Historic Albany tour announced

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

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ALBANY, Ga. -- In recognition of National Historic Preservation month, the Historic Preservation Commission is sponsoring a tour of some of the city's most historic properties downtown.

Set for Saturday, May 7, tours will begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 5 p.m., said Rozanne Braswell, a senior planner with the city's planning department and a staff member for the HPC.

The tour will feature eight downtown properties which will be open and available for an insider's peek, Braswell said.

Those properties include Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church -- which was built in 1909 by the city's oldest African American Baptist congregation which was founded in 1866 -- and the Smith House, the first brick residence built in Albany.

The tours will culminate with a reception at Thronateeska Heritage Museum at 5:30 p.m. where the winners and participants of the HPC's Student Art Contest will be announced and exhibited.

Ribbons will be presented to top three participants in grades seven through 12. A grand prize best in show will also be named and awarded a $250 prize. The winning entry will become part of Thronateeska's permanent collection.

The point of the tour, Braswell said, is to continue to promote Albany's historic significance by shining the spotlight on "historic treasures" around town.

"We're truly blessed to have many historically significant buildings in one small area," Braswell said. "Part of mission is to continually show them to the community so that people understand why they're historically significant and know their stories."

Albany has 24 different properties or areas that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for having some historical significance.

The Herald will be profiling each of the stops on the tour leading up to the tour date.