Friday, July 28, 2023

Frederick Building Photographs

 The Frederick Building on the southwest corner of the Boston Street and Columbia Street intersection in Covington displays an interesting variety of architectural designs and materials. Here are several recent photographs of the building from a number of angles. Click on the images to make them larger. 

Columbia Street Side

Boston Street Side

Over the years the Frederick Building was home to the mayor's office, town council meeting room, the telephone exchange, the chamber of commerce office and the parish fair association office. 

The stairs going to the second floor offices

The first floor hallway, the second floor skylight and interior hallway

The floor tile in the first floor coffee shop

St. John's Coffee House counter with back wall design panels

A close up of the pressed tin wall panels

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Frederick Home Is On Historic Register

Frederick Building History

 The Frederick Building on the southwest corner of the Boston Street/Columbia Street intersection in Covington has served as a key location for the growing community over the past 100 years, situated at the city's main crossroads. It was originally built in 1902, as the plaque on the current building reads. 

The Frederick Building at right
(Click on the images to make them larger)

Actually there was an earlier building called the Frederick building at that location.  

The original Frederick building had a ice cream parlor and candy store.

In 1900 a "new Frederick building" was under construction.

When it was completed, a dentist office was located there, as was the big Jones & Pickett Store.

The first telephone exchange was located at the corner of Rutland and Columbia Streets, and it would later move into the Frederick Building a block north. 

The Downtown Fire of 1911

The original building burned down in a disastrous downtown fire in 1911, a blaze that swept through buildings on both sides of Columbia Street between Boston and Rutland. 

One of the fire's first victims was the first Frederick building, and since it contained the offices and exchange of the Cumberland Telephone Company, phone  service was interrupted by the fire.

The mayor's office, the coroner's office, a liquor store, the Jones & Pickett Company dry goods store, and a dentist office were all destroyed in that 1911 Frederick building fire. 

A year after the 1911 fire, a groundbreaking was held

Construction began on the "new" Frederick building in 1912, and it opened for business a couple of years later.  It became a central location for many of the growing town's key organizations. The Mayor's Office returned to that location, and town council meeting room was located there, as was the chamber of commerce and the parish fair association. 

In 1982 a downtown building survey described the two-story brick commercial building as having a recessed corner entry, fixed awning and wood framed glass storefront windows with elaborately paneled bottom. 

Building details included a bracketed entablature with inset medallions and alternating beveled wooden squares, a metal bracketed cornice, brick quoining, and masonry pilasters with medallions. Most of these details appear on the Columbia Street fa├žade.

The St. Tammany Farmer newspaper published many advertisements for businesses located in the "Frederick Building" over the years. 

The new Frederick Building housed a pharmacy

The FitzSimons Grocery Co. had everything for your chickens in 1916.

Leon's Pharmacy's space was taken over by the FGC Auto Shop in 1917

The Frederick Building was also home to the Louisiana Ball of Clay Company, a business promoting the virtues of St. Tammany clays for making pots. 

The sad death of M. Neilsen was considered a significant loss for the community's efforts to promote its clay products nationwide. 

The Covington Association of Commerce was located in the Frederick Building in 1919. The Association of Commerce was at the forefront of several efforts to promote Covington.

In 1918 Mrs. Garcia had a shoe store in the building.

Also in 1918 the local Red Cross had an office in the Frederick Building, from which it organized efforts to fight the influenza epidemic. 

The R.L. Aubert Insurance Company, Inc.

Mother Hubbard Wash Boards Supplier

Electricity Stores Were Becoming a Big Thing

As were vulcanizing businesses

Electric Christmas lights were being promoted

The Mayor's Office re-located to the Seiler Building in 1925

The Covington Restaurant was open every night until 1 A.M.

The Chamber of Commerce held industry-promoting meetings

The Covington Billiard Hall was a popular place

Apparently, the Covington Billiard Hall (and Lunch Counter) wasn't as popular as it needed to be. It had an impressive list of items for sale at the Sheriff's Sale in 1933.

The parish fair association had its offices in the Frederick Building. 

Another brush with fire in 1934

A new billiard parlor opens

The Frederick Building was also to be home to the town's syphilis clinic, as suggested by the St. Tammany Parish Health officer Dr. H. E. Cannon in 1939. By the next year, the syphilis clinic was in operation.

Frederick Building in 1973

Frederick Building 1982


According to an article in the St. Tammany Farmer published in 1985, the Frederick Building was built around 1902 by Mayor Emile Frederick. It was a two story masonry commercial building.

Renovations being done in 1985 included exterior cleaning and paint removal, installation of an elevator and a lobby, new electrical and plumbing systems, and development of the second floor as seven thousand square feet of office space and corridors. Two skylights were also restored.

Frederick Building on left, 1994

Frederick Building, 1999

Rue de la Course Coffee Shop



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