Photo Gallery: Griffin Commercial District
Historic Name: Griffin Grocery Company Building
Griffin Regional Welcome Center
Total area of the facility is 19,700 square feet. Project funding for
renovations was provided by the Department of Transportationís
Transportation Enhancement Activity (TEA) and the City of Griffin.
The late Mr. B. R. Blakely, Sr., a prominent local citizen and
entrepreneur involved in agribusiness, banking and wholesale
distribution, originally constructed the building in 1899. Due to its
proximity to the Dixie Highway and the Central and Southern Railroad and
Depot, the site was a strategic marketplace and shipping/receiving
point. Local historians recall that the role Griffin Grocery Company
played was extremely instrumental in Griffinís commercial development.
Early in the century, it is believed that the building was one of the
first warehouses in the region with major cold storage facilities. The
whole sale grocery business thrived and Mr. Blakely later added a flour
mill and additional storage facilities to the property. This addition
virtually connected the Griffin Grocery Company building the contiguous
Union Depot located at the west end of the property (at the intersection
of Eighth and Broad Street). After abandonment, the Union Depot
building, like many other depots throughout the country, was demolished
in the mid-1970ís, leaving Griffin Grocery Company Building as the only
remaining landmark and reminder in the central commercial district that
a depot once existed.
The rehabilitation of the Griffin Grocery Company Building was carried
out in accordance with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for
Rehabilitation of Historic Building. Its rehabilitation and the
preservation along with the Streetscape Program have already helped
foster the revitalization of the downtown business district and
encourage other investments and development.
The building currently is named the Griffin Regional Welcome Center and
housed within itís walls is the Griffiní/Spalding Chamber of Commerce,
Griffin Downtown Development Authority, Main Street and Downtown Council
office, Griffin Museum, the City of Griffin Economic Development office,
and a banquet room and meeting facility available for rental and a
display of works by local artists. The building is open to the public
week days from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
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