Here you can see the want ad that was in the Pensacola Journal. It was also post paper advertising for the positions needed.
Jerry Lee Lewis
This was the grand clock that was atop the old county courthouse. Read the following and get a true understanding, as to the importance and relevance of this clock.
“In 1925, the county commissioners were thinking of replacing the tower clock with an electric one. This upset Grandpa, who had cared for the clock for many years. ‘They can’t put up an electric clock – they mustn't. They don’t have any works, any soul – they’re just a face with cords attached,’ my grandfather told The Pensacola News Journal. I was fairly young back then, but I do remember Aunt Bessie telling me about Grandpa going up into the tower to set the clock.”
As can be seen in the historical way-marker, Woolworth's was located in the Blount Building on the ground (first) floor.
career began here having boxed several times here between
1989 and 1991.
South Palafox and Government Streets, THEN
The Florida Militia camped out in the median of Palafox Street. Here, they are at the intersection of Garden & Palafox. St. Michaels Catholic Church is in the background.
These are both STILL on the floor and
sidewalk of the
establishment. To see The CHILD inside the front doors you'll have to lift the entry mat, but... it's still there.
The first picture (of the four above) shows from Palafox Street looking north. It looked like the wild west with dirt streets and horses. The upper right picture is a view of Palafox Street about 1884. The lower left picture is Palafox Street looking north from Pensacola Bay in 1894. This view was taken from Palafox Street looking to the north and Plaza Ferdinand to the right of the photographer. The three story building to the right was Consolidated Grocery and is now where Seville Tower is (and has been since it being built in 1909). What you can easily do is, get a visual perspective of Palafox Street. The lower right picture shows you Palafox Street Pier in 1900 and the middle and right pictures below is more visuals of the Muscogee Wharf.
You can see the Escambia County Courthouse
in the upper center of the photograph.
Simon and Garfunkel
The Bee Gee's
Roy Jones Jr.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was the opening performance
This is the hundreds of assigned Militia outside of the Escambia County Courthouse.
Florida's State Militia arriving in Pensacola.
1908, The gathering of the workers
and sympathizers that gathered at
the Pensacola Opera House.
The Pensacola Opera House where the strikers held a protest rally.
This was the day before the strike.
This is regarding the 1908 Streetcar Workers Strike of the Pensacola Electric Company. Go to THEN & NOW 2 (about 2/3rds down the page) for a deeper look into the history of the "olden days of Pensacola's taxi service".
On Tuesday, April 7, 1908 the street car operators for Pensacola Electric Company went on strike. On Friday Strikers and sympathizers battled throughout the streets of downtown with Pensacola Electric Company's non-union workers ("scabs") from New York. The street fight lasted for two days. Governor Napoleon Broward put in the order for the State Militia to be placed on guard. On Sunday, Florida's State Militia arrived to protect the scabs and restore "order". Tuesday the Militia was ordered to guard the trolleys. Then on the 24th (Thursday), 24 Pensacola Police officers refused orders to cross union picket lines and ride on Trolleys to protect them. Two thirds of the Pensacola Police force were fired because of their actions. Monday May 11th, a street car was dynamited in Olde East Hill District. Two were injured, but no one died. Two days later, on Wednesday, the street car strike ended after several workers sign a statement with Pensacola Electric Company that said they will never again join a union. All of the remaining workers who didn't, and wouldn't, sign what they called "a treacherous statement" were blacklisted. One week later, the Florida Militia were given the order to stand down and the strike was over.
Leaving Seville Quarter (going west), take a walk to the intersection of Gonvernment Street and Jefferson Street. Well..., stay on the sidewalk.
William Alexander Blount
THEN - Escambia County Building
NOW - Pensacola Cultural Center
Now, here are just a few of the photos of stars that have been to and enjoyed Seville Quarter, namely Fast Eddies. Also shown, these are their items that were given to Seville Quarter in respects to the good times they had when they visited. Seeing as it's Fast Eddies that has most of the attention, I guess the persons love billiards a lot more than pool. More so, most of the individuals love sports and that is what Fast Eddies centers around. Some of the persons are locals, some have come to and a few are regulars to Pensacola.
Last, but not least, is the newest addition to Seville Quarter. This is the Party Plaza. The Party Plaza is the newest addition to Seville Quarter. It is a huge outdoor venue between Rosie O'Grady's and Heritage Hall. This area is ideal for large concerts and other open-air events such as; festivals, reunions, sponsored events. If it’s too big for indoors, chances are it’s at the Party Plaza!
To the front of Seville Quarter is the Wine and Gift Shoppe. There you can get a souvenir or quite a choice of wines. It may look like a small shop, but it is quite full of products and interest. The shop is Seville’s best kept secret, which features a well chosen, hand-picked selection of wines from all over the world. They taste test every wine before it goes on their shelves. They also specialize in hard to find, artisanal wineries that over-deliver on quality and have the most bang for the buck. They DO NOT strive not to be the biggest wine shop in town, but simply to have the best wines at the best prices. Don’t miss their free wine tastings on Fridays from 5 - 7 pm and get 10% off all cases and mixed cases! It becomes easy to understand how Seville Quarter became one of the Top 100 Entertainment Complexes in America!!! They got that honestly!
The courtyard to rear of The End 'O The Alley Bar and Apple Annie's is another place where patron's can go to sit, relax, dance or/and enjoy nice weather. Obviously when it is not raining. Out there you can enjoy a lovely view while listening to music from reggae, to easy listening, jazz, "sing along" songs or light to classic rock.
Oh, there is a bar out back, too.
SCROLL FURTHER DOWN AND GET A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIG STARS THAT HAVE BEEN THERE... JUST SOME!!!
Leaving the Palace Cafe, go to the alley and you will be just outside of Phineas Phogg's Balloon Works. But, take notice of the framed iron gates upon entering Seville Quarter. They are from the old Governor's Mansion in New Orleans. (There's just about as much New Orleans here as there!) Phineas Phogg's is for the younger crowd and the young at heart crowd. It is the high energy dance and entertainment bar. The focal point is the giant brass balloon. ALL of the brick flooring came from the old Isis Theatre that was at Palafox and Garden Streets on the northeast corner of the intersection.The wood for the dance floor and small stage is also from the Isis Theatre and is what used to be the stage. The DJ booth (seen in the upper left of the photo to the right) IS NOT from anywhere around Pensacola. It comes from London. More so, it had it's start as the pulpit for a preacher! I don't think that preacher would like what is preached from there now!
The doors leading from Apple Annie's are from the old Italian Hall in New Orleans. The bar and back bar date back to 1810 from the Palace Hotel which had the first liquor license in Florida. The stools are from the Wisteria Cafeteria from 1870 and the tile in genuine Mexican tile.
Apple Annies is very well known (and loved) for it's selection of frozen drinks and daiquiris. The stone eagle (photo to the left) that is above the fountain came from Chicago's Benevolent Order of Eagles Building. The trusses are from the old Casino from on Pensacola Beach (hence, Casino Beach which is the main beach and the biggest parking lot on the island) that was built in 1931. The chandeliers are from New Orleans. The wooden doors leading to the Courtyard are from the old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans.
Fast Eddie's is Pensacola's finest pool room. It's a cozy room with a strong maritime flavor. The flooring came from Mobile and the cypress doors from New Orleans. The chandeliers are from England. The benches are from the old L&N Depot Station. The wall paneling in here and Lili Marlene's is from the old American National Bank (Seville Tower, one block west at Palafox & Government Streets). Also, there is the "Wall of Fame" with photos and memories from famous and not so famous (their friends) athletes. So are locals, some are visitors to Pensacola and Seville Quarter. Jerry Pate's 5 Iron he used winning the U.S. Open, Emmit Smith's bowl jersey, Kenny Stabler's Sugar Bowl seat, Roy Jones Junior's boxing gloves, Derrick Brooks' jersey, Bobby Bowden golf bag, Boo Weekly's golf bag. These are just a few of the varied items.
THIS IS BUT A GLIMPS OF THE HISTORY THAT ANYONE CAN GO SEE. THERE IS TONS OF STUFF AND ALL LOCAL HISTORY!
Directly across from the door to Rosie O’Grady’s is the entrance to Lili Marlene’s World War I Aviators Pub. The bar and back bar of Lili’s came from the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago and dates from 1880. The captain’s chairs and pub tables are from old English pubs in London. The light fixtures came from a mansion in Atlanta. The building that houses Lili’s and the room directly north were originally the Pensacola Printing Company, reputed to be the oldest print shop in continual operation in the U.S. and the original home of the Pensacola Journal newspaper. The big benches in Lili’s are from London. The big chairs are from the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. The beautiful pub mirrors are from Edinburgh, Scotland. The doors are from old Liberty Ship's and the ship wheel is from a master scooner that made tea and spice runs to China.
Oh, we aren't done with the history yet... there is a lot more!!!
The Mitchell Family
2012, Bob Snow
1969, Bob Snow (in the center with his trumpet)
1968, Bob Snow bartending in Rosie's
Seville Quarter complex is still the largest tourist attraction between New Orleans and Orlando and is considered the first urban entertainment complex in America!
The main door into Rosie’s came from a mansion in Mobile, Alabama and the other doorway from a townhouse in England.
This is Seville Quarter. It was started in 1967 by a Minnesota native and former Navy Aviator, Bob Snow. When he was at NAS Pensacola he fell in love with Pensacola. He was a virtuoso trumpet player, Dixieland band leader, a gifted designer-builder and an energetic entrepreneur. It all started with Rosie O'Grady's, then Lili Marlene's. Mr. Wilmer Mitchell helped his friend Bob in building it and he, his wife, with their six kids now own and operate it. They have worked just as hard (and at times harder) to continue Bob's tradition alive (and still do). In 2013 Seville Quarter ranked in the top 100 entertainment places in America. They were 81st on the list! That is pretty awesome considering the number of entertainment complexes nationwide!
