Part of the old Thunderbird Motor Hotel at 5865 Arlington Expressway burned down Wednesday night.
The Thunderbird Motor Hotel was once a showplace with a dinner theater that drew the likes of Howard Keel and Van Johnson, according to WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.
Fats Domino performed there. Walter Cronkite spoke there.
It was the site of business conferences, school reunions, clown conventions and football festivities.
Opened in 1959, Arlington was a growing residential and commercial suburb for downtown executives at the time.
Wednesday night, part of the old hotel complex was destroyed in a massive fire.
For historic photos and more of the old hotel’s history, see an expanded version of this story at Jacksonville.com.