'A Life of Its Own': Jacksonville's Springfield Neighborhood
The city's first suburb, Springfield dates to 1869. At about one square mile, with more than 2,000 homes, it is one of the largest historic residential districts in Florida, known for Queen Anne and Prairie-style architecture. Springfield was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. But until revitalization began to take hold around a decade ago, the neighborhood also was known as one to avoid. Grand homes built by Jacksonville's early 20th-century business leaders had grown decrepit; the streets, unsafe. By 1998, only 14% of the district was owner-occupied. Drugs were dealt openly. What's happened since reflects in large part the determination and civic values of residents who invested in the neighborhood. The turnaround began with historic-home aficionados who restored hundred-year-old houses one by one. And now, amid a sour economy, historic Springfield is mending on its own terms. Continue reading 'A Life of Its Own.'