Macon is home to 14 historic districts containing over 6,000 historic buildings, all listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
BOWDEN GOLF COURSE • CHEROKEE BRICK • CHEROKEE HEIGHTS • EAST MACON • FORT HILL • INGLESIDE HISTORIC DISTRICT • MACON HISTORIC DISTRICT • NORTH HIGHLANDS • PLEASANT HILL • RAILROAD INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT • SHIRLEY HILLS • TINDALL HEIGHTS • VINEVILLE • WESLEYAN COLLEGE HISTORIC DISTRICT
Bowden Golf Course
The Charles L. Bowden Golf Property, now operated by the City of Macon as Bowden Golf Course, consists of approximately 250 acres with an eighteen hole 6492-yard, par 72 golf course. The course has changed little since it was laid out in 1940 to take advantage of the natural topography of the property. Located at 3111 Millerfield Rd., the course is still open to the public.
The land on which the course was developed was a gin and machine works as early as 1846, but gained prominence as Miller Field, the only airfield in Georgia outside of Atlanta in 1926. Heavyweight boxer W.L. (Young) Stribling operated a flying school during this period, and Amelia Earhart even stopped and spent the night in 1931.
A group of volunteers headed by local golf professional Dick Cotton approached the city with the idea of converting the airfield into the area’s first public golf course in 1937.
The city and the WPA administration approved the project on June 10, 1938 and construction proceeded with funding from the WPA, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the City of Macon and the general public. The Dick Cotton-designed course opened on September 29, 1940. Until 1961, the course was played exclusively by white men and women. In 1954, forty-eight African Americans petitioned the City of Macon for the right to play at Bowden. On June 6, 1961 the City Council agreed to integrated status, and “The New Era” tournament for African American players began that year and continues to this day. Local leaders of the integration of Bowden included Edward Grant, Arthur Vinson, Leonard Grant and Larry Glover.
Location: 3250 Waterville Road, Macon – approximately 4000 acres. The brick company was developed between 1877 (Stratton Brick Company) and 1949 (the company name was changed to Cherokee Brick and Tile Company). The prehistoric archaeological sites date from 8000 BC – 150 A.D.
The Cherokee Brick and Tile Company historic district represents the entire brick making process from the mining and transportation of clay to the manufacture and shipping of brick. The two principal brick-making buildings at the main plant are the combined Plant Nos 1 and 2 (1920 -22 and 1960s) and Plant No. 3 (1947 – 1949). A large, gambrel-roofed clay storage building (1926) sends clay to both main plant building by overhead conveyors. Finished bricks ready for shipping are stacked along a spur line on the site of earlier kilns. The two straight kilns can produce 100,000 bricks every twenty-four hours; over 130 million bricks are produced annually.
The district also includes networks of roads and rail lines, several surviving rail cars, and a plate-girder turntable bridge (1928) across the Ocmulgee River. Archaeological survey and testing on the tract have resulted in the discovery of nine prehistoric sites, seven of which have been recommended eligible. These sites range in age from the Early Archaic period (8000 – 6000 BC) to a previously unreported Mississippian Period Lamar mound complex (A.D. 1450 – 1550) which appears to include a central ceremonial mound and approximately sixteen house mounds.
Macon’s Cherokee Heights was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because it was one of the first planned residential and suburban communities in Macon. Developed from 1909 – 1923, the homes are primarily built in the styles of Georgian Revival, English Tudor, Spanish Mission, Craftsman and Bungalow, including many homes designed by Georgian architect, Neel Reid.
Cherokee Heights was developed by a real estate developing company, the Vineville Improvement Company. This company provided the first suburban development of its kind in Macon. The area was developed in two phases, the first from 1909 to 1911, and the second in 1923. Businessmen, managers, and other professionals of the early Twentieth Century middle class resided in Cherokee Heights.
Location: Bounded by Pio Nono Avenue, Napier Avenue, Inverness Avenue and Suwanee Avenue.
Developed: 1909 to 1923. Approx. 67 acres. Planned residential suburban community.
Architectural Styles: Georgian Revival, English Tudor, Spanish Mission, Craftsman/Bungalow. Good collection of architect Neil Reid houses.
East Macon Historic District, located one mile east of the central business district, consists of mid-nineteenth through early twentieth century residential, commercial, and educational development. East Macon’s historical significance lies in the architecture of the homes and buildings in the area, as well as the obvious community planning and development.
