DeKalb History Center Rev. Hosea Williams Exhibit Opening

27 05 2009

FMFats forwards this note…

“Unbossed and Unbought” Rev. Hosea L. Williams Exhibit

Tuesday, June 2 – 5:00 – 7:00 PM

The Old Courthouse on the Square – Temporary Exhibit Room

Join us for an opening reception of a special exhibit that explores the work of Rev. Hosea L. Williams. Light refreshments will be served.

On loan from The Hosea Project/Hosea Feed the Hungry, the show features photographs, archival materials and artifacts from Rev. Williams’ years as a Civil Rights leader and politician and a glimpse into his personal life.

Exhibit open to the public: June 2nd – August 28th (Tuesdays – Fridays 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

DeKalb History Center Exhibits For ArtsFest Weekend

21 05 2009

Don’t forget to stop by the Old Courthouse this weekend when you’re up at the Decatur Arts Festival.  Lots of great exhibits of display.  Personally, I get really excited about old maps.

All Roads Lead to DeKalb – Join us as we showcase a portion of our extensive map collection. The exhibit consists of over 30 high quality scans, which were produced for us by the Georgia Archives. The full size reproductions represent the entire county and many cities and neighborhoods including Tucker, Brookhaven Estates, Druid Hills, Atlanta, Stone Mountain and Decatur. The display includes maps from 1900 to 1999.  Some maps will be available for immediate purchase; additional selections can be made available upon request.

The Harrison Room – Old Courthouse on the Square, 2nd Floor

May 23, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM & May 24, from 12:00PM to 5:00PM

Rev. Hosea Williams Exhibit – Enjoy a “sneak peek” of a special exhibit exploring and celebrating the life and work of Rev. Hosea L. Williams. The show, on loan from Hosea Feed the Hungry, features photographs, archival materials and artifacts highlighting Hosea’s work as a Civil Rights leader, a political figure and a glimpse into his personal life.

Temporary Exhibit Room – Old Courthouse on the Square, 1st Floor

May 23, from 10:00AM to 5:00PM & May 24, from 12:00PM to 5:00PM

Quilt Show – Local quilters from Intown Quilters Quilt Shop, Phoenix Quilt Guild, The Fearless Friday Guild and the Brown Sugar Stitchers will exhibit over 50 quilts, ranging from traditionally pieced quilts to very funky art quilts. Attendees can cast their vote for their three favorite quilts. Those artists will each win an Intown Quilters gift certificate! To show our appreciation, voters will be registered for door prizes donated by local Decatur businesses including Squash Blossom Boutique, Brick Store Pub and Intown Quilters, just to name a few.

Old Superior Courtroom – Old Courthouse on the Square, 2nd Floor

May 24, from 12:00PM to 5:00PM

Putting Downtown Decatur on the National Register of Historic Places

15 05 2009
DecaturNational Historic District

The Proposed Downtown District

Among the items on next Monday’s City Commission agenda is a request to authorize the City Manager to enter into a contract with the State Preservation Office to prepare a National Register nomination for a section of downtown.

According to a letter among the materials for the meeting, Planning Director Amanda Thompson states that property owners in the proposed district were notified of the potential nomination last month and that additional mailings and meetings would be held to keep residents updated and familar with the process.

As Thompson states in her letter to the Commission (page 21), a National Register District is designed to “provide recognition for historic resources and tax incentives for renovation projects.”  (In fact, Sonny just increased the state incentives last year – 20% of qualified work , up to $100,000 for residential and $300,000 for commercial)

And unlike local historic districts, National Register Districts do not place any restrictions or design review on property owners…unless you’re the Fed.  Then you gotta go talk to Ken Salazar first.

Glad to hear this is moving forward!  Its a great idea that will benefit downtown property owners and get more of the city’s history down on paper (which is a couple steps above the old slash and burn policies of 40 years ago.)

Decatur “Hip Zip” Coverage

30 04 2009

Better Mornings Atlanta’s Corrina Allen stormed Decatur this morning at 5am for multiple segments featuring Decatur as a “Hip Zip”.

