While there has been difficulty in forcing an arts district to materialize in Downtown Jacksonville, another real one continues to grow two miles away. This photo tour captures various shares sights and scenes from Riverside's expanding CoRK Arts District.
An acronym for "Corner of Roselle and King", CoRK Arts District is a network of once abandoned warehouses and underutilized spaces that have become home to several art studios, galleries and production spaces since the 2008 opening of Bold City Brewery.
CoRK's network of warehouses date back to the 1920s, as businesses such as the Atlantic Match Company, Peter Ballantine & Sons, Francis H. Leggett & Company, Schell-Sasse, and Dixon Powdermaker established a presence on the edge of Riverside. The warehouse district employed thousands of residents to manufacture and distribute a variety of products, including matchbooks, beer, wholesale groceries, millwork, and furniture.
As time has progressed and technological advances have been made, this industrial complex, once characterized by buildings that lined the street, has found itself full of structures, obsolete for the major industrial needs of yesteryear. Viewed by most as being nondescript and of little value, many similar buildings have been demolished in and around downtown in favor of a network of urban renewal revitalization dreams that have failed to materialize for a number of reasons.
What downtown lacked was this aging industrial district's prime amenity: affordable and available space, suitable for a variety of uses. We invite you to take a look at what has become Jacksonville's rapidly developing urban arts district.