You can’t deny it. A new era of growth and prosperity has dawned on Pensacola.

It’s easy to forget how much the city has changed in just a few years. In the span of less than a decade, Pensacola has built an award-winning multi-use stadium downtown, seen an influx of new small businesses and construction pop up throughout the city, and has witnessed the return of downtown growth throughout the historic corridor of Palafox Street and surrounding urban areas.

Using Google Street View, the The Pulse powered up its virtual DeLorean and took a trip back through time to find images of downtown Pensacola’s newest projects before construction started. Periodically, we’ll be posting updates of new projects popping up around the city and along the Gulf Coast. Readers can use the interactive sliders below to see how parts of Pensacola have changed.

Pull the tabs back and forth in the interactive sliders below to compare projects today to how they looked just a few years ago.

Community Maritime Park and Maritime Place

The Main Street corridor got a facelift in the years since 2009. The photo on the left shows the old industrial Trillium Property in downtown Pensacola in March 2011. In a few short years, the property has been converted from its industrial use to what is now the Community Maritime Park, home to Blue Wahoos Stadium and the Maritime Place and One51Main office buildings. The image at right shows the new development as of June 2015.

Institute for Machine & Human Cognition

Rising above Pensacola’s newest downtown neighborhood, Aragon Court, the $8 million expansion to the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition is one of the most obvious changes to Pensacola’s skyline. The 30,000 square foot building is the centerpiece of the expansion of the research laboratories for the institute that will include new research areas, labs and a visitor’s center. At left is a photo from June 2013; at right is a photo from November 2015, showing the facility at this week and its progress.

Downtown YMCA

Construction is quickly progressing on the new 52,000 sq ft YMCA in downtown Pensacola. The new structure will be a flagship facility and the largest Y on the Guif Coast, from Houston to South Florida. Nearly the entire east (right) and north walls will be glass framed by brick, creating an inviting and contemporary sense of place with respect to historic downtown’s architecture. Prior to construction, this site was a vacant parking lot for many years. Completion is expected by Summer 2016.

Centennial Bank

Centennial Bank will be the newest resident of the Garden Street corridor downtown. Expected to be completed early next year, the branch is relocating from its offices on West Government Street. The photo on the left is from June 2015; the image on the right is from Nov. 2015.

Bank of Pensacola, Main Street & Palafox Place

Towering over Palafox Place and Main Street, the new downtown branch of the Bank of Pensacola, was built to become a new landmark of the city’s iconic intersection of commerce and trade. The bank opened in Winter 2014; anyone who had driven past the hectic and congested job site during construction on all corners of the intersection is probably now breathing a sigh of relief. On the left is a photo from June 2013; the image at right is from Nov. 2015.

Think we missed a few? Email me at to suggest buildings and new development for a future before-and-after post.



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