There is A TON OF HISTORY BEYOND THIS IN SEVILLE QUARTER!!! Let's take a look.
It had it's start here in Pensacola in 1967, but the history throughout dates much further back. I'll go through here as it has become to be. The entertainment, the night life, concerts, festivals, shows, groups gatherings, meetings and events are amazing. It got it's reputation and National ranking honestly (and very well deserved).
The rich history dates back to the late 1960's, when Bob Snow took the dilapidated 19th century warehouse that started in 1871 as the Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Company at 130 East Government Street and transformed it into “Rosie O’Grady’s Warehouse". When it started was a beer-and-peanuts saloon offering up heaping portions of Dixieland jazz and good times.
Since then Seville Quarter has grown to include seven rooms, a party plaza and an entertainment courtyard. The original Rosie O’Grady’s, Phineas Phogg’s, Lili Marlene’s, Apple Annie’s, Fast Eddie’s, End o’ the Alley Bar and the Palace Oyster Bar all have their own themes and atmosphere. The Seville Party Plaza is an outdoor concert venue and Heritage Hall is a spacious banquet and event facility.
Wilmer Mitchell and his family have been operating Seville Quarter since 1988, and under their leadership Seville has continued to garner accolades and build community partnerships. Seville Quarter offers the best entertainment lineup along the Gulf Coast, fine dining with a unique ambience, and a gift shop featuring the best wines at the best prices. You’re bound to fall in love with the original “Good Time Emporium” and, depending on your personal likes it could be the whole place!
1881, Kentucky Bourbon barrels being unloaded from a ship at the docks. The second is from their storage hall on the site.
This was the 1st Telephone Exchange
in the entire southeast.
Above you see the Glad Hand Saloon. When Pensacola was in it's hay day of shipping exports Nationwide and worldwide THERE WERE 63 SALOONS, TAVERNS and BARS in the heart of downtown. All of these shown above are just a few of them where a photograph was taken. Some of the buildings are still standing and being used, obviously not as they once were.
2015, This is the NOW of the same location
1898, the Glad Hand Saloon
This building, at 407 Palafox Place (formerly South Palafox Street), was built in 1871.
During this time (about 70 years actually) the Pensacola Port was the biggest and busiest in America. Ships were sailing in from our Country and around the world to load their ships with local goods. When it began it was a bar. Go figure... sailors from around the world were a little "thirsty" after being a sea for a while. Take notice of the lettering above and below the second floor windows. Can you read them? Well actually, about 99% of the locals don't even know it is there. Much less what it was or when it was even built.
This had its start as... Beer Hall Billards and this is what one can see when they take a closer look. This was painted on the building just a couple of months after the building was constructed and was used with oil based paint and was never painted over. It just deteriorated over time. So, you can see the THEN and NOW of it. It is now the Bodacious Olive and Bodacious Brew and they began in 2012. Just so you know, during the hay day of Pensacola's port there were 63 saloons, taverns, pubs and bars. The few that you just learned of are just that... a few. These are the only buildings that are still standing or that can be seen/noted as to what and where they were.
What started in 1879 was the Kentucky Barrel House. This is the ORIGINAL Kentucky Barrel House and was operated by S. Q. Friedman. Although I havn't been able to find a photograph of the establishment, I did find photos of their product. From research of the site the structure hasn't change. It is unsure as to when the Kentucky Barrel House closed, but starting in 2012 the O'Riley's Irish Pub began. O'Rilley's has done very well since opening. It might just very well be the "Luck of the Irish"! Right when you walk in, you'll step right over a 4 Leaf Clover!!! Or, just opt to sit outside on the sidewalk and listen to real (and good) Irish music or watch sports. Or, do it all!
Seeing as it is I just covered a bit of saloon history, here is just a little bit more and this continues south on Palafox Place (formerly street).
The arrows show where the buildings did not and now do connect. An alley seperated them up until around 2009 as the photo on the left shows the open alley way. The upper middle photo and the lower photo on the right puts it so you can
see the "NOW" of the building. Look at the photo to the lower right. When you look
closely at the "NOW" photo, look in between the two arrows. You can see the remains
of the Billiards Saloon (as seen in the photo directly above here). When someone looks
at it today it really can't been seen and is not noticed at all. The photo just below is a full
view of the Jackson's Steakhouse that is now the combination of the two buildings. You
can tell by the roof line that they were two different buildings, but NOW is just one.
NOW Jackson's Steakhouse
THEN Billiard Saloon
Directly across the street of the Escambia County Building is what started out as the Germania Hall (or Germania Fire Hall) in 1873.
The German Lutheran Church congregated in Germania Hall when they started in 1885. The fire department merged with the Pensacola Fire Department in 1888. There is also ghostly happenings here and can be looked into further on the Ghosts, Murders & Mayhem page. The mural is a painting from a photograph that was done in 2008. So, what you are seeing was very real!
Above is what was and still is on the front center at the top of the building.
The photo on the right is in 2013. It's now named the Pensacola Cultural Center and the Pensacola Little Theater. The first floor of the Cultural Center was the County Courthouse and where the Pensacola Little Theater is was the County Jail. All three floors were jail cells. To the center of the building used to be the "play groud" for the inmates and the location of the gallos. Now it is the location for the Porta Bella Market. Besides a nice casual restaurant, they also do delivery and catering.
1910, the scaffolding is around the Escambia County Building when it was being constructed.
1907, this was before the Escambia County Building was constructed. That's City Hall on the north side of Zaragoza Street.
These photo's above are when his museum was located in Ensley (a community in the south central portion of Escambia County and actually means "beautiful meadows") on Old Palafox Street at Detroit Blvd. There are a lot more of his items/artifacts on display NOW than were in the museum shown directly above back THEN. Hence, his absolute love of Pensacola's history. Since moving to the current location, the museum has (obviously) grown and become nothing less than spectacular! It is truely worth going to visit... whether you are a local or not.
THEN - City Hall & Courthouse, NOW - T.T. Wentworth Museum
Now granted this IS NOT at the Saenger Theatre, this was on the Pensacola Opera House and was saved. It is on display at the T.T. Wentworth museum.
The Pensacola Opera House balcony railing that was placed in the Saenger Theatre can be seen to the mid-left of the Seanger Theatre photograph.
Right next to the site of the Pensacola Opera House is what started as the Pensacola City Hall and City Courthouse and in 1986 became the T.T. Wentworth Florida State Museum. No, this has nothing to do with Florida State University. I guess it could be titled as State of Florida Museum. Oh well, that's just my thought... nothing much. He was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1898, but grew up on the Pensacola beach. He was a businessman, local politician and collector of extraordinary capacity. The story goes that after the hurricane of 1906, young Tom found an 1851 gold coin in the sand, which sparked a life-long passion for collecting historical artifacts. In 1914, at the age of sixteen, he opened his own bicycle repair business. It was here he started to assemble his collection and began displaying items in the bicycle shop's windows. Recognizing the importance of preserving Pensacola history, Tom collected cannons and helped preserve buildings and historical sites around the city. Over the years, Tom’s collection grew. In 1957, he built his first T. T. Wentworth Museum next door to his house on Palafox Street in Ensley (central Escambia County). By 1983, the collection numbered over 150,000 artifacts, continuing to collect items of interest. In 1982, Tom agreed to donate it to the State of Florida on the condition it would be housed in a permanent location. It was the largest historical collection ever donated by a private individual. His curiosity spanned a wide range of materials. A state grant was signed by Governor Bob Martinez to enable the city to renovate the former city hall for this purpose, as the new facility for City Hall that was completed in 1985. This came to fruition 1986 and houses tons of historical items/artifacts from the Pensacola area. It is full (front to back, top to bottom, floor to floor) of the awesome history of the area. It is truely worth going to visit.
This is the historical waymarker and the site where the opera once was. Beyond the one story structures seen in the photo, it gives you a better understanding and visual of how big this building was. Reading through the waymarker you can see the performers that drew huge crowds, seeing that all of them were highly adored and quite famous for their stage shows.
Pensacola Opera House 1910
Pensacola Opera House 1901
Pensacola Opera House was built in 1883 and was used extensively for opera performances and also was the original location of the Firtst National Bank. After the bank moved to a new location on Palafox Street (what is now the Escambia County Tax Collectors Office), the site stayed a bank becoming the American National Bank. Two hurricanes in 1916 and a tropical storm in 1917 did major damage to the structure. It had to be and was demolished. BUT, as much lumber and brick from the opera was used in the construction of the Saenger Theatre (also called the Grand Dame of Palafox and is pictured below). Including the the balcony railing.
Pensacola Opera House 1884
1993, was when the remains of the fort was found. The city was improving Jefferson Street.
This is in the City of Chipley. Formally named in his honor in 1882.
This is from the southeast corner of Plaza Ferdinand and right in front of the T.T. Wentworth Museum. There are markers that explain all of it and more.
William Dudley Chipley (June 6, 1840 – December 1, 1897) was an American railroad tycoon and statesman. He created two railroads in the Florida Panhandle and served as the mayor of Pensacola, Florida and in the Florida State Senate. After he had furthered his education, he enlisted in the 9th Kentucky Infantry, fighting for the Confederacy. He was elevated to the position of lieutenant colonel and was wounded at the battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga before being taken prisoner at the Battle of Peachtree Creek near Atlanta. As a prisoner of war, Chipley was transported to Johnson's Island on Lake Erie in Ohio, and served time there until the war was over. Post the Civil War he built Pensacola's first railroad (this line would eventually become a part of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad). He also built the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, linking the Atlantic coast of Florida with the Gulf Coast states for the first time.
