Jacksonville, Florida

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"Jacksonville" redirects here. For other uses, see Jacksonville (disambiguation).
Jacksonville
Consolidated city–county
Jacksonville, Florida
Top, left to right: Downtown Jacksonville, Riverplace Tower, statue of Andrew Jackson, Florida Theatre, Dames Point Bridge, Veterans Memorial Arena, EverBank Field, Friendship Fountain, Jacksonville Landing
Top, left to right: Downtown Jacksonville, Riverplace Tower, statue of Andrew Jackson, Florida Theatre, Dames Point Bridge, Veterans Memorial Arena, EverBank Field, Friendship Fountain, Jacksonville Landing
Flag of Jacksonville
Flag
Official seal of Jacksonville
Seal
Nickname(s): "Jax", "The River City", "J-ville", "The Bold New City of the South"
Motto: Where Florida Begins
Location in Duval County and the state of Florida
Location in Duval County and the state of Florida
Jacksonville is located in USA
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°20′13″N 81°39′41″W / 30.33694°N 81.66139°W / 30.33694; -81.66139Coordinates: 30°20′13″N 81°39′41″W / 30.33694°N 81.66139°W / 30.33694; -81.66139[1]
Country United States
State Florida
County Duval
Founded 1791
Incorporated 1832
Government
 • Type Strong Mayor–Council
 • Body Jacksonville City Council
 • Mayor Alvin Brown (D)
Area[2]
 • Total 874.6 sq mi (2,265 km2)
 • Land 747.0 sq mi (1,935 km2)
 • Water 127.6 sq mi (330 km2)
Elevation[1] 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 821,784
 • Estimate (2013)[4] 842,583
 • Rank US: 13th
 • Density 1,100.1/sq mi (424.8/km2)
 • Urban 1,065,219 (US: 40th
 • Metro 1,394,624 (US: 40th)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 32099, 32201–32212, 32214–32241, 32244–32247, 32250, 32254–32260, 32266, 32267, 32277, 32290
Area code(s) 904
Twin cities
 • Bahía Blanca  Argentina
 • Murmansk  Russia
 • Changwon  Republic of Korea
 • Nantes  France
 • Hyderabad  India
 • Yingkou  People's Republic of China
 • Port Elizabeth  South Africa
 • San Juan  Puerto Rico
FIPS code 12-35000
GNIS feature ID 0295003[2]
Interstates I-10.svg I-95.svg
Interstate Spurs I-295.svg
U.S. Routes US 1.svg US 17.svg US 23.svg US 90.svg US 301.svg
Major State Routes Florida 9.svg Florida 10.svg Florida 13.svg Florida 15.svg Florida 21.svg Florida 23.svg Florida A1A.svg Florida 202.svg
Waterways St. Johns River, Fall Creek, Arlington River
Seaports JAXPORT
Website City of Jacksonville
Aerial view in 1893.

Jacksonville is the largest city in the State of Florida by population and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States.[5] It is the county seat of Duval County,[6] with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits; with an estimated population in 2013 of 842,583, it is the most populous city proper in Florida[7] and the Southeast, and the 13th most populous in the United States. Jacksonville is the principal city in the Jacksonville metropolitan area, with a population of 1,345,596 in 2010.[8]

Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and about 340 miles (550 km) north of Miami. The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and Cowford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States gained Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.

Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its riverine location facilitates two U.S. Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport.[9] Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics. As with much of Florida, tourism is also important to the Jacksonville area, particularly tourism related to golf.[10][11] In 2012, Jacksonville was listed as a "sufficiency" world city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory, ranking alongside cities such as Abuja and Tulsa.[12] People from Jacksonville can be referred to as either "Jacksonvillians" or "Jaxons".[13]

History[edit]

The area of the modern city of Jacksonville has been inhabited for thousands of years. On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BC.[14] In the 16th century, the beginning of the historical era, the region was inhabited by the Mocama, a coastal subgroup of the Timucua people. At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. Johns River.[15] One early map shows a village called Ossachite at the site of what is now downtown Jacksonville; this may be the earliest recorded name for that area.[16]

European explorers first arrived in the area 1562, when French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River. In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Johns near the main village of the Saturiwa. On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St. Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it.[17] The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St. Augustine's position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified.

Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War, and the British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British named the "Cow Ford", both names ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.[18][19][20] Britain ceded control of the territory back to Spain in 1783, after its defeat in the American Revolutionary War, and the settlement at the Cow Ford continued to grow. After Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States in 1821, American settlers on the north side of the Cow Ford decided to plan a town, laying out the streets and plats. They soon named the town "Jacksonville," after Andrew Jackson. Led by Isaiah D. Hart, residents wrote a charter for a town government, which was approved by the Florida Legislative Council on February 9, 1832.

