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A City Going Up in Smoke
Courtesy of Florida Memory Project. Click image above for full details.
"On the warm morning of May 3rd, 1901, a tragic event was about to change Jacksonville. Around noon, a spark from a small wood-burning cook stove set ablaze some of the Spanish moss laid out to dry at the Cleveland Fiber Factory, located at Union and Davis Streets downtown.
With the aid of a strong westerly wind, the fire soon consumed the shanties that surrounded the factory, and the burning debris jumped along hundreds of wood-shingled rooftops that were already dangerously dry after a prolonged drought." -- From The Jacksonville Historical Society. Click on title for full article.
The Florida Memory Project has put together an exhibit of the Great Fire of 1901 in Jacksonville. To access this exhibit, please click here of on the image above.
The Great Fire of 1901
Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901 was the largest metropolitan fire in the American South. The fire began on May 3, 1901 with a spark from a cook stove at lunchtime which ignited piles of Spanish moss drying for a mattress factory. Located at Davis and Beaver streets, the factory fire spread to most of the downtown area. By 8:30 when the fire was brought under control, 2,368 buildings were destroyed, 10,000 people were homeless and seven residents were dead. The city spent the next decade rebuilding its downtown.
Klutho Park, located at 204 W. Third Street, was originally called Springfield Park. Most of the park was created between 1899 and 1901, from land donated by the Springfield Company, a local developer. The city's first zoo was opened in the park in 1914, followed by the city's first municipal pool in 1922.
Image Courtesy J. Grey, CC BY NC
Klutho's Work in Jacksonville
Buildings in Jacksonville designed by architect Henry J. Klutho . 19--. Image Courtesy State Archives of Florida.
The Architecture of Henry John Klutho by
Publication Date: 1984-10-01
A pioneer of modern architeccture in America, Henry John Klutho came to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1901 to help rebuild a city leveled by fire. His greatest architectural works, built before World War I, belong to what was then a radical movement in American architecture, now called the Prairie School. As the photographs, drawings, and text of Robert Broward's book unfold, Klutho's legacy in Florida, far removed from the midwestern center of this movement, provides new evidence of the vitality and influence of the Prairie School in America. When he first met Henry John Klutho in 1950, Broward had just returned from an apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. Klutho's work intrigued Broward because of its similarity to Wright's early work and to that of Wright's great master, Louis Sullivan, the poetic genius of modern architecture. In The Architecture of Henry John Klutho, Broward documents Klutho's long and productive career and analyzes Klutho's innovations. Klutho was the first to use water-jetted steel caissons for concrete pilings, and his high-rise buildings were the first constructed of reinforced concrete in the South. He often presented ideas for the betterment of his adopted city, including, in 1916, a railroad terminal raised in the air to alleviate the increasing automobile traffic. And over many years he strove to awaken Jacksonville to the possibilities of its beautiful riverfront site.