Ocala became the first town and a commercial, educational, and religious center in what would become Marion County. The town first experienced some settlement within its commercial center in the 1840s. The city and its downtown section continued steady growth into the last part of the twentieth century. This was in part due to a major downtown fire in 1883 that required a considerable portion of downtown to be rebuilt, thus resulting in and constituting downtown Ocala’s second major period of development. Both archival and field data indicate that the Florida Land Boom years of the 1920s were not of great impact to construction in the downtown area as in most other cities in Florida during the same period. The city’s third substantial period of downtown development took place in the last part of the 1930s and early 1940s at the close of the Great Depression. Although downtown Ocala did see the completion of some commercial and industrial construction projects during this period and a substantial increase in new construction following World War II, a number of period buildings dating from the town’s earlier settlement survive.
Ocala Historic Downtown Square
South Magnolia Avenue Ocala, FLPhone: 352-368-5550 Visit website ›