Historic Macon Adds Former Home of Dr. E.E. Green to 2022 Fading Five List
Wednesday, August 31st, 2022
The former home of one of Macon’s first Black doctors was added to Historic Macon’s 2022 Fading Five list on Thursday.
The preservation nonprofit also removed from the list the iconic Coal Tower in Macon’s industrial area, which had been a Fading Five site since 2018.
Ethiel Garlington, Historic Macon’s executive director, made the announcements on the Seventh Street site of the tower.
“All of these sites are important to the Macon community, and we’re making steady progress on saving them, thanks to our partners and our supporters,” Garlington said. “We are grateful for everyone who believes in our mission and stands with us.”
Rotating off the Fading Five list is the Coal Tower. CW Development Holdings LLC bought the 22 ½-acre tract that the tower sits on in November.
Taylor Martin, an attorney with Martin Snow LLP, attended Thursday’s news conference for the owners.
“The new owners are developers who recognize that these 22 acres have unlimited potential for downtown Macon,” Martin said. “The Coal Tower is a great landmark for future development. They look forward to working with the Historic Macon Foundation on preservation of the tower.
“My clients are considering a golf entertainment venue similar to the Topgolf concept in Atlanta, but they also have other options on the table. This is the last undeveloped property of its size in the downtown area,” Martin said. “My law firm is excited to be a part of this project.”
Besides the Green house, located in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood, Macon’s Fading Five list for 2022 also includes: the Bobby Jones Performing Arts Center; the Roxy Theatre building; the Willingham-McBrearty House; and the First National Bank and Trust Co. building.
Historic Macon sifts through nominations each year to craft its Fading Five list. 2022 marks the eighth year of the program, which calls attention to historic sites across Macon-Bibb County that could be lost due to development or neglect.
Historic Macon crafts preservation plans for each of the listed properties, working with property owners, local leaders and supporters to find solutions. To date, Historic Macon has listed 18 such properties. In all, 12 of them have been saved and protected, while just one property has been lost.
In 2014, the community lost two historic structures, Tremont Temple Baptist Church and the former Charles H. Douglass home, to commercial development, prompting the Fading Five initiative.
A property remains on the list until the site is no longer under threat, the foundation’s Preservation Committee determines that it has been appropriately preserved, or it is lost. A new list is announced annually, with updates for each site.
Thanks to the generosity of the 1772 Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, HMF has a revolving fund — the Fading Five Fund — dedicated to preserving endangered places in the community. These funds have been used to revitalize houses in the North Highlands neighborhood and acquire the old Fire Hall No. 4 on Third Street, which is now Historic Macon’s new office.
For nearly 60 years, HMF has helped preserve hundreds of historic buildings. The Fading Five program is another tool to help promote the community’s rich, diverse heritage.
Here is information about the Green home and updates on the four other Fading Five sites:
DR. E.E. GREEN HOUSE, 353 MADISON ST.
Dr. E.E. Green graduated from Howard University Medical School in 1886, and he and his family moved to Macon afterward. In 1890, four years later, he built a house at what was then 405 Madison St., in the heart of the Pleasant Hill neighborhood. It was home for Green, his wife, Georgia, and their four children — two of whom went on to work in medicine.
Later, he also moved a pharmacy that he owned in Macon, Central City Drug Store, into his home, and he may also have treated patients there too. (Green also was a landowner who became a landlord in the neighborhood.)
The house is about 2,700 square feet. After the Greens lived there, it was a single-family home for teachers and others for the next 20 years. It was turned into apartments in 1950, and it has sat vacant since 2000.
Tops Housing LLC in Lawrenceville bought the home in 2021. As it sits vacant, it continues to deteriorate, so the threat to it is demolition by neglect. Historic Macon is eager to work with the owner to rehabilitate this important house.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST CO., 2791 HOUSTON AVE.
This building, built in the late 1950s, closed in 2000. It made the Fading Five list in 2021 — the youngest building ever listed.
It is a mid-century modern building with traditional and art deco details, such as the door surround and the belt course under the roof, reminiscent of a Greek temple.
As the building sits vacant, it continues to deteriorate, so the threat is demolition by neglect. It regularly draws complaints as a blighted building, so Historic Macon is eager to work with the out-of-town property owner to find a new buyer — and new use — for the sturdy building.
WILLINGHAM-MCBREARTY HOUSE, 381 COLLEGE ST.
Since listing the house on the 2021 Fading Five list, Historic Macon has had several inquiries about buying the house. The owner, however, has become unresponsive.
Given the favorable real estate market, Historic Macon believes this is the best time for the owner to sell the house. If it continues to be neglected and unoccupied, it will only continue to degrade and the value will decrease accordingly.
THE ROXY THEATRE, 445 HAZEL ST.
Over the last nine months, Historic Macon has been working on the first phase of a National Register nomination for the building.
That effort had been delayed while Historic Macon worked to gain access to the interior. We finally did so in July and were able to take photos, which are required in the nomination process.We are working now on finishing the first step of the National Register nomination.
We hope that nomination will add momentum to rehabbing the building — and the surrounding Greenwood Bottom area — in conjunction with Weston Stroud’s 2020 Emerging City Champions project of a food park and pedestrian plaza.
BOBBY JONES PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 1389 JEFFERSON ST.
The Bobby Jones center, also located in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood, sits across the street from the Booker T. Washington Community Center. It was originally the First Congregational Church, built in 1917. The church remained in this building until 1991, but it was vacant until the Booker T. Washington Foundation bought it.
The community center has used the building for everything from a day care to a dance studio known as the Bobby Jones Center for the Performing Arts. The building has been closed the last few years for lack of funds to make necessary repairs. The threat here too is demolition by neglect.
The Pleasant Hill neighborhood and the Booker T. Washington Center have seen significant investments over the past year, with remarkable work by the Community Enhancement Authority and Macon-Bibb County.
We continue to work with Tonja Khabir as she works to acquire the Bobby Jones center.
For more information and to get involved with Macon’s Fading Five, visit www.historicmacon.org or call 478-742-5084.
About Historic Macon Foundation
Founded in 1964, Historic Macon Foundation is a nonprofit organization that revitalizes communities by preserving architecture and sharing history. For nearly 60 years, Historic Macon has been engaged in community revitalization efforts and has led the nation in innovative tactics for historic preservation.