Photo courtesy of Mark Krancer

Local historian releases new masterpiece

Author Wayne Wood to host book signing at Memorial Park, Saturday, Dec. 5

Wayne W. Wood will sign copies of his latest masterpiece, “LIFE: The Untold Story of Charles Adrian Pillars,” at Memorial Park, Saturday, Dec. 5, 10:30 to noon. The book sales will benefit Memorial Park Association.

The intriguing story behind the relatively unknown artist and sculptor of Memorial Park’s Life sculpture is captured in Wood’s newly-released hardcover book, “LIFE: The Untold Story of Charles Adrian Pillars,” published by the Jacksonville Historical Society.

LIFE: The Untold Story of Charles Adrian Pillars, by Wayne W. Wood

An undertaking that was more than 10 years in the making, Wood’s 400-plus page book contains more than 200 photos, and spans historic events from the Chicago Fire of 1871, the Great Fire of 1901 in Jacksonville, the Spanish American War, World War I and the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 to the post-war creation of Memorial Park and its iconic sculpture, “Life.”

Wood, who is already recognized for his books “Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future” and “The Great Fire of 1901,” said LIFE is the most meticulously researched book he has ever written. “It’s a historical narrative that’s totally true,” said Wood about the beautifully designed book. “Well, mostly. There’s nothing that can be proven untrue.

Wayne W. Wood

Widely regarded as one of the foremost chroniclers of northeast Florida’s history and architecture, Wood has been called “the undisputed godfather of preservation in Jacksonville.” In 1974 he founded Riverside Avondale Preservation, one of the largest neighborhood preservation groups in the South. Wood was also founder of the Riverside Arts Market (RAM), a massive weekend marketplace for artists, local farmers, and entertainers. This is the fourteenth book he has published about Jacksonville’s history, including the classic Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future. For over 40 years he has played a key role in saving many of this city’s endangered landmarks. Folio Weekly called him “The Most Interesting Man in Jacksonville.”