Mid-Week Mid-Century: Modern Banking in Downtown Jackson

First National Bank (now Trustmark Bank), Jackson

First National Bank (now Trustmark Bank), Jackson

I found this to-die-for postcard showing Jackson’s Trustmark Bank (formerly First National Bank) building a few weeks ago and was surprised to win it on eBay. Opened in 1956, the building was designed by two Jackson architectural firms, James T. Canizaro and Overstreet, Ware & Ware and it was constructed by Southeastern Construction Company based in Charlotte, NC.

A friend who knows all about mid-century banks sent me a copy of an article that appeared in The American Banker, Sept. 27, 1956 edition, just before the building opened. This is such a great article I have to share it with you:

JACKSON, Miss: Plans are under way for the formal opening of the First National Bank’s new 14-story bank and office building on Monday, October 1. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin a day filled with several events. All this week, groups of Mississippi and out-of-State bankers, Government officials, stockholders, employees and others are being entertained at special preview showings which will climax with a series of luncheons, dinners and entertainment.

First National will occupy three and one-half floors of the 206,000 square foot building. The main banking lobby and loan departments are located on the ground floor; the safe deposit boxes, vaults, cafeteria and supply rooms on the basement level; the clerical, operating and trust departments on the second floor, and the board of directors’ room and executive offices on the third floor.

Mechanical Equipment on the Roof

The building is modern in design, both inside and out. One of its most unusual features is the location of the mechanical equipment on the roof, rather than in the basement. This equipment is hidden by a green “butterfly” louvered screen with eight-foot red letters, “First National Bank,” emblazoned across the top of the building. The chief building materials are glass and buff brick, combined with limestone, granite and aluminum.

Parking Garage Going Up

Scheduled for completion in the near future is a 330-car parking garage which is under construction behind the bank building. This concrete and steel garage has six levels, which open directly into the bank and building.

The basement is devoted to storage and other bank purposes, the ground level features drive-up teller windows and the top four levels are devoted to parking for bank customers and tenants.

Officials of First National Bank are expecting sizable crowds at the grand opening.

Two photos supplement the story, including one of the banking floor. Neither photo is decent enough for scanning since they’re copies of a copy, but the caption of the interior reads, “Architect’s sketch of lobby of new building. Designed in aluminum and walnut, lobby is spacious with ‘floating’ ceiling panels.” The lobby is still really intact, including the floating ceiling panels, which I seem to recall are a vivid blue.

This post is a throwback to October, 2009.  You can read the post as it originally appeared here.  MissPres has featured the former First National Bank building in Jackson several times including posts on an original proposed exterior appearance and what the interior looks like.

Categories: Architectural Research, Banks, Cool Old Places, Jackson, Modernism


9 replies

  1. I was in that building yesterday. Sadly, I was the only customer, and there were just two tellers and two other employees in the entire lobby. But kudos to Trustmark for remaining in downtown Jackson!


  2. Thank you for posting this! My mother worked in this building in the basement posting checks until 1962. She had begun working for FNB when she graduated from high school in 1956 while they were still in the other building (on Capitol Street past the Lamar Life building, perhaps?) She once told me that for a while, they had crosswalks on Capitol Street that went diagonally across the intersection. She also told me about having lunch at the Pig Stand, though I’ve never figured out where the downtown location was.


    • Best guess is Pig Stand #2 at 131 N. Lamar, or #2 at 412 E. Capitol. Either would have been been just down the block from the bank, just in different directions. There were 7 I located, including 2945 W. Capitol, 131 N. Lamar, 412 E. Capitol, Mart 51, 4436 N. State, the Medical Arts Building, and Highway North, South of Jacksonian Motel.


    • Sorry, that is # 3 at 412 E. Capitol!


      • That’s a lot of locations! It probably relects the different dynamics of the downton area, that they could support 2 within a few blocks of one another. All the shoppers, I suppose. The Pig Stand was one of her favorites, that she would still talk about it so many years later.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! Thank you!


  4. I worked in this building in 1964 – second floor proof dept.


    • That sounds familiar – maybe that’s what my mom did. In 1961-62 I know she was working in a department where she didn’t meet the public, because she was expecting my brother and she told me that in the early 60s, a pregnant employee was not allowed to interact with customers.


  5. I worked on the 7th floor at Electronic Data Systems in 1978 – 1982. We processed First National’s smaller out of town branches. Applications for CDs, new checking and savings accounts, Christmas Club and cancelled checks arrived by courier each day after the banks closed. In April 1979 we had a bird’s eye view of the Easter Flood.

    Liked by 1 person

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