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The Louise Taylor Listening Device


Photo credit: Steve Minor

Unearthed in 2011 during the Beltline construction, this “urban relic” features a narrative centered around the story of Louise Taylor. Reports indicate that she followed the love of her life to Atlanta from rural Alabama in 1968 only to be widowed six months later.  She plunged into a life of sadness and desperation that led her to construct this 'part ear trumpet/part folk art sculpture.  Interviews with family and neighbors revealed that she would sit in a chair for hours every evening with her ear against the opening hoping for 'the voice' of her departed lover.

 The piece was constructed with several crude wooden uprights surrounding a rusted tin cone shape that is three feet across at the top and funnels down to a two inch opening and twenty feet at the highest point. Her chair sat beside this sculpture.

 Pushed down during the Beltline construction, the listening device and chair were collected and stored in order to preserve this historical artifact.


A corresponding blog started in March 2012 features oral histories of family, friends and neighbors as well as research regarding the histories associated with this piece. 

Please visit: www.awhisperfromtheheavens.blogspot.com to follow this ongoing investigation.




A midday class visits The Listening Device.


Antonio Hernandez assisted in the restoration
and installation of The Listening Device.