Chipley created the Democratic Executive Committee in Muscogee County, Georgia in the late 1860s, and was its first director. He later served as director of the Florida Democratic Executive Committee. In 1882, the community of Orange (in Washington County was founded and renamed Chipley in his honor. It was the year the Pensacola & Atlantic (later L & N) Railroad was completed beyond the town site.After opening the two rail lines in Pensacola, he parlayed his industrial success into becoming the mayor of the town. He also served in the Florida State Senate from 1895 to 1897, and lost his bid for United States Senator in 1896 by one vote. While on a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1897 he died. He was in the middle of a trip to lobby lawmakers to base more industrial endeavors in Florida. He was buried in Columbus, while the townspeople of Pensacola erected an obelisk in the center of Plaza Ferdinand VII in his honor. It is visited almost daily.
King Ferdinand VII
Plaza Ferdinand VII is located between Palafox Place, Jefferson, Government and Zaragoza Streets. It was named after Ferdinand VII
(Fernando el Deseado) of Spain, the King of Spain between 1813 and 1833. Spain ceded the territory to the United States through the Adams–Onís Treaty. The treaty established the boundary of U.S. territory and claims through the Rocky Mountains and west to the Pacific Ocean, in exchange for the U.S. paying residents' claims against the Spanish government up to a total of $5,000,000 in 1819. The Treaty was negotiated by John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State under U.S. President James Monroe, and the Spanish foreign minister Luis de Onís y González-Vara, during the reign of King Ferdinand VII. Hence, the title of the treaty. The cession of Florida to the United States from Spain occurred at the Plaza on July 17, 1821. General Andrew Jackson made a public speech to townspeople, informing them that the land was now the Florida Territory, and that Pensacola will be its capital. General Jackson was later sworn in as first Territorial Governor in the plaza. A bust of Jackson now stands at the spot where he was inaugurated and received "deed & ownership" of the Florida Territory. The Pensacola Police Department actually started on July 18th. BUT..., the fire department had actually already started. It began in 1810.
This is at Plaza Ferdinand VII looking from the southeast corner. The portion of the wall foundation is to the right and is about the center of the west wall. Standing in the location places you looking east. You will also see the four cannons pointing to the south (on the south side of the Plaza. These four cannons and several around downtown are British cannons and came from this fort, the British Fort of Pensacola, and Fort George. Fort George is further up Palafox Street directly across from First Baptist Church.
Here is a cross-section that was on the west wall of the fort. When the fort remnants where found they were of the wall foundation, a moat and defending pickets.
This is the pictograph shows the
direction of the fort as it sat in 1754. The slightly crooked line on the right shows the shore line of the bay. This line is what is now Main Street. This shows how much the shore line increased from the amount of ship traffic in the bay for about 70 years.
There is a vast amount of history in and around the area of Plaza Ferdinand.
Let's cover some of the more major happenings as history was made. Please note, all of the history here CANNOT be covered. There is A LOT!
The land on which the park sits was originally awarded by the Spanish throne to Don Manuel Gonzalez for his service. His service was as a farmer/rancher, businessman, military advisor and a politicaly minded representative of Spain. Gonzalez later donated the land to the City of Pensacola. Manuel boarded Andrew and Rachel 5 to 6 times before Florida officially became America's. Due to his gracious hospitality to Andrew and his wife Rachel, Andrew made it clear that NO ONE would build on this block unless approved by Manuel Gonzalez. Thus, this park remained as it is today. The fountain on the north end of the Plaza was made possible through local citizens and school children raised funds to pay for the fountain, which was installed in 1909. The fountain was made to Spanish design. It was placed in remembrance of William Dudley Chipley and to Spain for aquiring the Florida Territory. As you proceed further down you will get a visual of its history.
Above is the Pensacola Blue Wahoos AA minor league baseball stadium and the newly constructed Studer Building.
NOW DON'T FORGET, ALL OF THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN FROM ATOP SEVILLE TOWER IN 2015!
Now, let's cover more THEN and NOW around that area as we keep heading toward the bay shore.
Now, again, I have tried my best to capture a panoramic view looking south from atop Seville Tower. In the middle is Plaza Ferdinand VII. To the left you can see the two one story businesses that are in the location of where the Pensacola Opera House once was. To their left is the T.T. Wentworth Museum, formerly City Hall and City Courthouse. Next to that is the Pensacola Cultural Center, formerly the Escambia County Building and the location the Escambia County Courthouse and County Jail. South of there (the top middle of the pic) is the Port of Pensacola... still in use. Above Plaza Ferdinand is (from left to righr) the Quayside Art Gallery, formerly the Germania Fire Hall and then became Pensacola Fire Station #2. Next to that is Jackson's Steak House. The street next to it is Palafox Place heading down to where it began... on the shoreline of Pensacola Bay. This is the location of Plaza DeLuna, so named in honor and remembrance of the founder of Pensacola, Don Tristan De Luna. This was the location of the Pensacola Civic Center and before that was the Palafox Wharf, this was during the shipping hay day's for Pensacola for the Nation and the world.
Both of the photos above are looking north and northwest. The photo above on the left let's you look north going up Palafox Place (formerly Street).
The photo to the right is Interstate-110, the Pensacola Crowne Plaza Hotal and the Pensacola Bay Center just behind I-110.
From some aspects downtown has changed a lot (mainly traffic and the growth of Pensacola). BUT... for the most part she has SO MUCH of the past still alive and well.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND, these photographs are as close to full panoramic as I could get them. Now granted it's not perfect, but I got them as close to it as possible.
The following pictures are from the NOWof downtown. These were taken from the roof of the Seville Tower in 2015 and is a full circular view of Pensacola... NOW.
Now that you've seen the THEN and NOW of the Seville Tower, let's take an overview look at the downtown area during it's construction.
This photograph below was taken in 1909 and is a full panoramic view.
Seville Tower being built in 1909
There is a lot to see of downtown when it was being built.
Seville Tower is in the upper left, just below the construction of the Tower is Plaza Ferdinand VII, to the middle is City Hall - City Courthouse, to the right is the Pensacola Opera House, upper right corner is the Theisen Building - the Blount Building - the Masonic Temple - St. Michael's Catholic Church, to the bottom right is at the corner of Tarragona and Main Streets where you can see the Pensacola Police Headquarters Building. To its upper left corner you can see the Tobacco Tavern. This building was built by Eugenio Arbona in 1889 and is now the Pensacola Children's Museum. The building just below City Hall/Courthouse is where the Escambia County Building (now the Pensacola Cultural Center) would be built in 1911. Now remember, in 1905 there was a major fire that decimated about 3 blocks of the west side of Palafox Street and the rebuilding was a monumental step in keeping Palafox as the staple of business downtown. Also, in 2013, Palafox Street (now Place) was marked as ONE OF THE TOP 10 STREETS IN AMERICA!
So it is evident that Pensacola still keeps the growth and betterment alive !!!
Then 1894 Looking north on Palafox Street Now 2015
The CONSOLIDATED GROCERY CORPORATION was based in Chicago and started its franchise here in Pensacola in the late 1800's. The Pensacola branch was at corner of Government and Palafox Streets (now Palafox Place) where Seville Tower is now. Local managers were C. M. Covington and R. F. Mitchell.
Also in this building was... The Advance Gazette. The Gazette established 1824 (just 2 years after the Florida Territory became part of the United States of America) and Advance in 1878 and they consolidated in 1882. FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF PENSACOLA beginning here in 1900, was Merchant's Bank prior to this. Pensacola's first telephone exchange was established here by SOUTHERN BELL. It went operational in 1880, serving 31 telephones. A considerable development for the area, as the first commercial telephone exchange had only been established about two years earlier, the Pensacola exchange was the FIRST in Florida to have exclusive operating rights in its municipality. A historical marker was placed on the street corner by the Pensacola Council of the Telephone Pioneers of America in 1964. Also the location of Western Union Telegraph Co. Then... becoming SEVILLE TOWER
Seville Tower started construction in 1909 and was also known as the Florida National Bank Building or Empire Building. Oh, and yes, this was built before the Empire State Building in New York City. At the time of its construction there was quite a bit of business going on between the Empire State (New York) and here. On November 17, 1978, it was added to the U.S.National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by New York architect J. E. R. Carpenter. The tower was completed in 1910 at a cost of $250,000. Seville Tower was the FIRST HIGH RISE building in Florida with its 11 floors.
(to the right) Consolidated Grocery Company 1874
1846, John the Baptist Church
Looking to the front (the podium and alter).
Looking to the entrance (the rear of the church).
The photo, just above, was taken sometime between 1905 and 1920. This was when (obviuosly) it was Child Restaurant. The building was built in the last few years of the 1800's. Take a close look at bottom of the photo on the left. On the sidewalk you can see the two thick lines under both of the windows. The lower photo shows you what was... and is still there. HUNGRY? was put there in 1904. The really nice thing about this is that you can read it, just like you see it, coming from Government Street or coming from Intendencia Street. More so, when you walk through the front doors "CHILD" is right at you feet and in the same type of small mosaic tile. The location is now (and has been for about 25 years) Intermissions Bar. Although, the "CHILD" tiles are covered with a door mat. You know, so patrons can wipe their shoes a bit when entering. But, if you lift the door mat you will still see it. Well, if you do, make sure no one is coming in or leaving. You don't want to get knocked over. On the other hand, some folks might think you lost something... I am kind of kidding. I guess Intermissions could change the tile and have it so people could read... "THIRSTY?". No, I am NOT being serious. Just being comical.
