Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Haddon Hall Apartments

Haddon Hall is a Tudor-revival style apartment building in the Avondale neighborhood by another famous and prolific Jacksonville team, Marsh & Saxelbye.  Avondale adjoins Riverside; the transition between the two riverfront neighborhoods is fairly seamless, largely because of their shared experience in the 1920's building boom.

Haddon Hall, 3311-3319 Pine Street, Jacksonville, constructed in 1927.  If you were strolling along Pine Street for the first time, Haddon Hall might take you by surprise.  This area between St. Johns Avenue and the river is populated almost exclusively with stately single-family homes, not apartment buildings.  This is in the heart of Avondale, described in a 1923 sales brochure as "the most beautiful residential development ever attempted in Jacksonville."  As it turned out, this was not hyperbole.  Avondale has some of the most beautiful residential blocks in the country.  Haddon Hall is very much at home here among its impressive single-family neighbors.

William Mulford Marsh and Harold Saxelbye began their partnership in 1919.  Marsh grew up in Jacksonville. Saxelbye was born in Hull, England, and practiced in New York for nine years before coming to Jacksonville to design the Mason (later Mayflower) Hotel downtown.  Their partnership lasted twenty-seven years until Marsh's death.  Marsh & Saxelbye dominated Jacksonville architecture during the 1920's building boom.

This is one of two Pine Street entrances to Haddon Hall, which contains eight apartments.  The building shares the name of a famous Tudor mansion in Derbyshire, England, near Saxelbye's birthplace of Hull.  Haddon Hall is rich with traditional Tudor features, including half-timbering, bay windows, gables, and ornate chimneys.  Here is a closer view of the arch over the entry, with the title Haddon Hall:

Brick, stucco, hewn stone, cast stone, and wood all figure in the surface treatments in the building.  The views below show details of the decoration around the arched entry and the lights that flank it.

And here's a look beyond the archway to the building's entrance with its vintage screen doors and double front doors behind them:

These details add to the character and appeal of Haddon Hall, an elegant living place that we would describe as a luxury apartment building today, but in the 1920's would more likely have been referred to as "high class".  As I took these pictures I lingered on the sidewalk, hoping a resident would come along and invite me in for a look at one of the apartments!  No such luck this time, but I'll try again.  Here's a detail of an upstairs sunroom.  Don't you want to go up for a visit?

It's easy to see why the name Marsh & Saxelbye is still a selling point for homes in Jacksonville.  Saxelbye, who handled most of the creative design work while Marsh oversaw building and construction, was considered Jacksonville's most artistic architect of the time.  Here are two more views of this fine building: 

Marsh & Saxelbye were responsible for hundreds of beautiful homes and commercial buildings in Jacksonville.  They are another pair of the talented people who contributed so much to the architectural heritage of the city.  The Florida building boom went bust by 1928.  Considering the short period of time prior to that in which neighborhoods like Avondale were conceived and built, the quality of the end result is remarkable.  What a pleasure that is for us today!      


  1. Mike, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos! I've spent time in a number of these Jacksonville apartments, visiting friends who were resident. Have also visited the Wigwam Motel and the Los Altos. Like you, I grew up fascinated by the historic buildings in Savannah and am now living in Jacksonville's Springfield Historic District.

  2. I used to live here. I've got picture of the inside if you'd ever like to see them.

  3. Mike- Your images are a beautiful representation of historic Jacksonville neighborhoods that are an asset to the city. Would I have your permission to use one of the images in small size for the cover of a brochure promoting local business investment in Jacksonville by showcasing its diversity of neighborhoods? Let me know if they are copyrighted? Thanks! Mike Barnhart - Jacksonville, FL

  4. Very surprised to read this article to thank the author.
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  5. Lived there for 10 years...what a fabulous place.