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Temple Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA

July 22, 2017

There is, for me, no challenge quite like a very large and architecturally interesting church about which very little has been written. The former Temple Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia is my current quest.

Views of Jackson Hill and Temple Baptist Churches Atlanta, GA

Richard Kenyon brought this image to my attention two days ago (the bottom part of this postcard). It suggests a not insubstantial investment and a building of such physical prominence that its arrival and disappearance without notice is difficult to fathom. Once again, a genealogical website came through: the building once stood at the corner of Mangum and Hunter streets on Atlanta’s southwest side; Mangum street has been substantially obliterated and Hunter is now MLK Jr Drive. Atlanta, apparently, has a habit of renaming its streets and that combined with urban renewal and other redevelopment efforts put the building in the middle of the field of red earth shown below:

The church may have disappeared long before, however, as the Atlanta Constitution notes both its opening on 02 January 1905, at the end of a nine-year construction campaign, and the sale of the building ten years later, when the congregation ceremoniously marched to Central Baptist, with which it had merged. Ten years seems too short a life for such a monumental structure. So highway and railway construction conspired with more general urban renewal to take it from us. It’s irritating that so little record remains — at least for the curious who live so many miles away.

The obvious comparison, it seems to me, is : Memorial Baptist church in Newark, NJ, an 1890 design by William Halsey Wood and not an implausible influence.

Peddie Memorial First Baptist Church, Newark, NJ (1888); William Halsey Wood, architect

One Comment
  1. Insubstantial, most definitely. A most fascinating structure. Thank you for the research, no matter how difficult.

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