1850 North Main Street History
Originally built in 1938 as a service station, the building at 9th and Main reflects a bit of the Art Deco style of the times with its curved front windows.
The 1930’s and 40’s were an interesting time in Springfield, as the neighborhood (which was originally developed around the streetcar, adapted to the automobile. Main Street was made part of the new developed US Highway System as US17, which ran from South Florida to Virginia. Many businesses and buildings were developed to capitalize on this traffic. By 1946, the building was occupied by a Firestone store, which stayed until the late 1980’s.
The Springfield neighborhood began to decline in the 1950’s for several reasons. Many neighborhood residents moved to the new suburbs which were being developed at the time, and many Main Street businesses suffered as traffic shifted to the new interstate highway system (I-95). By the 1970’s, many of the historic Victorian houses were endangered, and many buildings on Main Street had been demolished. Starting in the late 1970’s, people who appreciated the historic charm and craftsmanship of Springfield’s homes began restoring them. Over time, one building at a time, the neighborhood has been rescued from the brink and is currently experiencing a rebirth.
In 2003, the building at 9th and Main was sold by Firestone, and the new owner rehabilitated the building and converted it into a restaurant, the well-loved Henrietta’s (named after Jacksonville’s first female architect). Unfortunately, financial issues with the building’s owner and the declining economy led to the City foreclosing on the building in 2009. It has sat empty until then, waiting for someone with the vision to return it to use.