By: Brooke Lasky, Intern

March is a month to celebrate all of the achievements of women. In 1981 Congress passed a law that made the beginning week of March 7th Women’s History “Week”. Many argued that women should be appreciated every day of the year and throughout the next 5 years there were many petitions to make the whole month of March “Women’s History Month.” As a result, in 1987 it became official!

Everyday women are making a difference and this is the month we celebrate that; whether past or present. So, let’s take a look back at all the achievements, movements and progress made by women in #DTJax!

Henrietta Dozier (1872 – 1947) was born in Fernandina Beach, Henrietta C. Dozier graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899 with an advanced degree in architecture. She was one of only three women in the class of 176 students, and she was the only one to graduate.

After working in Atlanta for thirteen years, Henrietta C. Dozier moved her practice to Jacksonville in 1914 where she became the City’s first and foremost woman architect. In 1903, Henrietta C. Dozier designed the All Saints Episcopal Chapel in Atlanta. Her favorite commission, this small chapel was later damaged by fire and incorporated into a larger structure. While still in Atlanta, Henrietta C. Dozier was responsible for the design of Saint Philips Episcopal Church, which was constructed around 1903 at 801 North Pearl Street in Downtown Jacksonville. (Pictured below)

Some of the more noted buildings designed by Henrietta C. Dozier in Jacksonville include the Old Federal Reserve Bank Building (1923 – 1924 in association with Atlanta architect, A. Ten Eyck Brown), Lampru Court Apartments (1924), and residences at 1819 Goodwin Street, 2215 River Boulevard and 1814 Powell Place.

Eartha M.M. White (1876-1974) was an African-American resident of Jacksonville, Florida, and was widely known for her humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors in northeast Florida.

In 1893, upon graduation from Stanton School in Jacksonville, Eartha White moved to New York City for a brief period. Upon returning to Florida in 1896, she decided to continue her education and subsequently graduated from Florida Baptist Academy. With degree in hand, she embarked on a sixteen-year teaching career in Bayard, Florida, and later at Stanton School in Jacksonville.

Her versatility and determination also enabled her to become a licensed real estate broker, the first woman employee of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company in Jacksonville, and a charter member of the National Negro Business League and Jacksonville Business League. Due to her numerous businesses and astute real estate transactions, it is estimated that she accumulated over one million dollars in assets throughout her lifetime.

As admirable as Eartha White’s diverse educational and business activities may have been, her enduring legacy continues to be focused on her social welfare work and zeal for helping the underprivileged. Her accomplishments in this arena are astounding: extensive social work with prison inmates, the establishment of an orphanage for African-American children, a home for unwed mothers, a nursery for children of working mothers, a tuberculosis rest home, a nursing home for elderly African-Americans (1902), the Boys’ Improvement Club (1904), and the Clara White Mission for the Indigent (1928). A major achievement and fulfillment of a lifelong dream was the dedication of the Eartha M. M. White Nursing Home in 1967 to replace the Mercy Hospital for the Aged.

As to be expected, awards and honors were numerous towards the end of her life. In 1970, at the age of ninety-four, she received national recognition by being named the recipient of the 1970 Lane Bryant Award for Volunteer Service. Not stopping there, in 1971, the indefatigable Miss White was appointed to the President’s National Center for Voluntary Action. After a reception at the White House with President Nixon, she quite characteristically responded to the question of how she would spend the cash award, “I’ve already decided I want it to serve humanity. What would I do with it? Sit around the Plaza Hotel? I’m too busy.”

Jessie Ball DuPont (1884 – 1970) was an American teacher, philanthropist and designated a Great Floridian by the Florida Department of State.

Jessie managed more than 100 such scholarships, a reflection early in life of her deep commitment to education.

In 1920, she met Alfred I. DuPont, and then married him in 1921 and by 1927 had built their estate, Epping Forest in Jacksonville, Florida. When he died in 1935, she assumed control of his vast business enterprises in Florida and became the principal trustee of his estate. In his memory, she created three foundations. From the time of her marriage, Mrs. DuPont focused her life on charitable and philanthropic work. For four decades, she funded hundreds of scholarships for college students, mostly in the southeastern states, hundreds of churches of all denominations, major charities, children’s homes, historic buildings and art museums benefited from her gifts.

The Jessie Ball DuPont Fund today continues to support the work of more than 300 grantees that were referenced in Mrs. DuPont’s will. They range from large, widely known institutions such as the University of Notre Dame, the National Audubon Society and the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., to small, little known organizations serving local constituencies, such as Jenkins Orphanage Institute in North Charleston, S.C. and Kilmarnock Lancaster County Volunteer Rescue Squad in Virginia. This diversity of size and interest, perspective and capacity makes rich opportunity for Mrs. DuPont’s legacy. Through innovative programs and unique partnerships, her largess today touches lives far beyond the universe that she knew.

