Go Greyhound: Art Moderne in Mississippi

Greyhound Bus Terminal 2

The former Greyhound terminal building in Greenwood is the simplest of the Art Moderne stations in Mississippi.  Constructed in 1939, the building was designed by Memphis architect George Mahan.  S. L. McGinnis was the contractor, and J. D. Lanham, both of Greenwood, contracted for plumbing.  The building is a one story concrete block and stucco, and features bands of horizontal wood slats.  I enhanced color to better illustrate the contrast, which is less evident in the faded gray color of the slats currently.

The building was used as a bus station until 2001.  Erik Wickman, a Swedish immigrant from Minnesota started a transportation company and eventually developed interstate travel by bus, and through consolidations and stock purchases, helped to develop a network to provide interstate bus travel (Gatlin, MDAH, n.d.).  The Greenwood Greyhound ticketing was originally run out of the Hotel Weiner.

Dixie Greyhound is preparing to erect a modern bus station in Greenwood at the corner of Church and Main for the greater convenience of patrons. Greenwood Commonwealth, Sept. 9, 1939, p. 1

The space had been previously occupied by the Shell service station, which was demolished to construct the new terminal.  Contracts were awarded in October, construction began in November, and the “handsome and modern bus station” opened January 20, 1940 (Greenwood Commonwealth).

Greyhound Art Moderne terminal buildings in other Mississippi towns included Clarksdale, Gulfport, and Jackson.

 

 



Categories: Architectural Research, Greenwood, Roadside

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17 replies

  1. Wonderful post—thanks!

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  2. thanks for the greenwood info as well as the images of some of the other ms stations.

    of course, there was a greyhound depot in hattiesburg, on walnut street. it was moderne and, if my memory serves me correcty, simpler than the one in greenwood in that it was along a street–not the focal point of a corner. 2009 was the last time i was in hattiesburg and i don’t remember riding by the site–so, i have no idea if the building is still standing or its present use. maybe there is photo ‘somewhere’ that is accessible to someone(s) in our group that can help me jog my visual memory? (mr gentry might have some comment on this topic.)

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    • I actually found quite a bit about the Hattiesburg terminal, but no description or any pictures. It was described as across the street from the Saenger Theatre, Forrest street I think.

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    • You are correct on the Greyhound Station Art Moderne architectural style. Maybe Speed’s Restaurant, too? The Purity Creamery was located near the bus station on Walnut Street and I watched it burning circa 1949 as the firemen atop the roof cut into the roof deck with axes. It was not a total loss, as I recall.
      Brooksville School is described as Streamline Moderne. Classic examples of that form are in El Duce’s Little Rome in Asmara, Eritrea which escaped destruction from the twenty-year Ethiopia-Eritrea War. No aerial bombing of cities, just bloody battlefield warfare.
      I wonder how/where these Mississippi-born architects were introduced to this style? Particularly, P. J. Krouse.

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  3. Hats off to Robert Parker (Bob) Adams for saving our iconic Jackson terminal! Well done, too, though I’ve only been it once. Seems like the old Trailways terminals were almost as iconic, but maybe I’m romanticizing.

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  4. well, here we go!!!!!! okay, if the greyhound station was across from the saenger theatre, that was the structure that eventually became the turner building and then the architectural office of david sheley. so, then, the building on walnut street that i remember as ‘the bus station’ must have been the ‘original’ trailways bldg— also art moderne—and then, that bldg became both the greyhound and trailways station by the 1950s. it’s difficult pulling all this info together as an old codger!

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    • I think you’re still correct. The Walnut Street Bus Station was in use during WWII and even postwar. The Forrest & Front Sts station was a Union station when it was built in 1937, serving multiple bus lines.

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      • So, I shall pull up the Hattiesburg station information that I deleted when I could not connect it to this post!

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        • Please do! I’d enjoy seeing a post about Hattiesburg’s bus stations. I became interested intercity bus terminals after reading a VAF journal article article about them. I did some looking into the early ones. Meridian had one of the oldest purpose built stations that I was able to ID, but of course it was promptly demolished! At least Google Street View caught it before it went away. Now it is one of Meridian’s beautiful and historic vacant lots.

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  5. hopefully, at some point–“when all the data is in”–someone can explain the ins and outs of the hattiesburg bus terminals; i only remember one ‘active’ one when i was growing up there in the late ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s.

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    • I suspect the 1937 location was built to accommodate the public bus traffic bringing factory workers to the Reliance Manufacturing plant just a block away. Private vehicles were scarce during the war.
      Maybe the Walnut Station– that Ed and I remember– was built to take the civilian traffic. I think that military inductee rail traffic into Hattiesburg boarded rails to the Camp Shelby post.

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  6. yes, there were so many ‘new faces’ coming into hattiesburg from the time of world war one into the present—but, one could even go back to the city’s origins in the 1880s–everyone came there from somewhere else! i have found in other places that folks know the name, hattiesburg, but aren’t certain why—the first ‘reaction’ is, ‘oh, isn’t that the site of a famous civil war battle’? there, the confusion is with vicksburg, obviously!

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