Northeast Gainesville Residential District
598 NE Blvd Gainesville, FL
The Northeast Gainesville Residential District is roughly bounded by NE 1st and 9th Streets, NE 10th and E. University Avenues.
The Northeast Gainesville Residential District is significant for the concentration and evolution of an early residential neighborhood in a sixty-three block area. The buildings, which reflect architectural styles prevalent in Florida during the 1880s through 1920s, and the public green spaces depict the development of Gainesville between these years. The northeast quadrant of the city incorporates nine former subdivisions: Original Gainesville, Home Investment Company Addition, Robertson’s Addition, Sun-Kist Addition, Doig and Robertson’s Subdivision, Highland Terrace, and Highland Heights. The development of these subdivisions and the incorporation of these areas into Gainesville’s city limits reflects typical residential growth patterns of Florida cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The District has also been an area where several persons important in the community’s development established their residences.
Gainesville was chosen as the county seat for Alachua County in 1853 and platted in 1854.1 The City was laid out in a grid pattern (excepting the eastern boundary which followed the Sweet Water Branch). The original 103 1/4 acre plat, bought from Major James B. Bailey and from the estate of Nehemiah Brush, was designed with four intersecting ninety-foot thoroughfares, which form the courthouse square in the center of the city. Thirty-foot streets formed the boundaries and forty-five foot streets were used elsewhere in the grid.2 These paired, ninety-foot thoroughfares divided the city into four quadrants with the original northeast quadrant comprising a portion of the Northeast Gainesville Residential District. Of the 24 extant structures built before 1900, 19 are located within this portion of the district. Construction of these buildings occurred primarily during the 1880s. Reflecting the popular style of the period, a large number of these homes were built in the Queen Anne style. Some of these are located on Northeast 3rd Street – 216, and 306. Another example is 420 Northeast 5th Street.
The early growth of Gainesville was limited until the completion of the Florida Railroad in 1859.3 Prosperity, however, was curtailed throughout the 1860s and 1870s by the Civil War and Reconstruction. The establishment of several industries (citrus, fertilizer, phosphate and an iron foundry), in the 1880s brought Gainesville out of this economic slump.
The Northeast Gainesville Residential District is a National Registry of Historic Places