08 Sep 2020

Oldsmobile vs Chevrolet


“An accident on the corner of Ashley & Main Streets. (Not much damage to vehicles). The Building on far left was an old movie studio (1920 or so). Apartments were over the appliance store. Now a vacant building.” LS

A heavy metal Chevrolet pickup truck vs what appears to be a 1959 Oldsmobile Super 88 on the Northern edge of downtown Jacksonville, Florida. A previous post showing the referenced movie studio building can be found here. The license tag on the Oldsmobile is dated 1960. Heck of a way to break in a new set of wheels.

There are quite a few photographs of accident scenes and damaged vehicles in the Loyd Sandgren collection. According to conversations I had with Loyd, one of the jobs he did was take photos for cab companies and insurance companies. In addition to capturing images of the damaged vehicles for his clients, he inadvertently captured images of Jacksonville buildings, businesses, and activity on the street that froze places and events that have long ago passed into history.


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31 Aug 2020

Old Gator Bowl Stadium with a view of the New Hart Bridge


“Looking from the top of the roof on the Gator Bowl, you are looking at the Hart Bridge. Note the clear sky. Taken in 1965.” LS

The almost completed condition of the bridge indicates that Loyd Sandgren had the date wrong in the note that he attached to the print of this image a couple of decades after it was taken. Construction of the bridge was in the earliest stages 1965 and cross-referencing historic images from the Florida Times-Union’s archives show the concrete support structures on each side of the Saint Johns River were underway in the summer of 1966. The Isaiah D. Hart Bridge was not completed until 1967 with the final pieces of the steel structure being put into place in May of that year.

As an additional point of reference, the FSU letters in the South end zone of the old Gator Bowl helped date the image as well. The Florida State Seminoles played there twice in the 1960s. FSU’s first Gator Bowl appearance was January 2, 1965, against Oklahoma followed by their December 30, 1967  Gator Bowl game against Penn State. FSU won the first game 36 to 19 and tied the second 17-17. The bridge would not have been part of the view in 1965 but was newly completed for the 1967 game held at the end of the year.

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19 Sep 2019

Crowd Gathers for Car Accident at Bay and Laura Streets, 1955


“Stockton Whatley Davin & Company on the corner of Bay and Laura Streets. On the right of the corner building was Mal Haughton Real Estate company then Jones Furniture Co. and Ross Perkins on the left on South Laura Street before these buildings burned down. Note the cash register on the sidewalk. It was thrown there after the impact of the accident. 1955”  LS

This photo was probably shot from the roof of the bank building at the Northeast corner of the intersection of Laura and West Bay Streets in what is now the Regions Bank. It is the only building at this intersection that still exists from when this photograph was taken. The road running to the left of the Stockton Whatley Davin & Company is the Southernmost portion of Laura Street. The block is now populated by a more modern office building that is currently being renovated and the newly renamed VyStar Credit Union building. The block across West Bay Street from the Stockton Whatley Davin & Company building is the home of the Bank of America tower and the block across Laura Street is the Wells Fargo Building, originally built as the Independent Life Building.

Detail showing the cash register on the sidewalk.

Loyd Sandgren did a lot of work for Stockton Whatley Davin in addition to accident scene photographs for insurance and cab companies. I wonder if he was able to double dip with this photograph.


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16 May 2019

Confederate Park Aerial, 1955


“The street on the left is Main Street. The first street going to the left is Orange Street where Claude Nolan’s Cadillac was. In the center is Confederate Park which is still there. 1955. The white building on the upper right is the Scottish Rite building.”  LS

Much has stayed the same as in this 1950’s aerial photograph of the Southern edge of Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood. Confederate Park is virtually unchanged. Opening in 1907 this park was named Dignan Park after a former chairman of the City of Jacksonville’s Board of Public Works and was one of a number of parks along Hogan Creek. It was renamed Confederate Park in 1915 after the annual reunion of United Confederate Veterans was held in Jacksonville in 1914 with around 8,000 former Confederate soldiers camping in Springfield’s parks. The Claude Nolan Pontiac, Cadillac dealership on Main Street building and their service building across Orange Street to the Southeast still stand but the businesses that they housed are gone. The lot at the South corner of Main Street and Orange Street now holds the remains of the old Heart of Jacksonville Motor Hotel which was built in 1966 and later condemned and partially demolished in 1999. It sits on the location of the Henry McClellan English Ford dealership. The Scottish Rite Masonic building built in 1923 still stands in all it’s Egyptian glory and is still in use.


