Beautiful home in the historic Boulevard district.
with Pratt Cassity
Sunday, September 29, at 2:00 PM
In 1890, the newly founded Athens Park and Improvement Company bought 300 acres north of Prince and west of Barber Street and made an agreement with Athens’s street railroad company to extend its tracks into their land, making an easy commute to downtown. Thus, Boulevard, the first “streetcar suburb” in Athens, was established. The Boulevard neighborhood became home to a diverse population that encompassed virtually all social classes and income levels. Boulevard forms the spine of the neighborhood and is characterized by wide lots and larger homes, mostly in the Queen Anne and Neoclassical styles. The north edge of the district was (and still is) bounded by railroad tracks, and a textile firm, the Southern Manufacturing Company, established along the tracks. The streets surrounding it were developed with mill houses for the company’s workers. Like many of Athens historic in-town neighborhoods, neglect and development took its toll in the mid-20th century, and the neighborhood became largely rental. Luckily, Boulevard’s faded grandeur, cheap rent, and proximity to downtown drew artists, musicians and writers, many of whom later purchased and rehabilitated its homes. The diversity which characterized Boulevard at its founding continues today, and eclectic and creative types abound. This tour will last approximately 2 hours.
Charles Newton built this handsome Queen Anne home in 1897. His four college-educated daughters never married and lived here together their entire lives.
with Amy Andrews
Sunday, October 6, at 2:00 PM
Ask a current or former Athenian to name their favorite places in Athens, and Prince Avenue is guaranteed to be on the list. The stately Greek Revival and colorful Victorian homes, flowering dogwoods, deep-set lawns, mature trees, street-front commercial buildings and neighborhood character of this busy historic corridor combine to lend a distinctive presence that few streets can emulate. Originally the Federal Road to the Indian Territory, Prince Avenue’s earliest existing homes date to the 1840s. Some of Athens’ and the state of Georgia’s most influential citizens lived here—among them Joseph Henry Lumpkin, Henry Grady and Monroe “Pink” Morton. Home to architecturally-significant institutions like the State Normal School (1862), Emmanuel Episcopal Church (1899), and Fire Hall No. 2 (1901), Prince Avenue is also home to beloved Normaltown, one of Athens’ few true neighborhood business districts. A victim of the urban renewal mentality that swept through Athens in the 1950s and 60s, local history books are filled with photographs of the grand homes that are now gone. The 1970s and 80s saw an influx of students, artists, musicians and young professionals who appreciated the inexpensive rent, historic ambience and character of the Prince Avenue neighborhoods. A large number of them eventually bought homes or established businesses there and have lent Prince Avenue an eclectic yet authentic new character that gracefully blends with the historic. This tour will last approximately 2 hours.
Creative decor adorns the home of Charlie and Nancy Hartness, who perform old-time music as the duo “Hawkproof Rooster.”
with David Bryant
Saturday, October 19, at 10:00 AM
Pulaski Heights is one of Athens’ best kept secrets—a hidden gem of a neighborhood a stone’s throw away from vibrant downtown and Prince Avenue. Its narrow streets, natural ravines and the Seaboard Pulaski Heights is one of Athens’ best kept secrets—a hidden gem of a neighborhood a stone’s throw away from vibrant downtown and Prince Avenue. Its narrow streets, natural ravines and the Seaboard Coastline railroad tracks that bisect it have served to keep the early-twentieth century neighborhood intact and protected. An early example of mixed use, the area was originally home to skilled tradesmen, clerks, and small business owners who built unpretentious but charming cottages in the Southern vernacular style among some of Athens’ prominent industries such as L. M. Leathers Son’s Company, McGinty’s Planing Mill and the Southern Cotton Oil Co. Its current residents maintain a close-knit but individualistic lifestyle and have embraced the mix of lovely bungalows, industrial buildings and trains. One of its influential residents was John Linley—an architect, author and professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design who bought a home on Pulaski Street in 1967. He championed in-town living at a time when people were fleeing to the suburbs and demonstrated that thoughtful modern architecture can be compatible with traditional neighborhoods, an example now being followed by Lori Bork and other architects leading a modernist boom in the neighborhood. Linley also created a world-class terraced garden that spills down the precipitous banks of Pulaski Creek, lovingly maintained by current homeowners Lee Smith and Rinne Allen. The neighborhood is home to artists, small business owners, and professionals who have followed Linley’s example of putting one’s heart and aesthetic into one’s house and yard.. This tour will last approximately 2 hours.
