Liberty District gets much needed facelift - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Liberty District gets much needed facelift

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Mary Riggins grew up in the Liberty District of Columbus, living in the Booker T. Washington apartments with her family over 30 years ago.

Now she lives in her family home just down the street on 5th Avenue. Riggins says the project to recapture the historic area is long overdue.

"Everything is torn down, it's not up to date," Riggins said.  

She remembers when the Liberty District thrived. Mary's not the only one. Greater Beulah Baptist Church Pastor C. Medley Hayes wants to see life breathed back into the run-down area.

"Sometimes you have to tear up before you can fix up, right now it's being torn but this is going to be a beautiful area when it is done," Hayes said.

People who live there are nervous about having to leave their homes because of all the changes in the Liberty District. Pastor Hayes says there will be change, but it's for the better.

"There will be some people relocated but the thing is every house that is torn down in our area is going to be rebuilt," Hayes said.

"The only thing down here mostly is business, you have Booker T. Washington, and that's about it. There are a few neighbors but everything else has been torn down. There used to be people living all around here, but they aren't here anymore," Riggins said.

Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hughley spoke with us by phone Tuesday. He says that the revitalization project will hopefully attract more people to the Liberty District. The city is purchasing properties for commercial and residential use.

Though he hasn't been given officials orders yet, Pastor Hayes is planning to relocate his church with hopes of building something bigger.

"Looking at other areas right here in our community with more land we want to do more things. We are excited about the growth in the area," Hayes said.

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