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10 Apr 2019

BIG Family Van, 1960’s


When you searched for van options in the early 1960’s there were Volkswagen vans and the more commercial looking Chevy and Ford vans. VW Clearly had a product designed for transporting people. There was no caption information with this print from the Loyd Sandgren collection but it looks like this family needed all the seating they could get. This photograph was taken at the Brundage Motors dealership on Eight and Haines Streets in Jacksonville, Florida and the dealership obviously wanted to document the capabilities of their product.

Update: I received this wonderful note from Kimberly Hendriks that helps fill in the rest of this story.

“This is MY FAMILY! The parents are Manning and Martha Walters. We lived on the corner of Tallyrand and Beaver. Mrs. Walters worked for Sears downtown and Sgt. Walters was a recruiter in the Army. Six children lived nearby with their mother and became wards of the state and were taken into the Walters’ home with their own four children for four years. The Walters wanted to adopt us, but at that time it was impossible if the mother wouldn’t release custody. The Walters were transferred to California by the Army and Sgt Walters was sent to Vietnam. VW donated the use of this van to the family. The people in the picture are: (L-R) Anton, Roger, David, Michael Walters, Dawn, Patrick Walters, Pam and Kim (twins born in 1956), Dennis Walters, Lisa Walters, and parents Martha and Manning Walters.”

Thank you so much for sharing this! Hearing these kind of stories are what I really love about sharing the work of Loyd Sandgren. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville


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04 Mar 2019

Down for the count in downtown Jacksonville, 1953


“This was an accident on the corner of Main and Beaver Streets. The Kaiser car hit a man (who was a boxer) and this knocked him out. I was near the accident and took this picture. 1953.” LS

Like so many of Loyd Sandgren’s photographs, as I scan them for one reason I often discover little surprises within the image that are easy to overlook at first glance. In this case, it was the truck in the background of the photograph that advertised for Radio Station WJHP and the Jacksonville Journal with the slogan, “Today’s news Today”. For those of you too young to remember, there were two papers in Jacksonville for many decades, The Florida Times-Union and the Jacksonville Journal. The Times-Union was the morning paper but the Jacksonville Journal was the afternoon paper. They were fiercely competitive up through the early 80’s when their resources and staff were combined. I worked for both papers during my early newspaper days working in Jacksonville. A big deal was made of the Journal’s 100th. Birthday in 1987. A year later on October 28, 1988 the last copy of the Journal was printed and the paper was retired.



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25 Feb 2019

Navy Photographers Float, 1945


This picture was taken in 1945 at the corner of Monroe and Hogan Streets. Notice how small Underwood’s store was. Wolf’s clothing store was next door. I was the photographer, others were riding.”  LS

Loyd Sandgren first came to Jacksonville as a Navy photographer at the U.S. Naval Frontier Base, Mayport, Florida, now known as Mayport Naval Station. From his duty station there he also photographed at NAS Jacksonville and Yellow Water Gunnery School.


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19 Feb 2019

A Dozen 1955 Cadillacs and a DC-2


“Guy Marvin owned most of the cabs in town and also this fleet of 1955 Cadillacs. The cars were great to ride in and they were big. They are seen here at the Imeson Airport parked close to the DC-2 Airplane. That was class. I think the price was three dollars, it did go up to five.”  LS

(see comments below)


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21 Nov 2018

Here today, gone tomorrow?



The Gulf Insurance Company building on Hogan and Ashley Streets about 1950. The two story art deco style building was designed by architect A. Eugene Cellar and built at 604 North Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville in 1947. The building was bought by First Baptist Church and incorporated into their North downtown campus in 1996.

This seemed like a good time to post this image as plans have been announced to demolish in order to create parking for Jacksonville Fire and Rescue’s downtown headquarters.


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16 Nov 2018

Loyd Sandgren at the Boca Raton Museum of Art





The work of Loyd Sandgren currently hangs on a gallery wall with internationally known photographers such as Robert Frank, Henry Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks and a host of others who photographed Florida from the late 1800’s through the 1960’s as part of “Imagining Florida: History and Myth in the Sunshine State”. The new show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art borrowed paintings, prints and photography representing the state of Florida from major museums and private collections and examples of Loyd’s work, thanks to Gary Monroe who curated the photography portion of the show, were selected from their home in the Jacksonville Public Library’s Florida Collection, to be included. I drove down for the patron’s opening and it was such a great experience to see Loyd’s photographs in the context of the work of other photographer’s I admire. I’ve always felt his photography was significant to Jacksonville’s history but it was humbling to see it have a place documenting Florida’s history as well. I would like to sincerely thank the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s staff for being so gracious to me during my visit. They have put together a uniquely original show that won’t be seen elsewhere and I highly recommend making the trip to Boca Raton to see it.

I know Loyd is looking down with a big grin on his face. His work was displayed beside pinup photos of Bettie Page taken by legendary Miami photographer Bunny Yeager who he greatly admired.

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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