MOSH To Display Artifacts Unearthed During Downtown Restaurant Construction

Apr 28, 2016

Jewelry, medallions and historic documents are among the items recently uncovered during renovations of downtown Jacksonville’s historic Bostwick building.

Restaurateur Jacques Klempf is turning the building into the Cowford Chophouse, set to open this summer.

On Thursday, Klempf announced he’s giving the artifacts to Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History.  

MOSH curator Alyssa Porter says the hundreds of items help document life in the city’s early days, the early 20th Century.

"You have definitive use of the buildings, you have individuals connected to it, organizations,” she said, “so having it in context together, the collection as one entire piece of history, is so incredibly lucky a find.”

The Cowford Chophouse at the corner of Bay and Main streets downtown is under construction in this photo from October 2015.
Credit Cowford Chophouse via Facebook

According to a news release, The Cowford Chophouse building was constructed in 1902, following the Great Fire of 1901. In its first decades of use, it served as the headquarters for the First National Bank of Florida, the Guaranty Trust and Savings Bank and the Brotherhood State Bank for Savings. The building later housed various professional offices, including those of famed Jacksonville architect Henry John Klutho.

The museum is combing through the documents to weave together a collection for display. Porter said the process could take up to five years.