Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Corporation of Mercer University

Funding Received: 2013
Macon, GA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 16, 2014

Creation of a Micro Community
On the corner across from Tattnall Square Center for the Arts sits Alexander II Elementary, a math and science magnet school. Next to “Alex II” the third phase of The Lofts at Mercer is being built to extend cutting-edge University student housing to a third side of the public park at Mercer’s front door. Beside the lofts stands the park’s second-oldest resident Centenary Methodist Church, which draws the most diverse cross-section of the community of any church in Macon. Finally, adjacent to Centenary is the historic quad gateway to Mercer University.

This one block of historic College Street is in the adolescence of its transformation into a micro community within the College Hill Corridor. Its destinations will draw people of all ages and backgrounds—a wide representational swath of our community—people who will become audiences (and some, artists) at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. This community will include young students and their families; college students whose home is now only steps away from Tattnall Square Center for the Arts; a church whose membership spans age, race, and socioeconomic strata; the University community, and athletes and their families who use the tennis center and park across the street. Add the residents of neighborhoods bordering the park and you have a genuine cross-section of the community at large, all at the doorstep of this new Center for the Arts.

As ground breaks on renovations later this month, visibility will reach new heights for the Center and this community that is being created in its midst. The energy of change, the stimulus of new creation and the conflagration of so much growth are palpable. Momentum is starting to build in the newest micro community in Macon.


Recent Wins
The green light was given to a Georgia Department of Transportation project that will transform an entire block of College Street adjacent to the Center. The project includes construction of a roundabout at the intersection of College Street and Oglethorpe Street. The Center for the Arts sits at one corner of that intersection. The project will also include new sidewalks, street lighting, new trees and other landscaping, bike lanes and new crosswalks. All the utilities in this block will be relocated underground, improving the aesthetics around the Center for the Arts. When it is finished this summer, the block will be an attractive and more pedestrian-friendly gateway from the campus to the Center for the Arts.

01.10.14_MercerTatnall_park rendering

There are arguments to be made for undergoing construction projects in phases versus all at once. For the Tattnall block of College Hill this time is the equivalent of puberty where new growth has begun and new life is occurring, but it’s not pretty. Plyboard, steel beams, the latest in court surfacing materials and so much mud are a contrast to the brick and beautiful landscapes of the finished parts of the block. Roadwork is sure to add more visual disturbance to the scene, but amid the flux a current of energy, optimism, and excitement has taken off. It will be interesting to see if that is enough to overcome periodic interruptions for roadwork and the noise and inconveniences of construction. We will be watching and listening to our neighbors.