Thursday, January 17, 2019

Historic Valdosta

When we pass by an empty parking lot in historic downtown areas, it's easy to look over it without giving a second thought to what was once there, but beautiful buildings once stood where most of the parking lots in downtown areas are- and that's the case at the corner of Ashley Street & Hill Avenue in Lowndes county in historic downtown Valdosta. This is where the original city hall once stood!

Built in 1895, It was a brick & granite two story building with a 70 foot clock tower that was so easy on the eyes that it was referred to as the "ornament of the town". It served as city hall for 63 years, as the library until 1913, and as a public gathering space with an auditorium that could hold 600 people for plays, operas & traveling shows.

By 1958, the city of Valdosta had outgrown this aging building & moved into a more "modern" facility on North Toombs Street- the current location of the Valdosta Police Department.

Unfortunately, the 1950s-60s were a time when buildings like this were viewed as old dilapidated eyesores, and many of Valdosta's historic buildings were demolished during this time, including this building. Some were replaced with what were deemed as "modern" buildings, while this building & a few others were simply razed & turned into parking lots.

This image is a composite, a mix between an old photo of the old city hall, provided by the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum, superimposed onto a long exposure photo I captured, showing the exact location of where the building once stood.

Jay Blanton | The Georgia Photography Fanatic

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