Sunday, June 3, 2012

Immaculate Conception No More

The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and its Academy were built and dedicated in 1913 by the African Missionary Fathers of the Catholic Church. Located on the corner of Gwinnett Street (now Laney-Walker Boulevard) and Eleventh Street, the original two buildings of red brick consisted of the church and its parochial school. Taught by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception whose convent and boarding school were a block away on Twelfth Street, the school attracted African American students of all faiths. With two additional buildings added later in the 20th century, the campus had been a cornerstone in the Laney-Walker neighborhood for nearly a century.

Although the Church was closed in the 1974, the school remained at this site until 2009, when it moved to Telfair Street and Eighth Street. Last week, the old Immaculate Conception School - attended by my grandmother, my father and his seven brothers and sisters, was demolished. Next week, I suspect that the church building, shown below, will follow suit.

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