Tag Archives: Georgia Streamline/Art Moderne Architecture

Miller Theater, 1940, Augusta

The Miller Theater, a landmark of the Art Moderne style, opened in 1940 and was one of Augusta’s busiest entertainment venues. It was the work of architect Roy A. Benjamin, who also designed the San Marco and Florida [with R. E. Hall] Theatres in Jacksonville, the Marion Theatre in Ocala, and the Sarasota Opera House, among others. The Three Faces of Eve, a popular movie starring Georgia native Joanne Woodward, and based on the bestselling book by Augusta psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, premiered at the Miller in 1957. Years of decline followed its closure as a first-run movie house in 1984, but community involvement and a $25 million renovation made its reopening in 2018 possible.

Broad Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Streamline Moderne Apartment Building, Albany

I’m unsure as to the history of this apartment building, but it may be the only example of Streamline Moderne architecture in Albany. It appears to have been remodeled at some point, but it was likely built mid-century.

Calhoun County Frozen Foods, Edison

Fred Bailey writes: I grew up in Edison, across the street from Mr. Joe and “Miss” Lynnette Jackson. They owned this business that we called “the freezer locker”. I believe the formal name of it was Calhoun County Frozen Foods…I was born in Edison in 1950. I worked for the Jacksons for a couple of months back then to earn money for college. Cows and hogs were slaughtered and processed there. Monday was “hog killing day”- also custom deer processing was done, as well as cold storage for the public. Horace Shepard, Jr, as well as a great man- a black man named “Sam” who taught me a lot about life, worked there along with the Jackson’s two son: Tom, who is my age, along with the older brother Joe, Jr, and of course Mr. Joe as well as “Miss” Lynnette also worked there. Life was much simpler back then- but though I like to look back on it- I really don’t miss it.

Martha Davis Collins recalls: Joe Jackson, who built and operating this business, and his family was our next-door neighbor. Everyone referred to it as “the freezer locker.”

Don King writes: I used to deliver meat to that place in the early to late 70’s from Lykes Brothers packing company. I also worked as a police officer in Edison 2000-2004.

Streamline Moderne House, Cordele

Though not Streamline Moderne (or Art Moderne) in the purest sense, this house, whether built this way or modified to this appearance, exhibits strong elements of the style. It’s quite rare in residential examples, especially rural ones.

O’Neal School Neighborhood Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Streamline Moderne Storefront, Lincolnton

This “modern” landmark is located on Main Street. It’s an increasingly endangered style in Georgia.

Lincolnton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, Macon

Entrance to Earth Lodge

Archaeologists have determined that human habitation at this Mississippian site, formerly known as the Ocmulgee Old Fields and now the Ocmulgee National Monument, dates back at least 17,000 years.

Interior of Earth Lodge, with Eagle Platform

The Earth Lodge was uncovered by Dr. A. R. Kelley in 1934. It was reconstructed between 1933 and 1938. It served as a Mississippian Council House. The original clay floor, with the raised eagle platform, was exposed by employees of the Civil Works Administration and Work Projects Administration under the direction of James A. Ford. The Mississippians had burned the lodge, perhaps as an act of ritual cleansing or something entirely different. The charred remains of the construction, dated to 1015 AD, were arrayed in a spoke pattern and protected the original floor. The roof was not originally covered with sod, but it has been employed today to preserved the site.

Rear View of Earth Lodge

One should keep in mind that during the Mississippian Period, these mounds were not covered in grass but rather in the natural clay of the landscape.

Great Temple Mound

This is Early Mississippian flat-topped temple mound, 300 feet wide by 270 feet long by 40 feet high, is one of several in widely scattered locations across Georgia. It dates to circa 900-1100 AD. It was the principal religious structure at the Ocmulgee site till at least 1200 AD.  A lesser mound (not pictured) stands adjacent to this one.

Cornfield Mound

Excavations on this site uncovered parallel rows of charred corn cobs dating to circa 900AD-1200AD, indicating an early agricultural use. At some point, the field was transformed into a mound. The mound is 90 feet wide by 160 feet long by 6 feet high.

Prehistoric Trenches

These trenches can be found in several locations around Ocmulgee National Monument. These, near the Cornfield Mound, are 18 feet wide by 7 feet deep. It is unclear as to whether they were defensive in nature or if they were borrow pits for the mounds.

Ocmulgee National Monument Visitors Center

Constructed between 1938-1951, the Streamline Moderne visitors center is a landmark in its own right. It houses a wonderful collection of artifacts collected on the site.

Old Ford Dealership, Adel

Adel GA Cook County VIP TCB Neon Art Moderne Renovation Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

I always thought this was an old theatre, but thanks to B. Sutton, I now know that it was originally a Ford dealership and was later O. P. Fausett’s Phillips 66 station.

Branch’s Market, 1948, Tifton

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Yellow Brick Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Here’s yet another South Georgia landmark about to be lost to “progress”. Streamline Moderne architecture, characterized by curving forms and long horizontal lines, is akin somewhat to Art Deco and has been disappearing nearly as fast as our tobacco barns and country stores. (Thanks to Lew Oliver for correctly identifying this form for me). Since it doesn’t have the same aesthetic, it’s harder to drum up widespread preservation support, or even interest for that matter. But it’s a highly endangered form in our area. A preservationist friend recently made me aware that the razing of this structure was imminent; even though it was a hard fought battle, the local preservation group relented and has allowed the tear-down to move forward.

Branch's Market Tifton GA Mid Century Modern Landmark First Supermarket Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Buddy Bryan, who first identified this for me in 2010, wrote: “This old market on the corner of Central Avenue and Second Street was originally owned by Buster Branch during the late ’40s and 50′s and known as Branch’s Market.” It wasn’t the first supermarket in Tifton, though, as I had originally thought. Matt Brown writes: The first super market in Tifton was the A & P Super Market… The A & P was located on 3rd Street across from Lang Printing. The building was completed and the A & P opened in the summer on 1947. Branch’s Market opened in 1948. I know these facts because my father, uncle and grandfather were the contractor’s that built the A & P food store…W P Brown & Sons. The building is still in use today and through the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s was home to the Goodyear Tire & Service Center.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

This view, and the one below, show the Second Street side of the building, as well as the old South Georgia Ice Company. I think the ice company took over the market building at one point, as well.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Soon to Be Torn Down Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

The last two shots are detail studies of the iconic curved corner with the glass bricks and lamp post.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Corner Entrance Yellow Tile Lamp Post Sign Tifton GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Though the forthcoming tenant, Colony Bank, has submitted plans “incorporating” these historic details, it will be a far cry from the original, and in my opinion, an insult to the original architecture.

Branch's Market Mid Century Modern Architecture Ice Company Tifton GA Soon to Be Torn Down Original Sign Lamp Column Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

Update: Branch’s Market was razed in 2014.

International Style Commercial Block, Circa 1940, Kingsland

Kingsland Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Blakely Freezer Locker, 1946

Doug Johnson notes: This was my father and mother, Huey and Lillian Johnson’s business from about 1952 until it closed in 2005.