Kress Building: Downtown Meridian

Kress building block

The former Kress building is one of several Meridian buildings featuring architectural terra cotta. The S. H. Kress and Company building is a circa 1934 Art Deco building.  It seems a perfect match for Cafe du Monde’s chicory cafe au lait in a vintage coffee cup and saucer, while we take a stroll down Fifth au lait

Four story, brick commercial building with flat tar roof, stone and polychromed terra cotta frieze, stone storefront with marble faced base, two, off-center, double leaf plate glass doors, flanking display windows with rounded corners, polychromed terra cotta, Egyptian motifs, second floor with 2/2 double hung sash windows, stone surrounds, polychromed terra cotta, stone stringcourse, name plate, second and third floors with 4/4 double hung sash windows, two story, stone and terra cotta surrounds, neon signage. (L. Ford, 2004, Meridian NRHP downtown historic district nomination form)

That sentence could compete with William Faulkner, could it not?

Kress building front facade

According to Ford’s nomination text, the S. H. Kress and Co. 5-10-25 cent store used the same concepts of “escapism” (glamorized in the movies that showed “elegant, modern apartments with Art Deco Furnishings” and other “Deco glamour”) in the construction of its stores.  The Meridian store features some exotic details that are stunning in design, reflecting the frequently used Egyptian themes in Art Deco buildings.

Kress detail closeup

The former Kress building is now part of the Mississippi State University in Meridian, Riley Campus.  Known as the Rosenbaum Building, it has been recently renovated and houses the Kinesiology program.  It was also selected as another library location for the Meridian campus.  Using this building would certain amp up my interest in attending Mississippi State University-Meridian!

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