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Essay on Antebellum Atlanta
Essay on Industrial Atlanta
Essay on African American Experience
Essay on Growth and Preservation
List of Sites
Begin the Tour
The National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places
and Southeast Regional Office, in conjunction with the Atlanta History
Center, the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department
of Natural Resources, and the National Conference of State Historic
Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), proudly invite you to explore Atlanta,
Georgia. Atlanta began as the terminal point of the Western
and Atlantic Railroad, a project authorized by the State of Georgia
in 1836. Originally known as Terminus, and later Marthasville, by
the Civil War Atlanta was a bustling city. Crippled by the burning
of the city during the war, Atlanta rebounded during the last part
of the century. Today it is home to more than 4 million people and
is considered the entertainment and cultural center of the South,
attracting more than 17 million travelers each year. This latest
National Register of Historic Places travel itinerary highlights
70 historic places that tell the story of this capital city--from
its picturesque homes to its reaching skyscrapers--tales of former
slaves, educators, authors, and millionaires who have shaped the
development of Atlanta over the past two centuries.
Union General William T. Sherman's occupation of Atlanta during
the Civil War left much of the city in ruin, and antebellum era
buildings such as the Tullie Smith House are
today a rarity. Yet Atlantans rebuilt quickly as the city became
the junction of three of the region's most important railroad lines,
and the location for the Georgia State Capitol
in 1868. The end of the 19th century brought great industrial development,
with factories such as E. Van Winkle's Gin and Machine
Works, lining the railroad corridors radiating from downtown.
By the turn of the century, skyscrapers such as the English-American
Building were dotting the city's skyline, and the dense redevelopment
of downtown Atlanta had pushed residents to the
edges of the city. Numerous suburban developments emerged such as
West End, Inman Park, Druid
Hills and Ansley Park. African Americans
were establishing their own neighborhoods of Washington
Park and Sweet Auburn, and institutions such
as Atlanta University. Atlanta became the birthplace
of the Coca-Cola empire--home to the company's founder, Asa Candler,
who erected the Candler Building as a monument
to himself, and the location of the early Dixie Coca-Cola
Bottling Company Plant. Popular authors Margaret
Mitchell (Gone With the Wind) and Joel
Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus Tales) called Atlanta home,
as well as major leaders in the black community such as Alonzo
Herndon, a former slave who founded the Atlanta Life Insurance
Company, and Civil Rights movement leader, Martin
Luther King, Jr.
Atlanta, Georgia offers several ways to discover these
places that reflect the history of this southern city. Each highlighted
site features a brief description of the place's historic significance,
color and, where available, historic photographs, and public accessibility
information. At the bottom of each page the visitor will find a
navigation bar containing links to four essays that explain more
about Antebellum Atlanta, Industrial
Atlanta, the African American Experience,
and Growth and Preservation. These essays
provide historic background, or "contexts," for many of the places
included in the itinerary. In the Learn More
section, the itineraries link to regional and local web sites that
provide visitors with further information regarding cultural events,
special activities, and lodging and dining possibilities. The itinerary
can be viewed online, or printed out if you plan to visit Atlanta
Created through a partnership between the National Park Service's
National Register of Historic Places and Southeast Regional Office,
in cooperation with the Atlanta History Center, the Historic Preservation
Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and NCSHPO,
Atlanta, Georgia is the latest example of a new and exciting
cooperative project. As part of the Department of the Interior's
strategy to promote public awareness of history and encourage tourists
to visit historic places throughout the nation, the National Register
of Historic Places is cooperating with communities, regions, and
Heritage Areas throughout the United States to create online travel
itineraries. Using places nominated by State, Federal and Tribal
Historic Preservation Offices and listed in the National Register
of Historic Places, the itineraries help potential visitors plan
their next trip by highlighting the amazing diversity of this country's
historic places and supplying accessibility information for each
featured site. Atlanta, Georgia is the 25th National Register
travel itinerary successfully created through such partnerships.
Additional itineraries will debut online in the future. The National
Register of Historic Places and Southeast Regional Office hope you
enjoy this virtual travel itinerary of Atlanta's heritage. If you
have any comments or questions, please just click on the provided
e-mail address, "comments or questions" located at the bottom of
Today, Atlanta is often identified with its major air transportation
hub and automobile-oriented culture. This association is only fitting,
since antebellum Atlanta quickly grew from a frontier outpost to
a bustling city largely due to the rise of transportation. From
old Indian trails to ferries to railroads, Atlanta's early history
is intertwined with the movement of people and goods. Atlanta's
economy and its youth--it was founded in 1837--made it vastly different
from the plantation South and older eastern seaboard cities like
Savannah and Charleston. Instead of a planter aristocracy, the leaders
of pre-Civil War Atlanta were more likely to be merchants or railroad
The original inhabitants of the north Georgia locale that would
one day become the Atlanta metropolitan area were the Cherokee and
Creek nations, with the Chattahoochee River separating the two.
Despite treaties and other official policies prohibiting white encroachment,
white settlers moved into the region. In 1830 the United States
Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which called for the relocation
of all southeastern Indians to western territories. The Cherokee
Nation contested the act in court, but the discovery of gold on
Cherokee lands near Dahlonega in 1832 brought an influx of white
squatters and gold hunters, and the state of Georgia illegally surveyed
and parceled out the Indian lands. In 1838 General Winfield Scott
and his troops rounded up the Indians and began the forced march
west to Arkansas and Oklahoma. Some 18,000 Indians were forced to
leave their homes and lands in Georgia on a journey known as the
"Trail of Tears." Almost 4,000 died en route. The lands they formerly
occupied were opened to white development, but evidence of the first
inhabitants abounds in geographic names still used today: Chattahoochee
and Oconee from the Creeks, and Kennesaw, Tallulah, and Dahlonega
from the Cherokees.
In 1837 the Western and Atlantic Railroad, a state-sponsored project,
established a town at the termination point for the railroad, calling
that location "Terminus." You can see that railroad's historic Western
and Atlantic Railroad Zero Milepost just north of Underground
Atlanta, a shopping and entertainment area. In 1843 the town
was named Marthasville in honor of the daughter of former Governor
Wilson Lumpkin, who had been instrumental in bringing railroads
to the area. Two years later, the town was incorporated as Atlanta.
The origin of this name is the subject of some debate, with some
people saying that it is the feminine version of the "Atlantic"
part of the railroad's name, while others believe it is a variation
of Martha Lumpkin's middle name, Atalanta. Some cities in the metropolitan
area were founded earlier than Atlanta: Lawrenceville (1821), Decatur
(1823), and Fayetteville (1827).
Because of the Chattahoochee River, some of the earliest businesses
in Atlanta were ferries and mills. The road named after Hardy Pace's
ferry--Paces Ferry--winds its way in front of the governor's mansion
and other prestigious addresses in the upscale Buckhead section
of Atlanta. The site of James Power's ferry, and the road named
after it (Powers Ferry), is now the location of numerous office
parks and apartment complexes. Some of these ferry services survived
well into the 20th century. Antebellum gristmills and sawmills also
left behind traces through such names as Moores Mill Road and Howell
Railroads, however, were the key to Atlanta's rapid growth. In
1836, only 35 families occupied the area. The population expanded
to 2,572 residents by 1850. At the beginning of the Civil War, Atlanta,
with a population of more than 9,000, was the connecting point for
several rail lines, including the Georgia Railroad from Augusta,
Georgia; the Macon and Western, from Macon, Georgia; the Atlanta
and West Point to West Point, Georgia; and the original railroad
that created Atlanta, the Western and Atlantic to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Railroad-related industries thrived, including the Atlanta Rolling
Mill, the second largest manufacturer of railroad tracks in the
Southeast. These businesses and railroads centered on the area that
Underground Atlanta occupies today.
Another antebellum landmark is Oakland Cemetery,
Atlanta's first municipal cemetery, established in 1850. If you
are looking for an antebellum Georgia plantation, Tullie Smith Farm
at the Atlanta History Center on West Paces Ferry Road demonstrates
how some north Georgia farmers lived and worked. This plantation-plain-style
house was built just outside the present-day city by the Robert
Smith family in the 1840s. Smith was a yeoman farmer who owned 11
slaves and cultivated about two hundred acres in DeKalb County.
Hogs and cattle ranged freely on the other 600 acres. Despite popular
belief to the contrary, the large, extravagant plantations of Hollywood
and romantic novels were more the exception than the rule in the
Upper Piedmont portion of the South. Tullie Smith Farm consists
of a farmhouse, a separate open-hearth kitchen, vegetable, herb,
and flower gardens, a blacksmith shop, a smokehouse, and a barn
complete with animals. Living history interpreters lead tours and
demonstrate the crafts and everyday activities.
While some enslaved persons in antebellum Atlanta were agricultural
laborers, most worked as general laborers and domestic servants
or else pursued skilled trades as brickmasons, carpenters, and blacksmiths.
Many of these slaves were hired out and sometimes were allowed to
keep a portion of their wages. These men and women often went about
their daily lives with little or no interference from their owners,
but the city passed numerous ordinances restricting their movement
and assigned much harsher penalties for slaves and free blacks found
guilty of infractions than whites guilty of the same offense.
While at the Atlanta History Center, visit the permanent exhibition
Metropolitan Frontiers. This exhibition presents the story of Atlanta,
from the original Indian inhabitants through its emergence as a
major transportation and global communications hub, told through
photographs, rare artifacts, and video and audio clips.
Essay by Andy Ambrose, Karen Leathem and Charles Smith of the
Atlanta History Center. For more on Atlanta's history, see:
Andy Ambrose, Atlanta: An Illustrated History. Athens, Ga.:
Hill Street Press, 2003.
When General William T. Sherman and his 98,000 Union soldiers marched
out of Chattanooga in early May 1864, few Atlantans felt threatened,
confident in General Joseph E. Johnston's ability to keep the Yankee
intruders at bay. Outgunned and out-manned, however, Johnston could
only feint and parry with his enemy and, in spite of significant
Confederate victories at Resaca, New Hope Church, and Kennesaw
Mountain, the 50,000-man Confederate army was forced to withdraw
to the south side of the Chattahoochee River by early July, burning
the bridges at their rear as they took up positions in the heavy
fortifications that ringed Atlanta. Two weeks later, the entire
Union army had crossed the river as well and even the Confederates'
new general, John Bell Hood, could not stave off the inevitable.
Fierce fighting north of the city at Peachtree Creek cost the
Confederates nearly 5,000 casualties on July 20. Two days later,
another 7,000 were lost east of the city at what became known as
the Battle of Atlanta, an engagement immortalized in the Cyclorama
at Grant Park. As the city was subjected to a month-long bombardment
by Union gunners, the battles at Ezra Church on July 28 and at Jonesboro
on August 31 cost the Confederates another 10,000 casualties and
finally forced the city's capitulation on September 2. Residents
who had not already fled were forcibly evacuated on September 20
as the city became an armed camp for Sherman's army. On November
14, with his army rested and re-supplied, Sherman ordered the city
burned and, the next morning, set out on his "March to the Sea,"
determined to "make Georgia howl."
