Jacksonville was founded by groups of “Yankees,” from New England, many of whom were graduates of Yale University. I can’t help but think the influence of the large town commons and greens of cities such as New Haven played a part in the design of Central Park, the outsized town square of Jacksonville.
The center of the park is anchored by a Civil War Memorial (more about that tomorrow) and the towering Farmers State Bank and Trust Company, whose historic skyscraper is a landmark in the downtown area.
The square is lined with various commercial buildings, some of which are occupied, and many of which were remodeled in the 1960s and later.
A cool looking movie theater is tucked into the northeast corner of the square, as well.
East State Street proceeds off to the east off from Central Park and is lined with restaurants.
It is only two lanes wide, which is more humanely scaled.
I was a little disappointed in the shear width of the street that wraps around Central Park; it is a detriment to the life of the center of town. A “road diet” would not affect traffic patterns and activate pedestrian life around the middle of town. I think it would be a boon for businesses and safety.