Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two by Mark & Sheftall

Here are two memorable buildings by Mark & Sheftall, one of Jacksonville's great architectural partnerships of the early 1900s.  First, the Delgado Building:

The Delgado Building, 2544 Oak Street, a mixed-use Prairie-style building constructed in 1919 in the Riverside neighborhood.  Earl Mark and Leeroy Sheftall collaborated on several memorable Prairie-style buildings in Jacksonville's historic neighborhoods.  Both men apprenticed in the office of Henry John Klutho, one of Florida's greatest architects, who came to Jacksonville following the great fire of 1901.  Mark and Sheftall started their own firm in 1911 and were in partnership for twenty-two years.
The Delgado features retail store-fronts at street level and apartments above.  It was constructed for Shefftall's mother-in-law, Delores Delgado.  Here's a look up at the balconies: 

The corner entrance to the building, seen below, is particularly interesting.

Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Landmarks for the Future, makes this observation: "A pretentious scrolled pattern above the cantilevered corner entrance emphasizes its lack of visible support and shows the inventiveness of the architects."  This is now the entrance to Judson's restaurant.

This plaque on the Delgado testifies to its landmark status:

Having taken care of his mother-in-law, Sheftall turned his attention to the property he owned across Oak Street from the Delgado.  Here he built the Frances Court apartments, named for his daughter:

This is now the Frances Court condominiums.  It is an eighteen unit apartment building and appears well-kept.  Despite replacement windows and doors that are not true to the 1920's period this is still an interesting building that invites further inspection.

Note the "FC" for Frances Court above the doorway.  A closer view of this detail can be seen below:

If you stand in the entry courtyard of Frances Court, named for Sheftall's daughter, and look back across Oak Street, you can see the Delgado building, named for his mother-in-law.  It's all in the family here at the corner of Oak and Barrs Street!

And here, on the sidewalk leading up to Frances Court, the mark of the architects:

Mark & Sheftall left their mark across Jacksonville and these historic neighborhoods.  They also built more than fifty schools around Florida. 

My source for much of the information about Mark & Sheftall is Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage, Landmarks For The Future, by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission.  This book is available for purchase on Amazon.com and I highly recommend it.  I have included a link to its webpage in my links section.

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