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Destroyed building was constructed in 1848 as the Methodist Church
The historic building that housed the main offices of Marietta Lighting was destroyed by fire on Thursday. Firefighters fought for hours to get the blaze under control but to no avail.
Construction workers had been seen renovating an annex of the light fixtures company. It's not known if work was also being done on the main building, and if perhaps it was the cause of the fire. The Marietta Fire Department is investigating.
On Atlanta Street it stood, first serving as the Methodist Church of Marietta from 1848 to 1898. When the congregation moved to a new and larger building closer to the square, the building underwent a dramatic change, being acquired
by J.J. Black who converted it into an opera house.
Here, he presented travelling dramatic companies and local companies.
With folding seats, sloping floor, footlights, scenery and curtain, it gave Mariettans a modern and interesting place for entertainment. The orchestra seated about 125, the gallery perhaps 50. But the opera house would not last long.
In 1906, the building was altered to fit the needs of the new Catholic church. St. Joseph's congregation worshipped there until 1929, until a new sanctuary was built on Church Street. (It later moved to its present location on Lacy Street.)
Now the building on Atlanta Street, nearly a century old, underwent another major change. It became a car dealership. The front of the building was altered to provide two large display windows, and wide double door. Inside, the sloping floor was levelled. The basement was converted into a mechanics' garage.
Somewhere down the road, the car dealership moved and Marietta Lighting eventually opened inside the historic building that had so many purposes - until Thursday.
Source: Historic Highlights In Cobb County, published in 1973
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