Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)

Wells Fargo Center (originally Independent Life Building) is a skyscraper in the downtown area of Jacksonville, Florida, at the southeast corner of Bay and Laura streets. Standing 535 feet (163 meters) tall, it is the city's second-tallest building.[1][3] It was formerly known as the Modis Building until 2011, when Wells Fargo acquired the naming rights.[4][5][6]

Wells Fargo Center
Water Street entrance
Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville) is located in Central Jacksonville
Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)
Location within Central Jacksonville
Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville) is located in Florida
Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville)
Wells Fargo Center (Jacksonville) (Florida)
Former names
  • Independent Life Building
  • AccuStaff Building
  • Modis Building
General information
Architectural styleModernist
Coordinates30°19′33″N 81°39′32″W / 30.32579°N 81.65888°W / 30.32579; -81.65888Coordinates: 30°19′33″N 81°39′32″W / 30.32579°N 81.65888°W / 30.32579; -81.65888
Construction started1972
Antenna spire645 ft (197 m)[2]
Roof535 ft (163 m)[1]
Technical details
Floor count37[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectKBJ Architects[1]


Independent Life around 1983

The tower was completed in 1974 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, and was known as the Independent Life Building. Built by The Auchter Company.[4][7] It was designed by KBJ Architects, who received the Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the design.[1][8] The design concept included a sloping base and large corner frames to provide a distinctive image not only for the company, but also as an identifying landmark for the city of Jacksonville.[8]

Beginning in 1995 Independent Life was acquired by the American General Life Insurance Company, and operations were gradually moved to Nashville, Tennessee.[9][10] The building was sold to Associated Capital Properties, and the Jacksonville staffing company AccuStaff moved in and acquired the naming rights, and it became the AccuStaff Building.[11] In 2002, AccuStaff changed its name to MPS Group. It renamed the building the Modis Building, after one of the company's main brands, and added Modis signage.[4] In 2009 MPS Group was acquired by the Swiss firm Adecco Group, which announced the company would relocate to Jacksonville's suburbs.[4] The move was completed in 2011 and the signage was removed, and the building was renamed Independent Square.[3][12]

In May 2011, Wells Fargo, which had acquired the Wachovia financial services company, announced it would relocate local employees to the building.[3][5][13] Signage went up on the Wells Fargo Center on September 26 and the relocation completed by April 2012.[6]

Description and tenantsEdit

River Club logo

The Wells Fargo Center has 37 floors, and held the title of tallest building in Florida until 1981, when One Tampa City Center was completed.[1] It remained the tallest building in Jacksonville until 1990, when the Bank of America Tower surpassed it in height. The building takes up an entire city block in Jacksonville's downtown. A notable feature of the structure is a four-story atrium of tropical vegetation where the public enters.[8] The first floor also contained an auditorium with seating for 360 patrons, a bank, restaurants, and several retail stores.[14]

Parkway Properties is a third-party service provider for the building.[15]

One major tenant in the Wells Fargo Center is the River Club of Jacksonville, a private business club that occupies the top two floors of the building. Originally known as the Jacksonville Businessmen's Club, it was established in 1954 after the fashion of similar organizations in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C..[16] It was formerly located on the 16th floor of the Prudential Building (now known as the Aetna Building), the city's tallest building when it opened in 1955.[17][18] It relocated to its current space in 1976, but did not offer memberships to women until 1985.[17] The club has been owned and managed by a subsidiary of Gate Petroleum since 2003.[19]

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma's storm surge caused major flooding in the downtown area of Jacksonville. The parking garage of the Wells Fargo Center was impacted by these events and the building was briefly closed. The building reopened September 29.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Wells Fargo Center". Emporis. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Modis Tower". The Skyscraper Center. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Life After Modis: Tower To Get New Name". WJXT. May 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Naming rights for Modis building up for grabs in 2011". Jacksonville Business Journal. August 25, 201. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Bull, Roger (May 20, 2011). "Wells Fargo name to replace Modis atop landmark building". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Patterson, Steve (September 25, 2011). "Wells Fargo joins Jacksonville skyline". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  7. ^ Jacksonville University: Geography department-Modis Building
  8. ^ a b c KBJ Architects website: Awards-Modis Building
  9. ^ "History of some major insurance companies" (February 24, 2003). The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "The History of American General Life and Accident Insurance Company" American International Group website, company history
  11. ^ Brune-Mathis, Karen: "AccuStaff pointing to Independent" Florida Times-Union, June 20, 1997
  12. ^ http://www.news4jax.com/news/27068751/detail.html
  13. ^ Karen Brune Mathis (August 25, 201). "Wells Fargo to move into former Modis Building". Financial News and Daily Record. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  14. ^ [1] Metro Jacksonville, February 4, 2009-Unique Jacksonville: Independent Square
  15. ^ "Wells Fargo Center". Parkway Properties.
  16. ^ Jacksonville River Club website: history
  17. ^ a b Mathis, Karen (February 15, 2006) "River Club's first woman president the end of an era". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  18. ^ Florida Times-Union: March 30, 2005-Essay contest celebrates high rise's 50th birthday
  19. ^ Mathis, Karen (June 30, 2004) "Gate doing overhaul of River Club". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 12, 2011.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Riverplace Tower
Tallest building in Jacksonville
Succeeded by
Bank of America Tower
Preceded by
Vehicle Assembly Building
Tallest building in Florida
Succeeded by
One Tampa City Center