The history of Downtown Jacksonville FL is closely tied to the city’s growth and expansion. The area was originally called “Old Town” and became a bustling commercial district in 1822, after Andrew Jackson relocated his law practice here. In 1890, Jules Klauber proposed widening Main Street (now known as East Pearl) by 20 feet for streetcar lines; this would have doubled its width from 60-80′. This proposal never came into fruition due to an economic panic that year.
In 1903, Louis Bauduy bought the block bounded by Adams St., Union St., North Davis St., and East Bay Streets with plans to build two hotels on it: one named the Hotel Lafayette and another unnamed hotel opposite City Hall. However construction never began, and the property was eventually turned into a public park.
In 1919, Main Street became one-way northbound from Bay to Union Streets in an effort by Mayor John T. Alsop Jr., who felt that traffic should move towards the newer downtown area instead of away from it as before. This was changed back to two way traffic again in 1939 due to citizen complaints about congestion on Broadway (now East Pearl) which at the time had been recently widened for automobile use only.
As Jacksonville FL continued to grow over time, so did Downtown’s commercial district; its current boundaries are Adams St., Market St., Bay St., and Duval Street