Springfield started off as a residential community in the year 1871 by developer John H. Norton. Its concentrated improvements began in about 1882 with the formation of the Springfield Development Company and progressed after a fire that destroyed much of city center Jacksonville in 1901. The gigantic Fire of 1901 consumed much of downtown Jacksonville, making a lot of the city’s most prominent and wealthy citizens homeless. Smoke from the fire was said to be so much that it could be seen as far off as North Carolina. The fire lasted for about 8 hours and destroyed 3268 buildings, consumed 146 city blocks, and killed seven people. A lot of the residents of Jacksonville who had lost their homes due the fire relocated to Springfield.
Contributing buildings in the district date from about 1885 to approximately 1930. The majority of the houses are wood frame vernacular structures, but there are some examples of late 19th century revival and romantic styles, including Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and the Stick style. 20th century classes include the Mediterranean, Prairie School and Bungalow. The neighborhood did not go through a renewal of construction during the 1920s, as did other home sections of the city, and the “boom” bypassed the area since most of the land was already quite occupied, except in the north area of 8th Street. Construction was, therefore, restricted to the occasional vacant spot or those sites where older buildings need replacement or had been lost.
Around the period the district was enlisted in the National Register, it happened to contain 1,784 buildings that were either fifty years old or older that contributed to its historical attributes. Out of that number, 1,686 were restricted as residential. Only 48 were relating to commerce. The majority of the structures, 1,595, were of wooden frame, and 201 of them were masonry. There were 1,294 structures of two stories in height and 10 three-story buildings. The remaining were all one-story structures.
The boundaries of Springfield are properly laid out. Hogan’s Creek lines along its south edge, and railroad lines can be discovered on the north and east. The blocks of the historic district are arranged in a normal grid, with the titled streets going north and south and numbered streets also going to the east and west. A lot of the blocks if not all have alleys, usually arranged in a “H” patterned way, although other configurations can be found. A few streets keep their original granite curb stones and brick pavers, but more than half are now covered with asphalt and have concrete curbs.
The sidewalks feature both the modern poured concrete sections and earlier hexagonal flat stones. Trees give considerably distinguishing attributes to the neighbourhood. Oak trees are predominant. Scattered throughout the neighbourhood are such decorative elements as rusticated concrete block walls, cast iron fences, hitching posts, and testimony to the area’s turn-of-the-century origins. There is no large concentration of such elements. We’re tree removal specialists in Springfield Jacksonville FL.
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