The Courthouse and the Depot: The Architecture of Hope in an Age of Despair : a Narrative Guide to Railroad Expansion and Its Impact on Public Architecture in Georgia, 1833-1910

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Mercer University Press, 2001 - Architecture - 613 pages
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"The Courthouse and the Depot is a narrative catalogue of Georgia's 19th century public architecture and a complete history of the hundreds of tiny railroad lines that covered the state in this period. The book contains more than 300 photographs, 33 maps, 3 appendixes and an extensive index. The history of the Deep South in the years between 1833 and 1910 is revealed in eloquent and stunning images of hundreds of public buildings. These structures sing rhythms of hope and pride and sweat; dirges of ruin and dashed dreams; anthems of triumph; broken waltzes of irony. Their songs insist that the arrival of the railroad and the appearance of the tiny depot often created such hope that it inspired the construction of the architectural extravaganzas that were the courthouses of the era. In these buildings the distorted myth of the Old South collided head-on with the equally deformed myth of the New South." "Strictly speaking, this is not an architectural history. Rather, it is history narrated by architecture. This is a book about small towns because the history of the South before 1910 is about small towns. It is a book about courthouses because the courthouse, more than any other building of the era, symbolized the collective self-image of the people of these towns. It is a book about depots because the depot is the architecture of the railroad, and in this period, for these people, in these places, the railroad brought with it the all-consuming and often disappointing promise of the future."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Absolutely the finest historical documentation of Georgia's old courthouses. Due to short-sightedness, many courthouses were destroyed in favor of modern sterile venues. Thank goddness Mr Caldwell has documented and preserved these institutions.


The Georgia Railroad
The Central of Georgia Railroad
The Monroe Railroad
The Western and Atlantic Railroad
The Atlanta and West Point Railroad
The Southwestern Railroad
The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad
Reconstruction Railroads 18651873
The Macon and Northern Railroad
The Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad
The Macon Dublin and Savannah Railroad
The Savannah Americus and Montgomery Railroad
The Buena Vista and Ellaville Railroad
The Wrightsville and Tennille and The Augusta Gibson and Sandersville Railroad
The Georgia Carolina and Northern Railroad
The Southeastern Georgia Tidewater

The Macon and Augusta Railroad
The Macon and Brunswick Railroad
The Brunswick and Albany Railroad
The Atlanta and Richmond Air Line
Reconstruction Extensions Short Lines
The Railroads and the Myth of the New South 1875191O
The Northeastern Railroad
The Elberton Air Line
The East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia Railroad
The Gainesville Jefferson and Southern Railroad
Chattanooga to Columbus
The Marietta and North Georgia Railway
The Atlanta and Florida Railroad
Short Lines in Eastern Georgia
The Georgia Florida Alabama Railroad
The Mountains of North Central Georgia
The Georgia and Florida Railway
The Atlanta Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad
The Atlanta and Savannah Railroad
Georgia Courthouses Chronological Listing
Georgia Courthouses Alphabetically by County
Georgia Courthouses 18701910 Listed by Architect
Selected Historical Bibliography
Selected Architectural Bibliography

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Page 3 - But above all, the courthouse: the center, the focus, the hub; sitting looming in the center of the county's circumference like a single cloud in its ring of horizon, laying its vast shadow to the uttermost rim of horizon; musing, brooding, symbolic and ponderable, tall as cloud, solid as rock, dominating all: protector of the weak, judiciate and curb of the passions and lusts, repository and guardian of the aspirations and the hopes...
Page 78 - To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton gins, etc., and for them this general principle is laid down : In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted ; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants...
Page 78 - ... or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.
Page 78 - As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly.
Page 2 - Through new false-teeth of Alabama limestone — The haircloth lap-robe weeps on a Ford radiator — But I have seen the old Courthouse. I have seen The flyspecked windows and the faded flag Over the judge's chair, touched the scuffed walls, Spat in the monumental brass spittoons And smelt the smell that never could be aired, Although one opened windows for a year, The unforgettable, intangible Mixture of cheap cigars, worm-eaten books, Sweat, poverty, negro hair-oil, grief and law. I have seen the...
Page 5 - One of the most significant inventions of the New South was the 'Old South' — a new idea in the eighties, and a legend of incalculable potentialities.

About the author (2001)

Wilber W. Caldwell is the author of "The Courthouse and the Depot: The Architecture of Hope in an Age of Despair " (Mercer University Press; 2002) and "Searching for the Dixie Barbecue " (Pineapple Press; 2005). He lives in Atlanta.

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