The town first experienced some settlement within its commercial center in the 1840s.The city and its downtown section continued steady growth into the last part of the twentieth century.Additional early commercial buildings were constructed to the east, generally along E and W Broadway Street, at various times bearing street names of South and Exposition Streets.Subsequently, later commercial development took place along Pine Avenue and more recently to the southwest.Brittany Starr Bowe (born February 24, 1988) is an American speed skater and former inline skater and basketball player.She has eight gold, one silver, and two bronze medals from the world inline speedskating championships.Masonry Vernacular construction responded to a desire for its fireproof properties which understandably would be desirable for Ocala businessmen rebuilding after the major downtown fire of 1883.
In some other areas, a great deal of non-historic construction has taken place.
The city's third substantial period of downtown development took place in the last part of the 1930s and early 1940s at the close of the Great Depression.
Although downtown Ocala did see the completion of some commercial and industrial construction projects during this period and a substantial increase in new construction following World War II, a number of period buildings dating from the town's earlier settlement survive.
In the early development of Ocala, as in most towns in America, the downtown business district represented more than just a collection of buildings in which to purchase necessary goods and services.
It served as the center for informal socializing, for participating in special events, and as a symbol of a community's achievements and potential.