Claude H. Lindsley alive and well… in 1968

In a previous post there had been some discussion of what happened to Claude Lindsley, Jackson architect of the Art Deco Standard Life Building (among many other landmarks), later on in his life.  He moved from Houston, Texas some time in the 1950’s to Ocean Springs, Mississippi where he potentially might have planned to eventually retire.  By then most of his commissions were on the Gulf Coast, particularly in Jackson County.   While he was not designing as many buildings as he had been earlier in his career, he didn’t seem desperate for work either.

In his comment on the previous Lindsley post W. White referred to Lindsley as the architect on the 1962 St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Ocean Springs.  Another building in Ocean Springs that was not discussed, perhaps the last structure designed by Lindsley, was the 1968 Metropolitan National Bank constructed by J. O. Collins.   I believe Metropolitan National Bank and Hancock Bank merged in the late 1980’s and Hancock  Bank has had a branch in the building since then.

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I didn’t take too many photographs of the bank as I didn’t want them to think I was casing the joint.  Behind the bank was a drive-through teller and ATM.  While I took a few photographs I didn’t get close enough to see a corner-stone.  Does anyone remember if it was built at the same time as the bank or at a later date?

I think it’s amazing to see the work of an architect that spanned such drastic changes in our history.  When Lindsley started his career the car, electricity, and running water were luxuries.  By the time the Metropolitan National Bank was built, it could not have operated without them.



Categories: Architectural Research, Banks, Churches, Gulf Coast, Historic Preservation, Modernism, Ocean Springs, Recent Past

8 replies

  1. A man after my own heart–pictures of cornerstones! Thanks for this discovery of some of Lindsley’s later work and of his life on the Coast.

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  2. Mr. Lindsley fortunately decided to participate in the 1962 AIA Directory, along with many other architects you may be following. These directories chiefly give you a better idea of just how much you’ll never know, and yet one rewarding feature is the architect’s selection of the commissions they consider principal works. If you search for him in the three recently digitized directories, which I know you would have found sooner or later, you will find a suggestion that he quit his licensure by 1965 (and would have been in the later half of his seventies on the bank you visited). If you would enjoy laying out his biography in a new post linked to last winter’s and last summer’s (this one), I would just about certainly be able to photograph El Campo Community Hospital and any Texan works from his private practice that you come across. I had hoped that some of these might show up in the 1970 directory; since he died so near to its publication date that he does not appear in the necrology, there could have been a regular entry that escaped internet indexing now that he’s known not to have been living by then. But it looks like he was finally retired enough not to send one in.

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  3. I was so happy to see the AIA’s publication of those directories online last year that I wrote a post about it, and used the opportunity to look up Mr. Lindsley and fill in some of the gaps in what we knew about his life. Those are such valuable resources!

    I’d love to run a post (or series of posts) about any of Lindsley’s work in Texas that you’d like to photograph and share–that would be a real treat! He’s such a significant architect here in Mississippi, but perhaps he is overlooked in Texas, where you have so many important architects. I don’t know of any other of his works in Texas, but would love to know more!

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  4. The drive through building came later, probably around the time Hancock moved to the building. The original drive through was in the back of the original building. The old drive up window used to be visible in the back wall. Haven’t been by there in a while.

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    • Thank you for the info about the drive through! I can see the original drive through window on the rear elevation of the bank in the photographs. If you have not been by the building in a while you will have to let us know if you think it has changed any next time you see it.

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