Ocala's Historic Downtown Square

The Jaxson takes a walk through Ocala's Downtown Square, a district that is home to one of the largest concentration of 19th century commercial buildings in Florida.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

About Downtown Square

The 49th most populated city in Florida with 60,000 residents, known as the “Horse Capital of the World”, Ocala is not a city that many think about when the conversation turns to a discussion about downtown revitalization. Nevertheless, the city has made significant strides in bringing life and activity to its revitalizing downtown district.

Located near what was believed to be a major Timucua chiefdom and village, Downtown Square is considered the heart and soul of the city that was first settled in 1849 and incorporated in 1869.

Designated as a National Register Historic District on June 3, 1999, the Ocala Historic Commercial District encompasses approximately 90 acres of properties surrounding the historic downtown square that was designated as a public square in the original plat of Ocala in 1846. Home to one of the largest concentration of commercial buildings in the state that date back to the late 19th century when Ocala was one of the state’s largest cities, the historic Downtown Square is now known as a popular destination for local restaurants and retail boutiques.

A Photographic Walk Through Downtown Square

Downtown Square

Broadway Street

With buildings dating back to 1885, Broadway Street is home to the oldest collection of historic commercial structures surrounding the Downtown Square.

In 2016, the former four story Sprint Building was converted into 18 residential condominium units.