The Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta is in serious need of a facelift. In an area that has had a serious impact on the development of rights for African-Americans, it would be easy to think that many people would want to preserve this historically rich area. However, it is in a serious state of disrepair. All along Auburn Avenue, it is easy to see the derelict structures all around. Windows are boarded up, stoops are in shambles, and the sidewalks are filled with holes in some areas. There has been some interest in the area, but when this happens, only certain parts are renovated. Only enough room is cleared to make way for the incoming store or possible tenant. This leads to a problem when these companies move in, because if the entire area doesn’t look presentable, then they are unlikely to be able to entice as many possible customers as would otherwise be visiting the area. What is needed is a renovation of the entire street, but in a way that preserves the current buildings and maintains the possibility for people to come and see the cultural and historical value of the area.
Auburn Avenue is an area that offers a wealth of history in only a few short blocks. Starting as one of the richest African-American streets in the country and then being the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would go on to be on of the key leaders of the civil rights movement in America. Renovation of the area is not the solution. There need to be regulations in place that allows companies to come in and work on the area, but to maintain the historical value, it is necessary for them to have certain constraints as to what they are able to do. Bulldozing the entire street is not the solution. Going in and redoing the brickwork, fixing the stoops, and repaving the sidewalks are all little cosmetic changes that would make a world of difference. Going in and redoing the insides of the buildings is also important, but it is imperative that they don’t waste the space and make it possible for future people to examine.