Neighborhoods of Jacksonville, Florida
As the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States, Jacksonville, Florida is informally divided into five major sections which surround the urban downtown core.
- Westside consists of everything west of the St. Johns River, from Commonwealth Avenue south to the Clay County line.
- Northwest consists of everything on the west from Commonwealth Avenue north to I-295, and east to I-95. Originally called the "Northwest Quadrant", in recent years, the term "Northwest Quadrant" became "politically incorrect" due to the area's large minority population and crime reputation, and that no other area was so designated as a "Quadrant.". Media outlets such as the "Florida Times Union" newspaper presently use the term 'Northwest Jacksonville", or, often erroneously list "Northwest Quadrant" issues with those of the "Westside" to its south. Much to the unease of "Westsiders".
- Northside covers the crescent shaped upper area of the city to the north of I-295 on the west side of the St. Johns River, and north of the St. Johns River to the East.
- Southside referring to everything between the St. Johns River east to the Intracoastal Waterway, and south to St. Johns County line.
- Downtown the urban core and surrounding neighborhoods from the downtown northbank of the St. Johns River, north to the Trout River.
Neighborhoods include Argyle, Avondale, Cedar Hills, Confederate Point, Dinsmore, Jacksonville Heights, Lake Shore, Marietta, Maxville, Murray Hill, Normandy, Paxon, Ortega, Venetia, Lackawanna, Sweetwater, Pickettville, Riverside, Whitehouse and West Jacksonville.
One of the newest and largest neighborhoods on Jacksonville's Westside, and occupying a large area of former ranchland, Argyle has grown rapidly from its beginnings in the mid-1980s. Straddling the Duval/Clay county line, Argyle was originally accessible only from Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park. However, as it has expanded westward, Argyle is now connected to Jacksonville's far-Westside by a number of roads, including the Brannan Field-Chaffee Road corridor that links I-10 directly with Middleburg. Argyle remains a popular choice for middle-class families that are recently settling in Jacksonville.
Historic Avondale lies on the St Johns River just south of Riverside, and is home to hundreds of large, spacious, turn-of-the-century homes, with some cobble-stone streets. Many of these homes date back to the Civil War, and many are on the river, or have river access. Since the 1970s, the "Riverside/Avondale Preservation District" has guided the preservation of this late-1900s Antebellum era neighborhood. Along with Riverside and Ortega, Avondale was originally home to the wealthiest of Jacksonville families. However, unlike Riverside, Avondale never went into decay. Along with neighboring Avondale, Riverside was designated a "National Historic Neighborhood" in the late 1970s.
Cedar Hills lies along the Cedar River (called Cedar Creek by the locals), on the opposite shore from Lake Shore, and stretches from Blanding Boulevard on the east to Lane Avenue to the west. Built in the 1940s, Cedar Hills consists of some 3,000 single-family brick or concrete block homes in seven different residential neighborhoods that are anchored by the Cedar Hills Shopping Center business district. Most of the homes are modest, although many of the homes along the shore of the Cedar River have been greatly expanded, or replaced with much larger homes.
Built in the 1960s on reclaimed lowlands, technically a small island surrounded by a moat, with one small bridge as access. Confederate Point lies along the Cedar River (called Cedar Creek by the locals), on the opposite shore from Lake Shore. Confederate Point stretches from the Ortega River to the east, to Blanding Boulevard on the West, and is bordered by the Cedar River to the North, and Timaquana Boulevard to the South. The area consists of approximately 300 large, single family homes, and approximately 700 condos and apartments that line the south bank of the Cedar River. All of the single family homes are inland, with the apartments and condos lining the shore of the Cedar River. The area is popular given that it is close to water, and Downtown, yet also exclusive in that there is only one road in or out.
