Sunday, September 11, at 3:30 PM
Created in 1890 as part of the Boulevard neighborhood by the Athens Park and Improvement Company, Buena Vista Heights was located just outside the original city limits and was much more working class than its “in-town” Boulevard portion. Yet its proximity to the Southern Manufacturing Company, the streetcar line, and the State Normal School brought millworkers, engineers, students and small business owners to the neighborhood. Most of the homes in Buena Vista Heights were built between 1890 and 1949, and architectural styles run the gamut from Victorian homes with gingerbread detailing to simple mill homes. The neighborhood has been home to unique ventures, such as a soda company, a neighborhood cannery and the original location of Town & Gown Players. This tour will not only teach you more about the distinct blue-collar ventures and residents of this neighborhood, but also highlight the lives of some original residents, reveal stories from older residents about what life was like before the roads were paved, and give you a feel for what life was like “living in the county” in the first decades of the 1900s.
An Athens resident for the past 10 years, Kristen Morales moved to Buena Vista Heights before it was designated a local historic district. Not understanding why it wasn’t one, she and several other neighborhood residents undertook a four-year effort to make it so, during which she learned a lot about the history and architecture of this in-town neighborhood. Kristen is originally from Massachusetts but comes to Athens by way of California and South Florida where ideas of history are as skews as the lifestyles often portrayed.