National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program
Weekly Highlight: Georgia Welcome Center
Screven County, Georgia

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

[photo] of highlighted property

The Georgia Welcome Center near the county seat of Screven county is an art moderne building significant for its role in Georgia’s tourism industry. Built in the early 1960s, this welcome center was just one of many steps Georgia took in the 1960s to increase tourism in the age of the automobile. Governor Vandiver made a substantial commitment to increase tourism in the state, especially by implementing a survey of highway tourists. A statewide tourism conference was held in 1961 and other efforts like this welcome center, increased Georgia’s reputation as a place for recreation and vacation. This building was the first state welcome center, a prototype and forerunner of six more information stations constructed within the next seven years.

The Georgia Welcome Center is an excellent and intact example of mid-20th century modernism in a small public building. Architect Edwin C. Eckles of Statesboro designed the building. The arched vaults on the exterior have a scalloped edge that seems to almost float above the lightweight glass and aluminum façade. The choice of a modern design, utilizing native Georgia marble details, fit with the new emphasis on state-of-the-art facilities for visitors.

To read the full file on the Georgia Welcome Center.

To see more photographs of National Register properties go to our photostream on Flickr.

See our Weekly List (with previous highlights)