During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to aid the Confederate cause. The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of the nearby Fort Clinch. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces. In 1864 Union forces left Jacksonville and confronted a Confederate Army at the Battle of Olustee resulting in a Confederate victory. Union forces then retreated to Jacksonville and held the city for the remainder of the war. Warfare and the long occupation left the city disrupted after the war.

During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. President Grover Cleveland attended the Sub-Tropical Exposition in the city on February 22, 1888 during his trip to Florida.[21] This highlighted the visibility of the state as a worthy place for tourism. The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 19th century by yellow fever outbreaks. In addition, extension of the Florida East Coast Railway further south drew visitors to other areas. From 1893 to 1938 Jacksonville was the site of the Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home with a nearby cemetery.[22]

Aftermath of the Great Fire of 1901

On May 3, 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that started at a fiber factory. Known as the "Great Fire of 1901", it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest urban fire in the southeastern United States. In just eight hours, it destroyed the business district and left approximately 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes seen in Raleigh, North Carolina. Architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. More than 13,000 buildings were constructed between 1901 and 1912.

A view of Jacksonville in 1909

In the 1910s, New York–based filmmakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheap labor. Over the course of the decade, more than 30 silent film studios were established, earning Jacksonville the title of "Winter Film Capital of the World". However, the emergence of Hollywood as a major film production center ended the city's film industry. One converted movie studio site, Norman Studios, remains in Arlington; It has been converted to the Jacksonville Silent Film Museum at Norman Studios.[23]

Motion picture scene at Gaumont Studios, 1910

During this time, Jacksonville also became a banking and insurance center, with companies such as Barnett Bank, Atlantic National Bank, Florida National Bank, Prudential, Gulf Life, Afro-American Insurance, Independent Life and American Heritage Life thriving in the business district. The U.S. Navy also became a major employer and economic force during the 1940s, with the construction of three naval bases in the city.

Jacksonville, like most large cities in the United States, suffered from negative effects of rapid urban sprawl after World War II. The construction of highways led residents to move to newer housing in the suburbs. After World War II, the government of the city of Jacksonville began to increase spending to fund new public building projects in the boom that occurred after the war. Mayor W. Haydon Burns' Jacksonville Story resulted in the construction of a new city hall, civic auditorium, public library and other projects that created a dynamic sense of civic pride. However, the development of suburbs and a subsequent wave of middle class "white flight" left Jacksonville with a much poorer population than before. The city's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white,[24] declined from 75.8% in 1970 to 55.1% by 2010.[25]

Much of the city's tax base dissipated, leading to problems with funding education, sanitation, and traffic control within the city limits. In addition, residents in unincorporated suburbs had difficulty obtaining municipal services, such as sewage and building code enforcement. In 1958, a study recommended that the city of Jacksonville begin annexing outlying communities in order to create the needed tax base to improve services throughout the county. Voters outside the city limits rejected annexation plans in six referendums between 1960 and 1965.

News of Jacksonville's consolidation from The Florida Times-Union.

In the mid-1960s, corruption scandals began to arise among many of the city's officials, who were mainly elected through the traditional old boy network. After a grand jury was convened to investigate, 11 officials were indicted and more were forced to resign. Jacksonville Consolidation, led by J. J. Daniel and Claude Yates, began to win more support during this period, from both inner city blacks, who wanted more involvement in government, and whites in the suburbs, who wanted more services and more control over the central city. In 1964 all 15 of Duval County's public high schools lost their accreditation. This added momentum to proposals for government reform. Lower taxes, increased economic development, unification of the community, better public spending and effective administration by a more central authority were all cited as reasons for a new consolidated government.

When a consolidation referendum was held in 1967, voters approved the plan. On October 1, 1968, the governments merged to create the Consolidated City of Jacksonville. Fire, police, health & welfare, recreation, public works, and housing & urban development were all combined under the new government. In honor of the occasion, then-Mayor Hans Tanzler posed with actress Lee Meredith behind a sign marking the new border of the "Bold New City of the South" at Florida 13 and Julington Creek.[26]

The Better Jacksonville Plan, promoted as a blueprint for Jacksonville's future and approved by Jacksonville voters in 2000, authorized a half-penny sales tax. This would generate most of the revenue required for the $2.25 billion package of major projects that included road & infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development and new or improved public facilities.[27]

Geography[edit]

Jacksonville is located at 30°19′9.84″N 81°39′36″W / 30.3194000°N 81.66000°W / 30.3194000; -81.66000 (30.3194, −81.6600).[1]

Cityscape[edit]

Jacksonville skyline
Jacksonville skyline at dusk


Topography[edit]

A simulated-color image of Jacksonville, taken on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 874.3 square miles (2,264 km2), making Jacksonville the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States; of this, 86.66% (757.7 sq mi or 1,962 km2) is land and ; 13.34% (116.7 sq mi or 302 km2) is water. Jacksonville completely encircles the town of Baldwin. Nassau County lies to the north, Baker County lies to the west, and Clay and St. Johns County lie to the south; the Atlantic Ocean lies to the east, along with the Jacksonville Beaches. The St. Johns River divides the city. The Trout River, a major tributary of the St. Johns River, is located entirely within Jacksonville.