Sherman's campaign and occupation left Atlanta's business district,
most of its industrial base, and many residences in ruins. By some
estimates, two-thirds of the city's buildings were destroyed when
the Union army departed in November 1864, and hardship followed
for many residents. Yet even before the war ended the following
spring, Atlanta was rapidly rebuilding, and by the end of 1865 at
least 150 stores were open for business. The city's location at
the junction of three of the region's most important railroad lines
insured its renaissance, and building on the promise of the railroads,
city boosters wasted little time grieving the "Lost Cause." "A new
city is springing up with marvelous rapidity," one contemporary
observer noted, and many saw a city that was already more northern
than southern, both in the pace of civic life and in its faith in
industry and commerce. "Atlanta is a devil of a place," one rural
visitor wrote, " . . . The men rush about like mad, and keep up
such a bustle, worry, and chatter, that it runs me crazy." Removal
of the capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868 confirmed the
shift in political and economic power that occurred as a result
of the Civil War; and as Savannah and Charleston stagnated, Atlanta
Atlanta was already looming large over the region, and by 1870
was the fourth-largest inland port for cotton in the Southeast.
Its wholesale "drummers" dominated the State's retail supply markets,
and with excellent railroad and communication connections, Atlanta
was a natural center for banking and commerce of all sorts. Downtown
merchants and grocers alone generated more than $35 million in trade
annually by the early 1870s, and the opening of the Kimball House
hotel in 1872 signaled the growing importance of the city's hospitality
Although Atlanta's population was only 37,500 in 1880, it ranked
among the 50 largest cities in the United States and the largest
city between Richmond and New Orleans. Henry Grady's
campaign for a "New South" of industrial development, regional cooperation,
and tolerant race relations was not entirely successful; but much
of what he did benefited Atlanta and set the tone for the next 50
years. In 1881, city boosters held the first in a series of "international"
expositions to promote the city's textile and industrial development,
culminating in the ambitious Cotton States and International Exposition,
which drew a million visitors to Piedmont Park
in the fall of 1895. Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill,
E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works, Atlantic
Steel, and Ford Motor Company's first Atlanta
assembly plant were only the most prominent of dozens of cotton
and mercantile warehouses, factories, and textile mills that lined
the railroad corridors radiating from downtown.
Atlanta's population rose above 65,000 in 1890, soared to over
150,000 in 1910, and surpassed 200,000 in 1920. By then, the dense
redevelopment of much of downtown Atlanta had
crowded out most of the old residential buildings, some of which
had survived Sherman's fires in 1864, and new construction was replacing
them with larger and larger office buildings, hotels, factories,
and warehouses. When it was completed in 1892, the South's first
"skyscraper," the eight-story Equitable Building, loomed large on
the skyline of Atlanta; but by World War I, it was overshadowed
by taller buildings, including the English-American,
Candler, and Hurt buildings.
In the 1870s and 1880s, mule-drawn and steam-powered streetcar
lines as well as commuter train service sparked suburban development,
and with electric streetcars fanning growth after 1889, residential
real estate became a major industry in the city. Older neighborhoods
continued to grow, especially around West End
and Grant Park; and the expositions at Piedmont
Park in 1887, 1889, and 1895 were a tremendous catalyst for
residential development in unincorporated "North Atlanta" along
Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue north of Ponce de Leon Avenue.
In the 1890s and early 1900s, new residential districts emerged
as old farms on the outskirts of the city were rapidly carved up
into fashionable "garden suburbs." Beginning with Joel Hurt's Inman
Park in 1889, streetcars drove suburban development in Ansley
Park, Druid Hills, Candler Park, Adair
Park, and dozens of others that followed in the first quarter
of the 20th century.
Widespread automobile ownership after World War I helped expand
Atlanta's suburbs and at the same time brought downtown traffic
to a near standstill as automobiles competed with streetcars and
pedestrians for a place on the city's crowded streets. By the end
of World War I, thriving neighborhood business districts with grocery
stores, drugs stores, laundries, and hardware stores had evolved
all around the city, most notably around Peachtree and Tenth, Little
Five Points, and West End.
With segregation, especially after the 1906 race riots shattered
the carefully-crafted veneer of the "New South," Atlanta's black
communities coalesced around the famous religious and educational
institutions that emerged after the Civil War, including Gammon
Theological Seminary southeast of downtown and Atlanta
University and the Washington Park neighborhood
on the west. By World War I, black-owned businesses, churches, and
other institutions prospered and gave support to a community that
was, perhaps, better prepared than some to endure and resist the
rule of Jim Crow. In May 1917, fire burned across 300 acres of northeast
Atlanta, destroying nearly 2,000 buildings and leaving 10,000 people
homeless, most of them African Americans in the overcrowded Fourth
Ward. The fire accelerated the northward exodus, known as the Great
Migration, of the city's African Americans already underway as the
burgeoning auto and defense industries in Chicago, Detroit, and
other big northern cities offered new economic opportunities and,
it was hoped, better living conditions in general.
As the boll weevil ruined the South's agricultural economy after
World War I, the great real estate boom in Florida provoked Atlanta,
Columbus, and other cities to mount advertising campaigns to stem
the flow of investment out of Georgia. In 1926, just months before
a hurricane put an end to the Florida boom, the city embarked on
its first "Forward Atlanta" campaign that, in three years, generated
20,000 new jobs worth an additional $34.5 million annually to the
In addition, the city, urged on by Alderman and later mayor William
B. Hartsfield, established a municipal airport on Asa Candler's
old motor speedway south of town in 1929; and by the end of 1930,
only New York and Chicago had more regularly-scheduled flights than
Atlanta's Candler Field. In 1931, the nation's first passenger terminal
was constructed at the airport, followed by the nation's first air-traffic
control tower in 1938. Now named Hartsfield International Airport,
Atlanta's municipal airport insured that the city would remain a
major transportation hub, a position that was reinforced by the
three interstate highways that were built through the city after
World War II.
As the national economy slid into depression, building activity
virtually ceased in Atlanta in the early 1930s. Works Progress Administration
and other New Deal programs made possible significant improvements
to the city's infrastructure in the last half of the decade, and
the city saw a resumption of some private residential development
as well as construction of its first civic center, its first downtown
park since the 1860s, and the nation's first Federally-funded housing
project. In addition to improvements at the municipal airport, the
city benefited from construction of the State's first, four-lane,
super highway to Marietta in 1938. In the 1930s and 1940s, the city's
growth slowed dramatically from the astounding double-digit rates
that were typical in previous decades, but with the end of World
War II, suburban development skyrocketed.
A comprehensive plan for the city's development was laid out in
1946 and included a major focus on "urban renewal" and on a new
system of "expressways" that would eventually be incorporated into
the nation's interstate highway system. In 1952, annexation of Buckhead
and residential neighborhoods north and west of the city tripled
the city's land area and added 100,000 new residents; and although
the city's population would peak at just under 500,000 in 1970,
there were already a million residents in a five-county metropolitan
area by 1960. "The city too busy to hate," as the city's leadership
proclaimed in the 1950s, Atlanta would soon be not just a regional
powerhouse, but one of the leaders of the "Sun Belt" that rearranged
American politics, business, and culture in the late 20th century.
Essay by Tommy Jones, Architectural Historian with the National
Park Service's Southeast Regional Office.
he history of African Americans in Atlanta is synonymous with the
history of Atlanta itself, and is one of progress and perseverance.
From the early days of slaveholding until today, when the last five
mayors of Atlanta have been African Americans, the story of the
largest southern city can be told through the experiences of its
largest ethnic minority.
The majority of African Americans were originally brought over
from Western Africa and Madagascar as part of the slave trade between
1760 and 1810. Charleston, South Carolina, became the major southern
port where African Americans were introduced to the lower south.
By 1750 an estimated 240,000 Africans or people of African descent
lived in British North America, comprising nearly 20 percent of
the total colonial population, mostly concentrated in the southern
colonies. In Georgia and South Carolina the wealthy planters drew
upon the skills and knowledge of African Americans brought from
Senegambia to aid in the cultivation of rice, which was the first
major export crop of these southern colonies. The slave trade from
Africa was halted by the U.S. Congress after January 1, 1808, and
in the North the gradual abolition of slavery took place. In the
South, economic factors, notably the invention of the cotton gin
in 1793, kept the institution alive.
The city of Atlanta originated in the 19th century. Starting out
as Terminus in 1837, and later named Marthasville in 1843, the rapidly
growing town incorporated under the present day name of Atlanta
in 1845. Already by 1850, Atlanta had a population which included
493 African slaves, 18 free blacks, and 2,058 whites. This small
population would grow, and by 1870, the black population of Atlanta
comprised 46 percent of 21,700 residents, a proportion roughly maintained
to the end of the 19th century.
The Civil War: The early history of African Americans in
Atlanta was forever altered by the Civil War. Georgia banded together
with other southern states to create the Confederate States of America,
fearing that the election of Abraham Lincoln to the American Presidency
in 1860 election would usher in a strong Federal government opposed
to slavery. Overall, as Peter Kolchin wrote about African Americans
in American Slavery 1619-1877, although "some stood loyally
by their masters and mistresses through thick and thin," when Union
troops approached, "the transformation of master-slave relations
became unmistakable as slaves sensed their impending liberation."
General William T. Sherman invaded Georgia from the northwest in
May 1864. Later that year he took control of the city of Atlanta
and forced evacuation of the citizenry when his armies burned the
city before leaving to continue their march to the sea.
Many slaves escaped to follow Sherman's armies. Burke Davis recorded
in his book, Sherman's March, that, concerned about the mobility
of his army, "Sherman issued orders in Atlanta barring the elderly,
the infirm and mothers with young children from joining the march."
Under political pressure, Sherman in January of 1865 ordered thousands
of acres of abandoned land in the Sea Islands and low country of
Georgia and South Carolina to be made available to the freed slaves
for homesteading. This order was later rescinded by President Andrew
Johnson. Congress, violently opposed to President Johnson, later
passed the Southern Homestead Act in 1866, which allowed for homesteading
on public lands in five deep southern states, although enforcing
this later proved difficult.
Reconstruction in Atlanta: In the spring of 1865 the exhausted
Confederacy collapsed and Union control was exerted over the entire
South. The Atlanta City Council later that year vowed equal application
of laws to whites and blacks, and a school for black children, the
first in the city, opened in an old church building on Armstrong
Street. In 1867, General John Pope, the U.S. General in charge of
Atlanta, issued orders allowing African Americans to serve on juries.
In 1868, the State legislature, in defiance of Georgia's Governor
Bullock, expelled 28 newly elected African Americans from the legislature.
