South View Cemetery

Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States

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South-View Cemetery is Atlanta, Georgia’s oldest and arguably most historic African American cemetery. Yet, as Georgia State University historian Richard Laub noted in a 2010 interview with alt-weekly Creative Loafing, it’s an “unjustly ignored site” that doesn’t receive the same amount of support, recognition, and respect that its better-known Atlanta counterpart, Oakland Cemetery, gets. The article for which Laub was interviewed was titled, “Atlanta’s forgotten black history.” Founded in 1886, South-View is the final resting place for many of Atlanta’s black elite. According to the cemetery’s website, more than 70,000 people are interred in the cemetery’s rolling 200 acres and it is the oldest surviving African American non-eleemosynary corporation in the United States. Insurance millionaire Alonzo F. Herndon (1858-1927) shares the landscape with many of Atlanta’s most respected African American clergy and civil rights leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. briefly was buried in South-View before his body was reinterred at the The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (King Center) in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Historic District. King’s father is buried there along with many of the nation’s leading civil rights figures. Also buried at South-view are lynching victims and Atlantans who died in the 1906 race riot. School teachers, musicians, masons, and writers also are buried there as are victims of serial killers in the 1910s and the 1979-1981 Atlanta child murders. South-View Cemetery is a veritable African American History Who-Was-Who Despite the cemetery’s long-recognized historical significance, it is not listed in the National Register of Historic Places nor is it a designated City of Atlanta landmark or historic district (Oakland Cemetery was designated in 1989). It also appears to have not merited a good faith effort to identify historic properties and evaluate the effects of a personal wireless facility that was constructed on commercial property at 2009 Jonesboro Road SE. The parcel is owned by the South-View Cemetery Association. Now owned by Crown Castle International Corporation, a national communications tower company based in Canonsburg, Pa., the 199-foot monopole tower appears to have been constructed by the now-defunct Southeast Towers, Inc. as an antenna support structure for Voicestream Wireless, a company that was acquired in 2002 by wireless carrier T-Mobile. Because it is below 200 feet, the tower is not registered in the Federal Communications Commission’s Antenna Structure Registration database. The lack of registration also means that the tower was determined by its builder, acting on behalf of the FCC in National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act regulatory compliance, to not adversely affect properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
South View Cemetery, Created by BillionGraves, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States