Tag Archives: Georgia New Deal Architecture

Cave Entrance, 1930s, Cave Spring

This structure, built of local stone by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, marks the entrance to the limestone cave which gives the community its name. Two million gallons flow daily from the source, which has been a landmark since long before the establishment of the town in 1832.

In 1931 Dr. J. B. Rolater deeded the cave and 29 adjacent acres to the people of Cave Spring for use as a public park. In the early days local residents were allowed to tour the cave for free, while tourists were charged ten cents.

Rolater Park Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Mauk School, 1936, Taylor County

This historic Mauk School was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936 to replace a smaller schoolhouse that had served the the community for a number of years. The architect is unknown, but the school is almost identical to “Floor Plan No. 5 – Five Teacher Community School” from the Rosenwald Fund. The school appears to be well-maintained today.

National Register of Historic Places

Irwinville Farms Tobacco Barn, 1930s, Irwin County

For many years an old wagon sat beside this iconic barn, surrounded by trees. I think I have a photo of the wagon somewhere but never got a good shot of the barn. I had just noted the loss of another Irwinville Farms barn I’ve photographed for many years when this came into view, as if to make up for that loss.

Fitzgerald’s Historic Lynwood School Being Demolished

When word came recently that my old elementary school was being demolished, I was already expecting it but it still brought a rush of emotions. This is where I spent most of my life from the 1st through 7th grades.

I made this photograph of the school in 2010.For more photographs and a bit of history, visit the original post.

Ben Hill, like many Georgia counties, had a city and county school system well into the late 20th century. Lynwood was the county school. During my lifetime, it was officially known as Ben Hill County Elementary School.

The structure has been vacant for quite a few years and has been deteriorating.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of old schoolhouses like this wasting away all over Georgia.

A few counties have successfully put theirs to use, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

People always ask why a place like this is torn down and not put to good use.

The answer is never simple, and can be attributed to numerous factors, including political calculations, lack of funding, and the absence of a community effort.

In the case of Lynwood, a recent explanation arose of the need for a traffic roundabout on the adjacent state highway.

I hope the roundabout makes the area safer, but I know I’ll miss my old school on the hill.

Following are interior shots made just before the deconstruction was complete.

Classroom

Side hallway (this was the way to the concession stand).

Restroom

Hallway

Auditorium seats

Stage

Auditorium (looking toward lobby)

Auditorium (looking toward stage)

 

Crowell School, 1930s, Taylor County

The newer of the two schools still standing in Crowell, this is now used as the community center. It was built by the WPA in the early 1930s.

Savannah High School, 1935

Savannah High School traces its origins to Chatham Academy, a school chartered in 1788. During the Great Depression, this campus was built by the Public Works Administration around the foundation of a hotel whose developers went bankrupt. It was said to be the largest public school building in the United States at the time.

The school was integrated relatively early, in 1963, by twelve African-American students. In 1997, Savannah High relocated and this campus became the Savannah Arts Academy.

Ardsley Park-Chatham Crescent Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Cornelia Community House, 1936

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Cornelia Kiwanis Club with Tudor influences, the Cornelia Community House is one of the largest such gathering places I’ve encountered in Georgia.

Fountain, Cornelia Community House

David S. Cuttino, Jr., was the architect. It is the centerpiece of a 33-acre public park and was formally dedicated in May 1937.

It’s unusual in that the rear of the building holds much more architectural interest than the front.

National Register of Historic Places

Chenocetah Mountain Fire Tower, 1937, Cornelia

This fire tower was built atop Chenocetah Mountain (1830′) by the WPA Resettlement Administration for use by rangers in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The 54′ granite tower was dedicated on 7 June 1938. Later, a plaque was added to the tower in memory of three forest workers who died in World War II: William A. Crossland, Robert C. Fuller, and Edward W. Simpson. Use of the tower was discontinued in 1975 and its fate was unsure, but the Georgia Forest Service began restaffing it during fire season in 1989. It is a favorite landmark of travelers to Habersham County.

National Register of Historic Places

Warrenton Post Office, 1938

This New Deal post office is still in use. Louis A. Simon was the supervising architect.

Warrenton Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Warrenton Gymnasium-Auditorium, 1937

Thousands of auditoriums, community houses, and gymnasiums, among myriad other public-use spaces, were constructed as projects of the New Deal during the Great Depression. Many survive and remain in use today and have often been the center of entertainment in communities which otherwise have few such resources. The Warrenton site was a project of the Federal Emergency Administration to replace an earlier structure that burned. Glen Miller was one of numerous prominent Big Band-era personalities who performed here. The gymnasium  hosted the high school basketball teams until a new school was built in 1981. The Augusta firm of Merry & Parsons was responsible for the design. It is presently known as the Warren County Cultural Center.

Mike Baker noted, via our Facebook page, that it may have been known for a time as the Baker Memorial Gymnasium, as well, stating that a granite marker bearing that inscription is located in a yard nearby.

National Register of Historic Places