Built during the time of the first World War, Lake Shore lies on the curving north bank of the Cedar River (called Cedar Creek by the locals), and stretches from Roosevelt Boulevard on the east, to the Cedar River to the West, and is bordered by the Cedar River to the South, and San Juan Avenue to the North, and is bisected by Cassat Avenue. Lake Shore consists of approximately 1,000 modest, wood-frame, concrete block or brick homes, with the exception of approximately 80 quite large estates that line the shore of the Cedar River. The neighborhood is anchored by the Roosevelt Plaza on Roosevelt Boulevard, and the Lake Shore business district of stores up and down Cassat Avenue. Lake Shore is centrally located on the Westside, with quick access to Downtown Jacksonville via Roosevelt Boulevard. Given the small size of the existing homes, the current trend is for first time home buyers to renovate and retrofit these well built homes to fit todays needs. This is a very well maintained pocket of 1940s and 1950s homes. There is a definite trend to renovate and revitalize this quiet, comfortable neighborhood.
Marietta is one of the small farming communities that was absorbed during the 1968 consolidation of Jacksonville with Duval County. Though technically a part of the city proper today, much of Marietta still retains its small-town, and even rural "feel", with some old-style farms and ranches, and most homes occupying lots of ten acres or more, on which they keep horses and cattle, or raise grain and maintain orchards. Marietta is popular with old Southern families, and new families who moved to Jacksonville from mid-western agricultural states.
Outside of what would eventually become Jacksonville, and originally called "Hogan Settlement", The Normandy area was settled by Jacksonville's "Founding Family", the "Hogan's" who were the first white settlers in Duval County. The Normandy area is a large swath of forested high-ground that straddles both sides of Normandy Boulevard, and stretches from Cassat Avenue on the East, out to Herlong Airfield on the West, and is bordered by I-10 to the North, and Wilson Road to the South. Though originally populated by the large ranches of many of Duval County's founding families such as the Hogans, Lindseys, Forakers, and the Herlongs, the area is now a bedroom community, containing over a dozen large residential neighborhoods such as Normandy, Normandy Village, Rolling Hills, Country Creek, Hyde Grove, Hyde Park, etc, with very few apartment complexes or condo developments. These neighborhoods have their own sewer and water plants, and unlike most wood-constructed homes in Jacksonville's newer neighborhoods, most homes in the Normandy area are constructed of brick, or concrete block. The area is home to some of the city's best schools, and parks. Unlike other sections of the city, where people tend to move from home to home every 2 or 3 years; homes in the Normandy area are routinely transfered from generation to generation, and it is not unusual for great-grandchildren to live in homes originally built by their great-grandparents.( per the Florida Times Union)
Historic Ortega lies on the St Johns River just south of Riverside, starting at the confluence of the St Johns, and Cedar Rivers. It is practically an "inland island". Ortega stretches from the St Johns River to the East, and the Ortega River to the West, and is bordered by the Cedar River to the North, and the property line of the US Naval Air Station Jacksonville to the South. Some sections of Ortega date to just after the Civil War, and other sections are like new. All sections of Ortega are quite exclusive. Ortega is home to hundreds of mid-size, to large, spacious, turn-of-the-century homes and Southern Style mansions near the St Johns River, and many hundreds more modern brick homes on the Cedar and Ortega Rivers to the North and West. Many of the older streets are cobble-stone. Many of these homes date back to the Civil War, and many are on the river, or have river access. Along with Avondale, and Riverside, Ortega was originally, and still is home to some of the wealthiest of Jacksonville families, as shown by the large number of Southern Mansions. However, Ortega, due to its exclusivity, never went into decay, despite its age. The Ortega area is popular with those families who prefer to live in an area with a Southern lifestyle and culture, and own larger old Southern Style homes, with easy access to the river, and yet still near downtown. Ortega is exclusively residential, except on the southern tip, where a business district of restaurants, and supermarkets exists next to the property line of the US Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Ortega is also home to the historic, and exclusive, Florida Yacht Club.
Riverside lies on the St Johns River just south of Downtown Jacksonville and is home to the historic "5 Points" and "King Street" business districts, with apartment towers along the river and hundreds of large, spacious, turn-of-the-century homes, and even some cobble-stone streets. Since the 1970s, the "Riverside/Avondale Preservation District" has guided the rebirth of this late-1900s era neighborhood. Along with Avondale and Ortega, Riverside was originally the home to the wealthiest of Jacksonville families. In the late 1950s & 60's, the area went into decay, with many of those grand old homes being converted into rooming houses. However, after being designated a "National Historic Neighborhood", by the late 1990s, Riverside had recovered, with many homes restored to their original form. The Avondale, Riverside, and Ortega area is popular with those families who prefer to own large old Southern Style homes, with easy access to the river, just next to downtown.
