Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer papers

Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer.
Title: Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer papers
Dates: 1891-1976
Quantity: 14.9 Linear feet (12 doc boxes, 1 half box, 4 XL oversized boxes, 2 oversized folder A, 1 oversized folder B)
Coll. Number: ms2607

Biographical/Historical Note

Athens, home of the University of Georgia (UGA), is located along the north Oconee River in Clarke County, in the rolling Piedmont of northeast Georgia. Athens and Clarke County combined to form a unified government in 1990. According to the 2000 U.S. census, Athens-Clarke County had a population of 101,489, making it Georgia's sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area. Chosen in 1801 as the site for the first chartered state university in the nation, Athens is known for its culture and diversity. Georgia's "Classic City" has preserved many of its historic neighborhoods and landmarks, and its largely intact nineteenth-century townscape abuts the historic North Campus of UGA. Today Athens is the center for commerce and trade, health services, and cultural arts for all of northeast Georgia. The city struggles to maintain its distinctive sense of place in the face of rapid growth and development. Athens was founded by a committee. In 1785 the state legislature made a bold step to endow a "college or seminary of learning," thereby initiating the concept of state-supported higher education. Sixteen years later the legislature dispatched a committee of five to select a site for the university. Among them was John Milledge, a close friend of U.S. president Thomas Jefferson's and soon to become governor of Georgia. Searching for a healthful location, the committee encountered Daniel Easley, a settler and land speculator, who owned and operated a mill on the banks of the Oconee River at Cedar Shoals. Easley showed them some property he owned on a hill high above the shoals, and it was there that the committee agreed to set the college. Athens became Clarke's county seat in 1872. Passenger streetcars introduced in Athens in the 1880s led to the development of the town's first streetcar suburbs, and the city's population grew from 6,099 in 1880 to 10,245 in 1900. The first public schools opened in 1887 in identical ten-room brick buildings on Washington and Baxter streets-one for white students and one for black students. The State Normal School for women opened in 1891 in a university-owned building and later moved to its own campus, in the section of Athens now known as Normaltown. The 1890s witnessed the institution of a police force, telephone service, and a modest downtown street-paving program. Monroe B. "Pink" Morton, a local real estate agent and politician, served as the second black postmaster of Athens in 1897. Today the historic Morton Theatre, built by Pink Morton in 1910 at "Hot Corner" as a cultural center for the black community, is one of only four black vaudeville theaters remaining in the country. Morton is buried in Athens' historic black cemetery, Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery, along with such other notable African American citizens as quilter Harriet Powers, educators Annie Smith Derricotte and Samuel F. Harris, and state legislator Madison Davis. Twelve Athens women founded America's first garden club in 1891 in the Cobbham home of Mrs. E. K. Lumpkin. Today the Founders' Memorial Garden on North Campus, designed by the late Hubert Owens, founder of the UGA's School of Environmental Design, commemorates these women. The early twentieth century was a prosperous era for Athenians. Merchants and bankers built new establishments downtown, and electric lights and water service spread across the townscape. When the first automobile appeared in Athens in 1899, the race for greater mobility began. The population of Athens doubled between 1900 and 1940 from 10,245 to 20,650. The Beaux-Arts city hall completed in 1904 rose atop the town's highest point. James Knox Taylor (architect of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.) designed the Federal Building, which was completed the following year across from city hall. Then it housed the federal court and post office; today it is a bank. A. Ten Eyck Brown designed the county courthouse, completed in 1914. Three multistory buildings, the highest standing at nine stories, changed the Athens skyline between 1908 and 1913. The Athens area grew rapidly during and after World War II (1941-45), and by 1980 the population of Athens and its suburbs was 62,896. From 1951 through the 1970s outside industry moved in. Dairy Pak, Gold Kist, General Time, and Westinghouse built manufacturing plants and brought executives to Athens as Beechwood and other suburban neighborhoods emerged. A grant from the Kellogg Foundation built the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, one of the first conference centers in the nation. The U.S. Navy Supply Corps School moved in 1954 from Bayonne, New Jersey, to the old State Normal School campus. A giant anchor adjacent to the Confederate monument and university arch on Broad Street celebrates the continuing presence of the navy in this land-locked town today. In 1958 the Athens Area Vocational-Technical School (later Athens Technical College) first opened its doors in former army barracks located downtown. The university, which had swelled with returning veterans after World War II, also benefited from the coming of age of the postwar baby boom generation, reaching an enrollment of 23,470 in 1980. UGA is the largest employer in Athens-Clarke County, and its presence is still the largest single factor in the city's increasingly diversified economy. Major industries in Athens-Clarke County include poultry and timber. Athens - New Georgia Encyclopedia (Retrieved July 6, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two oversize volumes of aerial photographs of Athens (1946), City Engineer field books (1894-1953), sewer applications (1891-1932), an index of sewer applications (1908-1922), real estate listing (1936), and assessment rolls (1935-1976). The sewer applications include the signature of the property owner, signature of the plumber, and a rough sketch of the property and sewer work to be done. The field books contain statistics and sketches by the city engineer of street improvement projects. Two additional oversized folders contain the diagrams for the UGA Science Hall (undated) and blueprints for the R.L. Moss estate (undated). The collection refers to both residential and business property in Athens and University of Georgia property.


