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Georgia town votes to remove 'Market House' pavilion where slave auctions were held

Georgia town votes to remove 'Market House' pavilion where slave auctions were held
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A rural Georgia town voted Wednesday to remove the Market House pavilion that was once used to sell slaves. 

Louisville City Administrator Richard Sapp said the city council voted 4-1 during a Tuesday night meeting to take down the Market House, The Associated Press reported. 

Sapp said the city has to check with transportation officials to see if the removal does not go against historic preservation rules, but the administration was hopeful the process could be completed in a month, according to the newswire. 

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The city must create a plan for what to do with the structure, he reportedly said. Members of a committee tasked with recommending a plan to city officials have called for the structure to be moved to a museum built in the community, the AP reports. 

The city council’s vote to remove the structure comes amid nationwide protests over racial inequality sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May. The protests have renewed calls to take down Confederate monuments. 

Similar to opponents of removing Confederate monuments, those opposed to removing the Market House cited its historic value, according to the AP. But critics said it was a reminder of the painful history and didn’t belong in downtown Louisville, according to the newswire. 

The structure was built between 1795 and 1798 and serves as the center of commerce in Louisville when it was briefly the state capital, AP reported citing documents filed with the U.S. Department of Interior in 1977 nominating it for the national Register of Historic places. 

Slaves were sold at the structure from its inceptions, and it was also used to sell land and household goods, according to the AP.