Roadside Mississippi: Fountain Grill

Fountain Grill west elevation. Aberdeen, Mississippi June 2013

We’re taking a break this week from the “Friday is a Gas” series since we had a gas station related post on Wednesday, but today’s post is still about a roadside-tastic building constructed c.1965.  I’ll wager a guess this was the new hangout in town when the current Aberdeen High School was built c.1965.  Was it built as an A&W root beer stand?  I’m not sure, but in my opinion this is about as Googie as Mississippi’s architecture gets.  If you’re not familiar with the term, Wikipedia gives a pretty succinct description of Googie Style architecture:

a form of modern architecture, a subdivision of futurist architecture influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age

Aiding the futuristic look is a long canopy, a flattened hexagon shape, clad in corrugated material, projects away from the anchor building.  Appearing to float, the canopy is pierced at intervals by angled wedged shaped pylons.  Something about the steep pitch of the roof on the anchor building gives the initial appearance of an A-Frame building, but the side-view confirms it is not.  The gable end presents a red and white checkerboard.  These larger details grab the attention of a person in a speeding vehicle the way subtler detailed buildings cannot.  To a passing motorist, this building’s energy might have exuded “Hey something happening HERE!”

Another way of defining this style of architecture is as “Populuxe” modern.  It’s consumable modern without being pretentious, or challenging the viewer to have a particular thoughts or emotions about the building.

Fountain Grill, east approach. Aberdeen, Mississippi June 2013

Currently the building serves as the Fountain Grill, serving up a tasty looking blue plate.  Maybe not the magnet for teenagers it once was, but that’s okay.  It’s still providing dutiful service and I bet one day, if it isn’t acknowledged as such already, it will be a retro cool place that folks of all ages will appreciate for its unique sense of place.

Categories: Aberdeen, Asides, Cool Old Places, Historic Preservation, Modernism, Recent Past


4 replies

  1. Great post! Thanks for giving us Googie term.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The building reminds me of the A-frame type buildings that Sherer’s Drive-In had. There were several Sherer’s Drive-In restaurants in Mississippi. I lived in Tupelo when the first one there was built in the early 1960s. Their food was SO GOOD!

    Liked by 1 person

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