The Aberdeen Apartments

The Aberdeen is one of many beautiful apartment houses in Jacksonville built by the team of architect Roy Benjamin and builder H.F. McAden (source: Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage, the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission).

The influence of the Prairie style of architecture, so prevalent in Jacksonville in the years around World War I, is evident here, and reminiscent of the same team’s San Juline Apartments, just a couple of blocks away on Riverside Avenue.  The San Juline was built in 1915-1916, and The Aberdeen appears to be of that same vintage


The Aberdeen’s architect, Roy Benjamin, was a native of Ocala, and was one of many architects who came to Jacksonville after the great fire of 1901 to help re-build the city.  He is best known for the nearly 200 movie theatres he designed across the south in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi.  His Jacksonville credits include the 1915 Arcade Theatre, and its remodeling in 1934.  The Arcade later became the Center Theatre, but, sadly, has since been demolished.  Benjamin designed the 1926-27 Florida Theatre in downtown, one of the great atmospheric movie palaces, which today operates as a performing arts center.  One notable moment in the Florida’s history came in 1956 when Elvis Presley performed under the watchful eye of a judge who warned him after the first act that he must tone things down.  Roy Benjamin also designed the art-deco 1938 San Marco Theatre, just across the St. Johns River in the San Marco neighborhood, which continues to play first-run movies.  Benjamin’s architectural firm eventually became KBJ Architects, still a prominent and prospering Jacksonville firm.

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