ELEV8 Demolition took down the historic Ford plant along Talleyrand Avenue after the city issued a permit June 12 to remove the structure. Image from the News4Jax, Sky 4 Drone.
The historic Ford Motor Co. plant is demolished.
ELEV8 Demolition took down the 98-year-old former factory in the riverfront Talleyrand area near Downtown for owner Amkin Hill Street LLC.
The city issued a permit June 12 for the demolition at 1900 Wambolt St., near JaxPort’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal.
Jacksonville Daily Record news partner News4Jax provided site images and video from its Sky 4 Drone.
ELEV8 demolished the 165,025-square-foot building, which is on 14.64 acres fronting the St. Johns River under the Mathews Bridge.
Duval County property records show the plant is about 170,000 square feet built in 1925, although some reports say it opened in 1924.
The demolition comes weeks after the Jacksonville Historical Society released its annual list of Jacksonville’s Most Endangered Buildings in observance of National Historic Preservation Month in May.
The list of more than 20 buildings included the Ford property.
“Historic sites and properties matter to Jacksonville’s people. When historic buildings such as the 99-year-old Ford Motor Assembly Plant building are demolished, we erase another part of the culture, history and life stories that form our Jacksonville,” society CEO Alan Bliss said in a news release.
The society said the assembly plant is on a long quay out into the river and is supported by 8,000 piles.
It said the plant is one of more than 1,000 buildings designed for Henry Ford by Albert Kahn, an internationally recognized industrial architect.
The Ford Motor Co. occupied the site until the late 1960s.
The Jacksonville City Council voted Oct. 11 to allow Amkin Hill Street to demolish the landmark for a possible maritime industrial redevelopment project.
The 17-0 vote overruled a June 9 order by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission that denied Amkin Hill Street LLC a certificate of appropriateness to raze the structure, which was an assembly plant for the Model T and Model A that city historic preservation staff said automaker Henry Ford helped plan and operate.
Amkin, controlled by Miami-based investor Ramon Llorens, bought the property in February 2015.
An Amkin representative told the Council Land Use and Zoning Committee on Oct. 4 that a U.S.-based shipyard owner was considering bringing 300 jobs to the site.
Another Amkin representative said that pilings at the plant are structurally unsound and that its contracted engineer deemed the building not salvageable.
According to city Assistant General Counsel Susan Grandin and former Planning and Development Department staff Susan Kelly, who prepared the commission’s report about the property, the plant has had local landmark status since Nov. 23, 2003.
The ownership group at the time requested the landmark designation, which is meant to give the building some protection from demolition.
Amkin’s engineering report said that damage to the timber pile-supported wharf around the building included portions with up to 100% section loss and loss of fill material under the building itself.