Neighborhoods include Paxon and many others.
The Northwest is home to the "Paxon School for Advanced Studies", which happens to be one of the top schools in the nation by academics since 2003.
Platted in the 1920s and 30's, the Paxon area is one of the oldest, pre-platted neighborhoods in Jacksonville. Built due to the redistribution of housing after the Great Fire, the Paxon area replaced the many thousands of homes that were destroyed in the Great Fire with thousands of modest, wood-framed homes. The Paxon area was extensively well-planned with its own schools (originally known as Paxon Sr. High School and Paxon Jr. High School, along with a half-dozen small elementary schools). The area straddles Edgewood Avenue South, and stretches from Mcduff Avenue to the East, and I-295 to the West, and is bordered by I-10 to the South, and I-295 to the North. The area originally contained over 40,000 single family homes in over 15 different residential neighborhoods, all anchored by the Edgewood Avenue, and Beaver Street business districts. However, over time, the area declined due to the small average size of the homes, and many of those homes were destroyed, and replaced with warehouses and mixed industry. Despite the new industrialization of the area overall, there are still many thousands of occupied homes in the Paxon area. Paxon Senior High School has been converted into a magnet school—it is now know as Paxon School for Advanced Studies—which has been listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the top three high schools in the United States for the last four years.
Neighborhoods include Biscayne, Biscayne Terrace, Dinsmore, Downtown, Durkeville, Garden City, Grand Park, Hart Estates, Highlands, Lake Forest, La Villa, New Berlin, North Jacksonville, Oceanway, Sheerwood, San Mateo, Turtle Creek and Yellow Bluff.
Most prominent among Northside schools is Stanton College Preparatory School. Stanton, which offers an IB Diploma Programme|International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, has been consistently ranked among the top high schools in the nation by the US News and World Report.
Dinsmore is one of several small towns that formerly existed far outside of Jacksonville’s city limits, and were absorbed through consolidation. Still quite rural at heart, Dinsmore has the look and feel of a “one-road town”, that road being Old Kings Road. Though Dinsmore remained quite small for thirty years after becoming part of Jacksonville, new subdivisions are being built on the northwestern edge of Dinsmore, with the population of the area looking to more than double in less than a decade.
Like its neighbor to the west, Dinsmore, Garden City was also once a town of its own, as evidenced by the many churches and businesses that still bear “Garden City” in their title. But Garden City is closer to the main body of Jacksonville, and as such, it no longer has Dinsmore’s rural “feel”. The main road through Dinsmore, Dunn Ave., has exploded with growth since the mid 1990s, and is becoming the center of professional businesses (such as medical establishments, lawyers, learning centers) for the Northside.
A small, historic neighborhood, Durkeeville can be defined by its historical district boundaries (Kings Rd on the south, 13th St. on the north, Whitner St. on the west, and I-95 on the east). Though small, Durkeeville looms large in Jacksonville and even African American history. Durkeeville was home to the Jacksonville Red Caps, a team that was part of the Negro league baseball Negro Leagues of professional baseball. The ball park in which the Red Caps played, J. P. Small Ballpark, is still preserved in excellent condition, and is used by local leagues.
Oceanway is located just north of San Mateo. Once an area of small farms and isolated houses, since the the 1980s, Oceanway has grown dramatically with the addition of numerous residential neighborhoods, which was further encouraged by the building of First Coast High School in 1990, and several other schools for lower grades.
The San Mateo neighborhood has been one of the more unchanging area within Jacksonville for over 30 years. Relatively isolated, with no heavy-use roads passing through and a limited number of access streets, San Mateans take great pride in their neighborhood and its school, San Mateo Elementary, which is an Academic and Academically Gifted magnet school. Almost homes were built in the late 1960s.
Neighborhoods include Arlington, Baymeadows, Beachwood, Brookview, Deerwood, East Arlington, Fort Caroline, Glynlea, Grove Park, Lakewood, Mandarin, Sandalwood, San Jose, San Marco, St. Nicholas, Southside Estates, and Windy Hill.
