It was time to move.

Mike Mumford’s successful Paul Davis Restoration franchise was outgrowing its space, taking up several separate buildings in suburban Mandarin. Made of metal, the separate buildings were also susceptible to hurricanes, and the location didn’t provide easy access to his coverage area.

So, Mike started looking for bigger spaces, in central location in NE Florida, and one that could take a beating. Hmmm . . . .  Any ideas?

“My wife & I live 9 blocks away, so I had my eye on it for several years”, Mike confessed, about the massive red brick warehouse at 2111 N. Liberty Street, designed by noted architect Albert Khan. Built in 1929, the warehouse is one of many that make up the Springfield warehouse district, just North of the more recognized historic district.

 “We did our homework on possible locations. We could’ve bought a non-descript property on Baymeadows Road that needed a little work, or do something special with a building with great character here, make it our own, and that fit all our search criteria. Same cost. That’s how much of a value property is here. Plus, I can walk to work now. A perk.”

Speaking of cost, the project totaled about $1.6 million. And speaking of numbers, the warehouse is 40,000 sq feet total, housing executive office space, a fleet of vehicles, processing (aka cleaning) space, display areas, and plenty of storage - that’s just the 1st floor. The unfinished 2nd floor is awaiting purposing. 

A few more interesting tidbits about the newly restored warehouse:

  • The warehouse was originally built (in 1929) as a Chevrolet automobile parts distribution center, with rail bringing parts in, and trucks shipping parts out. Since that time, the space has been used as a printing shop, plastic recycling center, and as a speculative property investment, among other things.
  • Paul Davis Restoration has 35 employees on site, some of which are on-call and come & go at all hours of the night.
  • There are a handful of exact replicas of this warehouse throughout the country, including Los Angeles and Detroit, where Albert Khan & Associates, the architect’s original firm, still operates today.
  • The warehouse has a freshwater well inside it's walls, which is now capped and located in Mike’s office under a rug.

“We closed on the building in the Summer of 2011, and we are just finishing up the move in now. It suffered from a leaky roof and needed a complete gutting. But the bones were good, which made the project doable. The slab was in good condition, the steel framework was fine, and the brick walls are solid. These are 100% brick walls, not hollow or veneer,” Mike explained, “It can survive almost anything, including any hurricane we may suffer.”

Paul Davis Restoration, Inc is a national clean up & restoration franchise specializing in water, mold, and fire damage. Paul Davis started the company in Central Florida in 1966, and The Mumford’s purchased the Northeast Florida franchise from Paul Davis himself in 1999. 

 “We carefully and thoughtfully clean up and restore properties and personal items. Imagine a fire or flood in a home, where laptops, a quilt with sentimental value, and a bedroom suite is damaged. In addition to restoring and rebuilding the actual house, we also take apart, dry, and rebuild the laptops, specialty wash the quilt, and wipe down and clean the furniture. We do it all”, Mike described.

As kismet would have it, a restoration company saving and restoring an old building isn’t lost on The Mumford’s and Paul Davis Restoration.

“The building fit what we do. It spoke to making something damaged new again, and it spoke to restoration. The building was returned to its original purpose: office & warehouse space. It’s been here almost 100 years, and with the work that’s been done, it’ll be here for 100 more years.”

Read more about this project in the Jacksonville Daily Record.

And find Before & After photos, roof top views, and an extensive photo tour (with captions) in the Photo Gallery.

Mike & Marguerite Mumford, pictured, are 10 year residents of the Springfield historic district.


Refresh Posts
Re: A Very Big Restoration -- chris farley
Monday, 26 November 2012 12:57
Springfield is so fortunate to have Marguerite and Mike, the restoration of this wonderful building is breathtaking.
Sheer beauty!
Re: A Very Big Restoration -- nvrenuf
Monday, 26 November 2012 17:10
Love to see these old warehouses brought back to life. More please!
Re: A Very Big Restoration -- jaxunicorn
Monday, 26 November 2012 17:11
"nvrenuf" wrote:
Love to see these old warehouses brought back to life. More please!
dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif dance.gif
Re: A Very Big Restoration -- grits
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:22
They've done such a great job! I love driving by there every day and seeing it full of life.
Re: A Very Big Restoration -- fsu813
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 04:55
Here's some cool photos from the Gallery:

A couple Before's



Original fire hardware, updated for modern compatability. Notice the '1929' on the cap.


It has a huge roof top. Mike may put up solar panels eventually.


The original rail tracks that brought in parts to the Chevy warehouse. Obviously not in use today.


The 2nd floor is unfinished, and Mike wants to put it to good use. Apartments? Another business? There's an issue with the correct # of exits that he's trying to resolve.

Re: A Very Big Restoration -- markusic
Friday, 30 November 2012 00:14
The roof looks like a great candidate for a green roof.

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