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Downtown Jacksonville Walking Tour


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The Carling (Hotel Roosevelt)
The Carling - Jacksonville, FL
© Carmen Cay Photography

Continue South on N. Laura until you arrive at the W. Adams St. intersection. Make a left on W. Adams for two blocks until you arrive at The Carling.

The Carling is currently a luxury high-rise apartment building. While this may sound insignificant, the building’s history is notable. Once known as Hotel Roosevelt, it was among the most luxurious hotels in Jacksonville when it opened in 1926. Donna Axum, 1964’s Miss America, among other celebrities and notable persons, stayed in the hotel.

In 1963, the 14 story hotel caught fire. By the time firefighters stopped the fire, Jacksonville had seen its deadliest day in history -- more so than even the Great Fire of 1901. Twenty-two people died. Many, however, were rescued from the roof, including Miss America.

The hotel closed in 1964 and sat vacant and decimated for years. Later it was purchased, renovated, and used as a retirement home. In the 1980s, the historic building was once again vacant. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. In the early-2000s, a developer purchased the building and invested nearly $30 million to renovate it for its current use.

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