18 Aug 2015

Bathing Beauty On The Beach



As the summer winds down and the days at the beach become more limited it seems like a nice time to post this image by photographer Loyd Sandgren. This undated photograph, probably dating from the 1950’s of a stylish young lady on the beach has no information about the location or the identity of the model included with the print but the timeless beauty of the image has held up well in the 50 plus years since it was taken.


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14 Aug 2015

Swisher Gym At Jacksonville University, 1957



“The Swisher Gym, donated by Mr. Swisher of the cigar company.  One of the first big buildings built at Jacksonville University  1957.”  LS

According to the Jacksonville University timeline, JU started as William J. Porter University in 1934, meeting in the 3rd. floor auditorium of the First Baptist Educational building. In 1935 the school changed its name to Jacksonville Junior College and moved classes to the Haddock Business University’s classrooms on Laura Street. In 1936 the school occupied the second floor of the Florida Theater building. They moved to one additional downtown location before starting classes in the Founders building, the first permanent building on the Arlington campus in 1950. The Swisher Gymnasium was built in 1953, and dedicated along with the Nelms Science building in 1956. Of musical note, in 1979 K.C. and the Sunshine Band recorded a live performance for an album in the Swisher Gym.


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04 Aug 2015

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1960′s



The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which was located just behind where the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall stands today, was across the parking lot of what was then known as the Gator Bowl, the City of Jacksonville’s football stadium. It was designed in the late 1950’s and dedicated in November of 1960. Built at a cost of $3 million, the venue seated 11,000 and sported a 100 foot-tall domed roof. The first event held there was the first ever hockey game played n Jacksonville. The facility hosted numerous indoor sporting events and although designed with inadequate acrostics due to budget restraints according to the building’s designer George Fisher, the facility was a venue for most of the big concert tours of the day from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Photographer Loyd Sandgren was hired to document the construction of the building as well as interior and exterior shots of the completed facility. After a 43 year run, the building was imploded in 2003 to make way for the new Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.



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16 Jul 2015

Mid-Century Modern Motel



This image from the Loyd Sandgren collection has no information attached to the print and I can find no signage or address to help identify this 1950′s vintage Mid-Century modern motel but if this looks familiar to anyone, please share your knowledge. Despite the lack of information, the photo is too nice not to share.



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09 Jul 2015

Future Site Of The Ed Ball Building



“This picture shows a parking lot where the Ball Building is today.  Streets are Julia, Monroe, Hogan and Adams Streets.  About 1956.”  LS

Seems like every transitional space in downtown Jacksonville was a parking lot at one time or another. This image was taken from the corner of Julia Street and West Adams Street looking toward Hemming Park and the St. James Building, most likely taken from the roof of the Hildebrant Building at 300 West Adams Street.  The parking lot would become the site of the Ed Ball Building.  The 11 story structure began construction on the site in 1960 as the new headquarters for the Florida National Bank. The building was purchased by the City of Jacksonville to house a number of its departments in 2006. In the upper left of this image is a sign announcing the construction of the new Hotel Robert Meyer  which was being built on the lot behind the F.W. Woolworth Company building. Both the Hotel Robert Meyer and the Woolworth building would later be demolished to make way for the new Federal Courthouse building which now fills that block of downtown.


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03 Jul 2015

Hope Haven Chocolate Bunny



“Here was a great display and very tasty.  This was a 50 pound bunny rabbit, given to the children at the hospital.  It was very hot that day so we got all the people in place, and then rushed the candy in the sun.  The few minutes it took to take the picture, it was already started to melt.  People?  1971.”  LS

Hope Haven has a history in Jacksonville dating to the 1800’s when the Hope Haven Association was formed to help children with Tuberculosis. The original Hope Haven Children’s Hospital was built in 1926 on the Trout River to help “nutritionally and medically deprived children.” In 1939 this facility was built on Atlantic Boulevard, West of the intersection with University Boulevard. It served as the primary polio treatment hospital for children in the 1950’s. It continued to function as a full service children’s hospital until 1980 when the inpatient services were purchased by the Nemours Foundation and the hospital was closed.  Hope Haven opened its new facility on Beach Boulevard in 1989 where it offers a wide range of children’s resources including outpatient treatment, therapy, and tutoring. It now operates under the name of Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center. (I would like to extend a special thank you to Anne Wall, the director of communications at Hope Haven for her help with the history of the facility.)

Here is a previous post from Hope Haven of New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell signing autographs for children in the hospital.


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02 Jun 2015

Independent Square Early Construction, 1973



Photographed on March 6, 1973 this image was one of a series taken by photographer Loyd Sandgren to show the different stages of construction of what would become the Independent Life Building.  When it was completed in 1974 it was the tallest building in Jacksonville at 535 feet tall.  In 1990 it became the second tallest building when the Bank of America Tower on North Laura Street was completed.  It topped out at 617 feet.  The Independent Life Building was later renamed the Modis Building and is now known as the Wells Fargo Center but its address remains 1 Independent Drive. Of particular note is the surface parking lot along the riverfront behind the construction site.  It is now the location of the Jacksonville Landing.



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26 May 2015

Houses Of Ill Repute



“The first block of West Beaver Street. Peggy was a prostitute and she owned these houses.  She operated her business there. She was murdered there one night by her boyfriend  There was always troubles there as you can see by the ambulance. This was on the North side of Beaver.”  LS

A parking garage belonging to First Baptist Church Jacksonville now occupies that block of West Beaver Street.


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19 May 2015

Maxwell House Plant Circa 1970



“The backside of the Maxwell House Coffee Co. taken from the Adams Street viaduct. Picture taken at dusk to show some lights.  1970.”  LS

The Maxwell House coffee brand started in 1892 and the Jacksonville plant is one of two in the country still in operation (the other is in San Leandro, California). The East Bay Street facility was opened in 1910.  The large dripping neon coffee cup on the side of the building was installed in 1955.


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07 May 2015

Mid 1950′s Downtown Aerial



An aerial view of downtown Jacksonville shot looking Northeast taken in 1955 according to photographer Loyd Sandgren’s note that accompanied the print.


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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More