A Corpus Christi Building Grows Up
By Jillian Becquet
By: Jillian Becquet Photo Provided By: Doc McGregor, Corpus Christi Public Library
Out of the 17 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in Nueces County, there’s only one that locals call “home.” Located at the corner of Peoples and Chaparral, this 1930 six- story commercial building was built by H.G. Sherman. Now the Nueces Lofts, it was home to offices for companies in the oil, insurance, and real estate businesses, as well as doctors and Sherman’s own offices. In 1937, architects Brock, Roberts, and Colley seamlessly added four more stories to the cast stone and concrete building at the direction of its new owner, W.W. Jones.
The Jones building provided locals with office space through the early 2000s and saw the city through the economic prosperity that followed the opening of the Port of Corpus Christi in 1926. Sherman always expected the addition of more stories, although he had planned six, not the four that Jones added. The exterior design is eclectic, with Art-Deco-influenced belts separating the floors and classical influences that are unusual for commercial buildings from the time. The Sherman-Jones stands out. It is one of only two tall downtown buildings from the pre-WWII years that retains its exterior integrity – the other is now Sea Gulf Villa down Chaparral.
The next time you’re walking down Peoples or Chaparral, look up. You’ll get to enjoy many of the original architectural details of the building, and you’ll find yourself wondering why they just don’t build them like that anymore.