Commerce Street in Aberdeen is eye candy. Even though they have installed the apparently compulsory awning in historic districts in Mississippi towns, which obscures some of the building details, it is still a lovely street to walk down…or up as the case might be. Number 121 to the left is circa 1885, and the first floor has been “modernized” (Harrison L. Stamm, 1997, in the National Register nomination). Number 119, next door, has a restored storefront. Stamm’s description:
…original recessed show windows with enameled transom signboards…transoms in colored glass blocks with ceramic letters…upper windows separated by pilasters with decorative capitals that do not adhere to classical motifs…Geometrical designs of six rectangular boxes are highlighted by contrasting paint and projecting brickwork.
From the looks of the block, these folks enjoyed Italianate buildings more than any other type during the construction of the downtown. Most of the buildings are late 1800s, and remind me of the square in Holly Springs, which is also home to a number of late 1800 Italianate architecture. Stamm said
…concentrated along Commerce Street…representative of commercial buildings constructed between 1880 and 1947.
The center building is circa 1885. To the left is a doorway leading to the second story, which features rounded arches on the windows, with corbels and hoods, and two cast-iron ventilators decorating the front of the stepped gable roof (Stamm). I cannot begin to fathom the decision to paint the building next door pea green, although I supposed it is possible it is historically accurate. The circa 1885 building has 7 windows on the second floor, and cast-iron star rod details (difficult to see, as they are painted green also) below the ventilators. A stairway leads to the upper floor, and cast iron pilasters are visible–perhaps from the Chickasaw Iron Works in Memphis, who seemed to supply most of the decorative ironwork in Mississippi during that time period.
Down on West Commerce, the old People’s Bank building now serves as home to Eutaw Construction. The circa 1920 building
…retains its historic massing that includes a recessed entrance flanked by a trio of fixed-glass windows with three-light transoms all set into wooden frames. The entrance is marked with cast-iron pilasters that allow the main door to rest in an enclave.
The pressed concrete signboard originally read “The Peoples Bank & Trust Company.”
Just barely visible to the left of the City Hall building is the old circa 1905 Aberdeen Publishing and Printing Company Both the exterior and interior of the building have “been compromised” in remodeling.
Next, we’ll take a walk up the other side of Commerce Street.