All it Takes is a Spark to Start a Fire

All around town, you may have noticed things heating up. Launched this month, Downtown is on Fire is a marketing campaign by people who hold a flame for Downtown, the Downtown Marketing Collaborative. Aiming to raise awareness about what makes Downtown so hot, the campaign is also a direct reference to Jacksonville’s historical identity.

In 1901, Downtown suffered one of the most destructive disasters in U.S. history, in line with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Chicago fire of 1871. More than 2,000 buildings were destroyed and more than 10,000 people were left homeless. But then something special happened. Jacksonville citizens rallied together for an unprecedented rebuilding effort to create a flourishing Downtown. By 1905, a formerly ravaged area of Downtown Jacksonville looked like this:

Forsyth Street, circa 1905. Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory
Forsyth Street, circa 1905. Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

But Downtown is on Fire is not about just about the fire of our past. It’s about the sparks of today igniting the fire of our future. Here’s a look at the campaign created by Downtown advertising agency, Wingard Creative.





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Help stoke the flame. Stop by DVI’s office at the corner of Adams and Hogan streets for your free stickers and car decals, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.