Pearl Plaza, 1950′s

October 13th, 2015, 11:19H · Topics: Around Town, Business · Print

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“This was one of the new and big shopping malls in Jacksonville during the early 50’s. As you can see the A&P store was the major store.  The Place is still there but it doesn’t look like that today.  This is on Pearl and 42nd. Streets.”  LS

The Pearl Plaza is still standing on the 5200 Block of North Pearl Street between West 42nd. St and West 44th. Street. In its day the A&P grocery store was the anchor tenant with a laundromat, drug store, dress store, shoe store, barber shop and others there to provide the necessities of daily life. I don’t think there are many commercial businesses left in the strip mall at this point with most of the storefronts being used by government agency offices and health clinics. The photograph below shows a builders architectural model that photographer Loyd Sandgren identifies as the same plaza above but one of the model’s labels appears to place the location on Edgewood Avenue. It looks very similar and perhaps it had a twin on Edgewood at one point or the proposed location was changed.

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  1. 1 John Dandy Franklin November 25th, 2015 21:47H

    Great old man,Bob ran the barber shop for many years….

  2. 2 Joyce Nolan November 28th, 2015 16:46H

    Pearl Plaza was the lifeblood to our family. I lived on the corner of 45th and Pearl St. and we could see Pearl Plaza everyday from our home. We shopped at A&P. We loved going to Alread’s Pharmacy and sit at the soda fountain counter and having a coke with ice for 5 cents. Add a penny more if you wanted to add cherry or vanilla. Fess Parker made an appearance there as Davy Crockett and my twin sister and I had our picture taken with him and it was in the Jacksonville paper. One night, my Mother heard glass breaking. She called the police. They caught 2 men trying to rob the post office inside the Pharmacy. Remember back then, no AC so all our windows were open. I have too many memories but it was awesome living across the street from Pearl Plaza. Kept our neighborhood alive.

    • 3 bob December 1st, 2015 9:47H

      Joyce, Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories. This post unexpectedly generated a lot of interest from others like you that grew up nearby. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

    • 4 Foster H. Coker III December 1st, 2015 22:14H

      I remember going to your house at 45th and Pearl in the late Sixties, Joyce, when my aunt Sue got stuck babysitting and had to bring me along. Gosh, that was over 45 years ago, now.

  3. 5 Laura Shrewsbury Smith December 1st, 2015 22:18H

    I agree with everything Joyce said. My mother shopped at A&P. Allred’s was where everyone went. As kids we rode our bikes up to the plaza, or even walked (gasp…)!
    Each week we asked the A&P to open the soda machine so we could get RC bottle caps to get us into the Florida Theater on Wed. mornings for the summer movie day. Was it called the Mickey Mouse Club? It was great! I think it took 6 bottle caps.
    Not long after, they built Gateway Shopping Center. That was another giant leap for all of us! I loved growing up in that area, at that time… Wonderful memories!

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More