Top of Palafox
North Hill Preservation District (Historic Marker)
Temple Beth El (Historic Marker)
In December of 1885, the Pensacola Water Company was established to provide a public and private supply of water in and near the city of Pensacola. By 1906, the water system was serving around 9,580 properties with an estimated usage of 189,000,000 gallons in a single year. This photo of Florida Square from 1910, shows a large stand pipe that was part of the original water system at the corner of North Palafox and Cervantes Street. The stand pipe was 150 feet tall and provided pressure to the water system. A hurricane in 1906 damaged the stand pipe and residents pertitioned to have it removed. Between 1906 and 1914, advertisements were painted on the tower and it was eventually demolished in 1914.
The North Hill Preservation District occupies a 50-block area bound by Blount, Wright, Palafox, DeVilliers and Reus Streets, and represents one of the best preserved residential historic districts in Florida. After the Civil War, wealthy families left areas near the waterfront to build grand houses on Pensacola’s North Hill. From 1890 to the outbreak of World War I--between 1914 and 1918--as Northwest Florida entered the lumber boom era, local forests of yellow pine provided prosperity and building materials for many of the stately houses now treasured in the North Hill Preservation District. Another surge of growth occurred during the 1920s as a new generation of wealthy Pensacola citizens moved to the area and extended North Hill to its current northern border of Blount Street. From 1930 onward, homes typical of their periods were built on remaining available properties. As a result of its gradual development, architectural styles in North Hill are unusually varied including Queen Anne, Neoclassical, Tudor Revival, and Art Moderne. Through the dedicated efforts of community leaders, North Hill was designated as a preservation district in 1973 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
North Hill Preservation District, Marker location 401 W Gonzalez St.
Just off the trail
Temple Beth El, ca. 1940s
Jewish families in Pensacola began organized worship following the Civil War. On this site in 1876 a Reform Jewish Synagogue was constructed. The State of Florida granted a charter in 1878 for Congregation Beth El. Temple Beth El joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1889 and engaged its first Rabbi in 1892. The original temple was destroyed by fire in 1895. It was rebuilt in 1898 at this site, but that building was also destroyed by fire in 1929. The current synagogue at 800 North Palafox Street dates from 1931. Temple Beth El is Florida's first formally recognized Jewish Congregation.
Pictured | Temple Beth El, ca. 1940s, UWF Historic Trust