Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark Assessment
The National Park Service (NPS) is undertaking an assessment of the integrity and condition of the Sweet Auburn National Historic Landmark (NHL) District. The Sweet Auburn neighborhood is centered along a stretch of Auburn Avenue that includes commercial, residential, and religious buildings associated with Atlanta's African American community dating from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. In the early twentieth century Auburn Avenue was a thriving center of African American commercial, social, religious, and political activity. John Wesley Dobbs (1882 —1961), an African American civic and political leader, coined the name "Sweet Auburn" in reference to the prosperity and opportunity afforded by the neighborhood.
The Secretary of the Interior designated the Sweet Auburn NHL District in 1976. The boundaries of the NHL District are smaller than what many people consider to be the Sweet Auburn neighborhood. The NHL District is an irregularly shaped district that runs along Auburn Avenue for a little over a quarter of a mile, between Courtland St NE and the Downtown Connector. Prominent buildings within the Sweet Auburn NHL District include Big Bethel AME Church, the Butler Street YMCA, the Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium, the Herndon Building, and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market (see map in Document List for boundaries).
The National Park Service monitors the condition of National Historic Landmarks to ensure that they continue to possess the historic qualities for which they were designated. As a part of the assessment process, the NPS is commissioning a study from New South Associates that will document, in narrative and graphic formats, major changes that occurred within and adjacent to the district since its designation in 1976. The effort involves research, a reconnaissance survey, photographic documentation, Geographic Information Systems analysis, and mapping. The assessment will also examine current and future projects and trends that may affect the integrity of the Sweet Auburn NHL District. The NPS hopes that the information contained in this study will aid in the stewardship of the NHL by providing policy makers and the public with a better understanding of the District.
NPS Southeast Regional Communications Office - (404) 507-5612