The State Supreme Court reinstated the legislators the following
In 1869, the State legislature voted against ratifying the 15th
Amendment, which guarantees that the right to vote will not be abridged
based on "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." The
Federal government returned Atlanta to military rule that December,
stating that Georgia would not be readmitted to the Union until
the 15th Amendment was passed. The same year a positive step for
African Americans was taken when the Methodist Episcopal Church's
Freedman Aid Society founded a coeducational school for African
American legislators that would later become Clark
College in Atlanta. In 1870, the legislature ratified the 15th
Amendment and Georgia was readmitted to the Union while the Governor
had to fight to keep African-American legislators seated. Dennis
Hammond, a Radical Republican, was elected mayor of Atlanta and
the first two African Americans, William Finch and George Graham,
sat on the new City Council. The era of Reconstruction ended in
1877, when the bulk of the Federal troops were removed from the
South and African Americans could no longer rely on their political
protection. Still, African Americans found other ways to thrive,
both economically and socially. One the best examples of such success
was former slave Alonzo F. Herndon, founder of
the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, located in the Sweet
Auburn Historic District. Through this enterprise, Herndon became
Atlanta's first black millionaire.
The 20th Century: At the turn of the 20th century, many
of Atlanta's African Americans remained poor and disenfranchised,
although after Reconstruction there were political and social theories
advocating more equality for African Americans. At the 1895 Cotton
States and International Exposition, Tuskegee Institute founder
and principal Booker T. Washington delivered his famous Atlanta
Compromise Speech which urged African Americans to stress education,
economic advancement, and gradual adjustment, rather than immediate
political and civil rights. In the time of Jim Crow laws, this caused
an uproar and divided African Americans throughout the nation. W.E.B.
DuBois, a Morehouse (Atlanta University) professor
and political activist, countered that "the radicals received it
[Washington's speech] as a complete surrender of the demand for
civil and political equality..."
The 20th century also saw the advent of violence in Atlanta as
roughly 10,000 white people attacked the city's African Americans
on September 22, 1906. "The immediate cause of the terrible Atlanta
riot of 1906 had been the newspaper drumfire of alleged assaults
upon white women by black men," wrote David Levering Lewis in his
Pulitzer prize winning biography, W.E.B. DuBois, Biography of
a Race. The deeper reasons for these riots lay in the class
conflicts among working white people who feared losing jobs to lesser
paid black laborers, as well as a social fear of the rising black
middle class. The death count of the Atlanta riots numbered over
two dozen slain African Americans and five or six whites. Du Bois
responded to the riots with his "Litany of Atlanta" which was published
in the Independent on October 11, 1906. Part of his litany
reads "A city lay in travail, God our Lord, and from her loins sprang
twin Murder and Black Hate." Mayor James Woodward called an assembly
of white and African American leaders of Atlanta on the Sunday after
the attacks. Promises of police reform were made, as well as the
idea for the creation of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation.
Before desegregation took place African Americans created their
own opportunities in businesses, publications, and sports. Evidence
of successful businesses was most profound in Sweet Auburn, now
known as the Sweet Auburn Historic District,
a one-mile corridor that served as the downtown of Atlanta's black
community. Businesses flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, including
restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs where Cab Calloway and Duke
Ellington performed. In 1928, the Atlanta Daily World, the
oldest African American daily newspaper still in circulation, began
publication. From 1920 until the 1940s, the Atlanta Black Crackers,
a baseball team in the Negro Southern League, and later on, in the
Negro American League, entertained sports fans at Ponce De Leon
Park (across from the Ford Factory). Behind all
the successes, however, was the daily reality of segregation.
Segregation began as an attempt after the Civil War to disenfranchise
African Americans in the South with laws called "Black Codes"
and "Jim Crow" laws, which were designed to regulate and
limit the opportunities of African Americans. When the legality
of these codes was challenged in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court, in
Plessy v. Ferguson , recognized the legality of "separate
but equal" laws regarding African Americans and whites. This decision
set the precedent throughout the South that "separate" facilities
for African Americans and whites were constitutional, provided they
were "equal." The "separate but equal" doctrine soon extended to
cover many areas of public life, such as restaurants, theaters,
and public schools. It was not until 1954, in the U.S. Supreme Court's
decision in Brown v. Board of Education, that these laws
would be struck down.
Many saw the injustice of these "Jim Crow" laws, and in the 20th
century, the Civil Rights movement gradually formed in response.
Since participation in politics was largely closed to African Americans,
Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall, beginning in the 1920s, decided
to train a group of black lawyers who would challenge the laws.
The churches in the community played an important role, providing
a leadership role for black religious leaders, especially in the
South. The church, in the days of slavery and in the segregated
South that followed, became a social center for the black community,
serving not only as a place of worship but also, according to Taylor
Branch in his book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years,
1954-63, "a bulletin board to a people who owned no organs of
communication, a credit union to those without banks, and even a
kind of people's court."
When the Civil Rights movement gained momentum, African Americans
responded. At the heart of the movement in Atlanta were the students
of Atlanta University. Many were involved in the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee that was formed in 1960 when the first official
meeting was held in Atlanta. One of their first demonstrations was
a sit-in at the Rich's department store lunch counter in downtown
Atlanta with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
participating. Born on Auburn Avenue in 1929, Dr. King followed
his father's path by preaching at Ebenezer Baptist Church. With
his exceptional oratory and motivational skills, the Morehouse graduate
emerged as a natural leader in encouraging a nonviolent approach
to social change. Largely because of these ideals, Atlanta's road
to integration was more peaceful than that of other cities. Still,
there were tensions within the black community when negotiations
were concluded to end a three-month boycott of 70 downtown white-owned
Atlanta stores, which ended in February of 1961. The provision which
ended the boycott, signed by 10 of the city's elder black leaders,
along with the local chamber of commerce, was written in vague guarantees
largely obscure to demands for desegregation. Many of the younger
generation denounced the agreement. Tensions escalated at a meeting
between the older and younger African Americans at the Warren Methodist
Church. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father was challenged for his
position favoring the ending of the boycott. Only the late arrival
of his son united the two factions in following the agreement. It
was also in Atlanta where King addressed the first major civil rights
demonstration in the South since President Kennedy's assassination.
On December 15, 1963, King declared segregationa "glaring reality"
in Atlanta. Integrated restaurants were still picketed at this time
in the city, with some visible opposition. Today the life of this
civil rights leader is celebrated at the Martin Luther
King Jr. National Historic Site.
After the Civil Rights Act became law in 1965, a new generation
of leaders rose who bridged the gap between the Civil Rights movement
and the entrance to local and national politics. The political power
of African Americans in Georgia rose and the election of civil rights
veterans Andrew Young and John Lewis to Congress was a reflection
of that gain. Beginning with Maynard Jackson in 1974, the mayors
of Atlanta have all since been African Americans, including current
mayor Shirley Franklin, who upon her election in 2001, became the
first black female mayor of a major southern city. Reflecting on
African Americans in Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff
writer Mae Gentry wrote, "Still, Atlanta is a place where African
Americans feel comfortable, a place where they have a stake in events,
a place they can call home." The story of Atlanta is still being
told, and now more than ever, African Americans are an integral
part of the tale.
Some information found in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
article, "African-Americans: 1.2 million Residents Make Mark
on Area," by staffwriter Mae Gentry, printed in 2002 and reprinted
The following books were helpful for this essay: 1. Branch, Taylor.
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. New
York: Simon and Shuster. 1988.
2. Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King years
1963-65. New York: Simon and Shuster. 1998.
3. Davis, Burke. Sherman's March. New York: Vintage Books,
4. Kolchin, Peter. American Slavery 1619-1877. New York:
Hill and Wang.1988.
5. Lewis, David Levering. W.E.B.
Du Bois Biography of a Race 1868-1919. New York: Henry Holt
and Co. 1993.
Information on Georgia in the Civil War was found online at http://www.cherokeerose.com/.
Information on Andrew Young was found at the Biographical Directory
of the United States Congress at http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.
Information on George Henry White was found at http://afroamhistory.about.com
and an article on African-American History found at http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages
proved useful. Some of the information on African languages was
found in the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001
Atlanta has long been glibly characterized as a city without historic
architecture--"Sherman burned it all, you know." Besides ignoring
the "brave and beautiful city" that Henry Grady
and his New South compatriots championed after the Civil War, that
comment also forgets that some of the city's most distinguished
antebellum architecture was destroyed long after the war, including
the original county courthouse and the city's downtown churches,
all of which had been torn down and rebuilt by the 1890s. Numerous
examples of antebellum residential architecture also survived into
the 20th century around the fringes of downtown, although none survived
past mid-century. The Leyden House, one of the few high style Greek
Revival houses built in the city, was demolished by real estate
speculators in 1913. The Italianate Neal Mansion, which Sherman
used as his headquarters during the Federal occupation in 1864,
was demolished in 1927 for construction of a new city hall. And
the city's first two-story house, which dated to the earliest days
of the city in the 1840s, was torn down in the late 1930s for a
Still, Atlanta was not without a regard for its history; and following
a pattern that was fairly typical, if somewhat slow to develop,
a historic preservation movement evolved in the city. In 1913, the
Uncle Remus Ladies Memorial Association acquired the Wren's
Nest, Joel Chandler Harris' home in West End,
and shortly thereafter opened the city's first house museum, which
included the carefully preserved bedroom where the famous author
had died in 1908. The house has been restored in recent years, except
for the bedroom which remains one of the best examples of an unrestored
historic interior to be found anywhere.
Popular interest in the Civil War escalated in the early 20th
century, and in 1921, the city opened the Cyclorama in Grant
Park to exhibit the massive 1886 painting that depicts the Battle
of Atlanta. Five years later, as Margaret Mitchell
began writing Gone With the Wind, her father and others organized
the Atlanta Historical Society, and in the 1930s they carefully
documented the antebellum city and the war that destroyed it. The
United Daughters of the Confederacy and other organizations began
erecting battlefield monuments around the city during the same period,
but local landmarks of those battles continued to be lost to neglect
and new development.
The pace of destruction quickened dramatically after World War
II as dozens of downtown buildings were demolished for parking lots
and garages, including the legendary Kimball House hotel, whose
demolition in 1959 signaled the beginning of a wave of demolitions
that destroyed many of the city's most famous landmarks in the 1960s
and 1970s. "Urban renewal" laid waste to hundreds of acres in the
city, much of which would lie undeveloped as "white flight" and
general disinvestment sapped the city's vitality and diminished
its tax base. Freeway construction, too, which began in the late
1940s, brought three major highways through the heart of the city
and destroyed hundreds of businesses and residences in the process.
