Lessons from Macon

Architect and Developer in downtown Birmingham Alabama, Jeremy Erdreich, notes Macon’s historic and architectural assets and how the community “seems posed to become a real jewel of a Southern city.”

Bhamarchitect's Blog

A recent trip to Macon, GA –about a 4 hour drive southeast of Birmingham–revealed an interesting downtown undergoing a revitalization. Above is one of the many blocks in the historic core whose streets are divided by large, park-like medians. Not only do these medians give the pedestrian an alternative to the sidewalk, but they introduce a large amount of green space into the core.

Having that much space given over to trees, paths, and fountains in the middle of the street feels “Southern”: it implies a more leisurely pace and a warmer climate. On a weekday, these spaces including the one above appeared well-used.

As a companion to those wide median-parks, the sidewalks on principal streets have extreme depths (above). In Birmingham we are often barely able to get a tight row of cafe seating on the sidewalk, where minimum clearances for pedestrians must be observed. This is clearly not…

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