St. Johns River Park is located on the Southbank waterfront between the Main Street and Acosta bridges and is home to the iconic Friendship Fountain. When the park opened in 1965, the Fountain of Friendship (named at the suggestion of a Rotary Club member because one of the Club’s cardinal principles is friendship) was the world’s largest and tallest fountain, capable of spraying 17,000 gallons of water a minute to a height of 120 feet. Accentuated by colored lights at night, it soon became a popular tourist destination and local recreation site. Currently, both the Museum of Science and History and a popular restaurant with its own marina occupy portions of the original park property. The park provides a wonderful view of downtown Jacksonville and access to the Southbank Riverwalk that opened in 1985. In addition, the Jacksonville Maritime Museum is located on the Riverwalk, adjacent to the northeast corner of the park.
Through careful curation, a more vibrant year-round public space will take shape over the next two years.
Built around the theme of exploring the St. Johns River, the park will include an extraordinary themed playground dubbed Ribault’s Landing and featuring a ship play structure mimicking the “Trinite”, a splash pad with spraying reeds and alligators, and a concession stand and restroom modeled after a Timucuan lodge. On the opposite side of the fountain, a lush, colorful and shady botanical garden will highlight Bartram’s Travels through the area and his early records of the diverse Florida flora providing a waterfront respite for those who wish to stroll the pathways or enjoy the spectacular views of Downtown from one of several seating areas. The park will include an upgraded natural picnic area for groups visiting the adjacent Museum of Science and History (MOSH) and complements plans for expansion of the museum.
The park’s centerpiece, Friendship Fountain, will remain the focal point dramatically representing both the massive flow of the river and its’ ever-changing moods and patterns. The three existing rings of jets will remain, but the addition of new accent jets, lighting, and speakers will allow for production of spectacular water shows. The Downtown Investment Authority is further enhancing the experience through production of a fountain projection show and facilitating coordinated programming of the fountain, projection on the façade of the Performing Arts Center across the river, and lighting on the Acosta Bridge. Slated for spring 2021 completion, the fountain shows will entertain residents and visitors nightly.
Bordering the St. Johns River, this boardwalk is usually filled with joggers, tourists, folks sitting on benches, and lovers walking hand-in-hand, all of them watching the riverboats, the shorebirds, and downtown’s skyline reflected in the water. Here you can also find the water taxi dock near Chart House available for kayak launch.
About the Southbank Riverwalk Extension:
Approximately 1,900 feet of new riverfront bulkhead; a top of bank extension of the Southbank Riverwalk (approximately 1,900 linear feet); approximately 1,255 linear feet of new boardwalk; approximately 1,650 linear feet of new overland trail; parks with approximately 820 linear feet of river frontage and related amenities; a new water taxi stop; extensions of existing roadways and new roadways with enhanced sidewalks, enhanced landscaping, bike-lanes and on-street parking; and other facilities
The Northbank Riverwalk is undergoing repairs including: bulkhead repairs, wayfinding signage and the addition of a performing arts activation node.
Walk along the North Bank riverwalk for an amazing view of the St. John’s River. Many city events take place here including the Light Boat Parade, New Year’s Eye Fireworks and many races.
The Museum of Science & History is a museum in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a private, non-profit institution located on the Southbank Riverwalk, and the city’s most visited museum. It specializes in science and local history exhibits. After seeing the excitement at the museum make sure to come and check out our great educational merchandise. You will be able to find science kits, minerals, plush animals, books, t-shirts, and much more!
The Museum of Science & History is seeking $80 million in public, private and community funding to renovate and expand its 50-year-old campus on Jacksonville’s Southbank. MOSH said the project will expand square footage from 77,000 square feet to 120,000 square feet, reorient the entry toward the St. Johns River and enhance the range and capacities for exhibits, installations, programming, educational alignment and immersive experiences with the latest technology. MOSH said the improvements will include a café on the park; a rooftop conference center and event space; and “Maker Spaces” and innovation labs. The exhibition areas will increase by 200 percent and will showcase Northeast Florida’s cultural, natural and innovation ecosystems, it said. Interactive displays, such as the River Table and simulated aquifer system, will provide guests with experiential learning opportunities. The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium also will also be renovated.
The Museum of Science & History offers a dynamic backdrop for your next event. Imagine introducing your new business plan on the planetarium’s 60-foot dome or ringing in the New Year on the MOSH rooftop as fireworks* light up the skyline. The possibilities are endless!
In February 2020, the DIA approved a bid by New York-based Spandrel Development Partners to build a $136 million mixed-used retail and multifamily development on the former Duval County Courthouse and City Hall properties. Spandrel plans a two-phase project with 520 apartments and up to 74,000 square feet of retail space that could include a grocery store or food hall. As proposed, the activated public waterfront space and streetscapes will make the area a destination for residents and visitors.
Investment: $136 million
In July 2019, global fin-tech leader, FIS acquired Worldpay, one of the world’s leading global eCommerce and payment technology companies, making FIS a $12 billion company with 55,000 employees. FIS plans to build a new, 12-story, 300,000-square-foot headquarters to support its growth in the Brooklyn District. FIS will consolidate its current headquarters and local offices into the new headquarters and plans to hire an additional 500 employees by 2029, bringing its Jacksonville workforce to approximately 1,800 employees.
Investment: $145 million
Wade into brand-new, pet-friendly, luxurious Jacksonville living at Broadstone River House. The six-story, 264 unit apartment complex offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
The city skyline, the adjacent stadium, and (of course) the St. Johns river itself comprise your scenic views from our sophisticated home interiors. Walkable restaurants, on-demand fitness courses, a river taxi service, and the support of a well-trained on-site community team – these are the winds at your back, the details that keep your life in motion both down the river and up with equal convenience.
The Riverplace Tower is a 28-floor office building on the south bank of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest building in the state of Florida and was the defining landmark in Jacksonville’s skyline.