In the early 1900s, few Jacksonville architectural firms were more in demand than Marsh & Saxelbye.
The creative team of Jax-born William M. Marsh and England-born Harold F. Saxelbye, who also worked in New York, designed a huge collection of buildings across Jacksonville over a period of more than twenty years. In a sense, they inherited the throne of great local architecture from Henry J. Klutho.
Her work has been shown both in the urban core and in the suburbs of the city, which at the time were largely separate parishes. They were crucial in defining the living style of Riverside, Avondale, San Jose, and more. Many of their buildings still stand today, although some have evolved beyond their original purpose. Over three dozen Marsh & Saxelbye designs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There’s a good chance you’ve admired a building designed by Marsh & Saxelbye without realizing it. To highlight and honor their work, we’ve put together a small collection of the best buildings designed by the company, all of which are still standing.
1. GREENLEAF & CROSBY BUILDINGS
(Wikimedia Commons / Judson McCranie)
In the mid-1920s, local jewelry company Greenleaf & Crosby hired Marsh & Saxelbye to design a new, larger main building for operations at 204 N. Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville.
The building opened in 1927 and was designed with strong Art Deco elements such as ornate terracotta cornices and memorial plaques. Its unique configuration includes a twelve-story span and another just two-story. The companys antique street clock was placed on the corner of Laura and Adams streets.
Renamed Jacob’s Jewelers just a few years after opening its new building, Greenleaf & Crosby has endured decades of ups and downs in downtown Jax to still operate from the same building today. The rest of the building is used for office space; The law firms of Phillips and Hunt recently claimed the building’s third floor, transforming the roof of the two-story span into a rooftop terrace.