Newnan’s six historic districts—all on the national register—contain some of Georgia’s most beautiful houses and commercial buildings. The houses are represented by the antebellum and Victorian styles that dominated Newnan’s early and mid-19th century development. Buildings that make up the Central Business District comprise several architectural styles, including Neoclassical, Italianate, Classical Revival, Romanesque, and Victorian. Learn more about Newnan’s historical districts below.
Named for R.D. Cole Company, this historic district is an example of a residential neighborhood which developed around a major industry. Founded in 1854, the R.D. Cole Company produced a wide variety of architectural woodwork, trusses, industrial machinery, and water towers that are still known worldwide. The company’s woodwork distinguishes the district’s residential architecture. Also in the district is a representation of the experimental approach to concrete and reinforced concrete bridges in the early 20th century.
Even though this district was laid out in 1828, it remains an example of a well-planned neighborhood with schools, parks, tree-line streets and churches. Walkways, fences, formal gardens, and open lawns with hedges accent the wide range of architectural styles in this 100 plus acre district. Land Lot #58 on the corner of College and Temple was designated the “academy” lot and was the site of seven schools from 1829-1975. The Male Academy, which prepared the young men of Newnan for college, serves as a museum today (maintained by The Newnan Coweta Historical Society). The museum has received recognition for the extensive collection of antique clothing and also includes a large display of Civil War artifacts. This historic building was moved to College Street and is city maintained.
Laid out in 1828, the nine square block district is an example of the Washington-type plan in Georgia, which includes wide avenues and a public square. The Square is anchored by the present Neo-Greek Revival courthouse, which was built in 1904. The dome, which rises more than 100 feet above the square, was fitted for a four-face clock that was originally hand wound but was converted to electric in the mid 1900’s. The former Carnegie Library, the first Carnegie-endowed library in Georgia, is within this district, as well as four religious structures that represent the religious presence in central business districts. The historic black commercial section along East Broad Street is a rare survivor of the once common segregation of black and white commercial areas. Combined, the district tells the story of Newnan’s rich commercial history in the early 19th Century.
This 61 acre residential neighborhood along two major highways was developed over 100 years ago and is in contrast to the planned layouts. This is a patterned development, in which the oldest principal streets are lined with the oldest and grandest houses, and the later infill streets are lined with the newer and smaller houses. Many of the larger, grander houses were home to many of Newnan’s prominent citizens. The district Civil War ties are represented in the antebellum house known as Buena Vista, which served as Confederate headquarters during the Battle of Brown’s Mill in July 1864.
The latest site on the National Register was listed in April 2002. The Newnan Cotton Mill was established in 1888 along the A & WP (now CSX) Railroad on East Washington Street. The Mill Village sprung up in the surrounding area, bordered by the railroad on the west, Washington Street on the south, Wilcoxen Street on the north, and Farmer Street on the east. The area is still a fine example of early 20th century Georgia mill villages, while the mill itself now serves as the home of an upscale loft apartment complex.
As the name indicates, this 43 acre district is a collection of fine houses built by wealthy Newnan citizens. Developed just north of town along a major highway, Platinum Point emerged with the increased use of automobiles. The automobile influence is evident by the many out-buildings used mostly as car garages. The earliest building in the district is the 1895 Queen Anne style house with asymmetrical massing and wraparound porch. Built in a park-like atmosphere, the district presents an excellent and diverse variety of Revival Style architecture popular in the early 20 th century.