“Don’t call it charity. I think it is an obligation.” Jessie Ball Dupont

Tillie Kidd Fowler (1942 – 2005) was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.

In 1971, she married and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, to her father’s chagrin. She was active in volunteer activities and the area Junior League, serving as the Jacksonville chapter’s president from 1982 to 1983, and was elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 1985. In 1989, Fowler became the council’s president!

She was also the first Florida Republican woman elected to the House in her own right (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of the Miami area first came to the House in 1989 to finish out the unexpired term of the late Claude Pepper). She was reelected three more times, all unopposed. In addition to the aforementioned Republican trend in Jacksonville, most of the city’s blacks had been drawn into the majority-black 3rd District after the 1990 census.

Tillie eventually had a park named after her! The land was first leased from the Navy in 1979. A decade later, Councilwoman Tillie Fowler began to push hard to develop the land.

Remnants of a 16-foot wide brick road linked Ortega to Jacksonville and can be found at several locations in the park. The road pre-dates 1917 but was heavily used when Camp Johnston was built as part of the preparations to train American troops during World War I. In 2005 the park was renamed for Tillie K. Fowler.

A woman of impeccable grace and civility, she tenaciously advocated on behalf of issues important to the City of Jacksonville and on behalf of the needs of the United States armed forces, particularly the U.S. Navy. 

These are just a few of the many amazing women who have left their mark on Downtown. For more information visit these resources!

Interested in Downtown History? Learn more here!

Downtown Vision, Inc., along with other community leaders, released an 18-month summary on the state and growth of Downtown Jacksonville. The report explores development, office and employments trends, residential growth, retail, arts and culture, tourism, transportation and more. #DTJax has had quite the year and a half!

Download the entire State of Downtown report PDF here. Hard copies are available at Downtown Vision’s office during business hours, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 214 N. Hogan St., Suite 120. Visit our website or #DTJax app for more information on all things #DTJax.


2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_02 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_03

2015 State of Downtown Report_Low Res_Page_042015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_05 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_06 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_07 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_08 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_09 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_10 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_11 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_12 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_13 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_14 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_15 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_16 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_17 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_18 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_19 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_20 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_21 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_22 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_23 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_24 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_25 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_26 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_27 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_28 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_29 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_30 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_31 2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_32


By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern

Photo Credit: Jessie duPont Fund

Photo Credit: Jessie duPont Fund

Since the first National Woman’s Week in 1981, the United States has dedicated the month of March to honor and appreciate powerful women who changed the course of history and led us to a contemporary society. We celebrate all facets of achievements by women – including contributions to history, society and culture. We’d like to take a moment to recognize the Jessie Ball duPont Center in #DTJax for Women’s History month this year.

In order to understand the history behind the Jessie Ball duPont Center, we must understand Jessie Ball duPont. A teacher, philanthropist and “Great Floridian” – duPont was born in Virginia in 1884. Throughout her life, she focused on business and charitable activities central to her core values and beliefs.

Some of these contributions include:

  • Founder of the Nemours Foundation – a children’s hospital in Delaware, including a branch just south of #DTJax
  • Founder of Alfred I. duPont Foundation – to assist underpriviledged people in Delaware, Florida and Virgina
  • Founder of the Alfred I. duPont Awards Foundation – to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of broadcast journalism
  • Gifted colleges and universities with faculty salaries and libraries

When duPont died in 1970, she left her will and estate of $42 million for the creation of the Jessie Ball duPont Foundation. The foundation grants eligible organizations, creates new opportunities through investment and focuses on projects central to duPont’s philanthropic values.

Photo Credit: Jessie Ball duPont Center

Photo Credit: Jessie Ball duPont Center

Originally the Haydon Burns Public Library designed by notable Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick, the Jessie duPont Foundation purchased this historic mid-century building in #DTJax in 2005 and began a $25-million renovation to transform the space into the Jessie Ball duPont Center. The center focuses on philanthropy and non-profits in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville.

The duPont Center’s achievements include:

  • Houses 12 local non-profits and more than 200 employees
  • Offers low occupancy costs to non-profits to allow more funding to ideas and revitalization
  • Utilized green-building and LEED certified practices throughout the renovation, and became a top case study for adaptive reuse in #DTJax
  • Unites local non-profits in a collaborative and inspiring environment
Photo Credit: Jessie Ball duPont Center

Photo Credit: Jessie Ball duPont Center

The center also rents out space for community organizations, civic groups and individuals. To learn more about reservations, tenants or how to get involved, check the website here.

On March 19, The Jessie Ball duPont Fund received the Downtown Achievement Award of the year for 2016 at DVI’s inaugural Urban Oasis Gala. We are looking forward to seeing new innovations, ideas and energy from local non-profits to better #DTJax from the revitalization of this mid-century historic building into the Jessie Ball duPont Center.





