Meridian Star

Local News

August 30, 2009

Inside the Threefoot building

A look at the building’s past, present, and future

L.M. and Louis Threefoot had high hopes when they first erected the now iconic Threefoot building downtown — what they didn't have was good timing.

Construction began on the Threefoot building, which originally cost $750,000 to build, in mid-1929 — just before the stock market crash that sent this country into the great depression.

A newspaper article from April of that year reported that, along with the Threefoot brothers, "some score or more of the leading citizens of Meridian and Mississippi," invested in the building, which was said to have "space for upwards of two-hundred and fifty offices."

But apparently 250 offices was more than depression-era Meridian could accommodate.

According to the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute on Southern Jewish Life, a non-profit organization that documents Southern Jewish history, "the costly venture left the (Threefoot) family business on shaky ground and eventually led to its closure."

But the building has outlasted the business, and stands as what is probably Meridian's most recognizable landmark today.

Erected on the former site of the Threefoot Bros. and Co. hardware store, the building was home to a number of offices for several decades (many Meridianites still recall the terror they felt while awaiting fillings in a dentist's office there) but has now been abandoned for many years.

If all goes as planned, the building will soon be put to use once again — this time as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel. HRI Properties, a New Orleans developer that specializes in historic renovations, is in the process of ironing out the finer details in the renovation of the building into a hotel.

HRI gave city officials, local media, and a potential project lender a tour of the building Thursday.

Right now, it doesn't look so pretty. While the exterior of the building is noticeably worse for the wear, the interior is in a much more obvious state of deterioration.

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