JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
More than 100 firefighters worked Saturday night to put out the flames at an abandoned but historic funeral home in downtown Jacksonville.
A historian with the Jacksonville Historical Society said it was at one point the oldest sole proprietorship in Jacksonville.
Funeral home Moulton & Kyle opened in the 1850s and moved to the downtown building in 1914, but eventually closed in 2013.
Dr. Wayne Wood, the historian for the Jacksonville Historical Society, said the building has been empty since then.
The building caught fire on Saturday night, closing portions of State Street and Union Street. Flames extinguished the building completely.
Enforcement of the code has identified the building as unstable and the area will be shut down for several days.
“In order to lose such a person, it was such a jewelry box. It was a real architectural gem. It makes us all sad, “said Dr. Wood.
The building was one of only five of its architectural styles in downtown Jacksonville. It was listed on the Historic Society’s List of Buildings at Risk for about five years.
“It harks back to some of Jacksonville’s early days as well as the wonderful time when Jacksonville was architecturally at its best.”
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Dr. Woods said Jacksonville’s architecture came from the Midwest and is rarely seen in the south. He said Jacksonville’s unique riverside location gives it a style not typically found in Florida.
The funeral home Moulton & Kyle’s style matches the architecture you can see in the town hall.