“Then & Now” a Hot Seller in First Week

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 16, 2023 at 11:32am

After only one week after its release, a new pictorial book by a Jacksonville non-profit is flying off the shelves.

A little over a week ago, the new Jacksonville Main Street book titled “Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now” was released after a number of years and a lot of effort. by Main Street volunteers.

Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says the 88-page hardcover book that features photographs from as far back as the 1870s through today, would not have been possible if it were not for the work of many over the course of the project.

It was a collaborative effort of our design committee, actually…several design committees over the years. It started when Carol Carl was our Design Committee Chair, and then she left and Nick Little came on and he took the ball and ran with it. So it’s been a culmination of a lot of different people.”

The book spans the entire photographic history of downtown Jacksonville’s changes over the years telling the story of before, during, and after Urban Renewal.

Tighe says it’s interesting to see how retail downtown has changed over the years and the types of stores or businesses that were once popular downtown have changed.

She says nothing has been glossed over in the book as the square has had many different looks across the decades. “I love looking at those old pictures, every time you look at one you see something new. You know, and some of it is sad. We totally documented the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it’s just fascinating to see how downtown has grown and changed and what has stayed the same.”

Downtown Jacksonville Then & Now costs $30.00 per hardback copy and was printed locally through Bound to Stay Bound in Jacksonville. Proceeds from the book will go toward future Main Street Design Committee downtown projects.

The book is available for $30.00 at several local businesses including The Farmers State Bank & Trust Company’s downtown branch, Market House Antiques, Our Town Books, Gillam House, the Crimson Cup & Spirit Stop, and the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Copies are also available at the Jacksonville Main Street Office as well as online at jacksonvillemainstreet.com for those who would like the book shipped elsewhere.