Historic Athens has released its 2019 Fall Event Calendar. This year’s offerings include several returning initiatives, including the 11th Annual Athens Heritage Walk series and a Brown Bag history program. The non-profit is also adding two additions for 2019: Historic Athens Porchfest and monthly events tied to the Athens Places in Peril Initiative.
The Historic Athens Heritage Walks are a series of guided tours highlighting Athens’ historic neighborhoods and places. “The walks began in 2009 to celebrate Athens’ designation as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations,” says Amy Andrews, who has volunteered many years as the Athens Heritage Walks coordinator. “The walks were so popular that Historic Athens has made them a treasured annual tradition.”
Tour guides are local volunteers with a love for Athens and a special place in their hearts for the places they take you. Each guide is familiar with neighborhood architectural styles, historical context and interesting characters who once lived there—and in some cases still do. This expertise creates a unique experience for each tour. This year’s series features nine tours, starting on September 15th and ending on November 10th. Tour sites include several historic neighborhoods, districts, and sites: Pulaski Heights, Buena Vista Heights, Henderson Avenue, Reese Street, Beech Haven, University Drive, Winterville, West Rutherford, and Oconee Hill Cemetery. For more information and tickets, visit historicathens.com/heritagewalks.
The Historic Athens Places in Peril Events will be a monthly effort to bring attention to the six historic sites in this year’s Athens Places in Peril initiative, which was launched to encourage and guide ongoing efforts to save endangered local historic spaces. Each month, Historic Athens will partner with a local grassroots organization to host an event at or near an Athens Place in Peril. Fall offerings include the Frank C. Maddox Center, Beech Haven, Central Baptist Cemetery, and Billups Grove School Building. For more information, visit www.historicathens.com/places-in-peril.
On September 12th, the organization will host an edition of its free Brown Bag history series—a lunch-time program and panel convened at the Lyndon House Arts Center. This program is titled “The Lost Neighborhood of Linnentown.” Named after the street of Lyndon Row, Linnentown (~1900-1966) was a small African American community bordered by Baxter, S. Finley, and Church Street. The neighborhood included dozens of working families, with individuals employed as plumbers, electricians, beauticians, brickmasons, and university employees. Over half the residents owned their homes. In the mid-1960s, the University of Georgia and the city of Athens partnered on Federal Urban Renewal Project No. 50 to demolish Linnentown. In its place, the University of Georgia built the Brumby, Creswell, and Russell dormitories. Attendees will have the chance to hear from former residents of the now-demolished neighborhood, who will be telling their stories in public for the first time in more than 50 years. For more information, visit www.historicathens.com/brown-bag-lunches.
Historic Athens Porchfest will invite homeowners, musicians, and visitors to participate in a celebration of four historic Athens neighborhoods: Pulaski Heights, Newtown, Boulevard, and Buena Vista. From 1 PM to 7 PM on October 6th, residents in those neighborhoods can volunteer their porch or yard to host a free live music performance by a local band. Historic Athens will be coordinating the festival and accepting sign-ups at historicathens.com/porchfest. Plans are in place for 48 pop-up concerts, two each hour in each historic neighborhood. Sponsorships are also available at the website, with Tom Ellis Construction, Arcollab, and Athentic Brewing Co. already confirmed. For more information, visit historicathens.com/porchfest.
Historic Athens and Avid Bookshop are excited to partner once again to present Jason Wetzel and his book, Georiga POW Camps in World War II. This event will take place on Thursday, October 17, 2019, from 6:30-7:30 PM in Fire Hall No. 2 at 489 Prince Avenue.