BSE Spotlight: The Hammond Building

The storefront of Brydon, Swearengen & England’s office at 312 E. Capitol Avenue includes a window into Jefferson City history.

The Hammond Building has been a part of downtown Jefferson City since C.G. Hammond built the structure as a grocery warehouse around 1910—about the same time the state capitol was under construction a few blocks away. The Goddard Grocery Company was one of the early tenants.

In 1934, a local teacher named Peter James opened a “physical culture” school on the property, making the Hammond Building “the center of athletic activity in Jefferson City,” according to the News Tribune. James offered indoor tennis, golf and other activities “calculated to keep the business man fit and healthy.” There were steam rooms, showers and massage rooms for men and women, gymnastic equipment, and large rooms for boxing, wrestling and handball.

After attorneys Robert Hawkins, David Brydon, James Swearengen and Trip England purchased the building in the early 1980s, they discovered the original plans for the Hammond Building as drawn by Jefferson City architects Miller-Opel & Torbitt. A major restoration returned the storefront to its original appearance for a new life as law offices.

In January 1984, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared the building to be a “certified historic structure” based on its long history in the Jefferson City community. The Cole County Historical Society recognized the owners for their commitment to preserving Jefferson City history. Today, visitors to the law offices of Brydon, Swearengen & England can see the Hammond Building’s storefront as it might have looked 100 years ago.

The attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England can help property owners take advantage of tax credits and deductions for the restoration and renovation of historic structures, and assist clients with all types of commercial and residential real estate matters.