2015, This is the site of its former and original site on the south side of East Chase Street.
How did Andrew Jackson get nicknamed "Old Hickory"?
In 1813, Andrew Jackson received an order to disband his troops immediately, he refused to cast his volunteers adrift to find their own way home and pledged his own money to finance the supplies needed for the trip back along the Natchez Trace to Tennessee. He gave up his horses for the sick, and walked along side of his men-encouraging them when needed, and disciplining them when necessary.
His determination, combined with his willingness to suffer alongside his men, earned the respect of his men. His men thus nicknamed him... "Old Hickory."
200 Palafox Place & Intendencia Street
This site was once the location of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel's house.
Andrew Jackson was Florida's FIRST Governor by President Monroe
(He was titled Military Governor... there were no registered voters when Florida became the 27th State of the United States of America)
Pensacola was Florida's FIRST Capital City.
Albeit, there isn't a picture or photograph of the house... there is the Historical Placard (the photo centered above) as to its location and it is on the south side of the building facing Palafox Place (formerly Palafox Street). Now mind you, this building IS NOT what he and his wife lived in... ha ha.
To the northwest of the intersection a whiskey bar opened in 2014. "Old Hickory" Whiskey Bar at 123 Palafox Place, seen below.
Let's head back to Palafox Place (formerly Palafox Street) and see more history.
1892, St. Joseph Catholic Church
When the congregation began it was to serve the Creole, African American and poor populations of the city. One of the influential factors in the founding of the new parish was the St. Joseph’s Colored Society. Because the church’s location had been designated in a part of the city where many Italians, Irish and Germans lived, there were questions from the people about whether St. Joseph Parish would exclude all other populations except Creole and African-American. The Pensacola Daily News announced Dec. 3, 1891, that “the new church was not to be built to exclude anyone from it or St. Michael and that it was being built for the convenience of those living near the site of the new church.” John Sunday sold his plot of land on Government and Barcelona (now Spring) streets, where he had originally planned to build a house, so the church could be built. The new frame church was dedicated Dec. 4, 1892. According to The Pensacola Daily News, the building featured a “cool and inviting appearance … with the softened light created by stained-glass windows.” In addition to the church, the parish also included St. Joseph’s Colored School on South Baylen Street and Barcelona Street. In 1899, the St.Joseph Cemetery was established.
Confederate Monument in Lee Square
In 1931 this temple was built at Palafox & Cervantez Streets and is still in use, 2015.
1878, Temple Beth El
The first Jewish Temple of Florida. The Temple was granted a charter by the State of Florida in 1878 under the Beth-El name, making it Florida's first formally recognized Jewish congregation. The first two temples were constructed on the same site, this was on Chase Street between Palafox and Jefferson Streets facing to the north. In 1895 the original wooden temple was burned by a fire of undetermined origin, sparing only a single scroll. A new two-story brick building was constructed on the same site and dedicated in April 1896. On December 17, 1929, another fire broke out and the temple was rebuilt at its current location atop Gage Hill in 1931. This is at the northeast corner of Palafox and Cervantes Street.
The U.S. Customs House and all its records,
The Escambia County Tax Collector's office,
The Pensacola Gazette offices,
The Pensacola Telephone Exchange,
F. C. Brent's bank,
The Merchants' Hotel,
The Yniestra Building, including Frater and Monroe's dry goods & grocery,
The Moreno Building,
The Roache Block,
Thomas Velasco Cigars,
The building began to lose its appeal when modern venues performed with a larger attendance, better acoustics and more parking for the patrons. As more musical acts chose to perform at the larger Pensacola Civic Center (now titled the Pensacola Bay Center) and at the Saenger Theatre, the Bayfront Auditorium fell into disrepair. In its final years, the City of Pensacola was losing more than $100,000 every year just to keep it open, i.e.; taxes, power, upkeep and maintenance. On January 22, 2004, the Pensacola City Council voted to demolish the building to be replaced by a new municipal auditorium as part of the Festival Park project on the Trillium site. It got a reprieve when that project was halted by a voter referendum. However, after receiving extensive damage during the 2004 Hurricane Ivan, the building was again slated for demolition. Big Dog Demolition completed the demolition on July 24, 2005, and debris was used for offshore fishing reefs and in Phase II of Project Green Shores. Plaza de Luna was built on the site of the auditorium in 2006 and opened in 2007. The Trillium site took more than several years to come to fruition. This is where baseball, in Pensacola, continues. It may also help keep the deep roots of Pensacola firm, and fun! If you are interested, keep researching and you will learn.
The waterfront restaurant was located at the back of the old Pensacola Municipal Auditorium at the end of Palafox Street and had a very nice water view from both levels. The lower level (ground level) was a very nice shoreline restaurant, with a very good menu. The upper level, below to the right, was quite a bit more “posh” or uppity. It was more in line with an “upper class” type of atmosphere and cuisine. The decadence of its location between the two lovely dining establishments is easily seen below. To the lower left shows ferry rides, which at the time of the photo was the ONLY means of transportation to and from Pensacola Beach. Well, the "3 - Mile" Bridge hadn't been built yet.
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to trust in the LORD then to put confidence in man. - King James Version
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. - New King James Version, Webster's Bible
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to take refuge in JEHOVAH Than to put confidence in man. - American Standard Version
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. - New American Standard Version, English Standard Version
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to have faith in the LORD than to put one's hope in man. - Basic English Bible
PSALMS 118: 8 - It is better to trust in JEHOVAH than to put confidence in man - Darby Bible
PSALMS 118: 8 -It is better to take refuge in YAHWEH, than to put confidence in man. - World English Bible
PSALMS 118: 8 -Better to take refuge in JEHOVAH than to trust in man,- Youngs Literal Bible
PSALMS 118: 8 -It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.- Jewish Publication Society Bible
Church's / Religion
Here is a quick, but VERY thoughtful, side note to ponder. Talking with one of my neighbors, she enlightened me of the following. There are 1188 chapters in the Bible. 594 from Genesis Chapter 1 to Psalms Chapter 117. 594 from Psalms 119 to Revelations Chapter 22. Add 594 to 594. The answer is 1188. The exact middle is Psalms Chapter 118. The true exact center of the Bible is Psalms Chapter 118 verse 8! This is truly amazing!!!
That fact that the CENTER of the Bible by Chapters is 1188 and the EXACT center of the Bible as a whole is Psalms 118:8. Think about it.
Here is the verse in translation of as many different Biblical translations that I could research and share.
Norwegian Seaman's Church
by the docks of Palafox Pier
The Norwegian Seaman's Church (the first picture was in the late 1879, the second in 1928) was a Lutheran congregation that provided religious services to the Norwegian and Scandinavian mariners who came to port at Palafox Wharf and other nearby docks. It was established in 1877 and a church was erected at the southeast corner of Palafox and Pine Street in 1878. The church building was destroyed in an 1886 fire and was subsequently rebuilt. The church was ultimately razed in 1934.
1912, had moved to Wright & Baylen Streets
1885, on Garden Street west of Palafox Street
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church was established in 1885, which makes it one of the oldest (and leaning to the oldest) Lutheran churches in the state of Florida. After an initial service at the First Presbyterian Church in February 1885, subsequent organizational meetings and services were held at the Germania Hall (Germania Fire Department), which is now the Quayside (pronounced KEY-side) Art Gallery on Zaragoza Street at the southeast corner of Ferdinand Plaza. The first church building was on the northeast corner of Garden and Baylen Streets. It was completed in the fall of 1885. What is commonly known of today as Immanuel Lutheran Church was originally named "THE FIRST GERMAN-ENGLISH EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN IMMANUEL'S CONGREGATION of the UNALTERED AUGSBURG CONFESSION of PENSACOLA, FLORIDA" or "THE GERMAN LUTHERAN CHURCH" in order to distinguish it from the Norwegian Seaman's Church, located on South Palafox near the Palafox Pier. Quite a mouthful, which was commonly known at "the German Lutheran church". The name was changed to that during World War I in 1918 when the church was incorporated to Immanuel's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Pensacola, Florida." That's when reference to being a German church was dropped because of the war.
2013 at 33 East Gregory Street and faces to the north
First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church was established in 1845 facing south on East Chase Street
500 North Palafox Street 2010, steeple erected in 1955
Original Location on Government Street
First Baptist Church of Pensacola
When mission-minded men set out to spread the gospel to the “heathens” of Northwest Florida in the early 19th century, Pensacola was their primary destination. Pensacola was a long-established center of population but was known for, among other things, its “dire need for preaching.” Because seaports always have a variety of cultural lifestyles imported from around the globe and because exotic spirits of both the drinking and emotional variety were abundant invading influences, Pensacola became a religious mission field. In May of 1847, near the Bay and near the north west of Seville Square, a small group of local citizens with preachers Alexander Travis and Joseph Mitchell founded First Baptist. Through the many years since, the church has, as have the city and the nation, endured and survived storms, wars, epidemics, economic hardships and other hindrances. They still en devour to grow.
2012, built in 1908
First Methodist Church at Palafox and Wright Streets
This is the Way-marker in front of the U.S. Courthouse
at Tarragona and Intendencia Streets
on the southeast corner
Northwest corner of Palafox and Garden Sts.
Obviously this is prior to the construction of the San Carlos Hotel. Then the United States Courthouse being built on the same location.
More history of the two last mentioned can be seen on Then & Now 2.
