After Thrilling First Run Sell Out, “Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now” Back on Shelves

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 2, 2023 at 3:24pm

The recent success of a new book focused on the ever-changing face of downtown Jacksonville left even its creators surprised however, fresh copies are now back on the shelves.

Jacksonville Main Street’s new book, Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now, sold out its first print run nearly two and a half weeks after its debut in early January. The book was created by the Jacksonville Main Street Design Committee and features a pictorial history of downtown before, during, and after Urban Renewal.

Design Committee Chair Nick Little says the overwhelming success of the first printing was a complete surprise to everyone involved. “It’s been absolutely phenomenal. We predicted we would sell out, but we just didn’t realize we would sell out as quickly as we did with the first production. So now we have the second run-in, and already today we have delivered at least 200 copies to local businesses ready to sell.

So we’re super excited, there are more ready to come. It’s a beautiful book and we are very thrilled with how it turned out. Everybody has said it is very tastefully done, it looks very good with our downtown, and I would say grab your copy now before the second run ends.”

Executive Director Judy Tighe says Jacksonville Main Street has been thrilled with the response to the first run, so much so that she has a large waiting list of people to contact now that the second, and much larger, order of books is in.

Photos in Jacksonville Then & Now date as far back as the 1870s that are adjacent to new full-color photos of the same location. Tighe says viewers can easily compare the changes depicted in hundreds of pictorial reminders of stores, structures, and styles through the ages via what she feels is already a classic creation.

The great thing about this book is, it’s really timeless, but with that said, it’s also immediately out of date. Downtown continues to evolve and change and we celebrate all of the improvements that the building owners have done and are continuing to do. I noticed just this morning that someone has all brand-new awnings.

So it doesn’t matter when you take the picture, within a week something is going to look different. And we’re never going to be one hundred percent up to date because downtown is never going to, hopefully, stop evolving, growing, and meeting the needs of today while keeping its old character. That’s what the book reflects.”

Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now is an 88-page hardback book produced locally by Bound to Stay Bound’s Bookkrafters division. The cost is $30.00 per book with proceeds helping to fund future Main Street projects like the many downtown murals.

Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now is again available for purchase at the Jacksonville Main Street office, Market House Antiques, Our Town Books, Gillham House, Crimson Cup & Spirit Stop, The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company (downtown facility), and the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Copies can also be ordered electronically and shipped anywhere via the Jacksonville Main Street website at