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DeKalb County Historical Markers

The Beacon Community (Side 1)

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Beacon Community (Side 1)
  • Location: Beacon Hill Arts Center, W. Trinity at Electric Ave, Decatur


The Beacon Community was the center of Decatur’s African-American community until its demolition by the Urban Renewal programs of the mid-1960s. Bounded by N. McDonough Street on the east, W. Trinity Place on the north, Waters Street on the west and Howard Avenue to the south, the area included a tight-knit residential community, schools and churches in addition to numerous African-American owned businesses. Atlanta Avenue once connected Trinity Place West (formerly Herring Street) and Howard Avenue and was the center of the African-American business district. Tyler Funeral Home is the only remaining business.

The buildings on this site once housed Beacon Elementary and Trinity High Schools. They served African-American children until 1967 when the integration of the Decatur School System was completed. These schools replaced the Herring Street School that served the community from 1913 to 1956.

(Continued on other side)