In the 1920’s, land in East Macon was sold for settlement and was further developed into the present pattern of large homes on large lots. Beginning in the Twentieth Century, smaller, more modest homes were incorporated, developing the neighborhood that is still visible today.
Architectural Styles: Italianate, Folk Victorian, Neoclassical Revival and Craftsman.
Approximately one mile east of Macon’s central business district is the Fort Hill Historic District. Fort Hill was accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places due to the area’s significance in historic architecture and community planning representing the 1870’s through the 1940’s. Adding to the district’s antiquity are a church, numerous corner stores and two schools built in the 1930’s.
Fort Hill Historic District is built on land that was sold for settlement in the 1820’s and continued development well into the Twentieth Century. This district also includes the Historic Fort Hawkins, which is also listed on the National Register. A reproduction of the Fort is also located within the district.
Location: One mile east of central business district. Bounded by Emery Highway, Second Street Extension, Mitchell, Morrow and Schaeffer Place.
Developed: 1870-1941 Acreage: Approx. 140 acres
Architectural Styles: Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Craftsman, and English Vernacular Revival.
Ingleside Historic District
The Ingleside neighborhood began under the leadership of developer Louis A. Tharpe in 1917 and was billed as “Macon’s Most Beautiful Suburb,” a moniker the area lives up to today. Lots featured 100 feet of frontage and a 200-foot depth; all located only a 15-minute streetcar ride from offices in downtown Macon. Architects such as Ellamae Ellis League, William F. Oliphant, J. Neel Reid and W. Elliott Dunwody each created one of a kind architectural treasures for the neighborhood. The area being nominated is roughly bounded by Vineville Ave, Forest Hill Rd., Overlook Rd. and Pierce Ave.
Macon Historic District
The Macon Historic District (interactive map) is the historic commercial, residential, and institutional development that grew out of Macon’s original town plan and forms the city’s historic core. The district’s development began in 1823 when the town plan was first laid out and continued into the 1940’s. The district is significant in the areas of architecture, commerce, community planning and development, politics/government, landscape architecture, education, and transportation.The historic Terminal Station is an exceptional example of monumental architecture in downtown Macon. The former railroad station was designed in the Beaux Arts style and with Beaux Arts planning principles.Historic community institutional buildings are another group of prominent freestanding buildings located throughout the district. Christ Church, Mulberry Street United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church are all over 175 years old. They are examples of Gothic Revival, Richardson Romanesque, and High Victorian Gothic. The majority of Mercer University’s buildings are variations of the Academic Gothic Revival style and Victorian Gothic and Neoclassical Revival.The district contains a significant and varied collection of residential buildings that range from landmark mansions to small worker homes. There are three distinct neighborhoods within the district that depict the various styles of architecture: Intown Neighborhood, Huguenin Heights, and Tatnall Square Heights. Part of the Intown neighborhood includes College Hill where Macon’s upper class citizens constructed a number of landmark houses. These houses are very large and generally date from the 19th century; many are the work of prominent Macon architects.
There are several historic landscaped parks in the district, including Coleman Hill Park in the College Hill neighborhood and the four-block Tatnall Square Park.
Location: Roughly bounded by Walnut, Broadway, Oglethorpe, Central of Georgia Railroad, Edgewood, Interstate 75, and Madison Avenue
Developed: 1823 (the date of the original town plan) through 1942
Architectural Styles: Folk Victorian, Queen Anne, Italianate, Neoclassical Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Commercial Style, Tudor Revival, Italian Renaissance, Late Gothic Revival, Romanesque, Skyscraper, Moderne, Art Deco, Gothic, and Beaux Arts.
Huguenin Heights was the first neighborhood revitalization project by Macon Heritage Foundation. Begun in 1994, a total of 16 houses were restored for single-family owners. Bounded by Tatnall Square Park, I-75, Oglethorpe Street and Coleman Avenue and adjacent to Mercer University Campus, the neighborhood features two-story Queen Anne houses averaging 2300 square feet, most of which were built in the late 1800’s.
The objectives of the project were to restore the neighborhood to predominately owner-occupied residential status and to create an environment where residents’ pride in their neighborhood would reduce crime and maintain the properties.
The project has been a tremendous success. In 1992, the neighborhood had 189 police calls recorded in seven months. In the same seven month period in 1997, only 29 calls were reported. That is a reduction of 85%. Property values have more than doubled since the revitalization has been completed. The project has garnered national acclaim in that it was a featured tour of the National Trust of Historic Preservation in 1998 and it was on “Restore America” on the HGTV channel.
