Plaza Ferdinand VII

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Plaza Ferdinand VII
Type Historic site
Size 1.6 acres
Facilities benches, fountain, decorative cannons
Operated by Parks & Recreation Department
Historic Pensacola Village
Opened 1815
Location Palafox Street, between Government and Zaragossa Streets
<googlemap lat="30.408839" lon="-87.213968" zoom="16" width="288" height="200" overview="no">30.408839, -87.213968, Plaza Ferdinand VII</googlemap>

Plaza Ferdinand VII is an outdoor garden and park in the Pensacola historic district. It is located on Palafox Street between Government and Zaragossa Streets. It was named after King Ferdinand VII of Spain. The park is dominated by three main features: a fountain (at the north end), an obelisk dedicated to William Dudley Chipley (center), and a bust of Andrew Jackson (south end).

The land on which the park sits was originally awarded by the Spanish throne to Don Manuel Gonzalez for his service. Gonzalez later donated the land to the City of Pensacola.

Historical significance[edit]

The cession of Florida to the United States from Spain occurred at the Plaza on July 17, 1821. General Andrew Jackson made a public speech to townspeople, informing them that the land was now the Florida Territory, and that Pensacola would be its capital. General Jackson was later sworn in as first Territorial Governor in the plaza. A bust of Jackson now stands at the spot where he was inaugurated.

Situated in the center of downtown Pensacola, it is adjacent to a number of historic buildings including the T. T. Wentworth Museum (formerly City Hall), the Pensacola Cultural Center and Museum of Art (formerly the Court of Record and City Jail buildings), Escambia County Courthouse, Seville Tower. The Pensacola Opera House, demolished in 1917, sat across from the Plaza on Jefferson Street.

The Plaza was also the site where Leander Shaw was killed by a lynch-mob on July 29, 1908.

It was listed for consideration on the National Register of Historic Places in 1960, achieving the status of Historic Place in 1966. Archaeologists, in 2002, discovered evidence of British structures previously not known to have existed in that area. Portions have been excavated and are on display as part of the Colonial Archaeological Trail.

Other images[edit]