First Methodist Church
Wright and Palafox Street, since 1900
May 26, 1827,Pensacola's first Methodist congregation was founded and established in 1827 by Alexander Talley, M.D. The first services were held on June 22, 1828 making First Church the oldest Protestant church in the Pensacola and the oldest Methodist church in Florida. It met in a series of small, wood frame churches until 1881, when construction of a three-story, Romanesque Revival sanctuary had begun on the Palafox Street site. Services began there in 1884, but the building was not completed until 1890. This first church building suffered two fires. The first, in 1858, damaged but apparently did not destroy the building, and repairs were completed by the following year. The second fire burnt the building to the ground in 1862 or 1864, but was rebuilt in 1870. In 1881 the property was sold and the church constructed a new facility on the northwest corner of Palafox and Garden Streets. For the next two and a half years, the congregation was without a permanent home. While without a church they worshiped in the Baptist church until moving Pou's Hall. They worshiped there two years or more, paying $25 per month rent. In the spring of 1884 they moved into the basement of the new building. The building was completed in 1890. In 1906, the property was sold, and the church building demolished, to make way for the San Carlos Hotel; and the church thereafter moved in 1908 to its current site on Wright Street.
In 1899, the Vestry purchased property at the northwest corner of Palafox and Wright streets, and in 1902 plans were approved for a Spanish Renaissance building with a seating capacity of 600. The last service was held in Old Christ Church, Seville Square, on Good Friday, April 10, 1903, at 5:00 in the afternoon. The first service in the new church was held on Easter Day, April 12, 1903, at 7:30 AM, with Bishop Weed present. Old Christ Church served several mission congregations, including Zion Chapel and St. Cyprian’s during the ensuing years. in 1936 Old Christ Church was DE-consecrated and deeded to the City. The deed stipulated that the building must be kept in good condition and used only as a museum or a library, or it would revert to the Vestry of Christ Church. Pensacola’s first public library was established in the building. Later it would become the home of the Pensacola Historical Society’s museum and returned to the parish in 1996. Below, you can see the photos from the early 1900's to modern day and the historical way-marker.
The Oldest Protestant Church in Florida on its original foundation
Built by the Episcopalians of Pensacola
Here are pictures of the Old Christ Church, located in the Pensacola Historical Village. Unlike the Saint Michael’s Cathedral it is and always has been located in the same location, Seville Square. Just like Saint Michael’s, it still looks as nice as it always has. Plans for the structure started in 1827 and completed constructed in 1832. It is the oldest church building in Florida on its original foundation. In 1821, Florida became a territory of the United States. General Andrew Jackson lived in Pensacola, a city of 1,000, as Territorial Governor. His wife, Rachel, encouraged Protestant missionaries to come to the city. During the Civil War the church was used by Union troops asa stable, a hospital, and a prison, desecrated and badly damaged. Eyewitness accounts held that the graves of the priests buried under the church had been violated. Forty years after the War, a Bible that had been stolen was returned with the following notation: “To its former home with a deep sense of justice and the feeling of brotherly love to all in the church of which I am a member.”This was Pensacola's 1st free public library, then Pensacola's Historical Museum. The picture centered above can be seen on the right side of the main entrance (the left side if you are exiting).
Pictured above and to the center is a concrete cross that is located on Pensacola Beach. It stands about 300 yards from the first gathering place of the Spaniards for worship service in Pensacola (Panzacola). Anyone going to Pensacola Beach can go see this. It stands to the west side of Margaretta Ville on a dune. There have been numerous hurricanes since this was placed here in 1961. Yet with all of the damage caused to the island by the storms, the cross and the dune are still in VERY GOOD condition. Proof positive that there truly is power and protection for what the cross was placed for, CHRIST! Don't forget that we are one nation under GOD and it is in GOD that we trust. Moving on.
Since we are reflecting on a church, let us look at the "beginning" of church's (religion) in Pensacola. I am sure we (if not all) have heard of "The Bible Belt" and has it's place in the south. Well, Pensacola may very well be "The Bible Belt Buckle"! Here's why. Saint Michael's Catholic Church is the first church recorded in Pensacola's history dating back to 1559. What do ya know, Pensacola is the Nation's First Settlement!!! Seeing as Spain is STILL predominantly catholic, Saint Michael's was, and still is, Catholic. This church was designatedThe Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in part due to its long history and this historical event was at a Eucharistic celebration at St. Michael on December 28, 2011. Tracing its roots to the Spanish exploration of northwest Florida in the 16th century, the parish was canonically established in 1781 and is the oldest continuously operating parish in the state of Florida. Saint Michael's is located at Palafox and Chase Streets in downtown Pensacola. This is the fourth location of the building, due to previous sites notwithstanding the elements. This building was built in the late 1800's and still standing… looking just as nice. That being both inside and out.
Palafox Street (pictured looking north from Garden Street) - Pensacola – (very) Early 1900's
This is N. Palafox Street looking north from the intersection of Garden and Palafox. Notice St. Michael's Church on the left and on the right is the original Escambia County Courthouse (at Palafox Street and Chase Street). This was taken about 1912. The following quote was written by an unknown gentleman who had closeness to Saint Michael’s Church. Please read the following and if you would like to see the intricate (beautiful) craftsmanship held in the building of this establishment keep scolling down to see/learn more. Oh yes, there truly is a whole lot more.
“My Great Grandfather was a Master Carpenter. He came from Germany. He built a WOODEN ALTAR that had very fancy designs for this Church. I use to go in there when I was a kid (about 12 years old) to see it and show others. The designs were quite fancy and intricate. Of course he built it all by hand without the aid of any electrical equipment..........used wooden pegs instead of nails. I have not been in there since I was a kid and do not know if the Altar is still there. He also built another Altar in a St. Joseph's Catholic Church......down town somewhere. I am now 72 years old.....my how quickly time goes by.......along with our lives.” A Master Carpenter had come from Germany. He built the wooden alter mentioned above, it had very intricate and fancy designs for this Church. Of course he built it all by hand without the aid of any electrical equipment, even using wooden pegs instead of nails. It is not known if the Altar is still there. He also built another Altar in the St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
This building is on the same side of Palafox and one building north of the U.S. Post Office-U.S. Courthouse.
(the site of the original County Courthouse until 1937).
Just two blocks to the south on Palafox Street and on the same side of the road is the location of the Florida Theatre. It opened in 1939 with "Gone With The Wind". The first photo (below) shows patrons for an evening show. The second shows quite a line waiting to see a movie at the Florida Theater at 186 North Palafox Street, between Chase and Gregory Streets. This theater was open at least until mid-1960. By 1977 it had been bought to be used by Pensacola Little Theater, which is now at the Pensacola Cultural Center on Jefferson Street. Walt Disney, himself, spoke of Florida Theatre and said "Florida Theatre is a little gem of a theater." They would get Disney movies on special release and show the movies before anyone would even have them to show! It was vacant in the 1990's and by 2005 furniture/decorating company bought the building. If you notice, the theaters were all very close to each other, about a blocks distance from one to the other and all on the east side of Palafox Street. At least they were conveniently located, if you wanted to see the shows. As you can see in the photos, time does change things. Although the address is the same, the use and look is not! In the center photo below you can see Governor Perry's house.
Let's move to the north, back up Palafox Street. There are more than a few roads and sidewalks around downtown that are STILL bricked and have NOT been asphalted over! It seems they are holding up quite well. Continue to peruse through our history and you will SEE what is spoken of. Pictured (first) below is the building one used to see on the east side of Palafox Street (402 - 406 N. Palafox St.) and is about a block and a half north of Wright Street. It is the old YMCA building in 1903. The next photo is located at 420 N. Palafox Street in 2013.
Great Fire of 1905
Also called The Halloween Night Fire (this is the 2nd fire)
While we are learning about a street name, here is another that has more of Pensacola's history. Where these three gentlemen lived and where church's still congregate is all on (or at) Wright Street. This street runs east and west through downtown. In 1906 it was named for Benjamin Drake Wright (1799 - 1875) who was a prominent Pensacolian attorney and civic leader. Benjamin Drake Wright was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on January 23, 1799. He was admitted to the bar of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1820. In 1824 he was a member of the Legislative Council of the Territory of West Florida as well as United States Attorney for the part of the Territory between the Apalachicola and Suwanee Rivers. In 1825 he was appointed United States District Attorney for the whole of the Territory. In 1829, Wright served as the President of the Board of Aldermen of Pensacola. In a least 1839, Wright served in the Territorial Senate. In 1841, Wright was elected as Mayor of Pensacola. During the 1840's, Wright served as a federal judge, and after statehood in 1845, he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida. In 1866, Wright was appointed Collector of Customs in the District of Pensacola in the State of Florida. In 1844, Wright represented in court Jonathan Walker, who was tried and convicted of stealing another man's slave. Despite his busy professional life, Wright also edited the Pensacola Gazette from March 12, 1834 through the end of the Territorial period in 1845. He owned the paper through 1839. The Pensacola Gazette (later Pensacola Gazette and West Florida Advertiser) was an early four-page newspaper that began publication on March 13, 1824 and continued until 1861. It was founded by W. Hasell Hunt, who was well versed for journalistic wares and printing equipment, with an initial 75 subscribers. Benjamin Drake Wright was editor of the Gazette from 1834 to 1845. He used the paper to advocate a railroad line from Pensacola to Columbus, Georgia, and an inland waterway between Pensacola and New Orleans. Mr. Wright married Josephine de la Rua on February 23, 1826. The two had eight children (six sons and two daughters). He past away in Pensacola in April of 1875 and was laid to rest in Saint Micheal's Cemetery.
