Tag Archives: Georgia Colleges & Universities

The Pergola, Milledgeville

This was one of my favorite spots on campus when I was a student at Georgia College. Located between Atkinson and Terrell Halls, it was built to protect students walking between the two buildings from the weather, when the campus was much smaller. Today, it’s an icon of the university and one of its most unique architectural highlights. Simply said, it’s a colonnade of Corinthian columns centered by a small dome. I haven’t found a date for the pergola, but Atkinson Hall was built in 1896 and Terrell Hall was built in 1908. I suspect it was built soon after Terrell was completed.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Artemas Lester Statue, 1986, Young Harris

Reverend Artemas Lester (17 March 1857-20 March 1934) was an itinerant circuit rider whose ministry was concentrated in Northeast Georgia. He is considered the founder of Young Harris College, and the school website notes: Young Harris College started in 1886 as the McTyeire Institute with the purpose of providing the first and only educational opportunities to the residents of the isolated area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rev. Artemas Lester secured support for the idea of a school and secured the services of Rev. Marcus Edwards as the first principal. Classes were held in a vacant storefront beginning in January 1886.

This bronze statue of Reverend Lester on horseback was placed in 1986, to commemorate the centennial of Young Harris College.

Mercer University School of Law, 1956, Macon

Located atop Coleman Hill and overlooking downtown Macon, the Mercer University School of Law is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Built in 1956 and originally named in honor of Senator Walter F. George, it was modeled after Independence Hall. The school was founded in 1873 and is one of the oldest law schools in the United States, as well as the first in Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association.


Mercer Institute Science Building, 1853, Penfield

Photo Courtesy of Lamar Sanders

I’m excited to be able to share this historic photograph of the Science Building of the Mercer Institute, predecessor of Mercer University in Macon. It was graciously shared by Lamar Sanders, who took it in 1970. Almost certainly the work of builder/architect David Demarest, the Greek Revival structure served as the Penfield Village School after Mercer moved to Macon, but was badly damaged by a fire in 1977 and eventually demolished.

The President’s House, Circa 1856, Athens

This landmark of the Greek Revival was built by John Thomas Grant, who later sold it to Benjamin Harvey Hill. In 1883 it was sold to James White, whose daughter W. F. Bradshaw inherited it upon his death. It was acquired by the Bradley Foundation in Columbus from the Bradshaw estate in the 1940s and in 1949, it was given to the University of Georgia to be used as the president’s house.

National Register of Historic Places

The Arch, Circa 1857, Athens

Thought to have been cast by the Athens Foundry and replicating the Great Seal of Georgia, the Arch is supported by three columns (pillars) which represent the state’s motto, “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”. Serving a functional rather than monumental or commemorative purpose, it originally included two doors which connected the columns. The University website notes that until the early 20th century, it was known as “the gate”. The gate and adjacent iron fence, also installed circa 1857, was the boundary of the historic Old North Campus of the University of Georgia. Today, besides serving as the logo of the University, the Arch is a beloved icon of both Athens and Georgia.

Old North Campus- University of Georgia, National Register of Historic Places

Gresham Gymnasium, Norman Park

Norman College Administration Building, 1949, Norman Park

This originally served as the administration building for Norman College. A granite marker commemorates the history of the college, with the First Baptist Church in the background. Jim Howard notes: This building replaced the building destroyed by fire in 1945, completed and occupied in January 1949. The public high school used the premises along with junior college students

Brand Hall, 1904, Norman Park

Though most recently known as the Georgia Baptist Conference Center, the Norman Park campus began in 1900 as the Norman Institute, a school for first grade through high school. It was named for the Norman family, who had been among its largest benefactors and organizers. In the 1920s a junior college curriculum was added and in 1928 the name was changed to Norman Junior College. With an expanded curriculum, it became Norman College in 1951. Due to declining enrollment, the institution was closed in 1971. The Georgia Baptist Convention assumed the assets and liabilities of the college and the Norman Baptist Assembly opened in summer 1971. As of 2016, the property has been transferred to Shorter College, based in Rome.

Brand Hall is the oldest structure associated with the Norman Park Institute, having originally served as a dormitory.

Lucy Cobb Institute, 1858, Athens

Laura Cobb Rutherford was perhaps the first advocate for the education of women in Athens and through her efforts and the financial backing of her brother, T. R. R. Cobb, the Lucy Cobb Institute (named for Cobb’s daughter who had died at the age of 13 from scarlet fever) was constructed in 1858 and held its first classes in 1859. W. W. Thomas was the architect.

National Register of Historic Places