Walkable Jacksonville: Shoppes of Avondale
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 a Florida Land Boom streetcar suburb: The Shoppes of Avondale.
Article by Ennis Davis, AICP
October 1, 1923 Telfair Stockton & Company map of Avondale (Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department)
Conceived during the height of the Florida Land Boom, the neighborhood of Avondale was platted as a 220-acre tract and developed by Telfair Stockton’s Avondale Company during the early 1920s. Named after a neighborhood in Cincinnati, OH and designed by William Chase Pitkin, Jr., a well-known Cleveland-based landscape architect, the development’s layout was influenced by the City Beautiful Movement and characterized by curvilinear streets, paved streets, larger residential lots, sixteen parks and access to water, sewer, gas and electricity. Avondale’s properties were also built to include detached garages, accommodating the growing popularity of the automobile during the 1920s.
The Shoppes of Avondale during the 1970s. (Jacksonville Public Library Special Collections Department)
In addition, advertised as “Riverside’s Residential Ideal”, where only the “correct” and “well to do” would live, Avondale was a deed restricted, racially segregated subdivision where density was controlled, building setbacks established and commercial uses not allowed. Due to Avondale’s restrictions on commercial use, the Shoppes of Avondale developed immediately adjacent to the deed restricted neighborhood to support the needs of the growing nearby residential population. In later decades, a small section of the original Avondale plat was redeveloped into commercial near the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and Talbot Avenue. Centered around the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and Ingleside Avenue, today the Shoppes of Avondale is home to a diverse collection of boutique retail shops, restaurants, galleries and bars.