Milledge Circle Historic District
Time & Location
About The Event
Milledge Circle, with its attractive curvilinear layout and consistent front yard setbacks, was a popular location for Athens’ middle and upper middle-class residents to build new homes. Evolving from an antebellum farm, Milledge Circle represents suburban development from c. 1890 to WWII, an era that also produced Athens’ first multi-story apartment buildings with ground floor retail. The neighborhood was developed at a time when modern conveniences such as telephone service, electric lights, streetcar transportation, waterworks, and public sewer had just become available. Residents ranged from teachers, clerks, and business managers to professionals and business leaders engaged in banking, manufacturing, the automobile trade and construction. The architecture on Milledge Circle features variations of a number of styles including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Greek Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Mid-Century Modern, and Prairie. The area features seven houses designed by noted Athens architect, Fred Orr, as well as one house designed by a widely recognized female architect, Leila Ross Wilburn, who also produced a pattern book of home construction plans influenced primarily by Craftsman architecture. The district, which has retained a high degree of integrity, is celebrating its recent designation as a local historic district.
John Waters is the founder and former director of Graduate Studies in Historic Preservation at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design. He is now retired and serves as professor and director emeritus. An author and preservation activist, Waters has been instrumental in a number of local and state preservation organizations and the preservation of a number of Athens historic houses. He was one of the founders of Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation, serving several terms as president. He was also a founder of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Foundation, serving as its first president. Waters established the Fred J. Orr Society to recognize and perpetuate the works of Orr, a noted Athens architect of the twentieth century who designed the Milledge Circle home in which Waters resides, “Greyside.” He was awarded the key to the city of Athens by Mayor Denson in 2017 in recognition of his many contributions to historic preservation in Athens-Clarke County.