Jacksonville’s Iconic Century-Old Riverfront Mansion Set for Auction

A historic mansion on the riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida, dating back to the Roaring Twenties, is up for auction, with the event concluding on October 26. This timber-frame Tudor-style estate, regarded as an architectural gem in the city, is also the most expensive home currently listed in Jacksonville, with an initial asking price of $25 million. The auction will be held with no reserve, and the opening bids are expected to range from $2 million to $7 million, according to Chad Roffers, CEO of Concierge Auctions.

Originally completed in 1928, this impressive 18,100-square-foot residence was designed by renowned Jacksonville architects Mulford Marsh and Harold Saxelbye. In 2012, it was purchased by John J. Hove and his wife, Yvonne, for $2.6 million. Hove, a local businessman, embarked on an extensive 11-year renovation and restoration project that cost over $20 million and required immense dedication and effort.

The extensive renovation included significant work such as clearing access to the St. Johns River by removing 72 large trees, rebuilding the bulkhead, expanding the garage and adding an apartment, and constructing a conservatory. Hove even disassembled and repaired the house’s 163 steel windows, which retained their original glass panes. Throughout the project, Hove discovered various artifacts, including brass irrigation sprinklers, cast-iron tub bottoms from 1926, and wood floor planks with manufacturer imprints, all of which will be passed on to the new owner.

The gated estate features a tree-lined brick and stone approach leading to a circular driveway with a porte cochere. Situated on the waterfront, the property boasts a stone terrace, a swimming pool, an outdoor living area with a fireplace, and a fountain.

The mansion offers 10 bedrooms, 10 full baths, five half baths, a home office, a circular sunroom, a sauna, a wine cellar, and a top-floor recreation/entertainment room with a wet bar. The grand two-story foyer showcases a wood staircase and paneled wainscoting, while the interior features period-appropriate details, including hardwood and tile floors, fireplaces, millwork, built-ins, leaded and stained-glass windows, and vaulted, coffered, and tongue-and-groove ceilings.

The property also includes a spacious dining room with seating for 20, and a chef’s kitchen with a central island, a range with a copper vent hood, double ovens, and custom cabinetry with intricate woodwork and leaded-glass fronts.

This historic mansion holds a significant place in Jacksonville’s architectural history. It is known as Hove Hall or the Lane-Towers House and is located in a historic district within the Avondale neighborhood.

The sale of this iconic property is an opportunity for buyers to own a piece of history, and it will be interesting to see the final sale price when the auction concludes later this month.