Before & After: Jacksonville

In 1950, Jacksonville was a stagnant 30 square mile city with 204,000 residents. Today, the city is the most populous in Florida and the 12th-largest in the United States with 903,889 inhabitants. Here is a before and after photographic journey through Jacksonville visualizing its evolution over the past seven decades.

In 1952, 21 years after the annexation of South Jacksonville, the former Southside suburb still appeared to be a distinctive maritime oriented community.

Now split by three expressways, this former city has become two distinct urban neighborhoods; the Downtown Southbank and San Marco.

In 1952, the Downtown Northbank riverfront was dominated by shipping terminals, seafood markets and wharves.

By the 1960s, much of the Downtown Northank riverfront had been filled in for new public uses. In 2018 (pictured above), many of these mid-century and late 20th century public projects faced the wrecking ball. By the end of 2019, buildings such as the orange roofed Jacksonville Landing were no more.

In 1943, what would become Beach Boulevard was an abandoned FEC railroad corridor in Jacksonville Beach.

With 23,669 residents, Jacksonville Beach is the second largest municipality in Duval County.

In 1952, LaVilla was one of Jacksonville’s most dense and pedestrian friendly districts.

Largely razed in the 1990s, LaVilla is now characterized by its large number of vacant lots.