Two blocks to the south is Chase Street, it runs east and west through Pensacola. Obviously, you can read of the brief history and importance (greatness) of William Chase to Pensacola on the way-marker posted in the median on the northwest side. Next, William Chase's home when it became the Escambia Hotel.
Palafox Street & Wright Street intersection, 2009
The above photo is looking west from Wright Street
Blount Building, 2012
Blount Building being constructed, 1906
Floating Dock 1898
1904, at the Pensacola Navy Yard
This was the Escambia Hotel (photo above panoramic view and centered photo) at 223 North Palafox Street. The 1905 city directory said "A 100 room hotel, the only one in town with steam heat, and rooms were $2.50 a day!" Prior to becoming the hotel, this was the home of William Henry Chase (above right photo). Chase, a United States Military Academy graduate, served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1815 to 1856. In 1844, Chase began service on special boards of engineers for examination of various improvements, including the Florida Reef in 1844–1845; the Gulf frontier of Mississippi and Texas in 1845; briefly, the Atlantic Coast Defenses in 1848; the Memphis Tennessee Navy Yard in 1851; the floating dock (pictured below, This illustration shows the new L. & N. steamer August Belmont in dock. This immense floating dock was purchased by the U. S. government from Spain and towed here from Havana, Cuba, where it lay during the Spanish-American war. It would float everything except the very largest U. S. battleships.) and other improvements at the Pensacola Navy Yard in 1851; the United States Custom House at New Orleans in 1851; and the Passes of the Mississippi River and Harbor at Lake Pontchartrain in 1852. Following his military resignation, Chase operated his business interests in the Pensacola area, was a city alderman for Pensacola and wrote nationally syndicated articles promoting the power and importance of the cotton economy.In 1849, Chase prepared a report favoring construction of a railroad between Pensacola and Montgomery, Alabama for the committee formed to find the ways and means to construct such a railway. In 1853, Chase was among the incorporators of the Alabama and Florida Railroad Company after it received approval from the Florida legislature. After his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1856, Chase was president of the Alabama and Florida Railroad Company from 1856 until 1861. Just below the photos of the Floating Dock you will see the Way-marker for the street named in remembrance of William Chase. Chase Street is located two blocks south of Wright Street and runs east and west.
Looking north (up Palafox Street) the same building, 1894
Blount - Watson Building 1894
The image above was originally made from the top of this building. It is located on the northeast corner of Palafox Street and Romana Street. In 1901 the Thiesen Building is Pensacola's FIRST "high-rise". I know, a high-rise is 8 stories and above. A mid-rise is 4 to 7 stories and a low-rise is up to 3 stories. Well, I guess we can honestly say that times have changed. In 1901 a high-rise structure was anything larger than 3 stories. This was due to anything with more than 3 stories was larger than a home and was classified as a business or tenement structure. The reason these were called high rises was that anything above 3 stories was taller than any fire service ladder. So, they were deemed high rise structures.
Many of the businesses had just received their Fall stocks. Insurance coverage was initially estimated at $250,000. The County Clerk, Felo de la Rua, rescued the important records from his office at the cost of his own residence, which was also destroyed by the fire.
The photos below were taken from Palafox Street looking north from Government Street.
N. B. Cook & Company groceries,
A. L. & A. M. Avery's hardware store,
J. B. Walton Saloon,
W. F. Fordhall & Company - medicine,
Dunn's Exchange Billiard Hall & Restaurant,
W. B. Hoyt Groceries,
John Pons Barber Shop,
W. T. Hutchison Furniture,
Henry White Bakery
Above are photos taken of Palafox Street after the 1880 fire. It is plane to see the amount of devastation the business district suffered. Needless to say, after the major fire, Pensacola took the set back as an opportunity to "regrow" downtown. The evidence can easily be seen from all of the images post 1880 to this very day. More evidence (solid proof) that the LORD works in mysterious ways. Don't forget, We are One Nation under GOD!
Now, on we go with learning and seeing Pensacola.
Here is the first of the two (the second is below this one)
"Fire's Disastrous Work: the Business Part of Pensacola Nearly Destroyed." New York Times, December 12, 1880."Fire and Disaster." Boston Daily Globe, December 12, 1880.
Obviously, this fire happened during a time when Pensacola was quite bustling and got noted nationwide. A fire that erupted in the early morning of December 11, 1880 destroyed five blocks of downtown Pensacola, including several government buildings and "nine-tenths" of the city's business district. The fire originated from Simon Damiani's confectionary shop, whose inhabitants barely escaped the blaze. Mrs. Damiani later died from her burn wounds. The fire spread quickly by a brisk wind, sweeping down Palafox from Romana to Government Streets. Reaction to the fire was slow, as the only steam-powered fire engine in town was at a machinist's shop being repaired, but eventually citizens formed a bucket brigade. The fire was stopped at the City Hotel near Tarragona Street to the east, and behind the Customs House to the west.
Damages were estimated between $500,000 to over $1 million. Two lives were lost.Over 100 buildings and businesses were razed by the fire,
THE 2 MAJOR fires in Downtown... This is historic information regarding the Great Fires of 1880 and 1905
This actually occurred in the VERY early morning hours (approximately 2 am) of November 1, 1905. NOT on October 31st... Halloween! But it seemed to fit better, at least, for memories sake. This fire was a conflagration that destroyed the structures on the west side of Palafox Street between Garden and Romana Streets (what would later be dubbed the Brent Block). Damages were estimated at $250,000. The fire originated from a (another) confectionery shop at 25 S. Palafox Street. Business was established in 1872 and was one of the largest in the South. In the above left photo (in the upper right of the photo) you see the First Methodist Church at Palafox & Garden Streets. One of the buildings destroyed in the blaze was the Blount-Watson Building, owned by W. A. Blount, whose law firm Blount & Blount was housed on the second floor. Blount built the seven-story Blount Building — hailed as fire-proof at the time — on the same site between 1906-1907. Pictured below is the construction (THEN), followed by the Blount Building to modern times (NOW).
Plaza Ferdinand VII from the Customs House
Plaza Ferdinand VII from the County Courthouse
2012, from the 3rd floor
1920, from the 3rd floor
Downtown Pensacola – 1907
Here, one can get a bird's eye view of downtown Pensacola from a postcard looking south toward the bay. Notice Palafox Street on the right with dirt roads, horses and buggies parked and trolley tracks. The U.S. Customs House and Post Office (in 1941, became the Escambia County Courthouse) is the tall building on the right. The tall building on the far distant left was the Louisville & Nashville Railroad grain elevator on one of the shipping wharfs. It was destroyed by one of the major hurricanes in 1906 or 1916. It is no doubt, by shock or surprise, that extensive hurricanes have made land fall since being founded in 1559. Hurricanes have a long history of making land fall here, or in close proximity to Pensacola/Escambia County, about every 10 years (and yes, that is factual data). It is also easily and visibly noted in the image below that this was a few years before the Seville Tower was constructed on the opposite street corner on the east side (to the left) from the courthouse . This image on the left was made into a postcard from a photo taken from atop the 5 story Thiesen Building (shown below the image made). The one to the right is an actual photograph.
These next pictures are more from the same intersection, but looking to the northeast corner. The first native Pensacolian to become Florida's Governor was
General Edward Perry. To get a brief history on the house, read the way-marker. Further historical information regarding this intersection is just a few scrolls down and includes more information regarding the Wright Street - Palafox Street intersection. Trust me, there is a lot more history than just this. Keeping going.
Palafox Street and Wright Street Intersection
1887 (Being Constructed, viewing east on Government Street)
While we are "here", lets take a look at and around Palafox Street from around Wright Street. Pictured below, you can barely make out the Confederate Monument at the top of the hill. Notice that the street was paved with bricks and in the photo you can see the old YMCA building to the middle right. (There are more than a few locations around downtown that are STILL bricked.) The hill looks a lot steeper today than it did back around 1924 or 1925 when the older photograph (pictured below to the left) was made. The evidence can be seen below in the upper right side color picture taken in 2011 looking south in the same place. The photo to the lower left it is the old YMCA building in 1908 on a post card. Photo on lower right is an image taken in 1900 of the memorial with a house that still stands beautifully today.
To rally support, Miss Lindenstruth wrote an article for the paper that detailed the clock’s history.
It was published on Dec. 6, 1925 and part of it reads:
“Back in 1883, Pensacola was having a ‘boom’ year … Chase and Palafox Streets had two busy corners for that year both St. Michael’s Church and the county courthouse were being built. There was a tower built on the courthouse at that time, but for several years this tower remained silent and empty. … “
Miss Lindenstruth notes that a donation by ship Capt. William Folker, a winner in a Louisiana lottery, kicked off the fund drive for the tower clock with its booming bell. The clock arrived in April 1890: and was given this report in the Daily News:
“This is a McShane bell, made in Baltimore and weighing 1500 pounds. … Attached to this bell is also a hammer with a bell cord which was formerly used for fire alarms. … This clock is a very fine piece of mechanism, made by the E. Howard Clock Co., makers of the finest tower clocks in the world. … These clocks and the material sent with them never wear out and should show no signs of wear in thirty-five years of service if they received proper care. … For several years my father had the care of this clock and during that time its accuracy was remarkable. On the last night of each year he would always climb those winding stairs and watch carefully that the midnight strike told the exact second of the arrival of a new year.“Let us ‘hold fast to that which is good.’ Commissioners, spare that clock! It can be made to give perfect time. It has counted out only half the allotted three score and ten years of a human life. It should be put into condition to count accurately a century of time.”