The state of Florida, including Jacksonville, is a huge flat plateau with a high water table, and surface lakes are very shallow.[28] The United States Geological Survey states that the highest point in Jacksonville is only 40 feet (12.2 meters) above sea level, making the area susceptible to flooding and storm surge.[29] Soil composition is primarily sand and clay rather than limestone, so very few sinkholes develop; however deep, large diameter sinkholes do occur.[30]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Vernacular sections of Jacksonville

There are more than 500 neighborhoods within Jacksonville's vast area.[31] These include Downtown Jacksonville and its surrounding neighborhoods, including LaVilla, Brooklyn, Riverside and Avondale, Springfield, Eastside, and San Marco.[32] Additionally, greater Jacksonville is traditionally divided into several amorphous areas, comprising large parts of Duval County. These are Northside, Westside, Southside, and Arlington, as well as the Jacksonville Beaches.[33]

There are four municipalities that have retained their own governments since consolidation; these are Baldwin and the three Jacksonville Beaches towns of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach.[34] Four of Jacksonville's neighborhoods, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, and Riverside, have been identified as U.S. historic districts and are in the National Register of Historic Places.[35]

Landmarks[edit]

The tallest building in Downtown Jacksonville's skyline is the Bank of America Tower, constructed in 1990 as the Barnett Center. It has a height of 617 ft (188 m) and includes 42 floors.[36][37] Other notable structures include the 37-story Wells Fargo Center (with its distinctive flared base making it the defining building in the Jacksonville skyline),[38][39] originally built in 1972-74 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, and the 28 floor Riverplace Tower which, when completed in 1967, was the tallest precast, post-tensioned concrete structure in the world.[40][41]

Rank Name Street address Height
feet / meters
Floors Year
1 Bank of America Tower 50 North Laura Street 617 / 188 42[36][37] 1990
2 Wells Fargo Center 1 Independent Drive 535 / 163 37 1974
3 EverBank Center 301 West Bay Street 447 / 136 32 1983
4 The Peninsula at St. Johns Center 1401 Riverplace Boulevard 437 / 133 36 2008
5 Riverplace Tower 1301 Riverplace Boulevard 432 / 132 28 1967

Jacksonville is interesting from an architectural view with fourteen buildings on the document, "Florida Architecture: 100 places, 100 years", compiled by the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects.[42]

Rank Building Architect
4 University of North Florida Student Union Dasher, Reynolds & Belyea
6 St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Blake Ellis
14 Bolles School Marsh & Saxelbye
26 Florida Theatre Roy A. Benjamin
48 Epping Forest Marsh & Saxelbye
51 Jacksonville Public Library Robert A. M. Stern
55 Unitarian Universalist Church Robert C. Broward
57 Haydon Burns Library Taylor Hardwick
64 St. James Building Henry John Klutho
68 Chart House Restaurant Kendrick Bangs Kellogg
70 Riverside Baptist Church Addison Mizner
87 Riverplace Tower Welton Becket
92 Florida Life Building Henry John Klutho
96 Westminster Woods Robert C. Broward

Climate[edit]

Picture of a very rare Jacksonville snowfall, December 23, 1989
Jacksonville
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
3.3
 
65
41
 
 
3.2
 
68
45
 
 
4
 
74
50
 
 
2.6
 
79
55
 
 
2.5
 
86
63
 
 
6.5
 
90
70
 
 
6.6
 
92
73
 
 
6.8
 
91
73
 
 
8.2
 
87
70
 
 
3.9
 
80
61
 
 
2.1
 
74
51
 
 
2.8
 
67
44
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Like much of the south Atlantic region of the United States, Jacksonville has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with mild weather during winters and hot and humid weather during summers. Seasonal rainfall is concentrated in the warmest months from May through September, while the driest months are from November through April. Due to Jacksonville's low latitude and coastal location, the city sees very little cold weather, and winters are typically mild and sunny. Summers can be hot and wet, and summer thunderstorms with torrential but brief downpours are common.