The success of the Historic Savannah Foundation, which was organized
in 1955 to successfully oppose demolition of that city's landmarks,
had already attracted widespread attention in the State, and encouraged
by passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, similar
organizations sprang up in Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and Thomasville
in the mid-1960s. Although Atlanta had no similar voice for preservation
until 1980, interest in preserving the city's past was slowly emerging
in the 1960s. In 1966, the city established a 15-member Civic Design
Commission, consisting of appointed experts in architecture, painting,
sculpture, engineering, and planning along with three lay representatives.
By the end of the year, the Commission had begun a campaign "to
clean up . . . and restore" what would soon be christened "Underground
Atlanta." Created by the series of viaducts that the city built
to bridge the downtown railroad "gulch" between 1890 and 1930, the
area contained some of the city's oldest surviving commercial buildings,
and by 1969 it was a thriving entertainment district.
Another facet of the growing interest in the city's heritage was
the Atlanta Historical Society's acquisition of the Swan
House in Buckhead as its new headquarters, and two years later
its relocation of the antebellum Tullie Smith
house to the property as the centerpiece of a recreated vernacular
homestead. In addition, a handful of "urban pioneers" who had rediscovered
Inman Park, the city's first suburban development
in 1889, organized Inman Park Restoration (IPR) in 1970 and, the
following spring, held their first annual spring festival and tour
of homes. While Druid Hills has benefited from
a civic association since 1938, IPR was the first of several such
organizations that emerged in neighborhoods around downtown to promote
preservation and revitalization of some of the city's most threatened
historic residential districts.
As the city began to lose population and crime rates soared, Underground
Atlanta struggled to survive in the mid-1970s, and when construction
of the city's new heavy-rail transit system demolished some of downtown's
most important buildings in 1975, Underground Atlantawithered away.
By then, the city's major passenger depots had both been torn down
as had most of its old hotels and theaters and many of its early
skyscrapers. Parts of the landmark Equitable Building, designed
by Burnham and Root in 1890, were salvaged and repurposed as outdoor
sculpture, and the entire facade of the Paramount Theater, designed
by Hentz, Reid, and Adler in 1922, was re-erected as part of a private
residence in south Georgia. Otherwise, Atlanta's historic architecture
was consigned to the landfills.
In 1974, the "fabulous Fox" became an endangered
property, and it was soon reported that Atlanta's largest and grandest
theater would be razed for a new high-rise corporate headquarters.
Uncharacteristically for Atlanta, a grass-roots campaign to "Save
the Fox" quickly emerged, championed by a group of local high school
students who picketed in front of the Fox and attracted critical
media attention. Aided by the mayor, the city's Urban Design Commission,
and a new non-profit organization, Atlanta Landmarks, Inc., the
campaign succeeded. In 1975, the Urban Design Commission, with grants
from the State Historic Preservation Office, conducted the city's
first survey of historic resources and began administration of the
city's first historic preservation ordinances. The Atlanta Preservation
Center, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1980, assisted
the Commission with an expanded survey in 1981, but not until passage
of a new, comprehensive historic preservation ordinance in 1989
did the city have the tools it needed to preserve what remained
of the city's architectural heritage. In addition to more than 130
National Register properties, the city now has more than 50 landmark
buildings and a dozen historic districts which are protected by
Essay by Tommy Jones, Architectural Historian with the National
Park Service's Southeast Regional Office.
Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is situated on granite
hills covered with conifer and hardwood forests and streams located
northwest of downtown Atlanta. The 2,884-acre park preserves a Civil
War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign, during which General William
T. Sherman captured Atlanta. Kennesaw Mountain was the last major
natural obstacle which the Confederate Army fortified to protect
Atlanta from the Union Army's advance at the end of June 1864. Fighting
occurred here from June 18, 1864, until July 2, 1864. Sherman's
army consisted of 100,00 men, 254 guns and 35,000 horses while Confederate
General Joseph E. Johnston had an army of 50,000 men and 187 guns.
The Confederates lost 800 soliders killed during the campaign compared
to 3,000 Union soldiers, while over 63,000 more soldiers were wounded
Although these battles were Confederate victories, General Sherman's
flanking movements in the following days caused the Confederate
troops to withdraw to the safety of defenses ringing Atlanta on
July 2. Union forces later surrounded Atlanta and a series of Confederate
attacks to break the Federal siege ended in defeat, causing the
evacuation of Atlanta. The city was surrendered to Sherman on September
2. Atlanta's capture helped President Abraham Lincoln win re-election
and crippled the South's ability to continue fighting against the
Union. There are three battlefield areas at the park--the main site
is located at Cheatham Hill, the other two are in front of the Visitor
Center and off Burnt Hickory Road. While walking some of the 17.3
miles of interpretive walking trails visitors encounter historic
earthworks, cannon emplacements and various interpretive signs.
There are three monuments representing groups that fought here.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, administered by
the National Park Service, is located three miles northwest of Marietta,
Georgia. Take the 269 exit from I-75, and take Barrett Pkwy. west
for approximately three miles and turn left at Old Hwy. 41. Turn
right at Stilesboro Rd, the visitor center is on the left and open
8:30am to 5:00pm daily, closed Christmas. Weekend during daylight
savings time the visitor center is open until 6:00pm. The park is
open from dawn to dusk; there is no fee for admission. Call 770-427-4686
or visit www.nps.gov/kemo
for more information.
Developed in 1910, the Brookhaven Historic District is the oldest
planned golf course and country club residential community in Georgia.
It consists of three separately platted subdivisions with similar
street patterns, houses and landscape features that merged together
to create one homogeneous residential neighborhood in northeast
Atlanta. At the core of the community is a historic golf course
featuring a lake, wooded areas, and the Capital City Clubhouse.
The clubhouse was originally built for the Brookhaven Country Club
but was purchased by the Capital City Club since most of its members
lived in the neighborhood. The houses in the district reflect a
continuous and consistent development from 1910 to 1941, by which
time a majority of the housing in Brookhaven was completed. Brookhaven
was developed from the property of Isham Stovall and Soloman Goodwin,
two early landowners in the area. Brookhaven Estates, which included
the country club property, was the first subdivision to be platted
in 1910. Country Club Estates was laid out in 1929 and the Carleton
Operating Company land was platted in 1936. The vast majority of
these latter areas were built between the Great Depression and 1942.
Houses include one and two-story buildings finished in wood, brick,
stucco, and stone. Most of the houses are designed in Colonial or
Georgian Revival styles. They typically have three or five bays,
gable hipped roofs, weatherboard or brick exteriors, and front entrances
highlighted by a frontispiece doorway, a small portico, or a doorway
trimmed with sidelights or over lights. Each lot is richly landscaped
with pines and other shade trees, shrubs, ground covers and grass
Brookhaven Historic District is located in NE Atlanta, and
roughly bounded by Peachtree Rd. on the south and east, Peachtree
Dunwoody Rd. on the west, and Windsor Pkwy. on the north. The houses
in the district are private residences and are not open to the public.
The Tullie Smith House is a typical early Georgia plantation house,
the form and details of which are known as the "plantation plain"
style. The Smith House contains many characteristic architectural
features of this type including weatherboard siding, simple gable
roof, masonry chimney, and interior walls sheathed with matching
boarding, simple window trim and doors. The house was built c. 1840
by Robert Smith, who migrated from Rutherford County, North Carolina,
by 1830 and settled in DeKalb County, Georgia. Smith was a yeoman
farmer who owned 11 slaves and cultivated approximately 200 of his
800 acres of land, while his cattle and hogs ranged freely nearby.
Yeoman farms, such as the Smith's, were more common in Georgia than
the large plantations many people associate with the Deep South.
Smith's great-great-granddaughter, Tullie, was the last member of
the family to occupy the property. The two-story house has an attached
rear section with a shed roof. The front facade was altered on the
first floor level around 1885 when the original front porch was
replaced by a full-length shed porch and "traveler's room."
The original first floor plan was altered c. 1875, but it has
been restored. There are two front rooms with a steep stair that
rises from the right front room, and two smaller rooms under a shed
roof addition to the rear of the house. The second floor has two
rooms. There are three original mantels, two in the front rooms
on the first floor, and one in the left room on the second floor.
The original detached kitchen is directly behind the house--one
large chimney composed of stone and brick is still used for cooking.
By the late 1960s, Atlanta's highways and executive park developments
mushroomed around this house, located on a hill, until it was isolated.
Heirs offered to donate the house and kitchen outbuilding to the
Atlanta Historical Society (now the Atlanta History Center), and
an Atlanta banker provided the money needed for their relocation
in 1969 and restoration in the early 1970s. The Tullie Smith House
is a rare example of the plantation plain style that has been restored
and operated for educational purposes.
The Tullie Smith House is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Rd.
in NW Atlanta. It is owned and maintained by the Atlanta History
Center. Costumed interpreters lead 30-minute tours of the house
from 11:15am (1:15pm on Sundays) until 4:15pm; there is a fee for
admission. Call 404-814-4000 or visit their website
for more information.
The Swan House is an excellent example of the Second Renaissance
Revival style and represents the architectural and decorative tastes
of affluent citizens in the late 1920s. Built by Edward and Emily
Inman, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune, the house was designed
by well-known Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Schutze in 1928
and decorated by Ruby Ross Woods of New York. Swan House and its
gardens are together considered Shutze's finest residential work,
in which he adapted Italian and English classical styles to accommodate
20th-century living. The house is set on a rising slope and presents
an Italian Mannerist facade complete with double stairs descending
on either side of a cascade. Baroque inspired lawns, stone obelisks
and retaining walls, and two stone fountains are other Renaissance
elements found on the grounds.
The name of the house is drawn from the swan or bird motifs that
grace many of the interior rooms. The interior of the house is as
elaborate as the exterior and features five rooms of distinction:
the entrance vestibule, the entrance hall, the library, the Morning
Room and the Dining Room. Other rooms include four bedroom areas,
a sitting room, a full basement and an apartment in the attic. Of
the two impressive exterior facades of Swan House, the west facade
facing Andrews Drive that is the rear of the house is the more impressive
of the two, being strictly Italian in derivation, although not imitative
of any one architectural monument of the past. Symmetrical in every
way, the facade has a central doorway at the top of a double winding
staircase. Heavily framed, the door is topped by a segmented pediment
supported on scroll brackets with sculptural decoration at its apex.
The east facade serves as the main entrance and is English Palladian
in origin. With its four-columned portico, it reflects the characteristic
severity of the main entrances to this style of house. In 1966,
the Atlanta Historical Society purchased the Swan House and most
of its original furnishings, which range from 18th-century antiques
to 20th-century objects. The house opened to the public in 1967.
The Swan House is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Rd. in NW
Atlanta. It is owned and maintained by the Atlanta History Center.