In 2001 the Georgia Trust awarded its Excellence in Rehabilitation award to MHF for Huguenin Heights.
Tatnall Square Heights
Tatnall Square Heights is Macon Heritage Foundation’s second neighborhood revitalization project. The area was developed between 1890 and 1925 and is located adjacent to Tattnall Square Park and is bounded by Adams Street, the Central of Georgia Railroad, College Street and Oglethorpe Street.
The neighborhood consists of eighty-two properties including 18 owner-occupied houses, 36 non-owner occupied houses, 24 vacant lots and 4 commercial structures. Many of the houses are Queen Anne cottages with 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is anticipated that the Foundation will rehabilitate or construct at least 14 residences for single families to bring homeownership above 60%. Christmas in April has focused on the neighborhood in April 2000 assiteing many of the existing homeowners with necessary repairs. This project builds on Macon Heritage’s success in the Huguenin Heights area where 16 houses have been rehabilitated for single-family homeownership.
Seventeen houses have been sold, creating 50% home ownership in the area
North Highlands, one mile from Macon’s central business district, is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places because of its architecture, community planning and development. North Highlands was originally one plantation, owned by Thomas Woolfolk, who in the 1830’s parceled and sold the land as farming and plantation land. The region then developed as a suburb in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A wide variety of architectural style is seen in North Highland. Homes range from the older and larger Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Shingle Colonial Revival, Classic Revival, and Craftsman styles to the more economical one-story bungalows and early ranch style homes. The earliest house in the district is the Melrose-Barton House circa 1850, which exemplifies the Greek Revival style. Queen Anne style homes with their doric columned porches dominate at the intersection of Summit and North Avenue while English Vernacular Revival cottages are present on North Avenue. Nottingham Drive and the Curry Place/Clay Street section have many bungalows and brick ranch houses.
Whereas North Highlands began with a residential and agricultural emphasis, it is now used by residents, limited businesses, and schools.
North Highlands has a very active neighborhood association. For more information visit their website.
Location: One mile northeast of central business district. Bounded by Nottingham Drive, Boulevard and Clinton Road.
Developed: circa 1898-1936. Acreage: Approx. 130 acres
Architectural Styles: Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Neoclassical Revival, English Vernacular Revival, Greek Revival and Craftsman.
Macon’s Pleasant Hill Historic District is significant due to its function as a historic black community. Developed from the 1870’s until the 1930’s, Pleasant Hill residents consisted of property owners, doctors, dentists, educators, attorneys, businessmen, grocers, and ministers. Lewis Williams, a principal of numerous Macon schools, and Albert B. Fitzpatrick, manager of the black-organized Peoples Health & Life Insurance company represent just a few of the influential black residents of Pleasant Hill.
Pleasant Hill consists of mostly one-story homes with simple porches reflecting the “L-shaped” Victorian cottages. Many homes in the area show the influence of other styles such as Neoclassical columns and Craftsman-style porches. Included in the area are several corner stores, a Masonic Lodge, one small wood-framed church, and the St. Peter Claver Church and School in a late Victorian brick style.
Location: Bounded by Madison Street, north of Vineville Avenue, east of Rogers Avenue, south of Neal Avenue. Bisected by I-75.
Developed: 1870-1936 Acreage: Approx. one square mile
Architectural Styles: Queen Anne, Neoclassical and Craftsman cottages and “shotgun” style houses. First African-American neighborhood. Linwood cemetery included within boundaries of district.
Railroad Industrial District
Unlike other historical districts in Macon, the Macon Railroad Industrial District is valued by the National Register of Historic Places as a commercial and industrial district rather than residential. The historical architecture includes industrial and commercial buildings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Macon Railroad Industrial District symbolizes the importance of business to Macon’s economic base. Businesses such as the Dixie Works, c. 1895, Adams Brothers Wholesale Grocery, c. 1894, The Macon Cabinet Company, c. 1895, and The Atlantic Compress Company, c. 1908, helped to start Macon’s growth. The growth of Macon paralleled the growth of the railroad as depots received, stored, and shipped freight.
Location: Area around Broadway, 5th, 6th and 7th Streets and Central Georgia Southern and Seaboard railroad tracks.
Developed between 1922 and 1941, Shirley Hills was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture, both in homes and landscape. As a twentieth century planned residential subdivision, the lots are comprised of large homes and landscaped yards. Historically, Shirley Hills has been the home of many prominent business and professional leaders in Macon. A majority of the land was owned by A.O. Bacon, a Georgia legislator and United States Senator.