Arlington is home to the first European settlement in North America, "Fort Caroline", now a State Park, founded by French Huguenots in 1562. Much of Arlington's initial growth was attributed to people moving from the older Paxon area on the Northwest side, which was becoming industrialized. Arlington is bounded by Southside Blvd. on the east, the Arlington Expressway on the south, and the St. Johns River on the west and north. Residential neighborhoods included within the Arlington/East Arlington/Greater Arlington area include Lake Lucina, University Club, Fort Caroline, Floral Bluff, Chaseville, Newcastle, Arlingwood, Cobblestone, Hidden Hills, Mill Cove, Regency and Kendall Town.
Baymeadows is a relatively affluent neighborhood centered around Florida State Road 152|Baymeadows Road. It is situated south of Arlington (specifically, south of Florida State Road 202|J. Turner Butler Boulevard and east of Mandarin. A center for White-collar employment, it is home to many corporate office parks, upscale apartment complexes and residential developments, two private golf courses, several shopping centers and a large shopping mall.
Lakewood, which lies in the area where San Jose Blvd. and University Blvd intersect, is a residential area with houses built in the 1950s. It has several churches, two shopping centers, and a plethora of streets named after major private colleges, such as Clemson, Cornell, Fordham, and Emory.
Mandarin has a rich history that antedates its inclusion in the municipality of Jacksonville.
The Sandalwood neighborhood began developing in the spring of 1960, midway between downtown Jacksonville and the beaches, or about 6 miles from each, was advertised in 1960-61 as "On the Southside - halfway between business and pleasure!" The original streets are named after South Pacific islands and most of the streets are, from north to south, in alphabetical order. The original Sandalwood consisted of approximately 500 homes in eight styles as follows: Aloha; Bahama; Bikini; Caledonia; Del ray; Java; Polynesian; and Waikiki. The first families purchased homes in May and June of 1960. Many of the first families were U.S. Navy families who were stationed at the Mayport base and others were employed by CSX railroad.
Originally a farm on the banks of the St. Johns River, the area now known as San Marco was first called Oklahoma. One of the most prominent citizens of Oklahoma was Harrison Reed, who was elected Florida’s governor in 1868 and 1873. Reed’s sister, Margaret Reed Mitchell and her husband, Wisconsin railroad tycoon Alexander Mitchell, fell in love with Oklahoma and built their Florida winter home, Villa Alexandria, in Oklahoma Style on 140 riverfront acres. By 1872, the palatial estate included a mansion (near the present corner of River Road and Arbor Lane), barns, tennis courts, a swimming pool, polo field, more than 2000 orange trees, bridle paths and formal gardens. By 1873, Mrs. Mitchell was one of Jacksonville’s most influential women and was active in many charitable causes.
The development of the “South Bank” began in earnest with the opening of the St. Johns River Bridge (renamed the Acosta) in 1921. Telfair Stockton bought 80 acres of land north of the Mitchell estate for the new “San Marco” subdivision. The business district was based on the Piazza di San Marco in Venice, Italy, which had impressed Mr. Stockton on a European trek. The clay pit of Gamble & Stockton Brick Company was transformed into Lake Marco. San Marco was an immediate success. In 1929, an additional subdivision, Villa Alexandria, was platted on the overgrown Villa Alexandria estate. The first two homes in the development were built on adjoining lots by Carl and John Swisher, who had just moved their King Edward Cigar Company from Chicago to Jacksonville.
Today San Marco, despite its tiny size, possesses a thriving commercial center, which includes restaurants, retail, and two theaters—one for movies and the other staging plays.
Neighborhoods include Eastside, Springfield.
A historic neighborhood, half a mile north of Downtown, and dating to the mid-19th century, Springfield reached its peak in affluence and influence in the decades just prior to the Jacksonville fire of 1901, Springfield today is in the midst of restoration efforts. Thanks to City-Funded Urban renewal, many of the hundreds of large, beautiful, century-old homes have been refurbished. The city continues to make funding available to willing investors, in the hope of making Springfield a showpiece of the original city.