Category Archives: Rome GA

Rome Clock Tower, 1871

Rome’s most iconic location wasn’t originally built as a clock tower, but rather as the tower for the first public water works in Northwest Georgia. The decagonal structure, 63 feet high and 33 feet in diameter, was built atop one of the city’s Seven Hills, known as Neely Hill. The facility was designed by John W. Noble and built the Noble Brothers firm. The Noble Brothers had come to Rome from Reading, Pennsylvania, and ran a successful steel works nail factory, railcar works, and pottery, among other industrial pursuits.

The clock was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts, and installed in October 1872. This was important for the industrialization of Rome, as it acted as a “regulator”, or central timepiece for the community. While the water tower has long been in disuse, the clock still keeps time. For the best views of Rome, you can even climb the stairs to the top for the Clocktower Tour.

National Register of Historic Places

Eclectic Victorian House, Circa 1870, Rome

The only background I can locate on this house dates it to circa 1870, but I believe it could be of earlier construction. The Queen Anne porch posts give the house a Victorian look but the eave brackets suggest a more Italianate origin. I hope to learn more about it.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

St. Paul A. M. E. Church, 1852 & 1899, Rome

St. Paul A. M. E. is the most historic Black church in Rome, established in 1884. A plaque placed by the Rome Area Heritage Foundation notes that this church was built incorporating the sanctuary of the1852 Rome Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and that it was purchased by St. Paul in 1884. A cornerstone dates the building to 1899 and I believe that is when it took on its present appearance. Perhaps this indicates the year that the steeple was added.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Cherokee Lodge, 1877, Rome

One of the most impressive public structures in Rome, the old Cherokee Masonic Lodge No. 66 was built to replace a lodge burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War. It served the fraternal organization until 2006.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

DeSoto Theatre, 1929, Rome

O. C. Lam, who operated several theatres in the region, opened the DeSoto Theatre on 5 August 1929. Employing the new Vitaphone system, it was the first in the South to feature “talkies”. It served as a first-run theatre until closing in 1982. After extensive restoration, it is again a showplace for Rome, hosting numerous events each year and serving as the home of the Rome Little Theatre.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Capitoline Wolf Statue, 1929, Rome

This statue, in front of City Hall, is an exact replica of the Etruscan original. It features the Capitoline Wolf nursing the mythological twins Romulus and Remus. It was given to the City of Rome by the Roman Governor by order of Benito Mussolini, as a gesture of goodwill when the Chatillion Silk Mills of Milan, Italy, relocated here in 1929.

The statue was controversial from the outset, but other than a few detractors, was appreciated for its art and historical value. To keep everyone happy, it was often draped, or the twins diapered, when large events were held in the auditorium. One of the twins was stolen in 1933, and though it was never recovered, a replacement was made.

With the outbreak of World War II, anti-Italian sentiment led to the it being mothballed until 1952, when it was returned to its rightful place in front of City Hall. It remains one of the most photographed places in downtown Rome.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

City Hall & Auditorium, 1916, Rome

A. Ten Eyck Brown designed Rome’s City Hall and Auditorium and it remains the largest municipal auditorium in the region. Over the years many luminaries have appeared on its stage, including: John Phillip Sousa, William Jennings Bryan, John and Ethel Barrymore, Dean Martin, and Loretta Lynn. It is also home to the Rome Symphony Orchestra, the oldest such organization in the Southeast.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Carnegie Library, 1911, Rome

One of 24 Carnegie Libraries built in Georgia, Rome’s was in use until 1988. It is now home to the Historic Preservation Commission and several government offices.

Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places