Tours are generally available daily from 11:00am (1:00pm on Sundays)
until 4:00pm, although during the current renovation of the interior,
these times are subject to change. Please call 404-814-4000 or visit
http://www.atlhist.org/ to obtain the most up-to-date
The Garden Hills Historic District is an early 20th-century planned
residential neighborhood located five miles north of the central
business district of Atlanta. The roots of this planned community
came from the growing use of private automobiles after WWI, allowing
citizens to live further away from where they worked. In addition
to single-family residences, the district also includes apartment
buildings, a church, a historic commercial area, two schools and
businesses that lead to a fairly self-contained community.
The original plan for the neighborhood was developed by the Garden
Hills Company, a real estate firm founded in 1925 by Philip C. McDuffie,
a lawyer and real estate entrepreneur. A natural ravine divides
the original plat from a similar development created at the same
time as the original Garden Hills section. Slated to be called the
Beverly Hills Subdivision, this development merged with Garden Hills.
It includes land used for two of the neighborhood's institutional
landmarks: North Fulton High School and Garden Hills Elementary
School. By 1926, the area of development had been expanded considerably
and consisted of three sections stretching from Peachtree Road to
Piedmont Road. These three sections, which comprise the historic
district, are the original Peachtree Road section, a centrally located
Country Club section, and the Brentwood section.
Garden Hills has consistently been a stable, upper-income residential
neighborhood of single-family homes with a mix of compatibly scaled
apartments. Houses within the interior of the district are typically
set back approximately 20 feet on lot sizes of 70 by 80 feet. Corner
lots are somewhat larger. The houses are one- or two-story brick
veneer or frame dwellings. The predominant architectural styles
include Tudor and Colonial Revival styles. Most are of a very high
degree of craftsmanship, reflecting the upper-middle income families
for whom the original development was intended.
Garden Hills Historic District is located in NE Atlanta, and
is roughly bounded by Delmont, Brentwood, and N. Hills Drs., Piedmont,
E. Wesley and Peachtree Rds. The houses in the district are private
residences and are not open to the public.
Henry B. Tompkins
The Henry B. Tompkins House and its landscaped gardens are an outstanding
example of the work of Neel Reid, one of the most respected early
20th-century Atlanta architects. Totally unaltered in design and
plan since its construction in 1922, the house is one of the most
complete remaining examples of a Reid villa. Reid studied at the
acclaimed Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and returned to Atlanta
to open the noted Atlanta architectural firm of Heintz, Reid, and
Adler. His work can be seen throughout the residential neighborhoods
of suburban Atlanta. In the Tompkins House, Reid's mastery of scale
and ability to create controlled dimensions and open space with
a small volume are evident. The house reflects both the freedom
with which he used elements to maintain a consistently formal tone
throughout and the skill with which he provided for the practical
needs of the relatively affluent lifestyles of his clients.
The design of the house was adopted from a Georgian house in Chichester,
England. Its exterior is built of natural limestone and its composition
is basically a hipped roof capping a center block with flanking
wings. The facade of the two-story building contains little ornamentation,
but is accentuated with a stone stringcourse delineating the first
floor from the second, stone strip pilasters that frame the corners
of the house, and a pedimented central pavilion framing the entrance.
This main entrance is over scaled to make it the focal point of
the house. Framed with rusticated pilasters and crowned with a broken
segmental pediment and ornate cartouche, the doorway is Italianate
in style. The interior is composed of a round entrance hall, rectangular
stairwell and octagonal library. This central axis forms a varied
geometric plan. The entrance hall, with its domed ceiling and four
rounded niches alternating with its four doors, repeats the geometric
pattern. The formal garden completes the villa style of the house.
It is cut into the hill, walled with granite from nearby Stone
Mountain, and paved in part with brick. The three granite walled
sides of the garden when coupled with the house creates an intimate
and private atmosphere.
The Henry B. Tompkins House is located at 125 W. Wesley Rd,
in NW Atlanta. It is a private residence and not open to the public.
Hills Historic District
Brookwood Hills is a well-defined residential area that incorporates
the major architectural, landscape and planning elements of suburban
development of the early 1920s. In 1912, Benjamin F. Burdett and
a partner had purchased approximately 50 acres of land from the
A.J. Collier estate. Early in the 1920s Burdette joined George Washington
Collier, Jr., who owned some 25 acres directly south of the Burdette
holdings, to jointly develop 65 acres as a suburban subdivision
called Brookwood Hills. Brookwood Hills was developed in a series
of phases over a period of years. Phase I included the development
of Huntington Road, Palisades Road, Woodcrest Avenue and Northwood
Avenue. The area was substantially developed and homes sold by 1924.
Civil engineer O.F. Kauffman, who previously worked for the Druid
Hills Company planning its suburban community, drew the plat
for the subdivision. The curvilinear design for Brookwood Hills
clearly reveals the influence of Frederick Law Olmstead's principles,
although on a reduced scale, with whom Kauffman worked on the development
of Druid Hills. The second phase of development at Brookwood Hills
proceeded from 1924 to 1930. Development occurred along Wakefield
Drive, Camden Road, Brighton Road and the northern portion of Palisades
from Huntington Road to Wakefield Drive. Overall, the historic district
encompasses approximately 90 acres and includes more than 250 residences,
a large recreation area and two distinctive bricked and landscaped
entranceways to the subdivision.
The general development density in the first phase of construction
provided an air of urbanity amidst the semi-rural setting. Building
lots in Phase II were primarily rectangular in shape, and all the
homes in this section give the impression of facing inward toward
the middle, or center, of the subdivision. The residences of Brookwood
Hills are diverse in style, scale and building materials, and reflect
a full range of early 20th-century architecture. Eclectic styles
and elements are represented by Tudor, Colonial, Neoclassical, Bungalow,
and Cottage styles. A variety of building materials, clapboard,
brick, stone, clay roof, and slate roofing add to the architectural
diversity. This diversity of stylistic expression is furthered by
the range of scale in the residences--varying from one-story bungalows
and cottages to two-and three-story spacious Colonial and Tudor
Brookwood Hills Historic District, east of Peachtree Rd., is
roughly bounded by Huntington Rd. to the south and east, Northwood
Ave. and Montclair Dr. on the west, and Brighton Rd. to the north.
The houses in the district are private residences and are not open
to the public. Visit www.brookwoodhills.com for information on community
Peachtree Southern Railway, now known as Brookwood Station, is
the last passenger terminal in Atlanta, a city which owes its existence
to railroads. Representing a fine example of a suburban railroad
terminal, it is the work of the eminent Atlanta architectural firm
of Hentz, Reid, and Adler. Opening in 1918, the station originally
serviced 14 arriving trains and seven departing trains on a daily
basis. Today, however, only a few passenger trains run primarily
to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C.
The architects conceived the railroad terminal as an Italian Renaissance
pavilion. The east facade is composed of three bays and separated
by four wide, brick pilasters with limestone bases. The pilasters
are connected by a molded entablature. Flush with the brick facade,
the entablature is finished in sections and etched with the name
of the station over the bays. Palladian windows and entranceways
can be found on every facade except for the rear, or west, facade.
The west facade includes an attachment to the rectangular building
that includes clerks' offices and a sheltered porch area.
The interior of the station is simple in terms of its layout and
its design. There are two waiting rooms that constitute the main
block of the building. Both rooms contain wooden benches with curved
backs. A short brass rail divides the ticket window from the main
waiting room. A door to the left of the ticket window opens to the
rear porch and to the stairs that lead to the railroad concourse
Peachtree Southern Railway, now Brookwood Station, is located
at 1688 Peachtree St. in north Atlanta. It is open daily as an Amtrak
passenger station. Call 1-800-872-7245 for more information on the
station and its schedule.
The Temple has served as a center for Atlanta's Jewish cultural,
educational and social activities since its construction in 1931.
It is the home of the city's oldest Jewish congregation--the Hebrew
Benevolent Society, established in 1860 to serve the needs of the
local German-Jewish immigrants. Operating from various rented rooms
and halls, the congregation built its first permanent synagogue
in 1875 in downtown Atlanta. Twice, first in 1902 and again in 1930,
overcrowded facilities prompted the Reform Judaism congregation
to build a new home. At the time of its construction, the current
Temple was one of only a few synagogues in the state, which in 1926
had only 22 Jewish congregations and 13 synagogues. During the era
of the Civil Rights struggle in the South, the Temple's rabbi, Jacob
Rothschild, became an outspoken supporter of equality for all of
Atlanta's citizens. On October 12, 1958, white supremacists bombed
the northern side of the Temple in response to the rabbi's support
of the Civil Rights movement. Although arrests were made, no one
was ever convicted of the bombing. While Rabbi Rothschild's commitment
to social justice angered some, many more were outraged at the bombing.
An outpouring of support came from around the world to help reconstruct
the damaged portions of the Temple.
The Temple is a fine example of a classically inspired religious
building and the design is particularly noteworthy for its elaborate
interior decorative scheme worked out by the architect in consultation
with the Temple's rabbi to combine classical motifs with Jewish
iconography. It was designed by Philip T. Shutze, an important early
20th-century Atlanta architect. Shutze was considered a master of
classically inspired design and was also responsible for Swan
House and the Academy of Medicine. The well-proportioned
building features a pedimented portico, Ionic columns, drum dome
and vaulted and domed sanctuary. Its finishing details include terrazzo
floors, black marbleized-wood columns and gilded woodwork. Of particular
note is the intricate plaster relief work on the interior of the
sanctuary's frieze, cornice, vaults and dome. The focal point of
the central altar area is the Ark--made of carved gilded wood. Above
this hangs one of four red globes, the Eternal Light, brought from
the first temple of the congregation built in 1875. This globe is
suspended from a gilded eagle on the ceiling that represents the
Great Seal of the United States and symbolizes Jewish freedom in
The Temple is located at 1589 Peachtree St. in north Atlanta.
It is open to the public during normal worship services. Call 404-873-1731
or visit www.the-temple.org
for more information.
Rhodes Memorial Hall was originally the home of furniture magnate
Amos Giles Rhodes. This 1904 Romanesque Revival building was inspired
by the Rhineland castles Amos Rhodes admired on a trip to Europe
in the late 1890s. Rhodes was born in Kentucky in 1850, and married
Amanda Wilmot Dougherty of Atlanta in 1876. He shortly started his
furniture business that he continued until his death in 1928. Rhodes'
business eventually had outlets in 35 cities throughout the Southeast.
He was one of Atlanta's wealthiest citizens when this home was constructed.
The house is Georgia's best example of the Romanesque Revival style.
Rhodes hired architect Willis F. Denny II, who created a unusual
Romanesque Revival house taken from original medieval Romanesque
sources, infused with more fashionable Victorian elements, and adapted
for use as an early 20th-century house.
Rhodes Hall reflects a time when Peachtree Street was a fashionable
residential area, lined with large residences. Locally quarried
Stone Mountain granite forms the towers, turrets, and battlements
of Rhodes' castle. The building has one of Atlanta's finest existing
Victorian interiors--ornate woodwork, murals, intricate parquet
floors, colorful mosaics, and exquisite stained glass windows highlight
the curving grand staircase. The house was wired for electricity
when it was built, and the more than 300 light bulbs that lit the
house reflect the fascination that new technology held for Atlantans
at the turn of the century. The house also included electric call
buttons in most rooms, as well as a security system.