By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

When I first heard the term “parklet” in a meeting, I was just as confused as you might be. What are these “parklets”? How can a pavement project enhance Jacksonville? How do they create cultural vibrancy in urban areas?

By definition, a parklet is an extension of the sidewalk – usually installed into parking lanes to make use of several parking spaces for a proposed project. In urban cities, we are continually seeing the introduction of parklets to increase metropolitan appeal, provide space, offer amenities and encourage outdoor activities. The purpose of these modern parks is to gather people for a place to sit, rest, eat, drink and enjoy themselves outside.

The first public parklet was created in San Francisco in 2010 and since then, many other cities including Phoenix, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Jose, Dallas and Seattle have created their own versions of these sidewalk parks. They typically have umbrellas, benches, tables, chairs and bike racks characterized by greenery, murals and innovative design. Not only do parklets offer amenities to local citizens, they also increase the vibrancy of the community and urban culture in a downtown atmosphere.

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Benefits of parklets include:

  • Supporting local businesses
  • Encourage the use of sustainable transportation
  • Influence the atmosphere and ambiance
  • Offer a place for friends and families to gather
  • Enhance pedestrian safety and standards
  • Offer a place to eat, drink, read, study, and enjoy the environment

Check out the Pavement to Parks project created by San Francisco’s city agencies to get a better understanding of what they truly are. The city of San Francisco is the ultimate trailblazer in these modern, outdoor spaces. They recently installed a parklet outside of the Museum of Craft and Design. With many businesses and residences, the city has invested in creating a vibrant commercial district along the 3rd street corridor. This parklet utilizes metal and stout to provide benches that span the length of the parklet. Here are some examples:

Museum of Craft and Design

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks


Location: 2659 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Installed: October 2015

Designed by: Bionic Landscape Architecture

Hosted by: Museum of Craft and Design





Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parks


Location: 200 Columbus Ave St, San Francisco, CA 94133  show map

Installed: April 2014

Designed by: Cameron HellandSagan Piechota Architecture

Hosted by: Reveille Coffee Co





Photo Credit: Pavement to Parklets

Photo Credit: Pavement to Parklets


Location: 423 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133  show map

Installed: October 2010

Designed by: Rebar Group

Hosted by: Caffe Greco




Looking for a way to support a local parklet program in #DTJax? Attend our Urban Oasis Gala on Saturday March 19, at 100 N. Laura. Celebrate #DTJax with cocktails, dining and dancing with live music from the Chris Thomas Band! Safari and khaki attire is highly encouraged. Purchase tickets here for $150 per person or learn more about sponsorships here. All proceeds from the Downtown Gala will benefit a local parklet program in #DTJax.

Photo Credit: Downtown Vision

Photo Credit: Downtown Vision



By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern


All photos taken by DVI

On January 28, 2015, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission held a press conference to debate another demolition of a historical site in Downtown Jacksonville. Located directly across from the Basilica of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Elena Flats building is a historical landmark distinguished by original glass windows, rustic cherry red hardwood floors and decades of history.

After the Great Fire of 1901, which damaged more than 2,368 buildings in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, the city reconstructed more than 146 city blocks. Among the restoration, the city built a 22-room inexpensive boarding house for local residents called the Elena Flats. The rooming house offered close access to local job opportunities, businesses, restaurants, bars and numerous activities creating a surplus of economic growth for the recovering metropolitan area.

Fast forward 107 years later and the elenaElena Flats building is still standing on East Duval Street. Do not let the caution tape, abandoned rooms, and scaffolding equipment turn you away from this hidden beauty. The previous owner applied for a permit to tear down the building and convert it into another parking lot. Fortunately, current owners Jack Meeks and his wife, JoAnn Tredennick marveled at the significance and beauty of the Elena Flats property hidden deep underneath the fragments. The age, history and importance of the building made it eligible for a complete renovation and noted as a historical preservation site in Jacksonville.


Following the renovation, the Elena Flats will house four luxury condominiums complete with private patios, luminous skylights and spiraling staircases. In order to still embody all the history of Elena Flats, the restoration plans utilize the original hardwood floors, skylights and tile flooring. The renovations will be completed and ready to rent in early 2017.

We are excited to witness the restoration of this hidden local gem planned for early next year in #DTJax!


by: Admin in Advocacy, Developments No Comments  


The North Florida chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) hosted its January 2040 Talks on January 7th at the University of North Florida. The conference room was packed to hear from Mark Lamping, President of the Jacksonville Jaguars, David Ribeiro from the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy and Dr. Charles Moreland, Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Jacksonville Office of the Mayor.


The speakers covered different topics ranging from Everbank Field scoreboards to emergency evacuation plans, but one common theme was found in each speech: the importance of #DTJax to the vision, growth and energy of Jacksonville.

