Springfield is a nationally designated historic neighborhood located immediately north of downtown Jacksonville. It was established in 1869 and is one of two historic districts in Jacksonville, along with Riverside Avondale. Springfield was the city’s first subdivision and one of its most desirable places to live after the Great Fire of 1901 left much of downtown in ruins. Historic Springfield still retains much of its historic character and contains some of the best examples of late 19th and early 20th century architecture that the city has to offer. Common architectural styles in the district are: Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Victorian, Prairie School, Mediterranean, and Bungalow.
The neighborhood went into a decline in the mid 20th century, but has made an amazing turnaround in recent years. So much so that Southern Living Magazine named Springfield one of the Top 10 comeback neighborhoods in the South in its December 2009 edition. A great deal of Springfield’s revitalization can be attributed to an influx of new businesses and residents to the neighborhood. The old adage goes that “retail follows rooftops” and that has certainly been the case in Springfield. Many new restaurants have recently opened in Springfield and been quite successful. Three Layers Coffee House and Wine Cellar, Sweet Pete’s-Pure Simple Sweets, Uptown Market, Wafaa & Mike’s Cafe, and City Kidz Cafe are incredibly popular.
Modern-day Springfield is one of the most attractive neighborhoods in Jacksonville to live in, due to its beautiful architecture, gridded streets, walkability, shady parks, eclectic nightlife and restaurants, proximity to Downtown Jacksonville, and friendly neighbors. It is said that residents of Springfield move to the neighborhood for the beautiful homes, but choose to stay because of the sense of community. In Springfield, you know your neighbors, and not just those on your block, but the ones who live all over the historic district.
There is still plenty of work to be done to restore Springfield to its former glory, but it is well on its way. This can be attributed to Springfield’s residents and organizations, who are passionately committed to preserving the historic architecture of the district, keeping the neighborhood safe and clean, and creating a vibrant community. Come and see what makes Springfield such a unique place. Sample food and drink at the local restaurants, take a stroll down its tree-shaded streets, admire the magnificent architecture, and get to know its friendly residents. They sure don’t make neighborhoods like this anymore . . .