Trustmark National Bank plans a branch for the Fondren district of Jackson at the corner of Old Canton Road and Duling Avenue, which is scheduled to open in 2019. Community leaders and business owners, as well as architects, construction managers and Trustmark executives turned the first ceremonial shovels of dirt on Wednesday.
“Today’s groundbreaking represents Trustmark’s continued commitment to our customers, the Fondren community and the city of Jackson,” Trustmark CEO Jerry Host said in news release. “Since we opened our North Jackson branch right across the street in the Morgan Center in 1950, Trustmark has been steadfast in our support of helping this community grow and prosper. Our new Trustmark Fondren office will stand as a testament to that partnership, and we look forward to serving our customers, neighbors and businesses in Fondren for years to come.”
Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects & Engineers, which designed the two-story building and will occupy the second floor, took care to ensure the building would blend into the architectural fabric of its historical surroundings.
An earlier effort to build a hotel at the site was withdrawn after Fondren residents argued that it would diminish the neighborhood’s character.
“Set back from the street, the new building will frame the Duling School [now Duling Hall] and establish a new iconic marker for the eastern edge of the corridor,” Cooke Douglass principal Rob Farr said. “Attention to detail in the building’s masonry is one way the building will pay homage to its neighbors. The use of punched windows also echoes the look of the Duling School and Fondren Church, helping the building fit within the context of other nearby buildings’ fabric.”
Farr went on to say that the Old Canton Road side of the branch will complement the architecture of Fondren Presbyterian Church. The tripartite-inspired entrance is similar to that of Fondren Church. The drive-through portion will be part of the building and not an attachment. The primary entrance will be easily visible from the plaza area and the building’s overhang onto the pedestrian space is created by the architecture itself. The elevated balcony will provide a special addition to the building and a gathering spot for community events.
“Trustmark has been a true community partner in Fondren since opening the doors of its first branch here in the Morgan Center, which is now known as Woodland Hills Plaza,” stated Jim Wilkirson, executive director of the Fondren Renaissance Foundation. “Their new location on the corner of Old Canton Road and Duling will be a cornerstone for this community, one in which we can truly all be proud.”
An old, diseased Leland cypress will be removed, but Trustmark has commissioned Mississippi wood craftsman Fletcher Cox to create a piece of art from the tree to display inside the branch. Additionally, during the ceremony, Trustmark gave three Leland cypresses to the foundation to plant in Fondren as a symbol of partnership and expansion. Yates Construction is the builder.
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