Meaningful Mondays – The Crosby & Greenleaf Building

This week’s Meaningful Monday highlights the Crosby and Greenleaf Building, located on the corner of Laura and Adams Street in Downtown Jacksonville. The building, with the iconic clock outside its entrance, was built in the late 1920s to be the new home for Greenleaf & Crosby Co., a jewelry store, originally established just after the Civil War. According to the May 11, 1926 edition of the Jacksonville Journal, the building was originally designed to be six stories, with the ability to go up to 12 stories. That plan never came to be, and, as it stands, the building is now 12 stories on the southern half of the building and only two stories on the northern side.

The building, designed by Marsh and Saxelbye, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on March 15, 2005.

JWB Real Estate purchased the building in June of 2022 and hired Avant Construction Group to renovate seven stories of the building that they will be using for their offices.

As seen in the pictures:

-The front entrance and façade have ornate decorations of terra cotta panels and floral motifs, and, though much of the interior has been renovated through the years to accommodate offices, there are still several historical accents that remain, including the beautiful entrance. .

-The views from the top floors have fabulous views of Downtown.

A Jacksonville Funeral Home Becomes a Chic Short-Term Rental Complex in LaVilla

The old Lawton Pratt funeral home is a perfect example of adaptive reuse. The funeral home, which will be called LaVilla Place, as a nod to its location, will become a chic short-term rental complex with a tapas and wine bar and a swimming pool. Completed in 1916, the existing building may be one of the last surviving commercial structures designed and constructed by noted Black architect Joseph Haygood Blodgett, according to The Jaxson.

The building had living quarters upstairs and a funeral parlor downstairs, along with stables for horses and later, a garage for automobiles, which gave the customers a choice of a horse-drawn or motorized hearse. The building has several interesting details, which will be saved, where possible, and used in the new design.

Avant was hired to work with the owner, Eric Adler, owner of Silver Street Management, to complete the renovation. Avant has extensive experience in adaptive reuse, as well as working with the city on historic renovations.

According to CEO Alan Cottrill, “This project is the type of thing we love to do. Not only is it restoring an old building, but it’s breathing new life into an area that has been forgotten over the years.”

Our Meaningful Mondays series honors the history and integrity of the beautiful old buildings in Downtown Jacksonville. The series will highlight a project that we’ve been involved with, are currently involved with or will be involved with.

( Much of the historic information was taken from and inspired by Wayne Wood’s newly-released book, Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage-Landmarks for the Future, available at Jacksonville Historical Society )

Historic renovations in Granada Spain

Adaptive Reuse – Heritage as a catalyst for redevelopment

Our Meaningful Mondays series highlights historic renovations and adaptive reuse projects that @avantbuilds is involved with in Jacksonville. As Avant’s owners are in Spain, we wanted to show some examples of historic building renovations from a city that is many 100s of years older than Jacksonville. Renovation of older and historically significant buildings is seen throughout the world. Train stations become trendy shopping malls and restaurants, cathedrals become hotels, and ancient defense walls become public parks and bike paths. Being able to successfully adapt a structure to be more efficient and useful for a changing society not only preserves the history but is often a catalyst for economic development and environmental sustainability.
Pictured here: A 16th-century monument is renovated to be part of a university; an old mortuary becomes trendy office space; a 16th-century palace becomes a 4-star hote