Aunt Bessie’s argument won them over, and the clock tolled on for a dozen more years until the courthouse was going to be torn down. Miss Lindenstruth helped save it a second time in 1938 by arranging for Congress to give the clock to the Pensacola Historical Society. It was stored in the basement of City Hall until the 1960s when Mrs. White read that it had been given to Francis Taylor, who wanted to put the clock outside his business at 200 E. Main St. A phone call by the author retrieved the clock. In 1982, the clock and bell were installed at their present location.
The Old County Courthouse Clock
The Old Escambia County Courthouse (pictured above) was a building on the northeast corner of Palafox and Chase Streets that served as the headquarters of county government from 1885 until 1937. It was razed (torn down) in 1938, this due to the "land swap" made between the Federal and County government to make way for the United States Post Office and U.S. Courthouse. Not nearly the amount of postal activity takes place now, as it did upon its inception. But the court is still is use today, even with the large United States Courthouse located at Palafox Street and Garden Street.
Escambia County had held court in a small building on Plaza Ferdinand VII between 1840 and 1866, when it was destroyed in a fire. Pictures of the conflagration fire damages and destruction is pictured further below. After leasing a space from the Pfeiffer family, county operations moved, once again, to the Old Market House at Main and Palafox. Pictured below (note where the arrow points), the County Court House is the building to the mid-upper left of the photo and has a horse and carriage are in front of it.
Lee Square is a Civil War memorial park in downtown Pensacola, just south of Cervantes Street on Palafox Street. Situated atop Gage Hill on the former site of Fort George and Fort McClellan, it was known as Florida Square until renamed for Confederate General Robert E. Lee in 1889. In 1891, after years of fundraising and planning, a 30-foot monument to "Our Confederate Dead" was erected in the park, featuring a large granite sculpture of a Confederate soldier, modeled after a painting by John Adams Elder. The monument is dedicated to Jefferson Davis, Stephen R. Mallory, Edward Aylesworth Perry, and "The Uncrowned Heroes of the Southern Confederacy." Below, you can read the inscribing on all four sides of the monument.
Moving on. This is information regarding the "closeness" of Federal, City and County governmental operations in Pensacola.
Below is the U.S. Customs House and U.S. Post Office and U.S. Court House. The Customs House started as a 2 - story wooden building in 1854, then upgraded to a 3 - story wooden building that was constructed in 1877. It was destroyed by fire in 1880. A replacement for the Customs House was planned immediately. The new building would be larger — four stories high, plus a basement. The general contractor, M. E. Bell, discovered a substantial underground water flow during site excavation, which he solved by dropping in hundreds of cotton bales. The cotton is still at the foundation of the building. Masonry work was contracted to S. S. Leonard.The replacement building was completed in 1887 with dedication ceremonies led by postmaster C. C. Yonge. The post office was headquartered on the first floor; customs operations on the second; and federal court on the third and fourth.
The solid steel door is the passage way to the “court yard”. The interior view is showing the passage way.
The steel door with an opening at eye level is from the Officer's Quarters in the next room and is a conversation port to inmates.
RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET on the southeast corner of Main Street and Jefferson Street, below, is the former Pensacola City Jail built in 1906. The first City Jail was built in 1836. The City of Pensacola decided to replace the 1906 Old City Jail in 1954, the Pensacola Art Association embraced the opportunity to transform the Spanish Revival structure from a site of punishment and humiliation to a center of enlightenment and beauty. The structure itself was perfect for an arts center because the jail was already fireproof, VERY secure and centrally located in Pensacola’s Historic Downtown District. The original jail still has equipment in place with the keys still in a few of the locks. A barred door leads into the hall. Stairs to the second floor are immediately across the hall. Some of the rooms/cells are used for children’s art classes. Below, you can get a look at how it still is in usable condition. You can enjoy two aspects while being there. First, you get a experience the atmosphere of "jail life" and, secondly, take in the beautiful art works displayed. The first two photos are the front, southeast side and the north side of the structure.
Mid-left the Escambia County Building being built, 1911
Escambia County Building 2013, the Pensacola Cultural Ctr & Pensacola Little Theatre
The above pictures are of the Escambia County government building. The black and white photo shows the building under construction in 1911 and opened in 1912 between Main and Zaragosa Streets on Jefferson Street. Until 1955 it housed the county jail, courtyard for the prisoner's to exercise, judge's chambers, courtrooms and sheriff's offices. The area between the offices and the jail was used for the prisoners/inmates as there "mingling" courtyard. Some prisoners were sentenced to death and were executed by hanging in this courtyard, seeing as it was the gallos where located there. There are stories of mysterious voices/noises/hauntings from this site. Maybe these are “sounds” or people from the past that still roam the site and structure? Or, maybe they are just stories? This area has now become the location of an “in house” café, with a small area for patrons to sit/visit/eat. The building, as a whole, is now the Pensacola Cultural Center and the location of the Pensacola Little Theater. Where the Theatre is now was originaly the 3 story county jail. All prisoners, going to their court appearance, were escorted via the exterior stairs at the rear (east side) of the building and brought to the courtroom from the judge’s chambers. The following are interior pictures of the, now titled, Pensacola Little Theater. The third row - third photo was the location of the gallos, where prisoners were executed (hung). Back in the day, this area wasn't covered. It was open air and was also the recreation area for the prisoners. Now, this is the location of the “in house” eatery.It's kind of like yesteryear, but definitely different. People are just “dying” to eat there. It does get crowded, at times, and people will “hang” around for a seat… ha, ha. Hence the saying "my how time changes".
The Coffee Cup Restaurant
The first picture is a late 1940's post card of the famous Coffee Cup Restaurant on E. Cervantes St. and 5th Avenue. This is still a popular locals hangout, with very good/traditional food and there is now a covered porch. If you notice in the pictures above, there are a few obvious changes that have taken place over time. Here's a few; windows, power lines, plants/trees, signage (advertisement) and satellite antenna. Those are just a few mentioned, so it’s a fact that there have been other changes within the passing of time. Keep reading through here and you will see, especially if you are from Pensacola (oops Panzacola) and the local area.
This is Magnolia Bluff on Escambia Bay about 1912. The railroad and Scenic Highway run along here now. Magnolia Bluff is located about where the tall high rise condo and Apple Market are on Scenic Highway in East Pensacola Heights. Camp Osceola, a military training camp for a navy brigade, was located here in 1888. There once was also a stop for the trains via the railway here during the late 1800's. Decades of erosion and hurricanes have washed away the sandy beach along this stretch of the bay. This is the Magnolia Bluff "bath" house on Scenic Highway in East Pensacola Heights. This image was from about 1900 to 1910. This, too, would be about where the tall high rise condo and Apple Market are today. A city trolley ran from Pensacola to Scenic Highway and Blount where Magnolia Beach/Bluff was. It was a popular locals and tourist place. It was so popular a railroad stopping platform was built. Train tracks can be seen in the lower left of the picture directly above and are still there (and still in use). Bath houses were popular before people had bathtubs and indoor bathrooms. Dipping in the bay, even with a bathing suit, was cleansing. There was another popular bathhouse on the bay near 9th Avenue and Bayfront Parkway.
Magnolia Bluff – Magnolia Bluff Bath House (and swimming pier), Scenic Highway, Pensacolain Escambia Bay
It is plain to see how time can change almost any and everything. To the left side of the right sided picture is a boat ramp (not seen) that is used quite often and the boardwalk to the right of the same photo is a local seafood restaurant. The Marina Oyster Barn is a simple, inexpensive and has a yummy menu to pick your food from. I say this because, I've eaten there and yes it was good. If you are boating or sailing, please understand (and apply) what it takes aboard the vessel. With a bit of patients, and proper navigation, a person can follow the guide markers, properly, and get out to the Pensacola Bay. If you have a sea worthy vessel that can withstand choppy to smooth water, and be able to clear the bridge at full tide, you’re in for a whale of a good time (ha ha)! Pardon the pun. Just be mindful! The Florida Marine Patrol is right around the cove and they take their job serious! As well they should, due to the fact that our safety (and others venturing out) is the most important thing to be mindful of. Don’t forget, the Florida Marine Patrol IS the Florida Highway Patrol… they’re just doing the job on the water! Please, have an awesome good time! But, SAFETY COMES FIRST… ALWAYS!!! We are here for a good time, not a long time! You can be smart, use caution AND still have a very good time!
Pensacola in 1909 as seen from the top of the L&N grain storage building. To the left you can see, just barely, the Seville Tower being built.
Bayou Texar Bridge was built in the early 1900’s and completed prior to 1912. The left picture above was taken in 1926. These photos show the wooden structure and its heading towards East Hill. The third is a view of Bayview Park road work. This was being done by the W.P.A. in 1935. Notice Bayou Texar and how there are no homes or development, just woods, across the bayou. The pictures below were taken in 2011 showing the growth of the bridge and overall area.
Pensacola - Bayou Texar
The first actual photo (below) is Bayou Texar, looking south toward the mouth and railroad in 1903. The “mouth” opens into the Pensacola Bay. A Bayou Texar post card was rendered from an unknown artist’s painting. The painting is believed to have been done prior to the 1900 – 1915 time frames. Obviously, it was well before the residential and business growth. Oh, don’t forget, the pronunciation for Bayou Texar. Bayou is pronounced as BY-YOU and Texar is TUH-HAR. Not, tex-are. You know, like you’d say tug for a tug boat. Just drop the “G” in tug. Next would be the word FAR. Just change “F” to an “H” and pronounce it… Tuh-har. There you go! Now, wasn't that easy?! The X in Spanish is pronounced like H in english.
U.S.S. Lexington (Lady Lex, The Blue Ghost), Pensacola Port
Go to MILITARY in PENSACOLA 2 for more history.
