Seven to Save
Our 2019 list of Pensacola’s most
at-risk historic sites
Pensacola USO Building
25 South Spring Street
Pensacola’s Spring Street USO — built in 1941 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s WPA — was one of the first USOs built in the United States. Its distinctive arched facade has graced South Spring Street for more than 75 years, but City officials have approved the building’s demolition to make way for a large new residential and commercial development.
Pensacola Vocational School
215 West Garden Street
Located next door to the USO Building, the Pensacola Vocational School was also built in 1941 by the WPA to train both civilian and military students, including Pensacola’s own “Rosie the Riveter” women who took up jobs previously occupied by men. Later, the building served as the headquarters of the Escambia County School District and was named in honor of Dr. Vernon McDaniel, the county’s first black school board member. Like the USO, the Vocational School Building has been approved for demolition to make way for new development.
Washington Jr. High School Gymnasium
806 West De Soto Street
The old gymnasium is all that’s left of the former Washington Jr. High School complex. The property is still owned by the Escambia County School District.
W. E. Plummer House
215 North Reus Street
Built 1885 or earlier
The W. E. Plummer House, located in Pensacola’s Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood, dates back to at least 1885. The house’s most important resident was W. E. Plummer, a black employee of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and a leader in Pensacola’s black community.
Old Mount Olive Baptist Church
415 North Alcaniz Street
From 1928 to 1982, the sanctuary at 415 North Alcaniz Street was home to Mount Olive Baptist Church. After that church outgrew the building and moved to new facilities nearby, the building was sold to Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church. Unfortunately, damage sustained during Hurricane Ivan rendered the building unsafe. Developers have since gutted the interior, but the historic facade remains intact.
Hygeia Bottling Works
1625 North Palafox Street
In 1936, Pensacola’s Coca-Cola bottling plant moved from downtown into a new facility on the edge of Pensacola’s North Hill neighborhood. Long owned by the Rainwater family, the Hygeia plant remained there until the 1970s, when it moved to newer facilities near Davis Highway and Interstate 10, where it remains today.
432 West Belmont Street
The handsome brick building that’s graced the corner of Belmont and DeVilliers streets since 1918 was the longtime home of Smith’s Bakery, and before that, Reed’s Bakery. It’s now owned by the nonprofit Truth for Youth, which hopes to restore the building for use as a cultural and heritage center.