Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)
|Wells Fargo Center|
Water Street entrance
|Former names||Independent Life Building, AccuStaff Building, Modis Building|
One Independent Drive|
|Antenna spire||638 ft (194 m)|
|Roof||535 ft (163 m)|
|Design and construction|
Wells Fargo Center (originally Independent Life Building) is a skyscraper in the downtown area of Jacksonville, Florida, at the southeast corner of Bay and Laura streets. Standing 535 feet (163 meters) tall, it is the city's second-tallest building. It was formerly known as the Modis Building until 2011, when Wells Fargo acquired the naming rights.
The tower was completed in 1974 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, and was known as the Independent Life Building. 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. 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.
Beginning in 1995 Independent Life was acquired by the American General Life Insurance Company, and operations were gradually moved to Nashville, Tennessee. 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. 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. In 2009 MPS Group was acquired by the Swiss firm Adecco Group, which announced the company would relocate to Jacksonville's suburbs. The move was completed in 2011 and the signage was removed, and the building was renamed Independent Square.
In May 2011, Wells Fargo, which had acquired the Wachovia financial services company, announced it would relocate local employees to the building. Signage went up on the Wells Fargo Center on September 26 and the relocation completed by April 2012.
Description and tenants
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. 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. The first floor also contained an auditorium with seating for 360 patrons, a bank, restaurants, and several retail stores.
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 City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.. 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. It relocated to its current space in 1976, but did not offer memberships to women until 1985. The club has been owned and managed by a subsidiary of Gate Petroleum since 2003.
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma's storm surge caused major flooding in the downtown area of Jacksonville. The parking garage of the Wells Fargo Center was impacted by these events and the building was briefly closed. The building reopened September 29.
Wells Fargo Center with Go Jaguars lights in 2011
- Architecture of Jacksonville
- List of tallest buildings in Jacksonville
- List of tallest buildings in Florida
- Downtown Jacksonville
- "Modis Tower". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- "Life After Modis: Tower To Get New Name". WJXT. May 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- "Naming rights for Modis building up for grabs in 2011". Jacksonville Business Journal. August 25, 201. Retrieved June 7, 2011. Check date values in:
- Bull, Roger (May 20, 2011). "Wells Fargo name to replace Modis atop landmark building". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Patterson, Steve (September 25, 2011). "Wells Fargo joins Jacksonville skyline". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Jacksonville University: Geography department-Modis Building
- KBJ Architects website: Awards-Modis Building
- "History of some major insurance companies" (February 24, 2003). The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "The History of American General Life and Accident Insurance Company" American International Group website, company history
- Brune-Mathis, Karen: "AccuStaff pointing to Independent" Florida Times-Union, June 20, 1997
- Karen Brune Mathis (August 25, 201). "Wells Fargo to move into former Modis Building". Financial News and Daily Record. Retrieved June 7, 2011. Check date values in:
-  Metro Jacksonville, February 4, 2009-Unique Jacksonville: Independent Square
- "Wells Fargo Center". Parkway Properties.
- Jacksonville River Club website: history
- Mathis, Karen (February 15, 2006) "River Club's first woman president the end of an era". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- Florida Times-Union: March 30, 2005-Essay contest celebrates high rise's 50th birthday
- Mathis, Karen (June 30, 2004) "Gate doing overhaul of River Club". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
| Tallest building in Jacksonville
Bank of America Tower
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| Tallest building in Florida
One Tampa City Center