A look at downtown Jacksonville’s iconic department stores. By Kate A. Hallock and Emily Cottrell. Jacksonville Historical Society Five years after the Civil War in America ended, December 25th was declared a national holiday and, by the late-19th century, the marketing of goods specifically for that holiday was in force. The holiday was celebrated with Christmas cards, stockings filled with nuts, fruit, and candies and handmade wooden toys or knitted dolls. In the early-20th century holiday gift-giving included factory-made toys and...read more
Borowy Family Children’s Critical Care Tower By Meredith T. Matthews Photography by Michael LeGrand and Chad Baumer “The future is here.” This was the statement by Michael D. Aubin, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital and chief philanthropy officer of the Baptist Health Foundation, when, after years of anticipation, the new Borowy Family Children’s Critical Care Tower officially opened in April 2022. The Borowy Tower serves two main functions for Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville—the building houses...read more
Largely ignored by ineffectual leadership, our urban center evolved into a wasteland of demolished buildings, leaving parking lots in its wake while city planners focused on haphazard suburban sprawl. Thankfully, many visionaries with unstoppable momentum believed Jacksonville to be a place on the river full of entertainment, culture, business, and green space that better reflected its citizens’ true potential. Even as city officials continually created new obstacles, these dreamers pressed on with a motto most often echoed throughout the private sector, “Jacksonville could be so great if ____.”read more
Since architecture and design are both an art and a business, this annual issue feels like a seamless fit. Arbus takes great pride in serving as the platform for so many of the region’s best architects, designers, and builders to promote their work.
Take a look and discover this year’s most exciting changes to our built environment.
Be inspired.read more
Almost everyone is familiar with an artist’s commission for a painting, sculpture, wedding gown, or bespoke jewelry. You discover an artist’s work who you truly love and want an original piece that no one else has. More often an exhaustive search takes place to find that perfect piece that, in your mind, does not exist. Yet.read more
“I’ll know what I like when I see it.” I have heard that phrase over and over again during my interior design career. I must tell you—this statement illustrates the challenges faced when trying to zero in on a direction for the look, feel, and quality of your design project, whether it’s a new corporate build-out or a home renovation. Short of hiring a team of dedicated psychologists, therapists, color theorists, and sociologists, here are some tips on how to find your way.read more
A huge piece of local history is being resurrected in downtown’s Eastside neighborhood, just north of TIAA Bank Field. The Debs Store and the Davis Rooming House next door (now razed) were built by Edward D. Mixson in 1913. The red-brick, neighborhood grocery store on the corner of 5th Street and Florida Avenue was opened in 1921 by Lebanese immigrant Nicolas Debs and closed 90 years later in 2011. Debs Store was a part of the fabric of its community and the Debs family a staple. Nicolas’s sons, Nick and Gene, knew nearly everyone who walked into the store, and once they both passed away, the family made the difficult decision to shutter it.read more
If old buildings could talk, then the 109-year-old Elena Flats building would have pleaded for someone to save it from demolition.read more
Architecture in Our City by the River: 25 Years in the Past, the Present, and the Promise of the Future
To celebrate our 25th annual Art & Architecture issue, we asked some of Jacksonville’s most prominent architects and professionals involved in downtown development about their thoughts regarding our city’s architecture in the past 25 years, the present, and what we can expect in the next 25 years.read more
Born out of a desire to create a unique identity that connects us, the Jacksonville chapter of the American Institute of Architects has a vision … to use our greatest asset as a catalyst for connectivity, entertainment, education, and enjoyment.read more