26 Jun 2018

The Prudential Insurance Building Under Construction



“Here is a picture of the new Prudential Insurance Building on the Southbank of Jacksonville. Downtown is in the background.” LS

The original Prudential Building shown here in the final stages of construction was completed in 1955, the same year as the first Baptist Hospital building which was located nearby. The building housed 22 floors and at 309 feet tall, held the record as the tallest building in Jacksonville from 1954 to 1967. The building was later known as the Aetna Building and is now called One Prudential Plaza.


Tags: , , , , , ,

22 Mar 2018

The New Independent Life Building, 1955



“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.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Mar 2018

White Waiting Room



“The Greyhound Bus Co on Bay Street in the 50’s. Note sign, White waiting room.  Upstairs was the black restrooms and waiting room.”  LS

UPDATE: Thanks to sharp eyed visitors to Vintage Jacksonville who questioned the location attributed to this image by photographer Loyd Sandgren, the information is now updated and corrected. This is the waiting room of the Greyhound Station on Forsyth and Pearl streets which opened for business in 1947 and is currently in use today. During my visit, the helpful staff at the station also shared their insights and memories of the place. The space has undergone some significant remodeling over the years. The lockers are no longer there and the wood benches are gone. Drop ceilings and sheetrock have changed the look of the space. There is no longer a stairway to what used to be the location of the restrooms and the segregated waiting area for African-American customers. I’m told that is now a dorm facility for drivers to rest. The signage is gone as well as the line of pinball machines. The distinct transition from the tile to the linoleum is still there and I could stand in the spot that this photograph was taken from and make the comparisons.

I will risk of editorializing and say that I find a quiet melancholy in this image. Over fifty years before the days of cell phones, everyone is already focused on their newspapers and magazines, avoiding contact and conversation with each other. The row of pinball machines down the side wall sit idle. The sign makes it clear who is welcomed without having to say who is not. There is a stillness in this image that creates an unsettling tension which becomes even stronger when the viewer realizes the scene foreshadows the changes coming in the next decade.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: In 2018 bus service was move from this location to the new bus station in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood and this bus station was demolished to make way for new downtown development.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

08 Jan 2018

The Old Gator Bowl



An undated photo with no caption information of a youth football team in the old Gator Bowl. It might be a Police Athletic League team with the police officer in the photo. It is kind of amazing to think about how much the old metal bleacher stadium has evolved since it was built in the late 1920’s as Fairfield Stadium. At the time it had a seating capacity of 7,600. In 1946 the stadium hosted the first Gator Bowl game. In 1948 the capacity was expanded to 16,000 seats and it was renamed the Gator Bowl with more seating added before the 1949 Gator Bowl game. The facility went from being known for hosting one bowl game a year and the Florida vs Georgia football game to being the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL football team with regular seating close to 64,000 which is expanded to over 80,000 once a year for the Florida vs Georgia game.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

31 Dec 2017

Blinging in the New Year



“Here is Miss Jacksonville of 1948, Miss Betty Lindquist. This all happened in a jewelry store on Adams Street. She was modeling the bracelet and broach. Other people unidentified. There were two guards, one at each side of us to make sure nothing was missing. I am proud of its sharpness, 4X5 camera was used.” LS

Thank you to everyone who visited Vintage Jacksonville in 2017. We have been involved in some fun projects this year and hope for more of the same in 2018. At least one big announcement will be coming in the new year with Loyd Sandgren’s work sharing a stage with some historic icons in photography. More details to follow so don’t go away. Happy New Year!


Tags: , , , , , ,

19 Dec 2017

Not So Happy Place



“This shows an accident in the 200 block of West Bay Street. On the right is the Casino Theatre, price nine cents. Happy’s Place which was a beer joint, the next building not seen, was Clyde’s Bar. The cab was a Packard Car. The damage to both cars came to seventy dollars.”  LS


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

07 Dec 2017

Alpha-Bits Flying High in Downtown Jacksonville



“This was a big deal downtown in the 60’s. They were making a commercial for POST Alpha-Bits right in front of the then Jacksonville National Bank.”  LS

What are now referred to the trio buildings served as the backdrop for the filming of a commercial for Alpha-Bits cereal, a product first introduced by Post Consumer Brands in 1957. After a search of vintage Alpha-Bits commercials I found a couple from the 1970’s that used the flying, psychedelic, wheeled sailboat similar to the one in this photograph. It also appeared on the cereal boxes from the late 1960’s early 1970’s era.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

29 Aug 2017

Naval Station Mayport, 1943



“U.S. Naval Section Base, Mayport, Florida, July 1943. Photo taken from the wind tower, looking South, towards the beaches. Yachts & Pogy Boats were the fleet at the base.”  LS

This early view of Naval Station Mayport was taken while photographer Loyd Sandgren was stationed there. The Navy photographer job first brought him to Jacksonville where after a brief period Tallahassee, Florida in 1946, he worked and lived for the rest of his life. There are numerous photographs from Loyd’s Navy career in the collection but here is a good one with a great story taken on the same pier seen in this photograph.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 Aug 2017

A Pair of Barnett Bank Buildings




“Here is a picture of the Barnett Banks. The old one in the foreground was on Laura and Forsyth Streets. The other building still stands. 1950.” LS

The bank building in the foreground located on West Forsyth Street at the intersection with Laura Street started as the Bank of Jacksonville in 1877. It was then renamed The National Bank of Jacksonville. The bank was renamed The Barnett Bank in the early 1900’s after the banks founder William Boyd Barnett. The new Barnett Bank building on Adams and Laura Streets behind it was built in 1926.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

19 Jul 2017

To The Shredder



“This photo was taken in the Federal Reserve Bank, on Julia and Church Streets. They are taking all those bills to the cutting room to destroy them. It might have been hundreds of thousands of Dollars worth. I Didn’t get any of it.” LS

The building where this photograph was taken now serves as the City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center. There is additional information on the Federal Reserve Bank on this previous post.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 2 of 41 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last » 

About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

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