Aerial Downtown Valdosta, looking east

Downtown Valdosta looking east, 1940s

This photo from around the 1940s shows downtown Valdosta looking east. In this picture are several prominent landmarks that are no longer standing. The large building in the field on the bottom left is the old brick Valdosta Institute, one of the oldest school buildings in Valdosta, which was razed in the 1950s. Directly above the Institute is the original Valdosta High School now on the property of First Baptist Church. The Central Avenue VHS was built in 1905 and demolished in the 1970s (not to be confused with the Valdosta High on Williams Street which opened in 1922). Across the street from the Institute, hiding behind the trees, is the Carnegie Library building, the current home of the Lowndes County Historical Museum. Above the library is the old Frank Bird Hospital, built in 1927. The structure still stands and serves as the youth building for First Baptist. One of the most important parts of this image is the view of the neighborhood near the bottom. All of these homes were demolished during the period of urban renewal in the 1950s and 60s and the rerouting of Central Avenue to connect with Hill Avenue. Other notable lost structures in this photograph is the second Valdes Hotel, the Patterson Hotel, the ‘Big 12’ Jail, and the old Toombs Street Fire Station.