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Historic Macon announces second annual Fading Five list

October 2, 2016

The Historic Macon Foundation recently released its new Macon’s Fading Five list for 2016. This list showcases the top five historic structures and properties throughout Macon that are at-risk by neglect or possible demolition.

The public nomination for these properties is made in May each year, and then the approved list is announced in August.

The official list for 2016 is currently available on the Historic Macon Foundation website.

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  • The Train Recreation Center was built by Bibb Manufacturing Company in 1920 as part of a movement for humane treatment of textile mill workers, according to Historic Macon's website. The building now faces demolition by neglect.

    Alex Sandifer

  • The Train Recreation Center has suffered from rot and water damage, according to the Historic Macon Foundation.

    Alex Sandifer

  • The Brooks family, who lived in the house from 1908 until 1953, was featured in the Macon Telegraph multiple times, according to Historic Macon. John appeared in court as a defendant for distilling whiskey. His daughter was voted one of Macon's most popular women in 1933, and his son served in World War II.

    Alex Sandifer

  • The John B. Brooks house, located in the Vineville Historic District, faces demolition by neglect. According to Historic Macon, the best solution for preserving the building is for a new family to move in and perform upkeep on the house.

    Alex Sandifer

  • The Cotton Avenue District has returned to the Fading Five list as an endangered area, having made an appearance on the 2015 list. Historic Macon hopes that adding the area again will help protect some of the buildings from demolition and assist tenants who do not wish to relocate.

    Alex Sandifer

  • Historic Macon hopes that working with Steward Chapel A.M.E. Church's new leadership will lead to preservation solutions for the Cotton Avenue District.

    Alex Sandifer

  • The Bobby Jones Performing Arts Center, a building that has served multiple purposes over the years, now stands neglected. According to Historic Macon, the building cannot be sealed and the roof cannot be replaced due to a lack of funding.

    Alex Sandifer

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This year the list was announced on Aug. 31 at the Bonnybrae-Bedgood House, a historic 1839 Greek Revival mansion which was featured on last year’s Fading Five list. The home has since been purchased and is undergoing restoration.

“This is a model that is used nationwide,” Historic Macon Executive Director Ethiel Garlington said.

The idea of creating an endangered list of historic properties as a call for public action is commonplace in historic preservation and the organizations that surround it.

“It was born out of losing Tremont Temple [Baptist Church] and the Douglass House,” said Garlington about the history of Macon’s Fading Five List.

 

Tremont Temple Baptist Church was a historic black church in Macon that was considered a Civil-Rights era landmark by preservationists. It was sold and demolished in 2014 to allow for the creation of Dunkin Donuts across the street from the Medical Center.

The Douglass House was the historic home of Charles Henry Douglass, who is said to have been Macon’s first black millionaire. The home saw the same fate as Tremont Temple and was also torn down in 2014.

Now in its second year, Macon’s Fading Five is a community-based initiative to help prevent future demolitions of historic buildings in Macon.

It’s like picking your favorite child . . . They are all near and dear to our hearts.”

— Ethiel Garlington

“One of the most important . . . reasons why we create this list is to raise awareness,” Garlington said.

Since the list was released, Historic Macon has already received many phone calls from people interested in the buildings.

Garlington said that Historic Macon’s role in the Fading Five is to help find people the resources for the ownership and restoration of these properties.

He said that all of the properties from last year’s list have solutions for restoration, although they are not all completed.

The only place that has been carried over from the 2015 list is the Cotton Avenue district, because it features many properties that are currently endangered.

Historic Macon is committed to featuring properties from one year to the next until the structure is no longer under threat or has been determined to be appropriately preserved.

Garlington did advise that all of these places are private properties, and it is not encouraged that people walk up to these structures.

“We do not want people trespassing to investigate these properties,” he said.

Garlington said that those interested in the properties may contact Historic Macon directly with enquiries for more information. They may be reached by phone at 478-742-5084 or by email at info@historicmacon.org.

When asked which of the five properties is at the top of the list this year, Garlington said, “It’s like picking your favorite child . . . They are all near and dear to our hearts.”

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