The Delta Daily News reported in March 2018 about the planned reopening of the former Wilson Banking Company building–as a bank! On my recent first visit to downtown Greenwood, I stumbled across this beautiful 1913 Beaux Arts building designed by architect Frank R. McGeoy. In August 1913, construction was begun on the building at the corner of Market and Howard streets “in the very heart of Greenwood” with a projected total cost of $25,000 (Jackson Daily News, 08 August 1913, p. 2). McGeoy also designed and supervised construction of the addition in 1923.
Wilson Bank Now Enlarged: Addition to Building Makes Bank One of the Most Commodious in City of Greenwood–Announcing the completion of the enlargement of their bank building and the installation of new fixtures and safety deposit boxes in the new vault…(Greenwood Commonwealth, 01 July 1925, p. 1)
The building “has been doubled in size by an addition built on the north” and added marble interior and fixtures. In writing the nomination for the Cotton Row Historic District National Register of Historic Places in 1980, Lloyd Ostby described the building:
…four-by-five bay brick with concrete cartouches, pilaster capitals and bases; aedicule corner entrance, flat roof, metal cornice.
Aedicule sent me to the dictionary to learn that it is “an opening such as a door or window framed by columns on either side, and a pediment above.” Enlarging and enhancing a section gives detail on the metal cornice, and also reveals some damage from corrosion.
Wilson Banking opened a branch on Carrollton Avenue in 1928, “located in the new Dahmer Buildings recently completed near Greenwood Drug Company” (Greenwood Commonwealth, 11 September 1928, p. 1). The Dahmer Building was located on the corner of Carrollton and Lamar. The branch location lasted a year and closed in September 1929 and was combined back with the Howard/Market location.
Wilson Banking failed in December 1930, and precipitated a banking crisis in Greenwood. Other banks closed temporarily to forestall further panic, but reopened shortly. The Sun-Sentinel reported Wilson Banking Company was liquidated (25 December 1930, p. 1).
Remarkably, the building has survived and continues to function as part of Greenwood’s historic Cotton Row.