Mid-Week Mid-Century: Three Round Banks

When I was in Meridian looking at the old Sears building last week, I discovered for the first time (although I’ve driven past them numerous times) two mid-century banks in the same area. They reminded me of a former bank in my own Fondren neighborhood in Jackson that is not only round but, in its new incarnation as a check-cashing establishment, has been painted a very bright pink. Truth be told, I didn’t really notice the building when it had its staid red brick veneer. It was really when they painted it pink that I first paid attention to it, which is slightly embarrassing. Ok, more than slightly embarrassing.

I have lost the citation for this advertisement, but I think it was in the Northside paper, c.1957.

So today, for your viewing pleasure, here are three round banks, all built c.1955-1960. I’m afraid that’s the limit of my knowledge about these buildings. I suspect that the Meridian banks were designed by one of the little coterie of Modernist architects in Meridian after World War II: Chris Risher, Robert B. Clopton, and Bill Archer. As for the Jackson bank, it could have been the work of any number of architects, many of whom had their offices right in the vicinity (in fact, Tom Biggs’ office was about four lots up the street, and R.W. Naef was just around the corner).

While some might say that round buildings aren’t practical, all three of these buildings are still operational, and two are performing their original function. Cool and functional? I’d say that’s mid-century Modernism at its best.

This post is a throwback to October, 2010. You can read the post as it originally appeared here. Other MissPres posts about round buildings or banks you might find interesting are: Round Buildings from the AirMid-Century Mississippi: Fondren’s First National Bank, and Chris Risher: Colonial Revivalist?

Categories: Banks, Cool Old Places, Jackson, Meridian, Modernism, Recent Past, Universities/Colleges


10 replies

  1. Wow, so many links in this story to other stories and other links! Good thing I am just sliding into the workday. :) I like round buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Round banks are so fantastic and these are some great examples.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Citizens National is best viewed from the air! I’m so glad the check cashing place is no longer pink; we need a new shot of it where it doesn’t look like it was dipped in Pepto Bismol.


  4. Hey, the G. E. Light Bulb plant burned up. At General Electric, progress is our most important product.


  5. I remember the Jackson-Hinds Bank on Meadowbrook Road very well.

    During the late 1960’s & early 1970’s, I believe this building was either a Deposit Guaranty or First National Branch.

    One unique feature of the little bank that always impressed me, was a partial circular wall on the West side of the building. This space hosted a rock garden and perhaps a water fountain. One could view this area through glass windows behind the branch manger’s office.

    I’m glad the original building is still around.

    Thanks for the memories !


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