Historic Macon is giving Middle Georgians a chance to rediscover some of the treasures of the citys past with its Macon, Then and Now exhibit.
The traveling exhibit has moved to Washington Memorial Library for July and features archival photographs of several locations on display alongside a current photograph of the same location.
Maryel Battin, a preservationist and member of the Historic Macon Foundation, conceived the exhibition and joined with Historic Macon to create the project, according to a news release.
It was sort of an educational idea. What we have noticed over the years is that people love to see the before and after; thats sort of what its all about. Weve lost some properties and weve saved some properties, Battin said.
The display began with a search of the archives at Washington Memorial Library to see what photos were available from the past, and then photographers from the Middle Georgia Camera Club took the present-day photos from the same angle as the originals.
One of the more dramatic ones is the site where Krystal is now, at Spring Street and Riverside Drive. There used to be a music conservatory for African American students there. Its a huge change; we lost that building, Battin said. Another interesting one is at 397 College St., where there was a Queen Anne Victorian home that the architect Neel Reid converted to an Italian villa in the early part of the 20th century. You can see all of the bones of the building, especially on the exterior. The change just reflects what was in fashion in that part of the century.
Battin compared the changes to people remodeling their homes today.
Nothing is static. People felt they were upgrading, changing style with what was fashionable. Some buildings were demolished; some were reused, she said.
A few of the other sites featured are St. Josephs School, the Collins building on Mulberry Street, the Mercer University Law School and old Wesleyan College. Twenty-four properties are included in the exhibit.
A lot of people had no idea that this building or that building was there, Battin said. Its important for people to learn about their own city. I believe one of the most important things Macon has is some really interesting architecture.
The traveling exhibit was funded by a grant from the Knight Neighborhood Challenge.
We wanted to be sure it would be in places where people would see it, either somewhere with a lot of foot traffic, or a great building or academic setting, she said.
After its time at the Washington Memorial Library, Macon, Then and Now will be on display at the following sites: Mercer Universitys Tarver Library in August, Wesleyan College in September, Middle Georgia State College in October, Terminal Station in November and the Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau in December.
Macon, Then and Now
When: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays through July 31
Where: Washington Memorial Library, 1180 Washington Ave.
Information: 742-5084 or www.historicmacon.org