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Historic Eastside

In 1887, threeA. Philip Randolph Park adjacent communities were annexed by the City of Jacksonville to form Eastside Jacksonville: East Jacksonville, Oakland and Fairfield. Historic Eastside, as it is called today, is a community located directly to the east of Downtown Jacksonville and Historic Springfield. One of the city’s oldest urban core neighborhoods, it is home to Jacksonville’s sports and entertainment complex, including EverBank Field, the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, the Jacksonville Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Although the community has many needs, such as infrastructure renewal and a revitalized commercial corridor, it also has much to offer — from picturesque historic churches to a family-friendly culture. Most businesses in Historic Eastside are located along A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. At the south end of the boulevard is A. Philip Randolph Park, a central gathering point for the community. 

Some of Historic Eastside's most famous citizens include:                      

  • Bob Hayes (1942-2002) — Olympic gold medalist and pro-football player
  • A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979) -- an important labor leader, civil rights leader and Jacksonville’s first African-American attorney.
  • Eartha Mary Magdelene White (1876-1974) — local philanthropic and community leader.

 

Historic Springfield

Springfield  Wrap aroundLocated to the west of Eastside and the north of Downtown Jacksonville’s business district,  Historic Springfield covers 119 city blocks in slightly less than one square mile.Though officially established in 1869, the first residences were built in 1871. Like Eastside, the neighborhood was annexed by the city of Jacksonville in 1887. The area boomed after Jacksonville’s Great Fire of 1901, when many wealthy downtown residents who had lost their homes moved across Hogans Creek to Springfield. 

With more than 2,000 homes, it is one of the largest historic residential districts in Florida.  Springfield residents can walk or bike to two local commercial corridors — Main Street and 8th Street — that offer unique eateries, art galleries, coffeehouses, wine bars, a yoga studio and other in-demand services. SPAR, the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council, has been instrumental in preserving the character of the neighborhood. Through its efforts, Springfield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.BArnet mansion

Some of Historic Springfield’s most famous citizens include:

  • William Boyd Barnett  (1824-1903) — founder of Barnett Bank
  • Henrietta Dozier (1872-1947) — the first woman in the South to receive formal architectural training from a national school of architecture.
  • Duncan U. Fletcher (1859-1936) — politician and leader of Jacksonville's rebuilding effort following the Great Fire.
  • Henry John Klutho (1873-1964) — internationally acclaimed architect and leading proponent of a new American design style known as “Prairie School.”

 

HISTORIC EASTSIDE/SPRINGFIELD'S EPIC PROCESS

“Bottom-Up” Concept

Bike tourPeople who know the most and care the most about their neighborhoods are at the heart of EPIC. The approach is a departure from traditional urban redevelopment models. Instead of asking residents to embrace change initiated by outside sources who “know their needs better than they do,” EPIC pivots on locally generated solutions. In Historic Eastside/Springfield, Operation New Hope was chosen as the facilitating (“convening”) agency to help residents implement EPIC — starting with identifying and prioritizing their needs.

Defining Priorities

From May to September of 2012, program facilitators gathered feedback from hundreds of neighborhoodEastside Game Day residents, business owners and workers in Historic Eastside/Springfield. They met with them through individual interviews, focus groups and listening tours. Historical research was conducted to provide context. On September 29, 2012, a report on the listening sessions was shared with residents. At the same meeting, participants were invited to create a vision for their neighborhood; develop goals, strategies and action plans with key measures of progress; and identify a list of potential community partners. Following this “visioning” day, neighborhood leaders conducted a series of community forums to refine the recommendations, develop a unified vision, create goals, objectives, strategies and action plans with measurable outcomes. This work is summarized in the Quality of Life Plan, and focuses on the following five goals:

  • Investing for Stability,
  • Make It Grand…Again,
  • Creating Exceptional Neighborhoods Together,
  • Expect Greatness in Education and
  • Create A Level Playing Field.

Between 2012 and 2015 many partners helped Eastside and Springfield residents achieve remarkable progress towards their goals and objectives. Please review these accomplishments in the Historic Eastside/Springfield Progress Report.