Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Historic Building in Valdosta

This building at the corner of West Central Avenue & North Oak Street is one of the historic buildings in Valdosta (Lowndes County) that has been around for many years, but doesn't stand out quite as much as the others although it still has an interesting history! Back in the early 1900s, the first medical facilities in Lowndes County were small infirmaries & converted homes called ‘sanatorium; ’ however, the growing population of Lowndes County in the early 1900s brought a need for more permanent facilities. This building housed one of those early facilities! Dr. Frank Bird started a hospital in this building, named the "Frank Bird Hospital." The first historical photo in this post is during that time as a hospital, circa 1933. I am not certain how long Frank Bird's hospital was here, but in the 1960s, the building was used by the Lowndes County Health Department for a short time. In the 1970s, it became the youth building for First Baptist Church Valdosta, where it served that function for a few decades. Fast forward to a few months ago, the building was acquired by the Lowndes County Historical Society & is currently being restored to it's former glory! The building will be used by the historical museum to house different exhibits. The white paint that hid the original color of the building (pictured below) for many years has now been painstakingly hand painted to give a look of original brick, giving the building a much cleaner & better look. The white paint had to be hand painted... it can’t be sand blasted due to it being a historical building- it may compromise the integrity of the original brick. I captured the photo showing the building with white paint one year ago, in May of 2017. The photo showing the building being restored was captured recently (late May of 2018)! The historical photo of the building circa 1933 was provided courtesy of the Lowndes County Historical Society & Museum. 
Jay Blanton

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