Pensacola Harbor 1926
Tarragona Wharf 1902
Pensacola Bay 1941
Palafox Port 1886
Pensacola Harbor 1894
These main shipping docks were located downtown on the bay, about where the railroad tracks end. Pensacola was the busiest and largest shipping port of the United States from the mid 1800's until the early 1900's. In 1882, the port serviced 662 vessels. Seventeen (yes 17) wharf's, docks, piers and the Port of Pensacola covered a span of Major hurricanes in 1906, 1916, 1926 and the 1917 tropical storm that decimated shipping. These storms destroyed a lot of the waterfront. This was due to the serious storms, the great depression, disastrous fires, wars and the fact of growth throughout the coasts of the United States of America. Yes, we still get hurricanes and tropical storms/depressions.
The following are images from Then and Now. I hope you enjoy.
Port - Docks - Wharfs - Piers
More for Roy Jone's Jr. on
You can see the destructive fire that decimated the pier and left nothing more than a lone concrete (man made) island off Bayfront Parkway. This concrete structure has been standing in place since the fire occurred, more than 50 years ago (yep, more than half a century ago) and now it is well past 2005. You will also see what has become of the Muscogee Wharf that attaches to land. It is plain to see the Fire Boats at work and aiding in the extinguishment of the horendace fire. We’ll cover Pensacola Fire Department later. History regarding the boats above have not, to this point, been found. This is all that has remained of the pier after the major fire from 1955. Seeing this is all that still remains of the pier, it is pretty obvious it was never rebuilt. The only re-building that occurred was the construction of a few very nice residential homes, as can be understood by the Muscogee Wharf sign leading into the small gated community. The Muscogee Indians are remembered here historically, as can be seen by the name of the residential community and the road in the community of Cantonment. This is the photo all the way to the right.
The Gulf, Florida and Alabama Railway Company Coal Pier were on the waterfront of Pensacola. This postcard is from the mid to late 1930 era. It was built in 1934 and completely abandoned circa 1970 leaving what can be seen today (2012). This was destroyed by fire in 1955. Coal was very important to Pensacola. Most homes in Pensacola were heated by coal until World War II. Many of the old houses in East Hill and North Hill still have the coal burning fireplaces in them. Pictured above is the Muscogee wharf, obviously, before the major (and destructive) 1955 fire. A major fire had damaged the 2400 foot long L&N port in 1948, with total destruction in 1955 (below, 1st row middle and right images) and in 1966 a fire destroyed the Frisco Docks. The building of new terminal warehouses was planned.
Muscogee Wharf Then and Now
Downtown Pensacola 1950
Left looks to the southeast, right looks to the southwest
For a place that’s been on the map for more than 450 years, you SHOULD expect some pretty fascinating history. In its earliest days, Pensacola was tossed around like a rag doll between Spain, France, Spain, Britain, Spain, United States, the Confederacy and finally back the United States. Her abundant natural resources and deep-water harbor were a prime catch for any country to claim. Historic architecture, street layouts, old cannons, and especially food have all been influenced by Pensacola’s rich heritage. The city is especially proud of its three historic districts and active marine and land archaeology programs.
Go through downtown and visit a multitude of places like; historical and art museums (for adults and kids), restaurants/eateries, the historical village, two breweries, theaters, lots of stores, historical/sport/concert parks. Or, spend a day touring Pensacola Naval Air Station, with its world-class naval aviation museum, famed Blue Angels Flight Squadron and state-of-the-art IMAX Theatre. The base itself, originally the Navy Yard, began back in 1825. A self-guided tour of the base will take you around to some of its oldest structures, as well as the site of the first site of Pensacola (Panzacola). BUT, DO NOT GO INTO ANY RESTRICTED AREAS!!!!! If you do, Federal Law will apply.
Palafox Street Docks 1900
Palafox Street 1876
Palafox Street 1884
Palafox Street & Government Street (looking north) 1894
Downtown Pensacola, more from then to now.
Pensacola has had quite a few different countries since being founded. The heritage can be seen throughout the historic downtown area. Some of the original structures have been upgraded over time and newly built structures are designed in remembrance of a certain era. If one takes the time to get an understanding or just soak in the history behind Pensacola, an overwhelming amount of jaw dropping and “must see” areas will unfold. Let’s start with this. The very well-known local street is Palafox Street starts at the bay in downtown Pensacola and is the starting point for Highway 29/95, 95A. This road finds its ending point at the Manassas National Battlefield Park (on the Lee Highway) in Virginia and just to the west of Washington, District of Columbia. Next are a few other of the Pensacola streets that definitely can be attributed to history; Cervantes Street, Bayou Texar (said as by-you-tuh-har), Zaragosa Street, Intendencia, Gonzalez and many, many more. Throughout this writing there are numerous titles for roads, areas and communities that give or render a better insight into our history.
Below, one can get an actual look at Palafox Street prior to the turn of the 20th Century. These pictured images were taken at a simple time span of ten years. If anyone has seen the movie “Tombstone”, Pensacola looked much the same but... better. Oh, and YEP! There are NO cars! Well, duh, they weren't invented yet.
This is and continues to be seeing and/or reading about the yesteryear's to modern times.
I hope this brings back fond memories and even teaches any “youngsters” perusing Pensacola’s long history.
I know that I am not that “old”, but I know I’m no longer a youngster either! Although I do act like one, most of the time. (Just ask my wife and kids.)
By the way, if you are further along in life... I DO NOT see it as older. Honestly, you are more experienced in life!
Lives are filled with good and bad... the younger ("less experienced with life") should learn from the past so they can amplify the good!!!
Between the older aerial photo and the more recent one, you can easily see the changes that have taken place to the beginning point of Palafox Street and Pensacola Bay’s coastline from the heart of Downtown Pensacola. The old photo was taken via the U.S. Navy, prior to the auditoriums construction. Who knows, maybe 100 years from now this will be a vintage view. At least we are afforded the opportunity to see the past alive in the latest growth spurt, even with a Spanish Galleon leaving the port.
Here is what has become of a performance establishment in Pensacola, the Pensacola Bay Center. For 27 years this was named the Pensacola Civic Center. It was re-titled to the Pensacola Bay Center in 2012. No matter the title change, it is obvious to see that it out seats the former Pensacola Municipal Auditorium by a long shot and has a lot more parking/staging for ticket holders (as well as the performers)! Since opening its doors in 1985, The Pensacola Bay Center has hosted some of the biggest names in the entertainment business. There is more than just concerts that occur here. The Pensacola Bay Center is a 10,000 seat arena with over 20,000 square feet of exhibition space. 12 versatile meeting rooms with 13,000 square feet of meeting space are also available with full service on-site or off-site catering. Below is just a few of the activities and concerts that have taken place (and continues).
Balls, Meetings, Expo’s, PENSACON, Monster Jam with the Monster Trucks, public ice skating, Ice Hockey (minor league), Basketball (minor league and the Harlem Globetrotters), Cher, Kiss, Elton John, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Jimmy Buffet, Reba McEntire, Van Halen, Hank Williams Jr., Alabama, The Beach Boys, Chris Tomlin, Travis Tritt, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Vern Gosdin, M.C. Hammer, 357, Motley Crew, Brad Paisley, Eric Clapton, Metallica, AC-DC, Casting Crowns, Disney/Disney on Ice, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, “professional” wrestling, Parmalee, Miranda Lambert and local high school/college/university graduations. A whole lot more does and will take place at the Pensacola Bay Center to this very day. In October of 2012 the United States Presidential (republican) candidate Mitt Romney held a campaign rally here with Marco Rubio, Connie Mack, Clay Ford, Doug Broxon and Jeff Miller. Again, VERY MANY MORE that were not mentioned. OH, EVEN WEDDINGS HAVE BEEN and ARE HELD HERE.
This was where the Pensacola Municipal Auditorium was built in 1954-55, at the end of South Palafox Street overlooking the bay. The image on the top left was taken in 1975. It was built on filled land (not a landfill). In 1957 and pictured further below, there was a very nice restaurant on the bay side overlooking the water. The Municipal Auditorium was built for $820,000 and dedicated on February 8, 1955. The Pensacola High School band, Pensacola’s (and Escambia County’s) first high school, played at the dedication ceremony and was the first group to perform there. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was the first major concert a month later, to a crowd of about 2,000. During its lifetime, the building was host to some of the world's biggest musical acts. Elvis Presley performed three times at the auditorium; the first show took place on February 26, 1956. Patsy Cline sang at the auditorium only a few years before her death. When Jerry Lee Lewis performed, he pounded the new piano so fiercely that the management stopped the show halfway through. The attendance record was set by Charley Pride, whose 1971 concert packed in 3,000 fans. In later years, the building also hosted the Civil Airs Dance Club and the Pensacola Junior League's annual "Bargain Sale" fundraiser. Here are just a few more “happenings” at the Municipal Auditorium; Buddy Holly, the Bee Gees in the 1970's, Confederate Railroad, televised wrestling (local CBS station), hot rod shows, gun shows, local high school proms and the site continued to have concerts until 2002. The following are just a few of the performers/concerts/bands/events that had been held until the Auditorium closed forever. This list doesn't even come close to listing every person/event/meeting. That list would take up a whole lot more room.
There are a whole lot more that are not listed or not known of and that information is not easy to find (at least to write in here).
Now, let’s take in the “modernization” of Pensacola. Basically, this is the before and after. Seen below is the start of Palafox Street or Palafox Pier. During this time, Palafox Pier consisted of dock work and local businesses in the "sea life". In 1954, the Pensacola Municipal Auditorium was constructed.