Tag Archives: Architecture of the Great Depression

Frances Benjamin Johnston in Greene County

Old Shop Greensboro Vicinity 1939 Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Old Shop Near Greensboro

Frances Benjamin Johnston was one of the first famous American women photographers and though she isn’t widely known outside academic circles today, she left behind a large archive of both personal and public work. The images seen here represent the focus of her later years, Southern architecture. The Library of Congress lists possible dates of 1939 and 1944 for these images. Since she was working widely in other Southern states at the time, they could date to either year. At any rate, they represent an important archive.

Two story brick building Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

Two-story Brick Building, Greensboro

House in Greensboro Vicinity GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website

House Near Greensboro

Old Frame Episcopal Church Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Episcopal Church, Greensboro

Jail Greensboro GA Greene County Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Old Greene County Jail, Greensboro

Greene County Courthouse Greensboro GA Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston 1939 Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2014

Greene County Courthouse, Greensboro

All Images Frances Benjamin Johnston/Library of Congress (1939 or 1944)

For more about Johnston’s fascinating life story:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/fbjchron.html

 

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

Plantation House, Near Eatonton

Dilapidated Plantation House on Piedmont Agricultural Demonstration Project Lands Eatonton GA Carl Mydans Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2013

Carl Mydans/Library of Congress (1936)

Mydans noted that this was all that remained of a once prosperous plantation.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Abandoned Plantation House, Monticello

Abandoned Plantation House Near Monticello GA 1936 Walker Evans Photograph Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2013

Walker Evans/Library of Congress (1936)

As part of the propaganda effort to show a South in need of improvement, photographers turned their cameras on quite a few architectural landmarks like this one. Most such structures have been demolished or lost over time.

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Filed under --JASPER COUNTY GA--, Monticello GA

Railroad Station, Cordele

John Vachon/Library of Congress. (May 1938)

It’s amazing to think that scenes like this one, so common through much of America’s industrial age, were just over a decade away from disappearing as a result of the expansion of air travel in the 1950s. So many of the places I document for Vanishing Media are “railroad ghost towns”, old whistlestops and mail stations that came into existence as a result of widespread rail traffic and just as quickly withered with its demise.

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Filed under --CRISP COUNTY GA--, Cordele GA

United States Post Office, Blackshear

New Deal Post Office, Blackshear. © Brian Brown 2011.

This  circa 1938-40 structure is one of many “New Deal” post offices built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. I’ll be documenting them from time to time. Most were solidly built and remain in good condition, but recent trends with the Postal Service could spell closure for many of these historic buildings.

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Filed under --PIERCE COUNTY GA--, Blackshear GA

Groves Cotton Warehouse, Byromville (Then & Now)

John Vachon/Library of Congress. (May 1938)

Though programs to ween the South off dependence on the crop were widely implemented during the Great Depression, cotton was still king when John Vachon made this image in Dooly County. I made the image below some 71 years later.

georgia-in-the-great-depression-byromville-dooly-county-ga-bonded-warehouse-agriculture-agribusiness-©-brian-brown-vanishing-media-2012

W. R. Groves’ Warehouse, Byromville. © Brian Brown 2009.

To read comments from former Byromville residents about the warehouse:

http://vanishingsouthgeorgia.com/2009/06/23/warehouse-byromville/#comments

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Filed under --DOOLY COUNTY GA--, Byromville GA