And all segments are already available online, including:

Welcome to Decatur

Decatur: A Great Place For Kids

Decatur Rules the Roost

Shopping, Eating Fun in Decatur

Despite the early call, it looks like there was a great turnout at Parkers!  Videos feature lots of familiar faces, including Bill Floyd, Cheryl Burnette, the AsianCajuns, Carl Black, the Butt Nazi and many more.

h/t: The Decatur Minute

First Waffle House May Acquire “Historic” Status

9 04 2009

The AJC’s April Hunt reports that the recently restored first Waffle House on E. College Ave will go before DeKalb County’s preservation commission this evening at 7p at the Maloof Building.

Hard to see how it wouldn’t receive the distinction/protection.

Also interesting – Hunt notes that Waffle House is one of the few owners along that neglected County strip that supports annexation by Avondale.

Hmm…I wonder why.

MAK District Lecture Tomorrow at Noon

23 03 2009

Scott Leith forwards this note…

On Tuesday, March 24, the DeKalb History Center is hosting a lecture on Decatur’s MAK Historic District. Guest speaker Scott Leith will describe how this south Decatur neighborhood has stood at the intersection of many key events and transitional eras. The lecture will include a look at the late Leila Ross Wilburn, a groundbreaking architect and a longtime resident of MAK. The event will examine MAK’s connections to Agnes Scott College, from the benefits provided by the school to major challenges that, at times, threatened many homes in MAK. Finally, the lecture will look at the impact of desegregation, white flight and, in later years, gentrification and the creation of a historic district.

The March 24 event is free and starts at noon at the DeKalb History Center, inside the old DeKalb County Courthouse.

Atlanta Time Machine Rules

10 02 2009

Though I’ve used Atlanta Time Machine as a resource since grad school, it wasn’t until my foray into blogging that I realized I was hardly the only one that loves this website.

As the AJC tells it, for years now Decatur resident Greg Germani has collected thousands of interesting historic photos of the Atlanta urban environment – many of which come from GSU’s photo collection – and posted them on his website,  But the real value of Germani’s site is the context he provides along with the photos.  In addition to an address, which isn’t always provided on the GSU site, Germani also usually writes a little blurb about the pic and if your lucky even provides his own “after” picture that shows the photographed site in the present day.

Photos range from aerial views, to streetscapes, to individual buildings.  Its truly an invaluable resource to those with a love or interest in Atlanta’s history.

For even more info on Atlanta Time Machine, check out Rusty (yes this Rusty) and Amber’s  interview with Germani on their Mostly ITP podcast from 2006.

P.S.  And for those with a Decatur bias, below are a few links to Decatur-specific before-and-afters on ATM.  Also check out the Next Stop…Decatur blog, where Dennis Whitfield often posts historic pics of our fair city.

McConnell’s in Downtown Decatur

403 West Ponce de Leon Ave

Citgo @ 527 East College Ave

Suburban Shopping Center

Maddy’s Barbeque


East Courthouse Square

Decatur Skyline from Birdi’s Roof

Decatur Post Office

Decatur Depot

East Howard @ Barry St

“Historic DeKalb County” Book Release

29 01 2009


The DeKalb History Center’s Leslie Borger writes in with details about their “Historic DeKalb County” book release party on February 12th from 6-8pm at the Old Courthouse (where else!?).

The evening will feature remarks from the author (Vivian Price) and artist, a Silent Auction, and book-signing.  Beer and wine will be provided by Parker’s on Ponce, while DeCuir Catering will provide hors d’oeuvres.

If you didn’t purchase an advance copy, the book will be available for purchase at the event.

All other details can be found HERE (pdf).

No Surprise: Atlanta History Museums Feel The Pinch

7 01 2009

After reading in the AJC this morning that the Atlanta History Center laid off 15 employees and the Margaret Mitchell House has reduced its staff to ONE, I’m glad I finally stopped procrastinating and became a DeKalb History Center member this past year.

UPDATE: Fellow blogger and frequent DM loiterer, Lain – who has done a bang up job of turning around The Wren’s Nest in recent years – reacts to the AHC cut backs at the Margaret Mitchell House.

Civil War Atlanta

12 12 2008

Is anyone else a fan of the photoblog  Its an incredible resource of photographs taken between 1850 and 1950.

A search of “Atlanta” turns up a collection of truly amazing pics during Sherman’s occupation in 1864, along with a few others from the turn of the century.