In 1901 Jacksonville suffered the most destructive fire in the history of the American South – loosing 146 city blocks. Much of its real estate was replaced by 13,000 buildings that rose in the aftermath, like the classically-inspired St. James Building, now serving as Jacksonville City Hall. Another major landmark is the Laura Street Trio, an admired set of Renaissance Revival skyscrapers. Jacksonville is well represented by modernist architecture, typified by the Bank of America Tower, the city's tallest building at 617 feet.
The Main Street Bridge and cable-stayed Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge stand out among the seven major road crossings of the St. Johns River. Hemming Plaza is the oldest park in the city, dating from 1857. Once the world’s tallest fountain, the Friendship Fountain remains a popular spot. The Florida Theatre is one of only four remaining stages from the 1920s golden era of movie palaces, and still hosts over 200 events a year.
The housing market in Jacksonville is dominated by single family properties with 259,768 residences. There are 5,702 multi-family properties. Condominium buildings with apartments for sale, many along the St. Johns River, offer 26,934 units. Commercial properties of all types number 11,702.
Industrial property, considered ripe for conversion in Jacksonville, consists of 3,944 structures, with another 243 zoned as mixed use. Sales of in-fill sites have been brisk in the downtown Jacksonville real estate market this century and there are 24,068 vacant lots in the city.
The pride of the Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA), the Jacksonville Skyway is a monorail that services 2.5 miles of the central business district. The JTA also runs 220 vehicles on 56 routes, including five express buses. Free trolley-replica buses operate in the tourist-friendly real estate of the city, while the Mayport Ferry runs on as the last automobile ferry in Florida.
Jacksonville oversees a public school system with 172 schools, including 13 charter schools and 62 magnet schools. Stanton College Preparatory School was ranked #6 among all United States high schools in 2016. Jacksonville is also home to ten institutions of higher learning, including five baccalaureate degree-awarding colleges.
St. Vincent's HealthCare provides three acute-care hospitals and more than 30 primary care centers in Jacksonville. The Nemours Children's Clinic treats patients from across the Southeast.
Jacksonville's crime rate is consistent with being one of the largest urban centers in Florida. Residents have a 1 in 152 chance of being a victim of a violent crime here and a 1 in 217 chance in Florida as a whole.
Football and music are BIG in Jacksonville. Rooting for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars is an enduring passion. So is the New Year's Day Gator Bowl and the annual University of Florida vs University of Georgia football frenzy known as the “World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is America's second largest.
The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd got their start in the city's southern rock clubs, many of which are located at upscale Jacksonville Landing, along with shops and eateries. Famous Amos Restaurants celebrated 50 years of southern style cooking in 2017 – and its offerings remain as popular as ever, with 7 locations across the city.
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens serves up a unique blend of horticulture and American art, while the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens showcases tropical plants and 2,000 animals. The Museum of Science and History boasts the world's largest single-lens planetarium. And of course, there are the city’s beautiful ocean beaches, open for all, free of admission.