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'We see it and it affects our lives': Two Macon men publish book on mid-century Macon architecture

'Mid-Century Macon: 1945-1969' details 40 different buildings throughout Macon that are constructed in the mid-century modern style.

MACON, Ga. — There are a lot of beautiful older buildings in Macon, and two men who know the city's architecture best just released a new book.

Jim Barfield and Walter Elliott are the creators behind a book called "Mid-Century Macon:1945-1969" that details 40 different buildings throughout Macon constructed in the mid-century modern style.

"It's been a lot of fun doing it and now we're adding to Macon's architectural history and heritage," said Barfield.

The book is the result of two years of work between them and Historic Macon. It's filled with colorful and intimate photos by Elliott and in-depth histories by Barfield.

But what is mid-century modern?

It is a form of architecture that became popular just after World War II. The style can be described as bringing the outdoors inside because of the large windows and natural materials that make the aesthetic so special. 

Neither Barfield or Elliott are architects by trade, but they bonded over their passion of architecture while on a bus tour.

The pair have been a team for 20 years and have published three previous books about Macon architecture. 

Elliott has loved mid-century homes for all his life, which includes the one he lives in that he's admired since he was four-years-old. 

He says the key to learning more about architecture is observing and asking questions. 

"You can look at how things have changed. This is mid-century modern and there was a shift in the early 70s to what's called post-modern and to the naked eye you would look at two sample structures and you would think 'well those are similar' but if you start to pay attention to the difference, even down to the color palettes, that are used you would go 'Oh I see,'" Elliott said. 

The pair say that architecture is a special artform because it is so accessible for everyone to enjoy.

"It's a very important form of art because we live in it, we live around it, through it. We see it and it affects our lives," Elliott said.

You can pick up art prints of photos from the book at the Macon Arts Alliance and you can order a copy for yourself through Historic Macon.


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