Standard Oil Company, Jackson

Standard Oil Company

The Standard Oil Company building is located on the site of the old Bowman Hotel, constructed in 1857 and burned in 1863 during the Civil War (Historic Jackson Walking Tour, MDAH).  It housed a full-service gas station, to the left of the photo.

The building formally opened February 5, 1927 (Biloxi Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 7).

In recent years this site was occupied by the old Wilkinson home.  This was a large building and has been moved to the State Fair Grounds as a donation by the Standard Oil Company, and put in use as a Woman’s Building.

Before the Wilkinson home was built, this corner was the site of the old Bowman Hotel, one of the famous hostelries in the South in the sixties, and the gathering place of the young blades of that time.

The new building was erected as the district headquarters for Mississippi division of the Standard Oil Company of Kentucky due to increased business.  The architect was William Edwin Glossop of Louisville, Kentucky, construction engineer of the Standard Oil Company.  The “symmetrical two-story Italian Renaissance Revival building of stuccoed masonry, with a hipped tile roof” (MDAH Historic Resources Inventory) was described by the Daily Herald:

…this building is a striking example of the combination of beauty and efficiency in the modern office building, and will be a handsome addition to Jackson’s business district.  The exterior is terra-cotta trimmed with granite, and the roofs [sic] is of red spanish tile, which gives the building prominence from a distance.  From the main entrance on Amite Street, one enters a spacious vestibule and then the corridor, with marble floors and walls.  A marble stairway leading to the second floor is located on this corridor.

Additional photographs can be viewed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History resources page.  You can read about the roofing repair (and a bit about tile roofing in general) at Preservation in Mississippi.

Biloxi Daily Herald, 02/03/1927

Biloxi Daily Herald, 02/03/1927

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15 Responses to Standard Oil Company, Jackson

  1. Susan Lentz says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous building. How I wish such beauties were still built – so much more human than these soulless boxes they’re building nowadays. Thanks!


  2. Beauregard Rippy says:

    Chevron (aka Standard Oil) had a service station west of this building on the corner of State St. and Amite St. I bought a LOT of gasoline there back in the late 1970s. Now there’s an ugly mismatched annex to the Standard Oil Building there.


    • Suzassippi says:

      So the annex visible in the photo on Preservation in Mississippi is not a re-work of the former service station?


      • Beauregard Rippy says:

        I don’t know if it’s a rework of the service station building or if the station was demolished and the annex built on the site. Just can’t remember. Didn’t work downtown at the time but I can see the annex and the Standard Oil Building both from my office window now!


      • Looking at the sanborn maps it looks like it was just a service awning off the side of the building. But it must have been pretty nice because the word copper is written across the awning.


      • Suzassippi says:

        See newspaper clipping above; looks like you are right again, TR. 🙂


  3. Beauregard Rippy says:

    The roof was rebuilt about 5 years ago or so.


  4. My favorite example of vermiculated work in Mississippi!

    That is interesting that the building was described in the Herald article as originally designed as terracotta clad with granite trim, as opposed to what was built, stucco with terracotta trim.


    • Suzassippi says:

      Probably just another one of those examples of (1) we laypersons messing around in things we don’t know anything about, or (2) journalists not fact-checking sources, or (3) figuring terms are interchangeable. I’m sure it annoys you, sort of like when I read the term “social worker” in an article when the person they are referencing has no social work degree, professional training, or licensure, and just made a huge screw-up.

      Now there is a word of the week–vermiculated. I will see if I can work that into a conversation this this next week while research–or better yet, see if I run across any vermiculated work whilst in Tennessee.


      • Plans always seem to be changing so it is interesting to see what might have been on the drawing board first. Needs and more importantly budgets can be constantly influx. Granite would have been more expensive and gives an image of what the architect may have been thinking about when he designed the structure. Additionally the dialing back to what was built gives a little insight to the owners budgets and wants(they might have been able to afford granite but that might have been too ostentatious for their clients or their shareholders?)

        I cannot believe its been almost four years since this word of the week came out!


  5. Beth says:

    I love this building and the word vermiculated; just rolls off the tongue. Was this the boarding house where the owner would influence legislators in their votes by withholding food if they didn’t support her ‘legislation’? It is an interesting design, very simple yet pleasing to look at.


  6. socialbridge says:

    A magnificent building.


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