logo Perspectives The Jaxson on Jacksonville Today
Analysis and original reporting from the team behind The Jaxson, which is dedicated to urbanism and culture on the First Coast. The Jaxson explores the big issues facing Jacksonville in the modern era of urban growth, with a look at today's development in the context of yesterday's history. The Jaxson is a partnership of Modern Cities and WJCT Public Media.
Featured image for “List: The urban core’s largest historic public parks”
December 6, 2022

List: The urban core’s largest historic public parks

Jacksonville is one of largest cities by area in the contiguous U.S., covering 747 square miles of land area. It also is home to the largest urban park system in the nation. Prior to the city’s 1968 consolidation with Duval County, Jacksonville was a 30-square-mile pedestrian-scale community with 200,000 residents. Here is a look at the city’s five largest urban

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Featured image for “Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws”
November 29, 2022

Your tabletop Christmas Village is illegal under modern zoning laws

You may think your miniature Christmas Village is a quaint tribute to the building traditions of yesteryear. However, its walkable, mixed-use, architecturally diverse layout is a flagrant violation of modern zoning laws and an affront to the single-family development ascendancy. Christmas villages are popular seasonal displays in no small part because they have the qualities that make real neighborhoods and

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Featured image for “The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast”
November 22, 2022

The first Thanksgivings on the First Coast

Five decades before the Pilgrims celebrated their feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts, French and Spanish colonists held feasts of celebration on Florida’s First Coast. Origins of Thanksgiving Thanksgiving has its roots in European traditions. All across Europe, it was customary to give thanks to God after the yearly harvest and other important events. In the age of colonization, it became customary

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Featured image for “LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color”
November 15, 2022

LaVilla’s Railroad Row in color

Between 1890 and 1920, more than 20 million immigrants arrived in the United States. Many found Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood as a destination to pursue the American dream, as the district was home to the largest passenger railroad station south of Washington, D.C. Sandwiched between the city’s major railroad depots and the riverfront, West Bay Street emerged as a place where

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Featured image for “The last days of Adventure Landing”
November 8, 2022

The last days of Adventure Landing

For 27 years, Jacksonville Beach’s Adventure Landing has been one of the most popular attractions for kids and their families anywhere on the First Coast, but current plans for the property will shutter the park in the near future. The Jaxson’s Bill Delaney and photographer Erik Hamilton stopped by to take one last look. The adventure begins Adventure Landing came

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Featured image for “5 mid-century modern neighborhoods in Jax”
November 1, 2022

5 mid-century modern neighborhoods in Jax

Covering nearly 875 square miles, Jacksonville is a diverse community with a wide collection of neighborhoods appealing to different lifestyles. Located a short drive from the urban core are a ring of post-World War II neighborhoods characterized today by their mature developed landscape and American ranch and mid-century modern residential architecture. Here are five neighborhoods that developed rapidly on the

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Featured image for “Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu”
October 25, 2022

Jax lore: Alpha Paynter, ghost of TacoLu

Before it was TacoLu, the iconic log cabin off Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach was home to the famed Homestead restaurant for 80 years. According to widespread local tradition, its founder Alpha Paynter never left even in death. In honor of spooky season, here’s a look at the history and folklore behind one of Northeast Florida’s best-known haunted buildings. A

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Featured image for “Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery”
October 18, 2022

Jax lore: Ghosts of Evergreen Cemetery

Jacksonville’s historic spaces offer no shortage of secrets and local folklore, and Evergreen Cemetery, the city’s oldest active cemetery, is no exception. Here’s a look at the ghost stories attached to this venerable burial ground. Founded in 1880, Evergreen Cemetery is Jacksonville’s oldest cemetery still in operation. The 167-acre site is the final resting place of 14 Jacksonville mayors, five

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Featured image for “Downtown Jacksonville’s 10 largest office buildings”
October 11, 2022

Downtown Jacksonville’s 10 largest office buildings

Downtown Jacksonville is home to the region’s tallest buildings, featuring nearly 8 million square feet of commercial space and more than 2 million square feet of government buildings. An additional 539,000 square feet of office space is either under construction or nearing completion. Florida’s fourth-largest downtown office market behind Miami, Tampa and Orlando is also home to three Fortune 500

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Featured image for “Jacksonville could become an oyster town again”
October 4, 2022

Jacksonville could become an oyster town again

Oysters have been a staple of First Coast diets for thousands of years, although local oyster harvesting ceased in 1994 due to pollution. The rise of new oyster houses in San Marco and the Downtown Southbank shows that interest in this savory bivalve delicacy hasn’t waned — could it help spark a long-awaited rebirth of the Jacksonville oyster industry? Oysters

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