Today’s blast to the past is just a nice little Modernist bank building in my Fondren neighborhood that I’ve always admired. It’s one of the earliest drive-through banks I’ve documented, since I started noticing drive-through banks, prodded by Thomas Rosell and by the Mississippi Architect article “Greenville Motor Bank.” According to a historical marker (so it must be true) the first “auto bank offering drive-up window service” in the state was in Waynesboro, opening in 1962. Today’s bank opened in 1956, and I don’t know if there is any distinction between an “auto bank” like in Waynesboro, and this bank, which was a full-service bank with drive-through tellers.
The first floor has always been a bank (First National changed its name to Trustmark, maybe in the 1980s?), and the second floor became the office of architect J.T. Liddle, who designed a number of buildings in “downtown” Fondren, including Montgomery Hardware, the best hardware store in the state, in my humble opinion. At any rate, there were images of the building with this Clarion-Ledger article, but the microfilm copies were so terrible, I just put my own photos here. But I would like to know what the “gold colored aluminum panels” looked like–have they since been painted over with the black or are those black panels replacements? The awning over the main entrance is a later addition.
New Morgan Center Branch Bank To Be Constructed
First National To Occupy New Building; To Be Known as Old Canton Road Branch
In keeping with tremendous population growth and increased business activity in the north and northeast sections of Jackson, a new bank and office building will be built on the Old Canton Road near the intersection of Duling Avenue according to E.E. Morgan, developer of Morgan Center.
The ground floor of the new two-story building will be leased to First National Bank for a branch bank which will be named “Old Canton Road Branch,” and the second floor will be availale as office or other commercial space. At the present time, the First National operates a branch immediately across the street in Morgan Center.
The first floor, covering 3,340 square feet, has been planned especially for First National and includes the very latest improvements in bank facility design. Every bank service will be available, including safe deposit boxes and night depository service as well as new type drive-up teller’s windows conveniently located in the rear of the building.
Ample parking space for bank customers and employees also will be provided. The building is modern in design and features a new kind of exterior construction using gold colored aluminum panels combined with windows trimmed in grey colored aluminum, creating a handsome effect. The building, designd by Architect Jay T. Liddle, is located on property that fronts 85 feet along the east side of Old Canton Road immediately across from Morgan Center.
According to J.T. Brown, chairman of the board of First National Bank, “The rapid growth in this section of Jackson, has created a need for increased banking service and we are pleased to announce our plans for such an expansion. Until our new quarters are completed later in the year, the present North Jackson Branch will continue to service its customers.”
Clarion-Ledger-Jackson Daily News
May 15, 1955