Mean monthly temperatures range from around 53 F in January to 82 F in July. High temperatures average 64 to 92 °F (18 to 33 °C) throughout the year.[43] High heat indices are not uncommon for the summer months in the area, with indices above 110 °F (43.3 °C) possible. The highest temperature recorded was 104 °F (40 °C) on July 11, 1879 and July 28, 1872.[44] It is common for thunderstorms to erupt during a typical summer afternoon. These are caused by the rapid heating of the land relative to the water, combined with extremely high humidity.

During winter, there can be hard freezes during the night. Such cold weather is usually short lived, as the city averages only 10 to 15 nights at or below freezing and around 5 days where the high does not rise above 50 °F (10 °C).[45] The coldest temperature recorded at Jacksonville International Airport was 7 °F (−14 °C) on January 21, 1985.

Hurricane Dora as seen on Daytona Beach WSR-57 radar in September 1964.

Jacksonville has suffered less damage from hurricanes than most other east coast cities, although the threat does exist for a direct hit by a major hurricane. The city has only received one direct hit from a hurricane since 1871; however, Jacksonville has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms crossing the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, or passing to the north or south in the Atlantic and brushing past the area.[46] The strongest effect on Jacksonville was from Hurricane Dora in 1964, the only recorded storm to hit the First Coast with sustained hurricane force winds. The eye crossed St. Augustine with winds that had just barely diminished to 110 mph (180 km/h), making it a strong Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Jacksonville also suffered damage from 2008's Tropical Storm Fay which crisscrossed the state, bringing parts of Jacksonville under darkness for four days. Similarly, four years prior to this, Jacksonville was inundated by Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne, which made landfall south of the area. These tropical cyclones were the costliest indirect hits to Jacksonville. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 caused damage mainly to Jacksonville Beach. During Floyd, the Jacksonville Beach pier was severely damaged, and later demolished. The rebuilt pier was later damaged by Fay, but not destroyed. Tropical Storm Bonnie would cause minor damage in 2004, spawning a minor tornado in the process.[47] On May 28, 2012, Jacksonville was hit by Tropical Storm Beryl, packing winds up to 70 miles per hour (113 km/h) which made landfall near Jacksonville Beach.

Rainfall averages around 52 inches (1,300 mm) a year, with the wettest months being June through September.[48]


Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,045
1860 2,118 102.7%
1870 6,912 226.3%
1880 7,650 10.7%
1890 17,201 124.8%
1900 28,429 65.3%
1910 57,699 103.0%
1920 91,558 58.7%
1930 129,549 41.5%
1940 173,065 33.6%
1950 204,275 18.0%
1960 201,030 −1.6%
1970 528,865 163.1%
1980 540,920 2.3%
1990 635,230 17.4%
2000 735,503 15.8%
2010 821,784 11.7%
Est. 2013 842,583 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[52]
2013 Estimate[4]

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and the twelfth most populous city in the United States. As of 2010, there were 821,784 people and 366,273 households in the city. The largest ancestries include: German (9.6%), American (9.3%), Irish (9.0%), English (8.5%), and Italian (3.5%). Jacksonville has the country's tenth-largest Arab population, with a total population of 5,751 according to the 2000 United States Census.[53][54] Jacksonville has Florida's largest Filipino American community, with 25,033 in the metropolitan area as of the 2010 Census. Much of Jacksonville's Filipino community served in or has ties to the United States Navy.[55][56] Jacksonville also has a large and growing Puerto Rican population.

As of 2010, there were 366,273 households out of which 11.8% were vacant. As of 2000, 33.9% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07. In the city, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $40,316, and the median income for a family was $47,243. Males had a median income of $32,547 versus $25,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,337. About 9.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

As of the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, 88.1% of Jacksonville's population age five and over spoke only English at home while 5.2% of the population spoke Spanish at home. About 3.2% spoke other Indo-European languages at home. About 2.5% spoke an Asian language at home. The remaining 0.9% of the population spoke other languages at home.

As of 2000, speakers of English as a first language accounted for 90.60% of all residents, while those who spoke Spanish made up 4.13%, Tagalog 1.00%, French 0.47%, Arabic 0.44%, German 0.43%, Vietnamese at 0.31%, Russian was 0.21% and Italian made up 0.17% of the population.[57]

Jacksonville Demographics
2010 Census Jacksonville Duval County Florida
Total population 821,784 864,263 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +11.7% +11.0% +17.6%
Population density 1,100.1/sq mi 1,133.9/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 59.4% 60.9% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 55.1% 56.6% 57.9%
Black or African-American 30.7% 29.5% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 7.7% 7.6% 22.5%
Asian 4.3% 4.2% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.9% 2.9% 2.5%
Some Other Race 5.2% 3.9% 3.6%