Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Corporation of Mercer University

Funding Received: 2013
Macon, GA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
April 9, 2014


Breaking Barriers
From its inception, Tattnall Square Center for the Arts has broken barriers by bringing a wide swath of the community together to envision, plan, and program. This month, we broke literal barriers as demolition hit new heights (and walls and ceilings).

Contractors have invaded, making them the first creative types to inhabit the former church. Rooms that once served as offices for church staff, Sunday School classrooms, a sanctuary, and a fellowship hall are being torn down to make way for new offices, a state-of-the-art classroom, rehearsal space, workshops for scenery and costumes, dressing rooms, and a marvelous multipurpose performance space.

As these new spaces are carved out, interior windows will allow visitors to see into classrooms, rehearsal halls, offices and workshops. By removing the barriers of solid walls in favor of windows, the entire building becomes a classroom. Students and community members will see the creative process in action, watching over weeks as costumes are crafted from bolts of fabric and set pieces emerge from piles of 2x4 lumber. The removal of literal barriers will now aid in removing barriers of inexperience.

Abatement continues on the exterior of the historic structure, including pressure washing and waterproofing. The mostly brick structure required some tuck pointing to mend the mortar between the bricks, which results in a more attractive and structurally sound exterior.

Recent Win(dow)s
From the windows in Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, community members will be able to peer in and see artists at work. As they wait in carpool lines for their students at Alexander II, or walk past en route to Tattnall Square Park, they will watch as costumes and set pieces are built, rehearsals are held and lessons are taught. Windows—which usually act as barriers against the elements—will become points of entry for community members to see what goes on behind the scenes. For now, these windows will allow for glimpses of the progress that is being made on construction.

Some of the original, architecturally significant windows had been damaged during the building’s vacant years. In order to maintain the historical integrity of the building’s architecture, windows from the rarely seen back of the building were carefully removed and used to replace the damaged ones on the street side; new windows were installed in the back.

The Center is one of three significant construction projects happening in one extremely traveled block. With construction on the Tattnall Square Park tennis courts nearly complete, demolition of the street side of the park to make way for new sidewalks has begun. Across the street brick is being layered onto the new student loft apartments. The Center marks the third point in this triangle, and between them exists a palpable energy—it is momentum. It is impossible to ignore the revitalization that is taking place thanks to the efforts of public and private funding and the drive and vision of community members. Momentum is infectious, and it is attracting lots of attention to our project.