Mississippi Architect, August 1964: Greenville Motor Bank

The August 1964 issue of the Mississippi Architect magazine features a building type that I hadn’t even noticed on the landscape until Thomas Rossell started pointing it out to me: the motor bank, better known to us today as the drive-through bank. The fact that a monthly magazine targeted toward Mississippi’s architects highlighted the Greenville Motor Bank indicates that architects were finding themselves getting jobs designing these new types of structures and that they were looking for other examples.

I couldn’t locate this on an aerial view of Greenville, but I was concentrating on Highway 82 and maybe it isn’t along there. Unfortunately, the ancestry.com Greenville city directories only go to 1960, so I’m out of luck there too. Maybe one of our Greenvillagers can jump in and tell us where this is/was?


Greenville Motor Bank

Motor Bank of Commercial National Bank, Greenville

M. L. Virden III, & Associates, Architect, Greenville

LOCATED at a busy intersection in an area quickly changing from residential to commercial, this motor bank is oriented toward the automobile.

The exterior use of concrete channels and load bearing brick walls are reflective of the interior disposition of spaces. Bold forms were chosen in place of intricate details in order that the building read stronger in the context of fast moving traffic. Rather than visually crowd an already busy intersection, the building and drives were positioned to the rear of the lot to free the space at the corner.

Unlike most branch banks accommodating only two cars, requirements of a growing city necessitated facilities for four cars. Expansion provisions for six have been provided within the existing structure.


This article is reprinted from the August 1964 issue of the Mississippi Architect, with permission from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. View the full August 1964 issue of Mississippi Architect in a digitized format, or for other articles in this ongoing series, including the pdf version of each full issue, click on the MSArcht tab at the top of this page.

Categories: Architectural Research, Banks, Greenville, Modernism, Recent Past

15 replies

  1. The bank is currently a Trustmark Bank drive in branch located on the southeast corner of Broadway and Main Street in the downtown section of Greenville.


  2. This has to be one of the coolest things ever posted! Never gave any thought to “motor” banks or their designs. Great example of form follows function. And it’s still functioning. Wow!


  3. The first drive through bank in the state is located in Waynesboro. There’s even a state historic marker proving it so. I would even post a picture here if I knew how.


  4. The layout here deletes the architect’s credit, which appears in the original publication accessible on the link (where there’s also a plan). It was M. L. (Matt) Virden & Associates. A handsome and elegant building!


  5. That would be a place to park during a hailstorm or other severe weather event!


  6. Thank you, thank you! Enjoyment glands fired juicily! I grew up admiring this bank, and I am so gladdened to learn it still obtains. Long may it!

    Liked by 1 person

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