Today Rhodes Hall is surrounded by commercial buildings and heavy
traffic, yet it maintains its serenity and elegance. After the death
of Rhodes and his wife, their children deeded the house to the State
of Georgia, with a restriction that it be used for "historic purposes."
To that end, the home is used as a house museum and the offices
of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
Rhodes Memorial Hall is located at 1516 Peachtree St., NW in
Atlanta. The ground floor is a museum open Monday-Friday, 11:00am
to 4:00pm, and Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:00pm; there is a fee for
tours. For more information, call 404-885-7800 or visit the website
for the Georgia
Trust for Historic Preservation.
E. Van Winkle
Gin and Machine Works
One of the largest cotton-related industrial sites in the South, the
E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works is a complex of industrial buildings
on an 11-acre site serviced by three separate rail lines in northwest
Atlanta. Built between the early 1880s and the early 1930s, it is
an intact late 19th-century manufacturing plant (with some modernizations)
that remains an ongoing enterprise. Edward Van Winkle opened his third
industrial complex in Atlanta in 1889. Nine years later, he specialized
solely in cotton-related machinery, winning numerous awards at international
expositions and state fairs. During this time, his was one of only
three cotton-gin manufacturers in Atlanta and the only cotton-seed-oil
mill producer in the state.
For the most part, the complex consists of one-, two- and three-story
red brick buildings with load bearing masonry exterior walls and
timber and plank interiors. A small number of cast-iron structural
elements are employed. Industrial in character, the machine works
were the result of engineering principles applied to problems of
design and construction, yet the cross-axial layout of the hierarchical
arrangement of the buildings reflects period Beaux Arts principles
of composition. They are highlighted by subtle details that reveal
attention to aesthetics as well as utility; these details include
corbelled and dentilled cornices and parapets, articulated segmental
arches over windows and doorways and accentuated brick bonding patterns.
In 1912, the Murray Company of Texas bought Van Winkle out and
changed the name of the plant. During World War II, the complex
was used to produce ammunition and mortars for the war effort. After
several ownership changes, varied industrial shops opened their
businesses in the former cotton gin manufacturing complex. The continuity
of activity has prevented its disuse, decay and demolition. With
interpretation provided by available documentation, the entire process
of manufacturing cotton-ginning equipment can be traced through
the complex as it stands today. The complex also makes an interesting
and emphatic statement about the late 19th-century outlook on transportation
as it was principally oriented toward the railroad and not the highway.
The E. Van Winkle Gin and Machine Works is located at 1200
Foster St. in NW Atlanta. It contains several commercial shops which
are open to the public during normal business hours.
The Howell Station Historic District is located northwest of downtown
Atlanta in an area dominated by light industry associated with the
development of Marietta Street. The district consists of intact residential
buildings, a recreational park, and four churches in a historically
blue-collar neighborhood. Almost all of the built environment here
constructed before the Civil War, including plantation and farm houses,
was destroyed during General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea
in 1864. Interest in the area was renewed when real estate developers
in the 1890s laid out a grid pattern and subdivided the land into
lots. The types of residential buildings located within the neighborhood
include Shotgun, Georgian cottage, Bungalow, Queen Anne cottage and
The neighborhood developed historically with both whites and African
Americans living in segregated areas of the neighborhood. Much of
the historically black section of the neighborhood has unfortunately
been lost due to the expansion of the Mead Packaging Corporation,
east of the district, and the Fulton County Jail, south of the district.
The remaining historically black section is characterized by narrow
lots and vernacular houses with minimal stylistic elements. The
rest of the neighborhood is characterized by larger lots with the
houses situated close to the street and uniformly set back. The
houses reflect Craftsman and Folk Victorian styles.
Historically, a row of commercial buildings fronted West Marietta
Street, although few remain intact or retain integrity today. The
commercial area consisted of two groceries, one meat market, a barber,
and a hotel. The neighborhood also had one school, Goldsmith School,
for white students, while black students had to leave the neighborhood
to attend English Avenue School or Booker T. Washington
High School. Knight Park, located in the northwest section of
the neighborhood, is an open recreational space with sloping hills
and mature trees. A community building built in 1945 is located
within the park and is used for storage. The setting outside the
neighborhood is dominated by light industry because of nearby Southern
Railway (now Norfolk Southern). The remaining commercial stores
not on West Marietta Street serve as a transition between the neighborhood
and the industries.
The Howell Station Historic District is generally bounded by
W. Marietta, Rice, Baylor and Herndon Sts., Niles Cir. and Longley
Ave. The houses in the district are private residences and are not
open to the public.
Ansley Park Historic District is an early 20th-century suburban
residential district that was developed in four phases between 1904
and 1913. It is located north of downtown Atlanta and west of Piedmont
Park, between Piedmont Avenue and Peachtree Street. Completed
by 1930, the neighborhood encompasses approximately 275 acres and
includes single-family residences, apartments, and a church. It
features a curvilinear arrangement of streets, numerous parks, and
a wide range of eclectic and period architectural styles. Streets
in the district are landscaped on either side like parkways. Carefully
aligned curbs, smooth lawns, shrubs and trees border the streets
through the Park. This streetscape blends with the landscaping of
adjoining lots to create the appearance of a vast public park. The
principal parks of the district are Winn Park and McClatchy Park.
Both wind their ways through major parts of the suburb so that no
residential lot is more than a 10-minute walk away. The Ansley Park
golf course is situated along the banks of Clear Creek within the
Diverse in style and scale, the houses in the district represent
a full range of eclectic and contemporary suburban architecture.
These styles include Colonial, Federal, Neo-Classical, Italian Renaissance,
Queen Anne, and Tudor styles, as well as Prairie School and Craftsmen
bungalows. As for scale, houses range from one-story cottages to
two-story houses to three-story mansions and larger apartment buildings.
The grander buildings are mostly situated on the larger lots along
primary streets, at major intersections or overlooking parks. Smaller
houses are located on narrow lots along secondary streets. The single
exception to the residential architecture is the First Church of
Christ Scientist building at the corner of Peachtree and Fifteenth
streets. Built in 1913, the church is a centrally planned Neo-Classical
building with a pedimented Corinthian portico. Today, Ansley Park
continues to be a middle- to upper-class neighborhood in Midtown
The Ansley Park Historic District is located in mid-town Atlanta
and west of Piedmont Park, between Piedmont
Ave. and Peachtree St. The houses in the district are private
and are not open to the public, but there is more information and
a virtual tour available through the Ansley
Park Civic Association . Twilight walking tours available April-October. Visit The Atlanta
Preservation Center for more information.
Habersham Memorial Hall, the chapter house for the Joseph Habersham
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is a 20th-century
building modeled after the circa 1819 Bulloch-Habersham House in Savannah,
Georgia, designed by William Jay. The Hall is located near Piedmont
Park in the neighborhood of Ansley Park . While
the exterior of the Hall is a replica of the Savannah home, the interior
was designed not for residential living, but for the purpose of meetings
and entertainment. It was designed in 1921 by New York architect Henry
Hornbostel, who was responsible for several other Atlanta buildings
including Callanwolde and the campus plan for Emory
University. Hornbostel's design for Habersham Memorial Hall is
a fine example of the Regency style of William Jay, adapted in form
and use for the 20th century.
Built in 1921, this two-story, hipped roof, brick-stuccoed building
has a semi-circular portico. The two-story hexastyle portico has
stuccoed columns with composite order capitals and a semi-conical
roof that appears to fit into a central gable in the hip roof. The
capitals are detailed with spread eagles and acanthus leaves. The
first floor doors open out onto a brick paved terrace, level with
the portico but above ground level. The second-story window and
door openings are protected by cast iron railings and detailed with
the initials, "JHC," representing the Joseph Habersham Chapter.
The interior features a central hall, off of which are identical
rooms, and a smaller stair hall that leads to the kitchen and a
stairway. On the front facade are French doors which open out onto
the terrace. The ceiling has open beam work with a deep beaded cornice.
A vast assembly room comprises most of the second floor.
Habersham Memorial Hall is located at 240 15th St. It is not
open to the public.
A roughly triangular-shaped area of 185 acres, Piedmont Park contains
several auxiliary structures including the stone Jacobethan Style
Piedmont Driving Club, elevated brick bandstand, and round columned
domed gazebo. The grounds of this park were originally used in the
late 19th century as the driving grounds and racetrack of the Gentleman's
Driving Club. In 1895, the site was chosen for a fair, the Cotton
States and International Exposition. Influential landscape designer
Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., was consulted during the planning of
the Exposition and influenced some elements of its plan, although
he was unable to complete the project. Olmsted had always maintained
that parks were important moral, as well as physical, influences
on the lives of urban dwellers. Careful planning and landscaping
of the environment, he believed, could favorably affect the health
and welfare of society. The exposition ran for exactly 100 days,
opening on September 18, 1895 and closing on December 31, 1895.
In 1904, the city of Atlanta purchased the 185 acres for a park
and removed the exposition buildings. In 1909, the Olmsted Brothers
firm (by then run by Frederick's sons) was hired, and began preparation
of a comprehensive plan for the park. Apparently by this point,
all of the buildings were gone and the grounds were deteriorated.
Only the general outlines and the stone stairways, which had led
to the buildings and the lake, remained. The plan, which was submitted
the following year, utilized the handsome stone stairways with their
tall circular stone urns as access and transition paths between
the different levels of the grounds. The plan the brothers created
clearly carried out the design ideas of the elder Olmsted. The landscapes
and vistas of Piedmont Park, as designed in the early 20th century,
largely remain today, and provide much needed green space for the
increasingly urbanized neighborhoods surrounding the park. A lake,
playground, baseball fields, and acres of grassy hills provide visitors
and residents alike a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Piedmont Park is bordered by 10th St., Southern Railway, and
Piedmont Rd. It is open to the public 6:00am to 11:00pm daily. For
more information visit their website at www.piedmontpark.org/
or call 404-875-7275.
Luther Brittain, Sr., House
Built for one of Georgia's most renown educators, the Dr. Marion
Luther Brittain, Sr., House is a good example of the Neoclassical
Revival Style. Dr. Brittain (1866-1953) was State school superintendent
from 1910 to 1922. During this time he saw the consolidation of
many country school systems and the building of more modern schools
in almost every county. In 1922, he became the fourth president
of the Georgia Institute of Technology, from
which he retired in 1944. The house was built in 1911, and Dr. Brittain
and his family lived here until he became president of Georgia Tech,
and they moved to the university-owned president's house.
