Vintage Jax: Art Week, Boxing, and Downtown

Vintage Jacksonville is a photo blog by Bob Self that showcases the work of Jacksonville photographer Loyd Sandgren as well as other Jacksonville-based vintage photography. It’s a nice place to get sappy and nostalgic for the days gone by, and it’s best browsed while sitting in a comfy armchair, listening to jazz music.

This week, we travel back to “Art Week” in the ’50s, a boxing match in the old Amory, and the corner of Hogan and W Bay in the ’60s. Enjoy.

American Art Week Window Display, 1950s

“Here is a picture of the Florida National Bank when they were on the corner of Forsyth and Laura. 50’s. It was advertising the Art Week here in Jacksonville, FL.” —Loyd Sandgren

Upon closer inspection the signage in the widow gives us a little more information about the reason for the display. The banner of one poster says American Art Week and Florida, The Italy of the New World. It lists Permanent collections in the state including the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach, Clearwater Art Museum at Belleair and the Morse Gallery in Winter Park. It then goes on to list Art Centers and Galleries in Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg and Sarasota.

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Golden Gloves Boxing Match in the old Armory

“In 1948 I took all the sports pictures for The Jacksonville Journal, the afternoon paper. This was taken in the old Armory on the corner of State and Market Streets. Three speed lights were used, one at the camera, one at each corner of the two sides, the stronger light was at the corner on my left. I think the man on the right is holding the other man’s head. The man on the left won.” — Loyd Sandgren

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Hogan and West Bay Streets, 1960

At the intersection of West Bay Street and Hogan Street. This is another scene that is long gone from Jacksonville’s downtown. At the corner is the Greyhound Bar and Package Store with advertising for a dentist’s office on the floor above it. In the background are the Hotel Aragon and the Hotel George Washington with it’s Christmas Tree looking advertising sign on the roof. What is particularly fascinating is the copy of the Jacksonville Journal in the rack leaning against the fire hydrant in the foreground of the photograph which allows the image to almost be dated to the exact day it was taken. The date on the paper can’t be read but the top headline is “President Strozier of FSU Dies”. FSU’s president Robert Strozier died of a heart attack April 20th, 1960 while in Chicago on a speaking engagement. The Jacksonville Journal was Jacksonville’s afternoon paper while The Florida Times-Union was the morning paper so it is likely that Strozier’s death was reported on the same day that he died. The other headline is “Ike May Cancel ROK Visit, New Riots Sweep Country”. ROK stood for the Republic of Korea, now better known as South Korea and it was in the middle of riots that would force the country’s president to step down and go into exile the same month.

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None of the work presented by Vintage Jacksonville is in the public domain so be respectful of the intellectual property rights of the photographer’s work you find here and on the blog. If you wish to license work from Vintage Jacksonville, contact Bob Self so that he can discuss your particular needs.

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