Skip to Content

Proposed development may save old jail – or not

from Tallahassee Democrat

George Firestone Building

Gerald Ensley, Democrat correspondent 

The good news is a developer is willing to save two historically interesting Tallahassee buildings.

The bad news is preserving them may prove too costly.

North American Properties – the group that has almost singlehandedly redeveloped the west end of the Gaines Street corridor – has proposed a bold project for the east end of Gaines Street.

Targeting two city blocks on the shoulders of Cascades Park, the group aims to build a $158 million residential-retail-entertainment complex. The developers have agreed to preserve — in some fashion — three buildings of historical significance encompassed by the project: the old Leon County Jail, also known as the Firestone Building, as well as two smaller buildings known as the Bloxham Annex.

All three buildings on Gaines Street were constructed during the 1930s by the federal Works Progress Administration. All three blocky, concrete buildings are adorned with art deco architectural features, which has aroused preservation passion from those who note they are the only remaining Tallahassee examples of a celebrated 1920s-1930s architectural style.

Read the full story at

View all news