The two-story Neoclassical Revival house features an entrance facade
dominated by four Corinthian columns. They support a monumental
temple front before the three-bay west facade. The entrance is positioned
between large single-pane windows on the first floor that are flanked
by sidelights and surmounted by a fixed transom. The exterior siding
on the west facade is clapboard, the column shafts and plinths are
wooden, and the capitals are plaster. Renovations in 1986 covered
the other three facades with vinyl siding. The interior is characterized
by a modified central hall plan. The original floor plan included
three large rooms adjoining the modified central hall. After the
Brittains moved to the Georgia Tech's president's house in 1922,
the home was converted into four apartments. The larger rooms east
of the front parlors were partitioned and additional balconies were
built to flank the original central balcony. An addition of a warehouse
was made to the rear of the building in 1965. In 1991, the building
was converted to a doctor's office.
The Dr. Marion Luther Brittain, Sr., House and Apartments is
located at 1109 W. Peachtree St. in north Atlanta. It is a private
office, and not open to the general public.
Built in 1899 for Cornelius Sheehan, member of a prominent Atlanta
family and owner of Greer's Almanac, this house was moved
in 1913 and converted into 10 apartments. Margaret Mitchell, author
of Gone With the Wind, lived in the ground floor Apartment
Number 1 from 1925 to 1932 with her husband John Marsh. Mitchell,
a former Atlanta Journal reporter, wrote the bulk of her
epic novel here between 1926 and 1930, while working at a manual
typewriter on a small table in the living-room alcove overlooking
Crescent Avenue. In 1932, Mitchell and her husband moved from the
declining Crescent Apartments to a nearby apartment on 17th Street
at Pershing Point where she finished editing the manuscript for
publication. In 1936, the book was published and became an instant
success selling more than 180,000 copies in the first month. Film
rights were quickly purchased by Selznick International Pictures
for a record-breaking price of $50,000. Within six months, more
than one million copies had been sold, and Margaret Mitchell was
awarded a Pulitzer Prize for 1936. The movie opened in 1939, premiering
in Atlanta. Mitchell's novel has been translated into 26 foreign
languages and sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide. Revered
by many, reviled by some, Gone With the Wind is arguably
the most popular and influential book ever written about the American
Mitchell characterized her apartment on Crescent Avenue as "The Dump"
and as its condition worsened, the house became known by this moniker.
The once stylish turn-of-the-century home was eventually boarded up,
and in great disrepair. Dedicated preservationists raised funds for
its renovation in the 1990s, and opened the house to the public.
Crescent Apartments is located at 979 Crescent Ave. in north
Atlanta. It is open daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm; there is a fee
for admission. Call 404-249-7019 or visit the Margaret
Mitchell House and Museum website for more information.
The Academy of Medicine houses the oldest medical society in Atlanta,
the Medical Association of Atlanta, and represents the prominence
of the medical profession in the city as well as the determination
of the society to provide the best medical services and facilities
available. The building itself is an excellent example of Neo-Classical
architecture. Architect R. Kennon Perry (1890-1954), with the architectural
firm of Hentz, Adler, and Shutze, supervised the project, but the
design is attributed to one of the firm's partners, Philip T. Shutze.
The Academy of Medicine was one of the few non-residential projects
of Shutze's career, who was a well-known Atlanta architect responsible
for homes such as Swan House.
Organized medicine developed in Fulton County in 1854 with the
establishment of the Atlanta Medical College and the Brotherhood
of Physicians, soon after known as the Atlanta Medical Society.
Meetings of the society were suspended during the Civil War, but
resumed after 1865, though the society's name changed with several
reorganizations over the years. Prior to construction of the Academy
of Medicine building in 1941, the medical society held its meetings
in various locations. As a central meeting place for the medical
society, members used their new home to share ideas and discuss
medical techniques and theories. The Academy of Medicine also served
as a training center for interns and society members.
Over the past two decades, an emphasis on specialization within
the medical profession, and increased access to medical information
through hospital libraries and conferences, reduced the demand for
use of the building. By the late 1970s, it was in disuse and disrepair.
In 1981 the medical society leased the property to Atlanta Medical
Heritage, Inc., a non-profit corporation responsible for raising
funds and supervising a planned restoration of the building. The
restoration, completed in 1983, adapted the building for the leasing
of meeting and office space, as well as use of the auditoriums.
The Academy of Medicine is located at 875 W. Peachtree St.,
in NW Atlanta. It is not regularly open to the public.
Hotel and Biltmore Apartments
A type of "apartment hotel" popular during the 1920s, the Atlanta
Biltmore Hotel and Biltmore Apartments opened in 1924 and was described
as the "city's point of contact with the world beyond its own borders."
The 11-story hotel and adjacent 10-story apartment building are
an excellent example of the grand, modern hotels built across the
country during this era. The success of these monumental hotels
was fostered by the combination of improved transportation, mass
production of inexpensive Ford motor cars, financial speculation
based on an attitude of unbounded prosperity, and newly enfranchised
middle-class vacationers. William Candler, son of Coca-Cola magnate
Asa Candler, was the local financier behind the Biltmore project,
purchasing the land for the hotel in 1921 and incorporating the
Atlanta Biltmore Hotel Company in conjunction with Holland Ball
Judkins and John McEntee Bowman of the New York-based Biltmore hotel
chain. Bowman developed several Biltmore Hotels through the country
during this time period, all bearing the Biltmore name which was
said to be drawn from the Vanderbilt family estate of the same name
in North Carolina. The Atlanta Biltmore was designed by the New
York firm of Schultze and Weaver, also responsible for the Biltmore
hotels in Los Angeles and Havana.
The Atlanta Biltmore was located in an upper-class residential
neighborhood, close to downtown but separated from the business
district. Both its location and restrained exterior design, with
Neo-Georgian detailing, was intended to appeal to the upper-class,
and was thought to reflect the refined grace of the New South. The
six million dollar hotel opened with great fanfare, and a train
was chartered from New York City to bring prominent Northern hotel
men to Atlanta for the festivities. A dinner-dance at the hotel
that evening was broadcast nationally over the radio, and during
the course of the opening weekend, 1,000 cars made the circular
sweep through the hotel's gardens and terrace drive. According to
one reporter, Biltmore hotels, like that in Atlanta, provided "the
background for a ceaseless pageant of human life, and even of human
romance, and architecturally it is at its best when it dramatizes
the people beneath its roof, when it makes the life and spirit .
within its walls transcend the routine and ordinary everyday trend
The Atlanta Biltmore, once known as the South's supreme hotel,
staged galas, tea dances, debutante balls, and recitals by visiting
Metropolitan Opera stars. It served celebrities such as Franklin
D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mary Pickford, Bette Davis,
and Charles Lindbergh. It was the initial home of the Atlanta Historical
Society and the meeting place for many of the city's civic organizations.
For more than 30 years, WSB, the South's first radio station, broadcasted
from its studios within the hotel and the radio tower on the hotel
roof became a landmark on the city skyline. Facing increased competition
from Atlanta's modern downtown hotels, it was sold to a series of
owners beginning in the 1960s who were unable to revitalize the
business. In 1997, a local real estate investment firm, The Novare
Group, purchased the Biltmore property and renovated the hotel to
offer a variety of uses. In the spring of 1999, the former Biltmore
Hotel reopened for the first time in almost 20 years, and currently
offers special event space for business and social functions.
The Atlanta Biltmore Hotel and Biltmore Apartments are located
at 30 5th St., in NE Atlanta. A portion of the building houses condominiums.
For information on booking special events in the Biltmore Ballrooms
call 404-962-8700 or visit www.dovemgt.com/biltmore.htm
This late 19th-century eclectic residence was designed by Atlanta
architect Walter T. Downing for Dr. William P. Nicolson in 1892. Dr.
Nicolson was a prominent surgeon, Dean and teacher at the College
of Physicians and Surgeons in Atlanta, and President of the Georgia
Medical Association. Downing, a respected and important Atlanta architect,
was the designer of numerous residential, commercial and public buildings
in Atlanta. The Nicolson House is only one of five residences designed
by Downing known to still exist in Atlanta. It remained in the ownership
of the Nicolson family until 1982.
The house is a compact two-story suburban home, sited on a restricted
lot with moderate front and rear yards in the Midtown area. The
visual complexity of the eclectic exterior design results from the
application of a decorated, two-story rounded bay projection and
columned, flat-roofed porch to the front of a two-story square block
house with medium pitched hipped roof. The shell motif, so popular
with Downing, permeates the applied carved decoration from the shell
pattern in the freely designed Ionic capitals supporting the front
porch to the large shell which, as the major visual concentration
of the house, adorns the main facade projecting bay. The use of
materials on the exterior further expresses the architect's emphasis
on varied architectural composition. The main body of the house
is clad in clapboard siding with plain corner pilasters, molded
caps and plain frieze at the second-story floor level. In contrast,
the lower portion of the projecting bay is sheathed in a board and
batten siding with a tongue and groove vertical siding on the upper
level providing a smooth, plainer surface for the shell, swag and
torch details and ornate frieze. The interior features a U-shaped
staircase with a large lower landing that is used for a sitting
area with a built-in settee. The central hall is spaciously designed
to be a major circulation and visual link to the public rooms on
the first floor. Its large size is characteristic of the openness
of the first floor plan, which emphasized social entertaining. Large
single and double recessed sliding paneled doors, opening directly
onto the central hall, connect all major first floor rooms.
The William P. Nicolson House is located at 821 Piedmont Ave.
in north Atlanta. It is now the Shellmont Inn, a bed and breakfast.
Call 404-872-9290 or visit www.shellmont.com for more information.
St. Mark Methodist
Built from 1902 to 1903, St. Mark Methodist Church is one of Atlanta's
few remaining early 20th-cenutry Gothic style granite churches. Particularly
noteworthy are its stained glass windows made with the pot-metal glass
technique used in European Gothic churches during the Middle Ages
and the Renaissance.
The main facade has a triple entrance portal beneath a large arched
window and front gable. A tall bell tower with arched windows and
openings, wall buttresses and steeple dominate the left corner of
the facade. The right corner has a narrow polygonal-shaped tower
and spire. The north and south facades have a cross gable with rose-shaped
window and six arched windows. The interior of the church consists
of the sanctuary and later additions of the chapel (1947) and an
educational wing (1957). The sanctuary has three rows of pews and
an altar and choir at the east end. In 1959 the altar area was enlarged
and renovated, and a new organ was installed. The 12 pictorial stained
glass windows on the north and south walls were installed between
1909 and 1959. The scheme of the subjects is based on the life of
St. Mark Methodist Church is located at 781 Peachtree St. in
Atlanta. The public is welcome during regularly scheduled services.
