Riverside and Avondale are often referred to as one contiguous adjacent neighborhood. Although closely situated, each has its unique characteristics. South of Downtown on the St. Johns River, both Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods are primarily residential, though there are a collection of small, intimate shopping and dining "villages." One popular spot in Riverside is Five Points, with the bohemian feel you get from the small urban/contemporary clothes stores and cafes. Avondale's charming boutiques, intimate art galleries and restaurants attract those with a flair for the artistic and are the choice of many for those infamous "Sunday Brunches" at Biscotti or Orsay.
Riverside boomed when many of the city's well-heeled residents chose to rebuild right after the Great Fire of 1901. The 20th century saw sustained growth, which produced some of the most diverse architectural landscapes in Florida, with one of the largest collection of early 20th century-built bungalow houses in the state. It's a "National Historic Neighborhood," where lots of homes have been restored to their original, pristine form.
Avondale evolved later, in the 1920s. For its time, it was the most innovative upscale development Jacksonville had ever produced. The tree-lined, quiet streets display hundreds of charming homes, including a wide-ranging collection of classic and modernist architectural styles: Mediterranean Revival, Craftsmen, Classical, Prairie School and Art Deco.
Riverside/Avondale are regularly characterized as among the greatest neighborhoods in the city, and indeed, the state, so it's no surprise this section of Jacksonville was named one of the top ten neighborhoods in the United States by the American Planning Association in 2010.
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