Wednesday, October 30, at 7:30 PM
Thursday, October 31, at 7:30 PM
History, haunts, legends, ghostly apparitions, cold spots, tragic lovers, restless Confederate soldiers and unearthed coffins. Folklore and history come alive beneath the Greek columns and magnolias of the Classic City. Since its founding in 1801, Athens’ rich history has provided accounts of strange events and ghostly experiences. Follow your guide on a journey of Athens’ darker history. On this two-hour tour of downtown Athens and UGA’s North Campus, you will hear tales of spirits, hauntings, superstitions, mysteries, murders, suicide and other legends of the Classic City
UGA Arch near the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building.
with Larry Dendy
Saturday, November 2, at 10:00 AM
Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia is the first university in America chartered by a state government and the model for our country’s great system of public higher education. UGA is well known for cutting-edge research, far-reaching public service and championship athletic teams. But one of its most visible—and valuable—assets may also be one of its most overlooked features. Scattered across the 759-acre main campus are some of the oldest and most historically significant buildings, structures and spaces in Athens. These buildings and landmarks—many more than a century old—are more than just static elements of infrastructure. Architecturally diverse and aesthetically charming, they embody the university’s values, cultural heritage and educational purpose. They harbor its history and traditions, hold cherished memories for alumni and provide space for faculty to teach and create and students to learn and explore. Many also shelter surprising secrets. This tour will look behind the doors of buildings to reveal the backstory of their origin, their namesake, their varied uses and their place in UGA’s colorful past and dynamic present. Tour participants will learn answers to such questions as: Which prominent building began as two separate buildings? Where did famous Georgians Alexander Stephens and Crawford Long live as roommates? Where did the first murder on campus occur? Where is the portrait of the only UGA graduate to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court? Which building is still standing because of a quirky restriction when it was sold to UGA? From the iconic Arch and Chapel on North Campus, to the elegant Georgia Museum of Art and mammoth Ramsey Student Center on East Campus, this tour will illustrate what makes UGA one of America’s classic college campuses. This tour will last approximately 2 hours.
Craftsman style house built c. 1910 in Bloomfield neighborhood.
with Marianne May Causey and Dick Field
Sunday, November 3, at 2:00 PM
Roughly bounded by three major Athens streets—Milledge, Lumpkin, and Baxter—as well as the University of Georgia, it is no surprise the Bloomfield Historic District is a densely developed residential area. The neighborhood dates from the late-19th and early-20th century. With Bloomfield Street at its core, the district encompasses Hall, Mell, and Wilcox streets, Cloverhurst Terrace and Place, as well as portions of Springdale and Rutherford streets, and Cloverhurst Avenue. It developed as and continues to be a middle class neighborhood occupied by business owners, trades people, artisans, teachers, students, administrators, and technicians—many associated with the university. Calvin Parr, a local craftsman who specialized in stenciling and wall painting, built the first house in the district in 1889. This Queen Anne style cottage is on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to be lovingly maintained by its current owner, an artist and educator. The original neighborhood developer, industrialist Robert Bloomfield, was followed by his son-in-law John Talmadge, and John Mell. Locally famous architect Fred Orr designed some of the earlier houses. Later development of the district occurred along north to south and west to east lines to include homes in Victorian Eclectic, American Foursquare, and Bungalow and Craftsman styles. Some infill and replacement construction is ongoing, mostly following a neo-bungalow/craftsman style. A special feature within the district is a much used neighborhood park. This tour will last approximately 2 hours.
A beautifully-carved angel watches over the grave of Norma Marks Morris, 1874-1918
with Charlotte Thomas Marshall
Sunday, November 17, at 2:00 PM
The beautiful monuments among the rolling hills of the historic Oconee Hill Cemetery memorialize a cross-section of Athenians old and new. Many names, such as Lumpkin, Cobb, Church, and Hill, have long been fused with Athens’ history. The cemetery was established in 1856 and designed as a rural or natural landscape cemetery, distinguished by its park-like appearance. Originally only 17 acres in size, the cemetery has grown to almost 100 acres. There are three distinct cemeteries which appear as one: the original cemetery opened by the City of Athens, the Factory Burying Ground set aside by the nearby Athens Manufacturing Company for the use of the families of their employees, and the Congregation Children of Israel Cemetery established after the Civil War. The Bisson family, who served as sextons for 86 years, included several skilled sculptors, and they crafted many of the tombstones and memorials. The family lived in the Sexton’s House, a circa 1880 Georgian Cottage which was beautifully restored in 2007 by the Friends of Oconee Hill Cemetery. The cemetery’s tombstones are rich in detail and symbolism, and the tour will include an explanation of the meanings of the various carvings, symbols, icons and other funerary art found there. This tour will last between 2 and 3 hours. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.