I haven’t done a throwback post in a while, so here goes.
I found this postcard in an antique store a few years back. This is how Hemming Park/ Plaza used to look. It has been redone once or twice since this picture was taken. I like the picture because it shows the May Cohens department store. This is where I worked the summer I got engaged. I worked upstairs in the credit department. I felt so grown up working downtown. Some days I would take my lunch and eat in the lunch room where the TV was always showing “The Young and the Restless”. It was from the snack machine there that I had my first Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and I still love them. On occasion I would venture out with someone to eat somewhere nearby. There were other large department stores down the street such as Ivey’s and Furchgott’s . One of them had a nice restaurant inside.
After I got married I still worked there. We only had one car so I rode the bus. Hemming Park was the main hub where all the buses went, so it was convenient. I enjoyed riding the bus, actually. I was on the phone a large part of the day, listening to customer complaints. I got a headache nearly every day, so I was glad not to have to drive home.
May Cohens was in the St, James Building which is now City Hall. I was there a few weeks ago with my mother-in-law. It was so strange to be inside because it looks completely different now.
I love the history of old buildings and it’s fun having this connection and the memories of how downtown Jacksonville used to be. Some things change for the better, some for the worse. I hope these beautiful old buildings stay around for a very long time.