For more information call 404-873-2636 or visit the church's
Dominating an entire wooded block near the center of downtown, the
Edward C. Peters House is the best and earliest surviving example
of residential architecture from Atlanta's post-Civil War era. This
house is an excellent reminder of those years when Atlanta first became
a city of national importance, when Atlanta became the capital of
the "New South." Edward C. Peters, son of an Atlanta pioneer Richard
Peters, built the house in 1883. The well-preserved two and one-half
story red brick mansion is a fine example of high Victorian architecture--featuring
both Queen Anne and Shingle Style elements. The architect of the Peters
House was Gottfried L. Norrman (1846-1909), a Swede, who practiced
in Atlanta from about 1880 until his death. A recent study of Norrman's
career reveals that he was not only an important local architect but
that his work is of some significance to the general American development
of this period. His late work indicates his knowledge of progressive
forms and ideas stemming from Chicago School architects such as John
Root and Louis Sullivan.
The Peters family were among Atlanta's founders and played an
important role in the city's development throughout the Civil War,
Reconstruction and the late 19th-century rebuilding boom. Richard
Peters, son of a well-known Philadelphia family, moved to Georgia
in 1835 as an assistant engineer on the newly organized Georgia
Railroad. Richard's grandfather, Judge Richard Peters, was Secretary
of War during the American Revolution; tiles around the Peters House
dining room fireplace depict scenes from the exclusive Philadelphia
Fish and Chowder Society founded by Judge Peters. Richard Peters
had served an apprenticeship with the noted architect William Strickland,
prior to arriving in Georgia. He first visited Atlanta (then called
Marthasville) in 1844 and in 1846 moved here permanently. In Atlanta,
Peters was involved in railroad construction and management, the
primary business concern of the young city, and real estate investment.
Realizing the significance the city would have as a transportation
center, he suggested changing its provincial name; a business associate
coined the name Atlanta and Peters backed its usage. In 1871, Peters
and George W. Adair organized the Atlanta Street Railway Co., the
city's first. Initially horse-drawn and later electrically powered,
the rail service opened up previously remote areas to residential
settlement by the city's growing middle class. Both Peters and Adair
owned land at the end of these rails lines. Peters owned 400 acres
of land immediately north of downtown. In 1878 his Atlanta Street
Railway Company's Peachtree line carried passengers north to Ponce
de Leon Avenue. By 1893, that line ran as far north as Eighth Street,
traversing the entire length of Peter's property.
Upon his death in 1889, his son Edward C. Peters became trustee
of the Peters estate. Edward was a civic and business leader of
Atlanta. In 1890 he formed the Peters Land Company, which developed
many of the family holdings. He is primarily remembered for his
association with the Peter's Park development plan which included
the land in the original 400-acre tract bought by his father. Peters
served as a member of the Atlanta City Council and was later an
Alderman. After Edward's death in 1937 the house passed on to his
son Wimberly, and then to Wimberly's daughter Lucille, who lived
in the house until her death in 1970. Most recently, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) received the Peters House as a donation. SCAD rehabilitated the house, and it now serves as a cultural arts and writing center for SCAD students, as well as a center where community members can gather for literary events, lectures, and concerts. The house is also open to the public for tours and may be rented for special events.
The Edward C. Peters House, now referred to as Ivy Hall, is located at 179 Ponce de Leon Ave. in midtown Atlanta. Ivy Hall is open to the public on Fridays between 10:00am and 2:00pm for tours. To schedule a group tour call 404-253-3324, and for rental information call 404-253-3206. Visit the Ivy Hall website for more information.
The Fox Theatre Historic District is situated at the intersection
of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Midtown section
of Atlanta. It contains three major buildings: the Fox
Theatre , the Georgian Terrace Hotel and the Ponce de Leon Apartments.
Built in 1911, the Georgian Terrace Hotel is a 10-story building
of brick and marble designed as a southern version of a Parisian
hotel. The Peachtree Street facade is composed of a two-story high
window arcade set under a wide cornice supported on narrow pilasters.
The center portion of the facade is stepped back and since the cornice
remains unbroken, the shallow entrance portico is created. Above
this two-story base, the facade remains relatively unadorned until
the actual cornice line of the building. The cornice is of highly-decorative
terra-cotta flush with the face of the building. The interior of
the Georgian Terrace features a marble lobby, general management
offices, a glass-enclosed lounging room, telephone booths, and elevators
on the first floor. The hotel also includes a dining room, cafe,
and a Ladies' Carriage entrance. The Ponce de Leon side of the hotel
originally included the "Terrace Garden" designed to represent a
tropical garden. Under exotic plants of widespread foliage, green
and white tables and chairs were spread to resemble the cafes of
The Ponce de Leon Apartments was one of the first large, high-rise
luxury apartment buildings in Atlanta. It provided residential quarters
and offered apartments from one-room to dozens of rooms. Built from
1912 to 1913, the Italianate building features two towers on either
side of a gently curving front facade. Balconies are found on some
of the upper floors and the pyramidal hipped roofs of the two towers
are covered in red tile. On the ground level of the building the
base is marked by a large colonnade which curves in a concave manner
with the facade. Shops can be found at both the ground and basement
levels along the colonnade.
Within the Fox Theatre Historic District, the Georgian Terrace
Hotel is located at 659 Peachtree St., in downtown Atlanta and is
open during normal business hours; visit the hotel's website at
www.thegeorgianterrace.com for more information. The Ponce de Leon
Apartments at 79 Ponce de Leon Ave. are private residences and not
open to the public. However, the shops in the lower levels of the
building are open during normal business hours. The district also
includes the Fox Theatre.
The Fox Theatre is a premier example of the American movie palace.
"The Fabulous Fox" is one of the most ornate movie palaces
remaining in the country, and one of the largest (250,000 square feet)
movie theaters ever built. It opened on Christmas Day, 1929, near
the end of the golden age of the American movie palace. The Fox was
not originally intended to be a movie theater. The building was originally
planned and designed to be the new headquarters for the Shriners of
Atlanta. This local group, the Yaarab Temple, included almost 5,000
members in the late 1920s. The formal name of the Shriners, a national
fraternal organization that is a subgroup of the Masons, is the Ancient
Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
In 1927, the Yaarab Temple held a design competition for their
new headquarters building. A local architectural firm, Marye, Alger
and Vinour, submitted the winning design, a flamboyant interpretation
of a mosque with onion domes, towers, horsehoe and lancet arches,
and a minaret. The Yaarab Temple Shriners loved the design because
it followed the Arabic theme chosen to promote membership in the
national Shriners organization, but they soon found out that the
cost to build their new headquarters was more than their budget.
The Yaarab Temple subsequently signed a lease to share the building
with movie mogul William Fox, the president of the Fox Theater Corporation
and the Fox Film Corporation. The deal called for Fox to lease the
large, 5,000 seat auditorium planned for the Shriners' new mosque.
The cornerstone was laid on June 14, 1928, and The Fox Theatre opened
18 months later on December 25, 1929. The Yaarab Temple dedicated
their new mosque a week later on New Year's Day.
The exterior of the building and most of the interior are based
on historic Islamic architecture. Several interior spaces are based
on historic Egyptian architecture, including the Egyptian Ballroom,
the Yaarab Temple's former banquet hall and ballroom. Although the
Fox has been classified as a variety of architectural styles, including
Neo-Mideastern Eclectic, Neo-Mideastern Exotic, and Islamic Revival
architecture, the Fox does not fit typical architectural style definitions
because it is really fantasy architecture. It is a premier example
of the movie palace architects' free-style approach to design. The
Fox includes features and details borrowed from historic mosques
constructed from the 10th to the 16th centuries all the way from
southern Spain to north Africa, the Mideast, and northern India.
Early 20th-century architectural critics called movie palaces like
the Fox a "prostitution of architecture," but movie palace
builders were not trying to build high-style examples of American
architecture. They were trying to construct fantastic, romantic
designs that would attract patrons to their movie theaters.
Because of the Great Depression, the Fox Theatre closed only 125
weeks after it opened. Members of the Yaarab Temple could not meet
their pledges, and by 1932, William Fox was bankrupt. In December
1932, the mortgage was foreclosed and the theater did not get back
on a sound financial footing until later in the 1930s. A new partnership
called Mosque Inc. acquired The Fabulous Fox and it prospered as
one of Atlanta's finest movie houses from the 1940s through the
The Fox was a successful theater for longer than most American
movie palaces which had to compete with suburban development, drive-in
movies, and television in the 1950s. And the Fox survived longer
than most, in large part because Atlanta loved the Fox. In addition
to its exceptional architectural design, the Fox also houses the
second largest theater organ in the world, a Moller organ affectionately
known as "Mighty Mo," as well as its original period furniture
collection, including sofas, chairs, vases, lighting fixtures, etc.,
collected by William Fox's wife Eve. By 1974, however, The Fox was
an endangered property. A large corporation wanted the theater site
on Peachtree Street for its new high-rise headquarters and tried
to have the building razed before the property changed hands.
Uncharacteristically for Atlanta, a grass-roots campaign to "Save
the Fox" quickly emerged, championed by a group of local high
school students who picketed in front of the theater and attracted
media attention at a critical time. Aided by the mayor, the city's
new Urban Design Commission, and a new non-profit organization,
Atlanta Landmarks, Inc., the campaign was a success. Atlanta Landmarks
purchased the Fox in the summer of 1975 and paid the mortgage in
1978, shortly before the repayment deadline. Since that time, the
Fox has been financially successful as a multi-purpose performing
arts center, and Atlanta Landmarks has spent more than $20 million
restoring, rehabilitating, and maintaining the huge building. The
Fox Theatre was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
The Fox Theatre is located at 660 Peachtree St. NE in Atlanta.
Tours of the theater are usually held Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
at 10:00am and on Saturday at 10:00am and 11:00am; there is a fee.
However, due to production and performance schedules, tours are
sometimes canceled. Please confirm tour availability with the Atlanta
Preservation Center at 404-522-4345. For further information you
can also visit the Fox
of Technology Historic District
As one of the major engineering institutions in the United States,
Georgia Tech, founded in 1885, has long been the driving force in
the southeast in the area of technological training and innovation
for continued industrial and scientific expansion. The Georgia Institute
of Technology Historic District is situated on and around the crest
of the "the Hill," the highest elevation of the school's original
nine-acre campus. Comprised of 12 buildings, the Old Campus is a
landscaped cluster of mixed-period classroom, dormitory and administrative
brick buildings. Buildings of the Old Campus include the Carnegie
Building, which was the campus library until 1953; the President's
Office is now located there. Lymnan Hall Laboratory, named after
one of Georgia Tech's earlier presidents, was the school's first
Chemistry Building. The YMCA Building, funded by John D. Rockefeller
in 1910, now houses the Alumni Association Offices. The random placement
of these buildings around the centrally positioned Administration
Building ("Tech Tower") has created unique urban spaces. Hundred
year-old trees shade the red brick buildings and enhance the sense
of special enclosure.
The most important quality of "the Hill" is its sense of space
and time. As is evident in the placement of the buildings, little
thought was actually given to the future expansion of the then young
technological school. