Former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Waco is an Architectural Treasure

By: jwilder

waco attractions Coca Cola Bottling Plant

This beautiful Art Deco (or Streamline Moderne) building was a Coca-Cola bottling plant. It was designed by Robert V. Derrah and built in 1939.

This building stands in bold contrast to the ornate architecture the the late 1800s and early 1900s. Built entirely with concrete the walls were smooth and unbroken. The color was bright white, only accented by the dark frames of the windows and the silver front door.


Former Coca-Cola Bottling Company
12th and Austin Ave.
Waco, Texas

waco attractions Coca Cola Bottling Plant Front

The building's name, "Coca-Cola Bottling Company," in their classic Coca-Cola script, used to adorn the front of the building, filling the space between the porthole windows.

The wrap-around windows at the second level were a visually distinguishing, modern touch.

waco attractions Coca Cola Bottling Plant Doors

The three recessed vertical lines on either side of the door must allude to Greek fluted columns.

Thankfully, the original door remains, encasing the beautiful frosted glass and Coca-Cola script - quietly rewarding passersby with the knowledge of the building's origins.

Sparkling New Building Aim of Coca-Cola Firm

waco Coca Cola Bottling Plant

Image Caption: Architect's drawing of the new home of Coca-Cola, to be erected at the corner of 12th and Austin Street. Construction will begin on or about July 15. Plate glass windows on the street sides of the building will afford a few of the bottling plant in operation. - Waco Tribune-Herald 26 Jun 1938

An article, dated 26 Jun 1938, in the Waco Tribune-Herald, titled "Sparkling New Building Aim of Coca-Cola Firm," announced the construction of the new Coca-Cola building.

According to the article, the building was designed with large plate glass windows on Austin and 12th St. to allow full vision of the entire bottling equipment in operation.

"The bottling plant, as viewed from the street, will not only be impressive in its cleanliness and efficiency, but will be intensely interesting, revealing the manner in which a bottle of Coca-Cola is produced."

The article mentions T. Brooks Pearson of Waco as associate architect of the building project. R. S. Braswell of Waco was the Coca-Cola manager. Stanley N. Barbee and A. K. Barbee were also mentioned as owners of the Waco Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

Coca Cola Building in Los Angeles

waco Coca Cola Bottling Plant Los Angeles

The Waco Coca-Cola building has a close relative in Los Angeles.

Robert V. Derrah, the same architect that designed the Waco Coca-Cola building, embarked on a another project for Coca-Cola in Los Angeles.

Sometime between 1936 in 1939 (sources vary), Derrah re-designed a group of five industrial buildings using an architectural style similar to the Waco Coca-Cola building, yet more extreme. The design paid homage to ocean liners of the 1930s, and gave the appearance of a docked ship. This style would probably be classified as programmatic, rather than Streamline Moderne or even Nautical Moderne.

This Coca-Cola Building is located at 1334 South Central Avenue in Los Angeles, California.


I put together a guide (blog post) titled Waco Attractions for Auto Enthusiasts. Check it out if you want an easy to consume, one page list of suggested attractions!

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for MOTOR Texas.


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