JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville’s oldest neighborhood will once again host its historic home tour, May 17th and 18th. The 36th Annual Historic Springfield Home Tour, presented by Wells Fargo, will feature a renovation theme, with all homes and businesses on the tour displaying various stages of renovation.
“Springfield continues to be one of North Florida’s most unique neighborhoods, with the area’s best examples of 19th and early 20th century architecture,” said Bill Hoff, president of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR). “For over three decades, our residents have opened their doors to showcase a wide range of beautifully restored homes. This year all the venues are original, historic structures in various stages of renovation.
“Before” photos will be on display at all the venues so visitors can see first-hand the transformations. In addition, one of the homes is still in the “before” state. Eco-friendly homebuilder TerraWise Homes is renovating the property, with ambitious plans to make the home “net zero,” meaning it will create as much energy as it uses. TerraWise Homes will display various floor plans and design elements that tour participants can vote on. The company is also currently building several brand-new environmentally friendly homes in Springfield.
For those who prefer to learn and see more of Springfield than just the homes on tour, e2ride Bike Tours will conduct an extended guided bike tour of the venues and the greater Springfield historic district, showcasing its notable structures, architecture, and historical figures and events.
Springfield, named by This Old House magazine as one of the Best Old House Neighborhoods 2013: The South and by Southern Living as one of The South's Best Comeback Neighborhoods, was once ground zero for Jacksonville’s poverty and blight. Now in the midst of an urban revival, the neighborhood is blessed with an array of beautifully restored homes, including colonial revival, Queen Anne, and prairie styles.
The neighborhood isn’t just about historic homes, though. Residents say they were drawn to the community just north of Downtown due to its reputation for “First Friday” parties at residents’ homes, Jacksonville’s largest private Halloween party, the annual “wandering” New Year’s Eve cocktail party, a monthly dinner party called the “Springfield Skillet,” “Make it Happen” events where neighbors come together to improve homes for residents without the means, “meal trains” for neighbors in need, active pet rescue and mommies groups, martini fundraisers, and more.
“Springfield is truly one of the most active, involved, caring and fun neighborhoods you’ll ever find,” Hoff said. “While many residents are first attracted by the unique architecture and proximity to Downtown, many choose to live here for the tight-knit community and active lifestyle.”
36th Annual Historic Springfield Home Tour presented by Wells Fargo
- When: Saturday, May 17 & Sunday May 18, 1pm to 5pm both days
- Where: Third & Main Event Center. 1303 N. Main Street, corner of 3rd & Main Streets
- Cost: $12 in advance, $15 day of the event
- Buy tickets online: www.sparcouncil.org
- Buy tickets in-person: Uptown Market, Three Layers Cafe & Avela Day Spa in Springfield, Tres Leches Eatery and Fans & Stoves Antique Mall in Riverside, and Avonlea Antique Mall on the Southside. Or, at the check-in table the day of the event.
- Bike Tour: $25.00 (held on May 17 @ 2pm only). Price for the bike tour assumes you bring your own bicycle. If you need to rent a bike, please contact e2ride Bike Tours beforehand at (904) 945-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds from the tour go to Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR), a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated since 1974 to improving the quality of life in the Springfield historic district. For more information, visit www.sparcouncil.org or call (904) 353-7727.