As soon as we arrived in Macon, Marisol and I decided to take a walk around downtown. We found it to be a pleasant and friendly place, but a bit run down in parts. It seemed like a whole section of it had been recently renovated while other sections were a work in progress.
We started at Terminal Station, which was a railroad station built in 1916. Passenger trains stopped running in 1972 and the station remained empty until 1982, when it was converted into an office building.
In front of Terminal Station are two of Macon’s most important museums. On one side is the Tubman Museum, dedicated to African American art, history, and culture. On the other side is the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, which is the largest state sports hall of fame in the country. We didn’t get a chance to visit either museum, but hope to if we pass through town in the future.
Tic Toc Room
Next, before walking down Cherry Street, we took a left at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and noticed the Tic Toc Room. One of Macon’s finest restaurants, it was the place where Little Richard first laid the foundations for rock-and-roll. Otis Redding, James Brown, and other greats also performed there.
We found Cherry Street to be a nice place to walk. There were a few restaurants with outdoor seating and many of the people we passed on the sidewalk said hello.
Once we got to 2nd Street, we turned right and found a nice block with a monument in the center. The Otis Redding Foundation is also on the block. It was founded in 2007 by Redding’s wife, Zelma, to improve the lives of youth through music. Across Mulberry Street was the Bibb County Courthouse, which was built in 1924.
Rosa Parks Square
We then walked back down 1st Street where we stopped into Rosa Parks Square. Adjacent to the park is the Macon City Auditorium, which opened in 1925.
Macon City Hall
Across the street is Macon City Hall, which was originally built in 1837. During the Civil War, it served as a Confederate military hospital and for a brief time the temporary state capitol.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
From there, we walked to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The beautiful building, which is the 3rd tallest in Macon, was built between 1888 and 1903. The congregation was formed in 1841 by Irish Catholic immigrants who had moved there in the 1830s.
The church, which is usually open from 8am to 4:30pm, is definitely worth popping into. There are over 60 stained glass windows and the interior is gorgeous.
First Baptist Church of Christ
Next door is the First Baptist Church of Christ, founded in 1826. The building, which is the congregation’s fourth location, was dedicated in 1887. We weren’t able to go inside. Also nearby is the Temple Beth Israel, a synagogue completed in 1902 by a congregation that was formed in 1859.
Walking back down Poplar Street, we noticed the Armory Ballroom, which we thought was one of the more beautiful buildings downtown. It’s located at the corner of Poplar and 1st Street and has a pub on the ground floor.
The rest of Poplar Street seemed like it was getting a makeover. There were almost no business at all, but there were a few buildings under construction.