Mount Olive A.M.E Church designated local landmark

City Council’s approval comes two months after the historic church designed by Jacksonville’s first Black architect was listed on the Historical Society’s annual endangered buildings list.

Mount Olive A.M.E. Church, 841 Franklin St.
Mount Olive A.M.E. Church, 841 Franklin St.
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The Mount Olive A.M.E. Church on Franklin Street in Jacksonville’s Eastside neighborhood has been designated a local landmark. 

City Council voted 18-0 on Aug. 8 to approve Ordinance 2023-0375 to grant historic status to the 96-year-old building in the Oakland community giving the church protection from demolition. 

The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission agreed to recommend the church building for landmark status at its May 24 meeting.

According to a Planning and Development Department report filed with the bill, Mount Olive Church moved to its current location in 1887 into what was then a wood-framed building to support its growing membership.

Construction started on the new masonry building in 1921 and was completed in 1927.

The building is currently vacant. 

Richard Lewis Brown, recognized as the first Black architect in Jacksonville, designed and built Mount Olive A.M.E. Church, the report says. 

“The property stands as an exemplary representation of the monumental Neoclassical Revival style,” according to the legislation. 

Property records show the building is owned by the Mt. Olive A.M.E Church trustees. 

In June, the church was included in the Jacksonville Historical Society’s annual list of the city’s most endangered buildings. 

The historical society said Brown designed an eclectic building of concrete blocks, coarse-textured on the basement level and rough-cut to simulate quarry stone on the upper two stories.



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