Mark Lamping repeatedly noted the importance of #DTJax to the Jaguars. “The Jaguars will go as far as Downtown goes.” Lamping also pointed out that Downtown is the identifying place for all of Jacksonville, so the new amphitheater and multi-purpose building plans for the shipyards will act as a “front door” to Downtown. At the end of the day, “The Jaguars will benefit from a vibrant Downtown.” Thank you Mark, we agree!

20.40 Talks Logo Small

David Ribeiro, a senior analyst at the ACEEE in Washington D.C. spoke about the organization’s results of the 2015 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard,  in which Jacksonville received 26 points, placing 40th out of 51 major cities around the country. This is a significant increase from last years score and Ribeiro pointed to community initiatives and responsible transportation, like the 2030 Mobility Plan, to explain the rise in energy efficiency. Transportation includes #DTJax’s multimodal transportation system including the new First Coast Flyer and modernization of the Skyway.

Dr. Charles Moreland has dedicated his life to public service and his focus on emergency preparedness and resiliency at the 2040 Talks also highlighted #DTJax. While Moreland mostly discussed surviving and adapting despite shocks to the community, he also discussed the importance of taking care of our homeless and vulnerable populations. Moreland explained that Mayor Lenny Curry is “committed to getting that number to zero.” Dr. Moreland concluded saying that economic growth can only happen if we have a safe city.  If you’d like to learn more about cleanliness and safety in #DTJax, check out the Downtown Ambassador program! 

The USGBC NF chapter holds four of these 2040 Talks a year, offering diverse perspectives on how to create a fully sustainable community by the year 2040. For more information, follow USGBC NF on Facebook or check out the website to stay up to date on green events all throughout the year!


by: Katherine Hardwick in Developments No Comments  

Section of Northbank Riverwalk Temporarily Closed
January 5 – Early March 2016

JEA is undertaking an infrastructure improvement project that will close a portion of the Northbank Riverwalk between Hogan and Newnan streets beginning January 5th though early March. JEA will be starting construction to rehabilitate an existing 54-inch sanitary sewer line that has reached the end of its service life. This sewer line is a vital piece of JEA’s sewer infrastructure that serves a large portion of Downtown Jacksonville and The Jacksonville Landing. This construction work will not impact the day to day operations of The Jacksonville Landing, its businesses, and its surface parking area. Full details of this project can be found at


Major Traffic Shift Upcoming for Northbound Traffic on I-95 Overland Bridge Project

Jacksonville – A major traffic shift on the I-95 Overland Bridge project is coming up the weekend of January 8-10 which will result in northbound traffic moving to new lanes, detours for Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway motorists and temporary closure of Main Street and Acosta ramps.

By Monday, January 11, before rush hour begins, all lanes on northbound I-95 from the San Diego Road overpass to just south of the Fuller Warren Bridge will be shifted to a new roadway which will allow the existing bridge to be reconstructed. The tentative schedule, subject to change, is as follows:

  • Friday, January 8 – Main Street/Prudential Drive and Acosta ramps closed in the evening hours and Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway on-ramps closed with traffic detoured (see attached map).
  • Saturday, January 9 – I-95 northbound reduced to two lanes beginning in the evening hours. Main Street and Acosta ramps reopen on new roadway between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. and then close again overnight. Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway on-ramps continue to be closed with detours.
  • Sunday, January 10 – I-95 northbound continues to be reduced to two lanes. Main Street and Acosta ramps reopen on new roadway between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. and then close again overnight. Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway on-ramps continue to be closed with detours.
  • Monday, January 11 – I-95 northbound opens with three lanes on new roadway; Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway on-ramps reopened; Main Street/Prudential Drive and Acosta on-ramps also open.

At no time will I-95 traffic be detoured off the interstate. Southbound I-95 traffic will not be impacted at this time but is scheduled to be switched to new lanes in the Spring.

Signs will direct traffic onto the new roadway, which will ultimately be used as a local service road allowing traffic to enter and exit I-95 in short segments, rather than mix with I-95 thru-traffic. Law enforcement will also be on site to provide additional traffic control. Motorists are reminded that the speed limit is 45 mph and to use extra caution during the first few days of the traffic shift to allow everyone to become familiar with the new traffic pattern.

This effort removes all traffic from the northbound I-95 Overland Bridge so it can be replaced. The original structure was built in the 1950s and designed for much less traffic than it carries today. The closure allows traffic to be removed from the older structure earlier and reduces impact to motorists caused by routine maintenance on the existing northbound Overland Bridge. The shift is another milestone toward completion of this major project scheduled for late 2016.

Up-to-date lane closure information is available on the I-95 Overland Bridge replacement project website at A project hotline number has been established to assist the public with questions and concerns: 904-491-2110.

Overland Bridge Update Map


Sign up to receive regular alerts from DVI’s Downtown Information and Safety Network here