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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Finding ways to preserve some of Macon’s oldest landmarks is a priority for many groups–but especially The Historic Macon Foundation.
Saving old ones starts with identifying the ones in danger. The group announced Wednesday this year’s ‘Fading Five’ properties that are in danger of disrepair or even demolition.
Organizers discussed the status of last year’s picks and their strategy to protect the properties moving forward.
“We have a saying around town that Macon is preservation,” said Executive Director Ethiel Garlington.
Behind every building’s walls lie a piece of Macon’s history.
“It speaks to Macon’s heritage as an industrial center,” said Historic Macon’s Kim Campbell.
The foundation is looking to keep those stories alive by protecting the structures holding them through its 2018 Fading Five list.
“When you look at our community what do people love about Macon? What’s unique? What sets us apart? It’s the historic buildings,” Garlington said.
The five abandoned areas the organization is focusing on this year include:The Train Recreation Center, Guy Paine House, Bobby Jones Performing Arts Center, Coaling Tower and its longest standing–The Cotton Avenue Historic District.
“It is Macon’s most in-tact historic African American business district,” Campbell told 41NBC.
Organizers says Cotton Avenue is where the Fading Five all started.
“That neighborhood is particularly important to the Fading Five because the loss of Temple Baptist Church and the Douglass House within that district is actually what lead to us creating the initial list,” she continued.
Through finding creative ways to save properties Historic Macon’s goal is to transform Macon’s ‘Fading Five’ into its ‘Flourishing Five’.
“What we try to do is find the ownership, find the solution, find the partner, find the new business or the new owner that can find a viable use for these buildings,” Garlington added.
Last year for the first time since beginning the initiative in 2015, Historic Macon lost a Fading Five property–the A.E. Barnes Duplexes on Spring Street. They’re hoping it’ll be the first and last.
Organizers say there has been progress on several of the other remaining properties on the list and they’re continuing to make improvements over time.