Downtown and Springfield
Downtown Jacksonville is experiencing an exciting period of growth in residential, cultural, and commercial arenas. New, trendy restuarants, shops, and galleries have made Downtown a destination in itself for suburbanites and visitors to our city. In 2014, Downtown's roots as "Cowford" are barely recognizable as residential growth and cultural advancements continue to improve Jacksonville's position as a major southern city.
Downtown features several apartment buildings and condominium communities, as well as a few single family residences sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. The sports complex at the eastern edge of downtown brings events and visitors downtown nearly every weekend, while mainstays like the Times Union Center and the historic Florida Theatre feature everything from nationally touring performances to local dance recitals. Jacksonville is proud to support a world-class symphony, two art museums that regularly attract national attention for their fantastic exhibits, and a monthly "Art Walk" that brings local artists, businesses, restaurants, and area residents together for a night of fun and exploration of downtown venues.
Springfield was Jacksonville's first suburb, established in the late 1860s. Its location north of Hogan's Creek ensured its protection and survival of Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901, which wiped out most of the young city of Jacksonville. Springfield grew and thrived between the 1880s and 1920s, but irregular application of zoning rules diminished the residential character of the area and it began to decline. Preservation and restoration efforts have existed in the neighborhood since the 1970s, and in the 1990s, began to gain real traction as Springfield experienced a revitalization and influx of residents attracted by period-appropriate infill construction and low real estate prices for homes in need of renovation. Today, the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council is active in the neighborhood and helps organize community groups, neighborhood events, and promotes the neighborhood to the greater Northeast Florida area as a destination for dining, an annual home tour, and recreational events.