16. Founded in 1847, Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is known as Atlanta’s AME mother church. Known as Sweet Auburn’s City Hall, President William Howard Taft and Nelson Mandela are among the individuals that have spoken at this institution since its 1924 erection.


18. The Royal Peacock Club provided an elegant setting where many African Americans could perform and bring the changing styles of black popular music to Atlanta. Originally called the Top Hat Club when it opened in 1938, the club hosted local talent and national acts such as B.B. King, the Four Tops, the Tams and Atlanta’s own Gladys Knight.




22. This building was completed in 1920 to serve as the headquarters for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. The company was founded in 1905 by a former enslaved person, Alonzo Herndon, who went on to become one of the first African-American millionaires in the country.

One of the many significant commercial buildings within the district is the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. The second largest black insurance company in the United States, Atlanta Life Insurance was founded in 1905 by Alonzo Herndon, a former slave from Walton County, Georgia. The company steadily grew so that by 1910, there were more than 42 branch offices. The central building of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company complex is a Beaux Arts building facing Auburn Avenue.

23. Centennial Hall – Atlanta Life Financial Group

24. The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History is operated by the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System.

25. Established in 1918 as an open air market, the Municipal Market houses thirty local businesses and ten eateries a block south of Auburn Avenue at 209 Edgewood Avenue, SE.


27. Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1976, the Sweet Auburn Historic District covers 19 acres of a historic black neighborhood just east of Downtown Atlanta.


29. The King Center Institution.

30. Looking west on Auburn Avenue towards Downtown Atlanta from the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.


Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com