Alcaniz Street

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Alcaniz Street
north end: Cervantes Street (US 90/US 98)
Major
junctions:
Wright Street
Gregory Street
Garden Street
south end: Bayfront Parkway

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Alcaniz Street is a north-south street in downtown Pensacola. It currently runs between its northern terminus at Cervantes Street to its southern terminus at Bayfront Parkway.

Alcaniz runs one-way southbound between Cervantes and Wright Streets, where it becomes two-way and widens until Garden Street, at which point several southbound lanes branch off to form the westbound span of Garden. Alcaniz Street continues southward through the historic district to Bayfront Parkway.

In British Pensacola, what is now Alcaniz Street was called Charlotte Street, for Queen Charlotte.[1]

The road from Cervantes northward to East Leonard Street was formerly named Alcaniz as well, but was renamed to Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive on January 14, 2000, after an effort led by Movement for Change President LeRoy Boyd. The original proposal was to rename the entire street, but there was opposition from changing the name in the historical district. Furthermore, the northern limit was set at Leonard Street as the city limits stop at that point before resuming several blocks later. After the action by the Pensacola City Council, the Escambia County Commission voted to additionally rename the portions of Alcaniz in the unincorporated area from Leonard Street north to Barcia Drive, where the city limits resume. This led to the unusual circumstance where there is a short span from Barcia Drive northward which is still named Alcaniz; that from Barcia Drive south to Cervantes Street named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive; and that south of Cervantes to the bay named Alcaniz.

Some notable landmarks along Alcaniz Street include the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel, the Pensacola Civic Center and Seville Square.

Contents

[edit] Spanish origins

One of their earliest appearances of the name Alcaniz is on the Pintado plan (1812), which, as Dr. Bill Coker noted, is the first map of the downtown area prepared by a municipal government for the City of Pensacola. The Spanish Constitution of 1812 first permitted the organization of democratically-elected city governments, and by 1813, Pensacola had a city government of a mayor and councilmen. The 1813 map, found in the Vicente Pintado Papers of the Library of Congress (copies at the University of West Florida Library), shows the town of Pensacola from the water to Romana Street. The three named north-south streets are Palafox, Tarragona, and Alcaniz. Three other street names on the map are significant; these are Intendencia, Zaragoza, Gobierno (Government), and Church Street, although this latter is different than present-day Church Street in Seville Square. Gobierno on the 1813 map is “Gobierno Nueve” or New Government Street.

The name Alcaniz is Spanish in origin; it comes from the town of Alcañiz in Teruel Province, Aragon. Another Spanish province is Tarragona, whose capital city of the same name is traditionally where St. Paul founded the Christian church in Spain in A.D. 60. Another town in Tarragona Province is Reus.

[edit] Florida State Road 291 carriage

Alcaniz Street carries the southbound half of Florida State Road 291 between Cervantes and Gregory Streets, as well as Florida 291's northbound span for one block, between Gregory and Wright Streets. At Wright, Florida 291 northbound heads east on Wright for one block, then turns north onto Davis Street.

[edit] US 98 Business carriage

Alcaniz Street carries US 98 Business southbound for two blocks, between Gregory and Garden Streets, as well as US 98 Business northbound for one block, between Garden and Chase Streets.

[edit] References

  1. Robinson, Benjamin. An Historical Sketch of Pensacola, Florida. p. 11, 1882.
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