Fort Oglethorpe seeks to revitalize historic downtown

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / The Sears Shoe Store goes out of business as work continues along Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe on Friday, June 18, 2021.

The historic downtown area of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, has been hit hard by time and changes to traffic flow.

But with the help of the Georgia Renaissance Strategic Visioning and Planning Program, which includes a grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation and a partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government out of the University of Georgia, the city of Fort Oglethorpe is engaging in the beginning process of revitalizing what was once a more bustling town center.

Director of Public Works Jeff Long, who has worked with the city for almost 30 years, said that plans in the 1990s and 2000s that redirected portions of Highway 27 to go around the Chickamauga Battlefield initially dropped traffic downtown from between 12,000 and 15,000 vehicles to around 4,000 daily.