Commerce Street Car Barn

I don’t know if this post should be filed as an “Industrial Mississippi” post or as a “Traveling by Trolley” post since it covers both topics.  Back last spring, I was going through a 1929 Manufacturers Record magazine that has several entries for Mississippi construction projects, one of which was the Bellvue Court Apartments on North Street in Jackson.  Another happened to be the following:

Street Railways

Miss., Jackson–Mississippi Power & Light completing plans for $50,000 car barn.  Commerce St.: 110×113 ft., brick, frame, steel trusses, bar joists, conc. slabs, galv. sheet metal and skylights, conc. floor: receive [several illegible words] N.W. Overstreet

Manufacturers Record 1929, Volume 95, Issues 20-26 Page 79

Looking up N.W. Overstreet in the MDAH HRI database didn’t show any building that he designed for Mississippi Power & Light, so my next best bet was to check the Sanborn insurance maps for a “car barn” on Commerce Street in Jackson.  Fortunately, I was able to locate such a building on the 1946 Jackson Sanborn maps.  There it was at the intersection of Commerce and Tombigbee Streets.  With the handy note on the Sanborn map…

Mississippi Power & Light Co
Store H[ouse]
Fireproof Constrn Built 1929
Conc Flrs & RF – Tile Br Faced
Curtain Walls 4″ Tile Partitions

detail Sheet 13 Jackson 1925-Nov. 1946 Sanborn Insurance Maps

The Sanborn map also notes that the Truck Shed [formerly the Car Barn] is of steel joist construction with wire glass sky lights.  The shed is open all along the west elevation to allow for the entry or exit of streetcars and later power company trucks.

When I slipped over into Google street view to check out that intersection my first thought was “Shoot! It has been demolished.”  But closer looks can sometimes payoff.  Below is the intersection, and it looks like a different building at first glance, but in actuality part of the Car Barn has been demolished to allow off street parking, and a brick wall was built to enclose the space.  If you look closely along the north wall you can see two window lintels that have had their openings bricked in.

400 Commerce St. Jackson, Hinds County April 2016 from Google Street View

Still not 100% convinced that it is indeed the same building? A closer inspection reveals a ‘cornerstone’ in the stairwell with a big ol’ 1929 date and a Mississippi Power and Light Company logo.  Anyone in Jackson care to check out that seemingly blank placard and let us know if it contains the name N.W. Overstreet?

detail 711 Tombigbee St. Jackson, Hinds County. From Google Street View Mar., 2014

If you want to see what the building looked like when it still had its opening for street cars on the west elevation, you can see such an image in this book….

from Images of America. Jackson [Mississippi] by Julie L. Kimbrough

What do you think?  Is this the same building from the 1929 Manufacturers Record?

Categories: Building Types, Historic Preservation, Industrial, Jackson


10 replies

  1. Good eye on that plaque! I’m going to have to run down there to get a closer look on this fine afternoon. Will report back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The plaque is still in place, and in fact is probably two plaques, in three pieces, that have been reset. The two piece 1929 MP&L logo seems to have been originally stacked as a single logo (note borders). The blank looking plaque on the right end states: “Jackson Gas Light Company, Erected A.D. 1906”, with two officers listed plus “Blomberg & Proutt, Engineers”. No mention of Overstreet, but it is obviously an earlier tablet from this building or a closely related one.
    The car park(an open sided shed) is still there, still used for parking Entergy vehicles, but is now of much later shed construction. The building still houses Entergy personnel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like several of us Jacksonians found ourselves over by this building that I’ve completely overlooked until today, Thomas. I went down there with a friend who took this picture of that rad plaque. I agree that the plaque on the right is earlier vintage and that the plaques have probably been reset in this location.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the N.W. Overstreet Architectural Records at MSU are sheets 2-5 of plans for Mississippi Power & Light Company Warehouse & Car Barn, 1929.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Entire Structure demolished 2021.


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