The New Independent Life Building, 1955

March 22nd, 2018, 12:00H · Topics: Around Town, Business, Uncategorized · Print

“Here is the Independent Insurance Building just after completion, about 1955. The parking lot in the foreground was the place where the Windsor Hotel was.” LS

This photograph is looking North on North Julia Street with West Duval Street crossing in front of the building from left to right. The parking lot in the right foreground of the photograph is now the location of the Federal Courthouse.

I found an article celebrating 50 years of the Independent Life company written in 1970 recounting the insurance company’s history and the numerous buildings that they outgrew after starting the business in 1920. According to this article, this building was designed to accommodate the needs of the company for the next 25 years. When it was opened in 1955 the business only occupied the first five floors of the 19-story building. By 1960 they occupied 9 stories and as of 1970 when this was written they were “bursting at the seams” and had acquired most of the block bordered by Bay, Main, Water and Julie Streets with plans to build what would become the Independent Square building.

A contact sheet from 4X5 inch negatives showing different views of the architect’s model of the Independent Life building.


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  1. 1 steve CRANDALL December 1st, 2018 23:40H

    I guess the building was imploded. what is there now?

    • 2 bob December 3rd, 2018 14:32H

      It is still standing but has been vacant for a number of years.

    • 3 Ry February 23rd, 2023 7:42H

      It’s still standing today at 233 W Duval St.
      Completely abandoned. I remember getting inside years ago and heading to the top to take some photos. Incredible building.

  2. 4 gail quarterman Runyan January 9th, 2024 11:54H

    My father sold that property to Independent Life Insurance Company in early 50s timeframe

  3. 5 gail q runyan January 11th, 2024 17:27H

    My father sold the land to Independent Life in late
    40s early 50s – His name was Arthur Axson Quarterman

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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