The Cotton Avenue Historic District Taylor Drake - Mercer University

On November 14th 2016, leaders in Macon's African American community gathered together to discuss the Cotton Avenue Historic District. On November 16th, 2016, community leaders gathered together to begin the process of reviving what used to be considered "the mecca of Macon's black community." This series of photos follow the district's past and the history of the the Cotton Avenue Historic District.

The Steward AME Church has been an integral piece of Macon's black community.

According to the Historic Macon Foundation, in the 1800's, Cotton Avenue quickly became a place where businesses and trade thrived.

Steward African Methodist Episcopalian Church sits on 887 Forsyth Street and has sat here for almost 200 years.
The Walton Building is named after Dewit T. Walton Senior. Walton was a prominent dentist and civil rights activist. Walton was the first black member to be elected to the Bibb County Board of Education.

In the 1900's, Jim Crow laws forced African American business owners to create their own business districts. Cotton Avenue became one of those districts.

The First Baptist Church was one of the first and only churches to have both black and white members in it's congregation.

First Baptist Church was integrated over a hundred years before slavery was abolished. Over the years, it's congregation has grown to over 2000 members.

The steps leading up to the church tell you everything you'd want to know about the roughly 181 year old building.

The recently reopened H&H Restaurant has been providing Macon with unforgettable soul food since 1959, according to the Historic Macon Foundation.

The H&H restaurant on 807 Forsyth Street.

Built in 1838. Macon's City Hall has come along way. The hall was first the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company, then a cotton warehouse. It wasn't until 1860 that building was bought by the City Council and turned into an official government building. The city hall set the stage for many protests during the Civil Rights Movement.

The Macon City Hall rests at 700 Poplar Street. The hall has witnessed several important events throughout Macon's history.

Now different developers are working on ways to revitalize and renew the district. Repairs are already being made to Capricorn Records.

Construction workers work on Capricorn Records roofing on a Thursday afternoon.

The Cotton Avenue District is under tremendous pressure to allow commercial buildings. Some buildings in the area have been torn down in order to make way for new businesses. However, the district is still a place of extreme historical significance and importance to Macon's black community.

The Sidney Lanier House is the birthplace and former home of Sidney Lanier. The Lanier house is now a museum and home to the Historic Macon Foundation.
Art work by Heidi Clinite decorates the divider that hides the construction of Capricorn Records.
From Left to Right: The Allman Brothers Band eating lunch at H&H Restaurant; The Walton Building on Walton Sr. Way; The Steward AME Church (top right); First Baptist Church (bottom left); The old Capricorn Records Building.

Photo Credit: Middle Georgia Archives, The Allman Brothers Band Museum and Historic Macon Foundation.

The Cotton Avenue Historic District matters.

Created By
Taylor Drake

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