Arranged by record type.

Index Terms

Aerial photography in city planning--Georgia--Athens.
Athens (Ga.)--Aerial photography.
Athens (Ga.)--History.
Athens (Ga.). City Engineer's Office. -- Records and correspondence
Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer. -- History
Civil engineering--Georgia--Athens--History.
Real property--Georgia--Athens.
Roads--Maintenance and repair.
Streets--Maintenance and repair.
Tax assessment--Georgia--Athens--History.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Athens (Ga.). Office of the City Engineer papers, 1891-1976. MS 2607. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series 1: Sewer applications

11Index to sewer applications, 1891-1899
2#1-134, 1891-1899
4Index, 1899-1904
5#269-379, 1899-1904
6#380-489, 1899-1904
21Index to sewer applications, 1904-1908
2#1-100, 1904-1908
3#101-200, 1904-1908
4#201-300, 1904-1908
5#301-400, 1904-1908
6#401-456, 1904-1908
31Index to sewer applications (see also oversized folder 1A), 1908-1912
2#1-75, 1908-1909
3#76-150, 1908-1909
4#151-224, 1908-1909
5#1-85, 1910-1912
6#86-171, 1910-1912
7#172-256, 1910-1912
8#257-341, 1910-1912
9#342-426, 1910-1912
OS Folder
1AIndex to sewer applications, 1908-1912 (originals)
41Index to sewer applications (see oversized folder 1A), 1913-1922
2#1-100, 1913-1922
3#101-200, 1913-1922
4#201-300, 1913-1922
5#301-400, 1913-1922
6#401-500, 1913-1922
51#501-600, 1913-1922
2#601-700, 1913-1922
3#701-800, 1913-1922
4#801-900, 1913-1922
5#901-960, 1913-1922
6#961-1045, 1913-1922
OS Folder
1AIndex to sewer applications, 1913-1922
61Index to sewer applications, 1922-1928
2#1-100, 1922-1928
3#101-200, 1922-1928
4#201-300, 1922-1928
5#301-400, 1922-1928
6#401-500, 1922-1928
7#501-600, 1922-1928
8#601-677, 1922-1928
71Index to sewer applications, 1929-1932
2#1-60, 1929-1932
3#61-120, 1929-1932
4#121-180, 1929-1932
5#181-235, 1929-1932

Series 2: City Engineer field books

8Field books (25), 1894-1919
9Field books (22), 1910-1935
10Field books (20), 1935-1941
11Field books (21), 1941-1948
12Field books (19), 1948-1953 & undated

Series 3: Property documents, 1930-1976

131Paving contracts, 1930-1933
2Real estate listing, 1936
Assessment rolls
6Correspondence, 1960
7Alphabetical listing of property/property owners, undated

Series 4: Aerial Photographs of Athens, 1946

This volume was comprised of 160 pages of aerial views, each a detailed from the satellite image of the whole of Athens that serves as the index grid. However, the volume was not entirely complete upon arrival and the following pages are missing: page 1, 2, 19-22, 39-42, 59-62, 79-82, 99-102, 119-122, 139-142, 159, and 160.
OS Box
14Index grid to aerials 1-160 (The index grid page will be needed in order to choose which detailed views to request.)
Aerials detail view pages 3-43
OS Box
15Aerials detail view pages 44-83
OS Box
16Aerials detail view pages 84-123
OS Box
17Aerials detail view pages 124-158

Series 5: Blueprints and Diagrams

OS Folder
2ADiagram for UGA Science Hall
OS Folder
3BBlueprints for R. L. Moss estate, remodeled hotel