Walkable Jacksonville: San Marco Square
Jacksonville's urban core is home to a number of historic walkable neighborhood commercial districts. Many are a direct result of the city's former electric streetcar network that operated between 1880 and 1936. Today, The Jaxson highlights a popular destination that developed to support one of the Southside's first town centers: San Marco Square
San Marco Square
1. Now known as the site of Square One, the San Marco Building was the first commercial structure built on San Marco Square. The first retailer in this building was Towne Pump Drugs and Sundries, which remained in business for 50 years.
5. Balis Park is located in the middle of San Marco Square on a site that where a Spanish-style Gulf service station was constructed in 1927. In 1984, long after that station had been replaced by a modern gas station, the City purchased the parcel for the development of a park. The park’s construction costs were funded by Abla Balis, in memory of her husband, Sheffield, who passed in 1976. The Balis’ were longtime residents of San Marco. The dedication ceremony took place in January 1988, and later improvements included a sound system, the bronze sculpture Windy Days, and landscaping, which were funded by the estate of Abla Balis and the City.
6. Designed by Angela Shiffanela and Alan Wilson, the San Marco fountain lions were added to the district in 1997.
11. This building was completed in 1927 and was the location of San Marco’s Setzer’s Supermarket for a number of years. Setzer’s was a grocery chain that was founded by Benjamin Setzer in Springfield. By the time the company was sold to Food Fair Stores in 1958, it had grown into a 40 unit chain with stores throughout Florida and South Georgia.