Homes in Shirley Hills represent many different styles of early 20th century architecture including: Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival, Italian Renaissance, French Renaissance, Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival, Bungalow, Craftsman, Neoclassical Revival and English Vernacular. Notable Macon Architects, Elliot Dunwoody and Ellamae Ellis League, designed homes in Shirley Hills. Specifically, 1161 Nottingham Drive, a Georgian Revival by Elliot Dunwoody and 1435 Twin Pines Drive, a Neoclassical Revival by Ellamae Ellis League.
The designers of this planned community insisted that the area should radiate a picturesque and park-like feeling. The landscaped yards in Shirley Hills adds to this natural appearance. Jackson Springs Park, originally believed to be a camping site of Andrew Jackson adds to the natural atmosphere of Shirley Hills.
Location: Northeast section of city, one mile from the central business district. Includes portions of Nottingham Drive, Curry Drive, Parkview Drive, Jackson Spring Road, Oakcliff Road, Jaques Road, Twin Pines Drive and Jackson Spring Park.
Developed: 1922-1941 Acreage: Approx. 300 acres
Architectural Styles: Early 20th century Classic Revival, bungalows, Tudor Revival, Mediterranean. Developed as a planned residential subdivision of large residences from the estate of Senator A. O. Bacon.
Tindall Heights was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It is historically significant because it was developed between 1870 and 1940 as a white, middle class community with housing for workers and includes churches, stores, homes and a school. It contains one of the largest and most intact collections of urban Georgia house types from that period.
Tindall Heights consists mainly of framed houses in the Queen Anne, Craftsman, Italianate, Classic Revival, Bungalow, Romanesque, Colonial Revival and Folk Victorian styles. The commercial properties are one and two story buildings with first floor storefronts. The churches are built in the Romanesque Revival and Colonial Revival styles. A unique feature of this historic district is the large, two story brick Colonial Revival neighborhood school.
Location: One mile southwest of central business district within Oglethorpe, Broadway, Eisenhower Parkway, Felton, and Nussbaum Streets and the railroad.
Developed: c. 1870-1942 Acreage: Approx. 400 acres.
Architectural Styles: Queen Anne cottages, shotgun-style houses, folk Victorian, Craftsman, Classic Revival, Colonial Revival, Romanesque.
The Vineville Historic District (interactive map), one and one half miles northwest of downtown Macon, was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. This district includes not only residential but also commercial buildings incorporating a wide variety of architectural designs from the 1830’s to 1930’s. Represented in the 700 homes, churches, and businesses are Plantation Plain, Victorian, Neoclassical, and Bungalow styles. The district also features extraordinary examples of the Spanish Villa, English Tudor, Italian Renaissance, Federal Georgian and Jacobean styles. Prominent residents of this historical district included Reverend G.F. Pierce, the first president of Macon’s Wesleyan College, George M. Logan, mayor of Macon in 1839, and the Honorable Thomas Hardeman, a United States congressional representative in the late 1850’s who developed the “stars and bars” on Georgia’s previous state flag.
Beginning as an area full of large plantation estates, the Vineville Historic District boasts many large Plantation Plain homes, such as the Solomon-Smith house at 2619 Vineville Avenue. The Greek Revival architectural style is represented in the Napier-Small house built in 1846 at 156 Rogers Avenue which is nationally recognized as a prototypical example. Notable architect, Neel Reid designed the Max Morris house in 1915 at 2082 Vineville Avenue in the Colonial Revival style. Other significant homes include 172 Cleveland, circa 1836 and 201 Clisby, which was built in the 1830’s by Samuel T. Bailey and sold to Joseph Clisby, the first President of the Board of Education, in 1858. Clisby School was named in his honor. As the Vineville area became more suburbanized, the addition of churches such as Vineville Presbyterian and Vineville Baptist Church complimented the district with unique and grand architecture.
Vineville has a very active neighborhood association. For more information about Vineville Neighborhood Association and its functions, see their website.
Location: Along Vineville Avenue from I-75 to Georgia Academy for the Blind and including side streets such as Pierce Avenue, Hines Terrace, Cleveland Avenue, Buford Place and Rogers Avenue. Adjacent to Pleasant Hill Historic District.
Developed: c. 1830 – 1935. Acreage approx. 525 acres.
Architectural Styles: Classic Revival, Queen Anne, Craftsman/Bungalows, Plantation Plain, Victorian, Neoclassical, Spanish Villa, English Tudor, Italian Renaissance, Federal Georgian, and Jacobean.