From Herndon Homes to Two Georgia Domes

Welcome to From Herndon Homes to Two Georgia Domes, a digital history exhibit. This exhibit is part of an ongoing collaboration between students and faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Historic Westside Cultural Arts Council (HWCAC), a grassroots arts and culture organization working on arts and culture initiatives that help to empower Westside residents.

The exhibit focuses on two of Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods, English Avenue and Vine City, over a hundred year period, with special attention paid to the last twenty-five years (from the early 1990’s to 2016).

The material featured includes new oral history interviews (conducted between January-August, 2015), recent and historical media, and other archival items.

The 2015 interviews and recent material have been placed in historical context, and in conversation, with archival material collected from Atlanta-area libraries and archives. Key archival items featured in the exhibit include several oral history clips from a 1988-1989 Booker T. Washington high school oral history project, “The Vine City Domed Stadium Project.” These interviews are housed at the Atlanta History Center and helped to inspire the 2015 interviews, which looked back at the promises made during the Georgia Dome development in 1992 and forward to the construction of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium (planned to open in 2017). The exhibit also includes papers, news clippings, and photographs from the Atlanta History Center, the Auburn Avenue Research Library, Emory University Archives, Georgia State University Library, and the Atlanta University Center.

Tracy Bates, community historian and director of the HWCAC, and Kate Diedrick, researcher and worker-owner at Solidarity Research Center, conducted the 2015 interviews and worked together to create the concept for the exhibit. J. Russell Huffman led the exhibit design and development. Todd Michney wrote content and provided historical research and archival support, with help from his honors students in Georgia Tech’s “Semester in the City” class. Christopher Le Dantec has had a long-term partnership with HWCAC; with support from students in his Participatory Publics Lab, he helped to shape overall project development and design.

Central to the project were the 2015 interviewees who shared their stories with the project team and agreed to be interviewed. These interviewees include: Byron Amos, Reverend W.L. Cottrell, Myrtle Dansby, Hattie Dorsey, “Brother” David Lawrence El, Tre Lockhart, Mother Mamie Moore, Sandra Walker, Tillman Ward, and Ivory Young.

Financial support for the project was provided by Georgia Humanities, the Atlanta Mayor’s office of Cultural Affairs, and Georgia Institute of Technology’s Public Service Pathway through its Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative.