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Pensacola’s Palafox Historic District has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Friday.

The Downtown Jacksonville Historic District was also listed, Detzner said.

“I am pleased to announce the recent listing of these large urban historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary Detzner. “These districts provide a welcoming ‘sense of place’ and unique authenticity that both residents and visitors enjoy. With their designation, and the support of Federal Historic Preservation Tax incentives, eligible properties may be adapted for retail and commercial purposes, enriching and expanding the heritage tourism experience so vital in our state.”

Palafox Street at the dawn of the 20th century. (UWF Archives/Special to the Pulse)

Palafox Street at the dawn of the 20th century. (UWF Archives/Special to the Pulse)

The Palafox Historic District contains 94 contributing historic properties and is roughly bounded on the north by East and West Wright Streets, on the west by Spring Street and Baylen Street, on the south by Zaragoza Street, and on the east by Tarragona Street and South Jefferson Street. The Palafox District spans three periods of significance, beginning in 1880 and ending in 1965. Over half of the historic buildings in the district date from 1880 to 1914, when Pensacola was a thriving seaport made prosperous by the lumber and fishing industries.

Spurred by private investment by Quint & Rishy Studer, restaurateur Joe Abston, developer Bobby Switzer and others, Palafox Street has anchored downtown Pensacola’s rebirth over the past decade. What was once a quiet street with empty storefronts has been become a vibrant urban corridor bustling with shops, office, restaurants and more. The street was selected by the American Planning Association as one of its “Ten Great Streets” in 2013.

Other Pensacola-area locations on the National Register include the Pensacola Historic District and North Hill Preservation District, as well as sites like Plaza Ferdinand VII, the Emmanuel Point Shipwreck, and the Pensacola Lighthouse.

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