To preserve and enhance the downtown area as the heart of
East Point, communicating a sense of place, community pride and heritage, while providing for a successful business and
Downtown Flashback Feature
Each month, the East Point Historical Society provides an article for the "Flashback Feature" for the Downtown Newsletter. Each article highlights a piece of East Point's vibrant history. More information about East Point's history is available at the East Point Historical Society located at 1685 Norman Berry Drive, East Point, GA 30344. You can contact them at (404) 767-4656 or visit www.eastpoinths.org. All "Flashback Features" will be archived on the website and can be accessed at any time.
East Point’s Industrial District and the National Register
East Point was a thriving industrial and commercial town from the late 1880s until the 1930s. Railroad depots, signals and switching equipment, manufacturing complexes, mills and warehouses stretched along the railroad tracks adjacent to downtown from well north of Cleveland Avenue to south of Taylor Street. Due to the depression, the waning economy and MARTA construction, many of these buildings fell into disuse or were demolished.
In the 1980s, the City of East Point and private developers sought to en-courage economic development by obtaining National Register designa-tion for the surviving buildings from this industrial era. Through a process of property surveys, historical research, and documentation, the East Point Industrial District was identified and listed in the National Register in September 1985. The district included five building complexes: White Hickory Wagon Works, Blount Carriage and Buggy Works, Couch Brothers Cotton Mills, the Atlanta Utility Works and the Oak Knitting Mill Buildings. With National Register designation and accompanying preservation incentives, a strategy was developed for rehabilitation of the buildings for adaptive reuse. These historic buildings still stand; some continuing to provide contemporary office and commercial space such as the Wagon Works, the Buggy Works and Jefferson Station; some still underutilized like the Atlanta Utility Works.
The East Point Industrial District reflects East Point’s transition from a farming economy after the Civil War to a rapidly expanding manufacturing center beginning in 1884 and extending into the 1930s. Within these buildings, industries produced wagons, buggies, horse collars, cotton seed oil, farm machinery and man hole covers. The buildings represent a variety of industrial and warehouse structures that are good examples of 19th and 20th century industrial architecture found throughout Georgia and the Southeast. Many of East Point’s leading citizens were associated with the industrial district including B.M. Blount, J.D. Couch and John Egan.
The East Point Industrial District is East Point’s only formal National Register listing. Over the years, many other properties have been identified for further evaluation to determine their eligibility for the National Register: City Hall and Auditorium, the Elks Club, the Old Post Office, Hillcrest Cemetery and the several historic residential neighborhoods near downtown. National Register guidelines require a local project sponsor or property owner to provide historical documentation and shepherd the property through the listing process.
The National Register is our country’s official list of historic properties that are worthy of preservation. It provides formal recognition of a property's historical, architectural, or archaeological significance as documented through national standards. National Register designation encourages a broad range of preservation and community development activities and insures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. Properties listed in the National Register may qualify for incentives such as grants, tax credits, fire and life safety code compliance alternatives and technical assistance. National Register listing does not restrict the property owner’s use of a building or require public access.
- Carole Griffith, East Point Historical Society