Successes on King Street".  
  19. ^ Roger Bull (June 17, 2010). "Riverside's King Street becoming Jacksonville's Beer Central". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  20. ^ Wood 1992, p. 167.
  21. ^ David Bauerlein (March 3, 2010). "Jacksonville's Town Center program heading to Avondale". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ Mary Maraghy (April 22, 2010). "Dust and disturbances kept to a minimum as city contractors improve Avondale shopping district". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  23. ^ Wood 1992, p. 138, 153.
  24. ^ Carbone, Reiss & Finotti 2010, pp. 82–83.
  25. ^ Wood 1992, p. 150.
  26. ^ Wood 2012.
  27. ^ Wood 1992, p. 133.
  28. ^ Gentry 1991, pp. 1, 3.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.