Lanier University

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Lanier University as it was planned. Only the rightmost building, Arlington Hall, was built
Former Arlington Hall of Lanier University, now the Canterbury School

Lanier University, named after poet Sidney Lanier, was a short-lived university in today's Morningside-Lenox Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia.[1]

Charles Lewis Fowler, a Baptist minister, founded Lanier in 1917. He hoped for financing from Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler but instead got backing from the Georgia Baptist Association. Lanier was to be Georgia's first co-ed Baptist college.[2]

Architect A. Ten Eyck Brown made architectural plans for the new campus in Morningside on a crescent-shaped strip of land (see illustration). At the head of this strip, at University Drive and Spring Valley Lane, would stand a replica of the Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington, Virginia. This was built and named Arlington Hall.[2]

The University Park subdivision was developed around the university in 1921, and University Drive is also a reminder of that time.

Financial problems plagued the school; in 1921 the property was sold to the Ku Klux Klan, which owned it for a year, with Nathan Bedford Forrest II (grandson of the Confederate general by the same name) as Secretary and Business Manager. The university failed within a year, closing on September 1, 1922.[3] It was sold that October.

The property became a synagogue. In 1949 Congregation Shearith Israel, then in Summerhill, bought the property from the estate of Walter E. King.[2] During this time Summerhill was deteriorating due to the construction of the Downtown Connector freeway, and many Jews were moving from there to Morningside, where many would later join to fight the construction of the I-485 freeway through Morningside.

Since 2009, Arlington Hall has been occupied by the Canterbury School, while the synagogue remains in buildings behind it to the east.

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