Cathedral District

Explore Jacksonville's Cathedral District with this self-guided tour of historical structures in the district.

Historical Structures in the Cathedral District

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral

Address: 256 E Church St.
Built in: 1903-1906
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: Snelling & Potter - New York

Sitting on the highest point in the original Jacksonville city limits, St. John’s Cathedral, like its Catholic neighbor, was burned to the ground by Union troops during the Civil War and then again by the 1901 fire. Originally built for $90,000, the cathedral underwent a $1.7 million restoration in the mid-1980s and is a stellar example of the importance of preserving the past. The church was elevated to the status of Cathedral of the Diocese of Florida in 1951.

Historic Mt. Zion AME

Address: 201 East Beaver St.
Built in: 1901-1905
Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: J.B. Carr & Co. - Birmingham, Francis J. Norton - Jacksonville & ChicagoSnelling & Potter - New York

Started in 1866 by a small group of Freedmen, this church grew rapidly. By the 1890s, up to 1,500 people could worship there. Four months after the 1901 fire destroyed the church, plans for the current building, at a cost of $18,000, were presented.

​First UMC

Address: 225 East Duval St.
Built in: 1960s
Style: Greek revival

Purchase records of the current site date back to 1846. The Great Fire of 1901 left only two brick walls of the sanctuary standing. Another fire in 1930 led again to the destruction and rebuilding of the sanctuary. The current sanctuary was replaced the old one in the 1960s. The ducation building was erected in 1922 and is still in use. It is also home to Family Promise of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Children's Choir.

First Presbyterian Church

Address: 118 E. Monroe St.
Built in: 1901-1902
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: Wilson & Edwards - Columbia, SC

One of the oldest continuous congregations in Jacksonville, First Presbyterian Church had its beginning in 1840. In 1927, the building was remodeled, changing the roofline of the main sanctuary from a six-sided conical shape to the steeply pitched ridge roof visible today. The First Presbyterian Church congregation has worshipped on this site since 1847 when the property was donated by Obadiah Conger, a founder of the church and later mayor of Jacksonville in 1844.

Basilica of The Immaculate Conception

Address: 121. E. Duval St.
Built in: 1907-1910
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: M.H. Hubbard - Utica, NY

This is the third church occupied by the congregation. Federal troops burned the first church in 1863, and the 1901 Fire claimed the second. The current structure is considered one of the finest Late Gothic Revival churches in Florida. For three years after its completion, the gold-plated cross on top of the steeple was the highest point in the city at 178.5 feet. NOTE This landmark is filled with exquisite stained-glass windows and features a ceiling that inspires viewers to look heavenward.

Elena Flats

Address: 121. E. Duval St.
Built in: 1909
Style: Neoclassical Revival

The Elena Flats are one of only two historic rooming houses remaining in the Downtown area. They are a rare example of Urban Flats built in the city during the period of rapid growth following the destruction of the Great Fire of 1901. The original floor plan for each suite is still basically intact, documenting traditional spatial arrangement of urban flats during the early 20th century.

Young Women’s Christian Association

Address: 325 E. Duval St.
Built in: 1950
Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Jefferson Davis Powell

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) building was designed by Jefferson Davis Powell. The YWCA building exemplifies a variation of the colonial revival-style popular from 1880 to 1950. The goal was to provide housing education and other needs in a Christian environment. The YWCA building is awaiting renovation as miced-income apartment complex.

Duval High School (now: Steven Duval Apartments)

Address: 605 North Ocean St.
Built in: 1907-1908
Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: W.B. Camp (original), Greeley & Benjamin (additions)

Duval High School is considered the pioneer of Florida public high schools and was the model for other such schools around the state. After the original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1901, a new brick and stone school was built in 1907, designed by Wilbur Bacon Camp who was one of a number of out-of-town architects and builders attracted to Jacksonville by the construction opportunities created by the disastrous 1901 fire. Duval High School building reflects the influences of the Renaissance revival-style popular from approximately 1845 to 1920.

Old Jacksonville Police Headquarters

Address: 711 North Liberty St.
Built in: 1928
Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Marsh & Saxelbye

Another of Marsh and Saxelbye’s designs built in Downtown in 1926, a testimony to their skill at handling diverse architectural styles, as well as to their prolific output during the mid-1920s building boom. The building served as Jacksonville’s central police station until mid-1970s. In 1984-1985 the building was gutted and rebuilt for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s regional crime laboratory.

Morocco Temple

Address: 219 North Newnan St.
Built in: 1902
Style: Egyptian Revival
Architect: H.J. Klutho

For 74 years, the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners) conducted business in one of Jacksonville’s most intriguing buildings. The exotic Morocco Temple, designed by Henry Klutho, combines Prairie Style elements with Mid-Eastern motifs to produce a unique design. The building has served as office space since 1984.

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