Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida based on population, and the largest city by area in Florida and the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits; with a population of 827,908, it is the most populous city proper in Florida and the Southeast, and the eleventh most populous in the United States. Jacksonville is the principal city in the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, with a population of 1,345,596 in 2010.
Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and about 340 miles (547 km) north of Miami. The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and Cowford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States acquired the colony of Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.
Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its riverine location facilitates two U.S. Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport. Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics. As with much of Florida, tourism is also important to the Jacksonville area, particularly tourism related to golf. In 2010, Jacksonville was listed as a "High sufficiency" world city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. It ranks alongside cities such as Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Main Street Bridge
The Main Street Bridge, officially the John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge, is a bridge crossing the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. It was the second bridge built across the river. It carries four lanes of traffic, and is signed as U.S. Route 1/US 90 (SR 5/SR 10). A lift bridge, it opened in July 1941 at a cost of $1.5 million. In 1957 it was named after Mayor John T. Alsop, Jr., but continues to be known, even on road signs, as the Main Street Bridge.
Wells Fargo Center
The Wells Fargo Center is a skyscraper in Jacksonville, Florida. Standing 535 feet (163 metres) tall, it is the city's second-tallest building. It was formerly known as the Independent Life Building and the Modis Building, among other names. It took its current name in 2011, when Wells Fargo signed a deal to move into the building and acquire the naming rights.
Friendship Fountain is a large fountain in Jacksonville, Florida. It is located in St. Johns River Park (also known as Friendship Fountain Park) at the west end of Downtown Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk attraction. The world's largest and tallest fountain when it opened, it has been one of Jacksonville's most recognizable and popular attractions.
The fountain and park were designed by Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick in 1963 and opened in 1965. The fountain's three pumps could push 17,000 US gallons (64,000 L) of water per minute up to ten stories in height. Friendship Fountain remained one of Jacksonville's signature attractions through the 20th century, but severe corrosion and deterioration to the equipment resulted in periodic closures in the 2000s. In 2011 the city completed a $3.2 million renovation to the fountain and the surrounding park.
THE JACKSONVILLE LANDING
The Jacksonville Landing was designed and built by the Rouse Company, who developed a number of similar structures in other cities. It opened its doors on June 25, 1987. The Jacksonville Landing hosted a week long celebration featuring a drum and bugle corps, balloon release, community choirs and national acts. The Rouse company partnered with City of Jacksonville, who contributed $20 million toward the construction of a festival marketplace that would revitalize the city's core.
The entire second level of the main building was devoted to the Founders Food Hall, a food court with 18 restaurants. The decor featured silhouettes of 17 individuals who had a role in the settlement of North Florida. Outside seating included a view of the center courtyard fountain, stage, and the river. However, anticipated foot traffic never reached projected numbers and within four years, one third of the food court tenants closed. The west side of the food court became a video arcade named Ostrich Landing.
The Landing's first bar was Fat Tuesdays, which offered frozen alcoholic beverages. The business attracted a mostly younger clientele, and the Landing management decided not to renew their 10-year lease when it expired, citing a desire for an "older crowd".
In 2003, the Rouse Company announced it would sell the Jacksonville Landing to local developer Toney Sleiman for $5.1 million. The Florida Times-Union revealed that Sleiman, who bought the buildings but not the city-owned land, would not have to pay the $100,000 rent required by the City of Jacksonville for the land until the city provided the 800 parking spaces it had promised the previous owners.
In 2010, the 23-year obligation was finally resolved. The Jacksonville City Council passed a bill to contribute $3.5 million toward Sleiman's purchase of an existing parking lot across from the Landing. That money included a 20-year parking validation program at a cost of $2.5 million to the city. Mayor John Peyton vetoed the bill, but the council voted unanimously to override the veto.