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:
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
Fireproof Constrn Built 1929
Conc Flrs & RF – Tile Br Faced
Curtain Walls 4″ Tile Partitions
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.
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?
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….