PLACES IN PERIL
To encourage and guide ongoing efforts to save endangered historic spaces in Athens, Georgia.
F.C. MADDOX CENTER
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH CEMETERY
BILLUPS GROVE SCHOOL BUILDING
WHITE HALL VILLAGE
REESE STREET SCHOOL
The Beech Haven house is recognized as a significant symbol of Arts and Crafts architecture. it is surrounded by gardens, bridges, and stone sculptures and was constructed by african american athenian master craftsmen ike osbourne and jim glenn. wealthy athenian Charles Rowland was a fundraiser for the Presbyterian church and traveled to Asia for a mission. His experiences and environment there influenced the design of the site. It currently suffers from growing deterioration, lack of structural integrity, and lack of maintenance. to learn more about beech haven and the splost proposal it is connected to click here.
nominator/supporters: Nat Kuykendall, Friends of Beech Haven
from flagpole: "The building served as an American Legion post from 1947–1963, then was empty for two years before reopening as the Frank C. Maddox Community Center, Athens’ first licensed daycare for African-American children, named for Greater Bethel’s pastor at the time. (The current pastor is the Rev. Karen Bennett.) Later, the late civil rights activist Evelyn Neely took it over under the Lyndon Johnson Administration’s Model Cities program."
even as a day care, the building also served as a venue for a great deal of events and social gatherings, holding as many as 1,000 people. james brown even performed there.
the center is currently in need of rehabilitation.
nominator/supporters: Tommie Farmer, Greater Bethel AME
Central Baptist Church was given to the African American Community before the first deed books were recorded at the Clarke County Courthouse. Today, the property of the old church has no known owner. Visible remnants of the church’s cemetery include concrete steps, an exposed well and an old metal grave marker, for a child who died in 1927. there is a great deal of concern regarding the adjacent lot that is currently for sale and whether is is connected to the cemetery, as the two lots have the same original parcel number.An archaeological investigation is needed to determine the location of other grave sites within the cemetery.
nominator/supporters: Kim Burch (Winterville HPC)
During the era of Jim Crow, the Billups Grove School House was an essential part of a network of church-supported one-room wood structures that addressed the educational needs of local African Americans. It is believed that the school closed in the mid-1950s as states erected proper brick schools for black students, in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision of the 1954 case, Brown vs. Board of Education. it is currently threatened by a lack of stabilization and deterioration.
nominator/supporters: Fred Smith (Athens Area Black History Committee / EADC)
The Whitehall Community is a neighborhood in southern Athens-Clarke County consisting of many typical “mill house” homes, two churches, the remains of the Whitehall Yarn Mill, the Whitehall Mansion (built in 1892), and the principal textile mill complex adjacent to the North Oconee River. By 1833, village surrounding the mill had grown enough to establish a post office. In 1891, the village was incorporated into the town of Whitehall, which contained everything within a ¾ mile radius of the main textile mill complex. Passing through many hands, production continued until the mill finally closed in 1988. Today, the complex exists as Whitehall Mill Lofts. Both the main mill complex and Whitehall Mansion are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. this historic area is currently threatened by unrestricted development and multiple demolition requests.
nominator/supporters: Suzzanne C. Tate, resident of White Hall; Dorothy O'Neil (Friends of White Hall)
The 105 year-old Reese Street School stands at the corner of Reese and Pope Streets and hasn’t changed much since it’s construction in 1914 and renowned educator Samuel Harris became its principal. During the time the building housed Athens High & Industrial, it was the only school in the state of Georgia for black students. the property is in dire need of rehabilitation which is estimated to cost approximately $250,000.
nominator/supporters: Rosemary Goodrum; Friends group is Athens Masonic Lodge