History of San Marco a Neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL

San Marco is a neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. It was first developed by businessman Frank Pontello as part of the new planned community Riverside which encompassed much of what became modern day San Marco and Oakwood. The name “San Marco” comes from its location at the headwaters of the St. Johns River where it flows out of Lake Monroe (Lake Mariana).

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It was one of five neighborhoods that composed Riverside; all were named after Roman Catholic saints: San Jose, Santa Rosa, Holy Name, Mary Place and Our Lady Queen Chapel.

As early as 1847 there has been documented evidence to suggest this area might have existed when an Indian village on both sides of Kings Road gave way to cattle grazing land. In 1913 the city of Jacksonville created a planning commission to lay out an area where “good homes” could be built. The plan for this would become San Marco.

In 1918, Harry J. Clarke and associates began developing Riverside by building streets in concentric circles with boulevards running north-south on either side of Kings Road (now Ponce de Leon Avenue). They also plotted east/west roads which became Orange Street, Myrtle Street and others that were later renamed as Main Streets within their respective communities.