Tattnall Square Center for the ArtsMacon, GA
She has patiently waited as historic homes, an elementary school, Mercer University and a city park were renovated and expanded around her as part of the widely acclaimed College Hill Corridor initiative. Now the puce-painted church that has stood sentry for more than 100 years at the corner of Macon’s College and Oglethorpe Streets, is experiencing its own renaissance to become Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. “This wonderful historic structure has served our community for generations,” said Mercer’s president, William D. Underwood. “It has been an important part of the life of the community and it was important that it be put back into service.”
The center will serve as a community theatre and arts venue, as well as home to the University’s Theatre Department. Pews, carpet, and remnants of a 1960s remodel have been removed to make way for a new multi-purpose arts space. Sunday School classrooms will transform into state-of-the-art teaching studios, a scenic shop with a two-story loft, costume shop and storage, and faculty offices.
The Center will accommodate visual and performing arts, lectures, film screenings, and workshops hosted by community arts organizations, whose members serve on a programming advisory board that helped craft the vision for the space. “It pulls us into a facility where we are all together,” said Scot Mann, director of Mercer Theatre and the center.
External renovations to the building have begun and will soon be apparent as the brick façade is stripped of chipped paint from a bygone era to reveal unmistakable Georgia clay bricks. ¬Her neighbors will notice the changes gradually as those closest to us do but she is sure to turn heads when students return this fall: a new life and new look for this new collaborative effort in the arts.
The Tattnall Square Center is the first effort in our arts-rich community to create a space where performing arts, visual arts, education and film could all be presented in one space. An advisory board of representatives of various organizations contributed ideas and questions and shaped the shape and scope, design and functionality of the Center. These board members also became immediate community ambassadors, carrying the vision for the center back to their groups and at the grassroots level in our community.