Neighborhood of the Month – September 2017


West Hancock Avenue Historic District

The West Hancock Avenue Historic District is bounded on the north by Hill Street, Franklin Street to the east, Broad Street to the south and the Plaza to the west. It is a historically black community that originally settled on the outskirts of the city of Athens but today the city limits have expanded to completely contain the current historic district. The streets of the district were therefore not laid out in a grid but instead came about organically and this lack of planning can be seen in the district still. It is significant in the areas of black history, architecture, and community planning and development. The boundary of the district is determined by the concentration of the remaining historic black resources within the community. The Cobbham Historic District  and Milledge Avenue Historic District are both located to the east of the West Hancock Avenue Historic District. The neighborhoods to the south and west of the district were also settled as black neighborhoods similar in size and scale to West Hancock. The styles of the neighborhood consist of Craftsman Bungalows, shotguns, vernacular styles and elements of the Greek Revival, Neoclassical, Queen Anne, and Victorian styles.


The Ebenezer Baptist Church is located within the West Hancock Avenue Historic District at 205 North Chase Street. The congregation took the name Ebenezer in 1889 replacing their previous name of Landrum Chapel; the formation date for this congregation is unknown except that is was before 1889. The current location on North Chase Street was purchased in 1921 and in 1937 the congregation moved to the present sanctuary. The building itself is a 20th century vernacular church with Georgian-Revival details. According to the National Register Nomination for the West Hancock Avenue Historic District, the building is made of brick and “has a modified cross plan, gable roof and a central spire. Bright blue and white marble glass is featured in the large, round arched windows located along the sides of the sanctuary. The main facade features a portico supported by six unfluted columns and three entrances, each topped by a heavy broken pediment.”



Photo Gallery Provided by Kristin Karch