Murray Hill was platted as the suburb of Murray Hill Heights and is characterized by cute brick bungalows mainly from the earlier part of the twentieth century. Many early residents were railroad workers who built homes in Murray Hill due of its close proximity to the terminal in Lackawanna.
Murray Hill was actually planned to accommodate automobiles with paved roads. Many homes also have garages. The community’s main thoroughfare, now called Edgewood Avenue, was designed to be a landscaped boulevard.
The community failed to grow however until 1914 when the Florida Military Academy opened in Murray Hill. A streetcar line was extended to the school which then connected the area with downtown Jacksonville.
The residents wanted the conveniences of a modern city and Murray Hill was incorporated in 1916. However, about 10 years later Jacksonville annexed the city because it was in tremendous debt.
The peak development period occurred as a result of World War II and the neighborhood’s close proximity to the Naval Air Station (NAS JAX).
By the 1980’s the growth of malls, neighborhoods, and suburbs had taken their toll on Murray Hill and it fell into a bit of a decline. However, the commercial corridor in Murray Hill has recently blown up with lots of locally owned restaurants, shopping, breweries, etc. This commercial development + affordability has made the little community very desirable it’s one of the most desirable locations in the urban core of Jacksonville. The homes are typically smaller than those in other local historic districts, making the area much more affordable for first time home buyers.
Residential architectural styles in the area include Bungalow, Craftsman, Prairie School, Colonial, Tudor Revival, Art Deco and Masonry Vernacular.
Lakeshore is south of Murray Hill and is centrally located on the westside of the river, along the curving north bank of the Cedar River. It is bounded by the Cedar River to the west, the Ortega River to the south, Roosevelt Blvd. and the CSX “A” line to the east and Park Street to the north. It was developed in the 1940’s and 1950’s as a result of the growth of NAS JAX. This was during the transition period from mainly pedestrian friendly communities to automobile friendly communities. As a result, many of the homes have driveways instead of on street parking.
If you are into boating, unlike neighboring communities, the waterfront along Lakeshore is dotted with marinas, boat storage, and yacht building companies.
The main commercial area is around the intersection of Blanding Boulevard and San Juan. Lakeshore is very conveniently located in Jacksonville, being connected to north Jacksonville by Cassat Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard that provides easy access to I-10, NAS JAX and I-295 to the south.
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