This building was built in 2022, but it closely resembles in appearance the prior brick structure which was constructed in 1891. Originally the block contained three separate buildings, which were eventually converted into one large store. The first occupants were the Boney & Sutherland Cigar Company, an attorney’s office, and the Ocala Commercial & Bazaar Company which sold clothing, shoes, and groceries. Soon after in response to the African-American community’s need for quality medical care, black physicians William Wilson, Robert Benton, and David Brown opened Mercy Hospital on the second floor in 1903. This was Ocala’s first black hospital, which also served as a nurse’s training school. For more than 70 years furniture stores then occupied this site; names included the Theus-Zachry Furniture Company, Blocker & Turnipseed Furniture, Goldman’s Furniture, and the Babcock Furniture Store.
Below is a 1940s photo of the building.
This downtown historic walking tour is an Ocala Main Street project sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the State of Florida.