Gainesville Commercial Historic District
Located on the east side of Lake Sidney Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia is a small city that is known for its historic downtown commercial district. The area has become the center of economic activity in Hall County. This historic district includes commercial and residential properties and public landmarks. The district is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and non historic commercial development. The Gainesville Commercial Historic District is located at 118 Washington St NW, Gainesville, GA 30501. View us on Maps
The downtown commercial district in Gainesville is composed of attached and freestanding commercial properties. Commercial buildings were largely constructed of brick in the 19th century. Brick was used as a structural material and as decorative material. Common decorative elements included corbelled brickwork, decorative pilasters, cast iron columns, and wood entablatures.
The Gainesville Commercial Historic District represents the 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings of Gainesville, Georgia. The district includes the Gainesville Square, the central business district, and associated public landmarks. The district is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Gainesville’s original town plan was laid out in the early 1820s. It features a gridiron pattern of streets with a central square. In 1888, the square was almost completely fronted with commercial structures. Its development continued into the 20th century as Gainesville developed as a regional trade center and became home to an increasing number of professionals. In addition, the railroads helped to expand the city’s economic base. In the early 20th century, the automobile became popular in Gainesville. There were several gas stations in the city and several new commercial establishments clustered around the central business district.
The first churches were constructed in Gainesville. These were built on land that was set aside for religious use. One church was located south of the square on Church Street. A Baptist congregation also built a church south of the square on Church Street. There were two in-town hotels located on the square’s southwest corner. A railroad depot was also built adjacent to the downtown. In 1883, the Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad opened its station on Maple Street, just south of the square. In 1915, the Georgia Railway and Power Company built a substation northwest of the Hosch Building. The district also includes the Federal Building-United States Courthouse, which was constructed in 1910. The courthouse was expanded in 1934.
The district also includes the Dixie Hunt Hotel, which was constructed in 1938. It was damaged in a tornado. The building is architecturally significant and was the first skyscraper built in Gainesville.
In addition to commercial buildings, the district includes government properties and residential neighborhoods. The district includes several historic and cultural resources, including archaeological sites, industrial buildings, and historic transportation routes. These historic and cultural resources contribute to the character of the community and provide the foundation for traditions. Learn more here
The district also includes the First United Methodist Church, which was built in 1914. It is an excellent example of Romanesque Revival style architecture. It also includes the Bank of Banks & Brother building, which was built in 1871. Today, the building is known as the Imperial Pharmacy.
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