The Eco Relics architectural salvage company is proud to occupy a fine example of industrial architecture in one of Florida’s oldest surviving industrial neighborhoods. The 50,000+ square foot warehouse at 106 Stockton Street was built in 1927 by Baker & Holmes Company, a wholesaler of food staples, building materials, and more. The neighborhood was largely undeveloped until that time, save a few unpaved roads and some working-class homes outside LaVilla. In the 1920s and 1930s, light industry developed in the area to take advantage of adjacent railways. Early industrial neighbors included FRAM Florida, a canning operation, and Vita Foods, which produced jellies and jams.
Proximity to the railway was very important for industry prior to the development of America’s interstate highway system. Abandoned tracks around Eco Relics date back to at least 1905. The Railway Express Agency, founded in 1929, operated much like today’s UPS, shipping everything from apples to zoo animals across the country. REA’s Jacksonville rail terminal was the largest in the world, featuring 32 sub-tracks with room for 250 rail cars, and it was just a stone’s throw from 106 Stockton Street. By 1975, shrinking rail traffic forced REA to close its Jacksonville terminal.
After the Baker & Holmes Company moved out, 106 Stockton Street housed a succession of other companies. It served as a Sears & Roebuck appliance warehouse, woodshop, and most recently a moving and storage company. The building was empty for six years before Eco Relics moved in. Renovations included the use of energy-efficient and salvaged materials. Rescued palms, trees, and shrubs provided new landscaping.
Eco Relics worked hard to maintain the historic character of the building at 106 Stockton Street. The surrounding neighborhood’s historic character also remains. Ennis Davis, a land use and transportation planner, notes that “urban characteristics like gridded streets, limited building setbacks, and multimodal transportation corridors have become rare after decades of demolition for failed urban renewal projects. The fact that the majority of the urban landscape remains in this district makes it a rare find in today’s Jacksonville.” Come on in to Eco Relics and discover your own rare find!