Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Napier Apartments

Here's another vintage Riverside Avenue apartment building near Memorial Park in Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood.  The architect, Henry John Klutho, was regarded as the city's most significant architect in the years between the great fire of 1901 and World War I. 

Napier Apartments, 1530-1536 Riverside Avenue, built 1924, H.J. Klutho architect.  The developer was Leslie Napier Wilkie.  Klutho's original design was for a four-unit co-op apartment building, but Wilkie changed the plans when his partners backed out of the development.  He lived in one large apartment and subdivided the others into smaller units.  However, the building has been restored to the original four apartment configuration.

Wilkie's middle name, Napier, was the source of the building's name, but it is misspelled "Nadier" on the stone tablet in the center of the facade!  This may be the reason Klutho referred to the building as the Wilkie Apartments rather than the Napier Apartments. 

Each of the four large apartments has a porch or balcony.  Details abound.

Projecting bays on both sides of the facade frame and showcase the building.  The rooms within the bays have three exposures.  On the ground-floor, these windows have awnings, which are appropriate to the period; the second-floor units do not.

The building's cast stone decorations stand out against the red brick.

Many of the cast stone details are exuberant, especially those on the corners of the projecting bays.

The entrances to the apartments are on the sides of the building.  Each entrance leads to two apartments.  Original address numbers are inscribed on cast-stone shields above the doorways, but are no longer correct as the road has been renumbered.  This is the entrance on the left side of the building.

And this is the entrance on the right side of the building, also with the original address inscribed above.

The apartments have back doors opening into a narrow courtyard between the two wings of the building.  Beyond this is a very small back yard.

The Napier Apartments, recognized by the city as an historic landmark.

The Napier Apartments are well located; the St. Johns River is a block away and Memorial Park is just across Riverside Avenue.  The 5 Points shopping district is around the corner.

H.J. Klutho designed several apartment buildings in the Riverside-Avondale district, along with numerous residences.  His work also includes landmark buildings downtown and in the Springfield historic district north of downtown.

1 comment:

  1. I'm one of the owners of the Napier Building. The next time you are in Jacksonville look me up and I will take you on a tour.