|Originally a crossroads settlement that served the trading needs of a small community of rural farmers, the city of Lithonia, Georgia grew with the development of the Georgia Railroad (now CSX). The line, which runs southeast-to-northwest through the historic commercial center of town, connected the city with Atlanta and Augusta in 1845. The rail line allowed Lithonia to prosper beginning in the late 191h century as a center of the regional granite industry. The Lithonia Historic District is significant under Criterion C in the area of architecture for its representative collection of commercial and residential buildings that reflect design and construction traditions found throughout Georgia. House types in the district, as defined in the statewide context Georgia's Living Places: Historic Houses in Their Landscaped Settings, include central hallway, Georgian cottage, gabled-wing cottage, Queen Anne cottage, New South cottage, pyramid cottage, bungalow, Ranch house, I-House, Queen Anne house, and American Foursquare. Commercial types, as defined in "Commercial Types in Georgia," include single retail, multiple retail, and retail & office types. Stylistic influences in the district include Second Empire, Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Neoclassical Revival, English Vernacular Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival. The Lithonia Historic District is also significant under Criterion A. The district is significant in the area of community planning and development as a representative example of a crossroads town with a railroad, as defined in the statewide context Georgia Community Development and Morphology of Community Types. In the area of industry, the Lithonia Historic District is significant for the role that Lithonia gneiss, a type of granite for which the city is named and because of which it prospered, has played in construction throughout the U.S. since 1879. The district contains a portion of a former quarry as a contributing site, and Lithonia gneiss features prominently in much of the district's architecture, reinforcing the importance of the granite mining industry to the city's development. In the area of black ethnic heritage, the district is significant because of the presence of an intact substantial African American community, the Bruce Street Community, with several key landmark buildings, including the ruins of a 1938 African American school, a 1955 equalization school, and two cemeteries. The district is also significant in the area of European ethnic heritage because of the influence of European immigrants, who came to the area to fulfill the quarries' need for skilled labor, on the district's development. The Lithonia Historic District is significant at the local level as a good representative example of a medium-sized Georgia town that retains its historic development patterns and a remarkable variety of intact historic commercial, residential, industrial, and community resources.