“Real architectural gem”: Downtown Jacksonville fire guts historical building

Historians: "This is a great loss to downtown"

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

More than 100 firefighters worked through the night Saturday to put out the flames in an abandoned, but historic funeral home in Downtown Jacksonville.

A historian with the Jacksonville Historical Society said it was at one point the longest-standing single-owner business in Jacksonville.

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Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home opened in the 1850′s and moved to its downtown building in 1914, but eventually closed in 2013.

Dr. Wayne Wood, the historian at large for the Jacksonville Historical Society, said the building has sat empty ever since.

The building caught fire Saturday night closing down parts of State and Union Streets and flames completely gutted the building.

Code Enforcement deemed the building unstable and the area will be shut down for several days.

“To lose one like this, it was such a jewel box. It was a real architectural gem. It saddens all of us,” Dr. Wood said.

The building was one of only five of its architectural style left in downtown Jacksonville. It was listed on the historical society’s list of endangered buildings for about five years.

“It goes back to some of the very early days of Jacksonville as well as the wonderful period when Jacksonville was in its heyday architecturally.”

Dr. Woods said Jacksonville’s architecture stems from the Midwest and is rarely seen in the south. He said Jacksonville’s unique position on the river gives it a style not typically seen in Florida.

The style of the Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home is the same architecture you can see at City Hall.