Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)

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Wells Fargo Center
WellsFargoJaxFL.JPG
Wells Fargo Center, shortly after new signage was installed
General information
Type Office[1]
Location 1 Independent Drive, Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Construction started 1972
Completed 1974[1]
Opening 1974[1]
Owner Eola Capital[1]
Height
Antenna spire 638 ft (194 m)[1]
Roof 535 ft (163 m)[1]
Technical details
Floor count 37[1]
Lifts/elevators 15[1]
Design and construction
Architect KBJ Architects[1]
Developer Capital Partners[1]

The Wells Fargo Center is a skyscraper in Jacksonville, Florida. Standing 535 feet (163 meters) tall, it is the city's second-tallest building.[1][2] It was formerly known as the Independent Life Building and the Modis Building, among other names.[3] It took its current name in 2011, when Wells Fargo acquired the naming rights.[4][5]

History[edit]

The tower under the Modis signage in 2009
P-3 Orion aircraft from NAS Jacksonville overfly downtown Jacksonville in 1994. At this time the building was known as the Independent Life Building.

The tower was completed in 1974 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, and was known as the Independent Life Building.[3][6] It was designed by KBJ Architects, who received the Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the design.[1][7] The design concept included a sloping base and large corner frames to provide a distinctive image not only for the company, but also as an identifying landmark for the city of Jacksonville.[7]

Beginning in 1995 Independent Life was acquired by the American General Life Insurance Company, and operations were gradually moved to Nashville, Tennessee.[8][9] The building was sold to Associated Capital Properties, and the Jacksonville staffing company AccuStaff moved in and acquired the naming rights, and it became the AccuStaff Building.[10] In 2002, AccuStaff changed its name to MPS Group. It renamed the building the Modis Building, after one of the company's main brands, and added Modis signage.[3] In 2009 MPS Group was acquired by the Swiss firm Adecco Group, which announced the company would relocate to Jacksonville's suburbs.[3] The move was completed in 2011 and the signage was removed, and the building was renamed Independent Square.[2][11]

In May 2011, Wells Fargo, which had acquired the Wachovia financial services company, announced it would relocate local employees to the building.[2][4][12] Signage went up on the Wells Fargo Center on September 26 and the relocation completed by April 2012.[5]

Interior of the Wells Fargo Center

Description and tenants[edit]

The Wells Fargo Center has 37 floors, and held the title of tallest building in Florida until 1981, when One Tampa City Center was completed.[1] It remained the tallest building in Jacksonville until 1990, when the Bank of America Tower surpassed it in height. The building takes up an entire city block in Jacksonville's downtown. A notable feature of the structure is a four story atrium of tropical vegetation where the public enters.[7] The first floor also contained an auditorium with seating for 360 patrons, a bank, restaurants, and several retail stores.[13]

Parkway Properties is a third-party service provider for the building.[14]

River Club[edit]

River Club logo

One major tenant in the Wells Fargo Center is the River Club of Jacksonville, a private business club that occupies the top two floors of the building. Originally known as the Jacksonville Businessmen's Club, it was established in 1954 after the fashion of similar organizations in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C..[15] It was formerly located on the 16th floor of the Prudential Building (now known as the Aetna Building), the city's tallest building when it opened in 1955.[16][17] It relocated to its current space in 1976, but did not offer memberships to women until 1985.[16] The club has been owned and managed by a subsidiary of Gate Petroleum since 2003.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Modis Tower". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b c "Life After Modis: Tower To Get New Name". WJXT. May 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Naming rights for Modis building up for grabs in 2011". Jacksonville Business Journal. August 25, 201. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Bull, Roger (May 20, 2011). "Wells Fargo name to replace Modis atop landmark building". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Patterson, Steve (September 25, 2011). "Wells Fargo joins Jacksonville skyline". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  6. ^ Jacksonville University: Geography department-Modis Building
  7. ^ a b c KBJ Architects website: Awards-Modis Building
  8. ^ "History of some major insurance companies" (February 24, 2003). The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "The History of American General Life and Accident Insurance Company" American International Group website, company history
  10. ^ Brune-Mathis, Karen: "AccuStaff pointing to Independent" Florida Times-Union, June 20, 1997
  11. ^ http://www.news4jax.com/news/27068751/detail.html
  12. ^ Karen Brune Mathis (August 25, 201). "Wells Fargo to move into former Modis Building". Financial News and Daily Record. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ [1] Metro Jacksonville, February 4, 2009-Unique Jacksonville: Independent Square
  14. ^ "Wells Fargo Center". Parkway Properties. 
  15. ^ Jacksonville River Club website: history
  16. ^ a b Mathis, Karen (February 15, 2006) "River Club's first woman president the end of an era". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  17. ^ Florida Times-Union: March 30, 2005-Essay contest celebrates high rise's 50th birthday
  18. ^ Mathis, Karen (June 30, 2004) "Gate doing overhaul of River Club". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
Records
Preceded by
Riverplace Tower
Tallest building in Jacksonville
1974–1990
163m
Succeeded by
Bank of America Tower
Preceded by
Vehicle Assembly Building
Tallest building in Florida
1974–1981
163.1m
Succeeded by
One Tampa City Center

External links[edit]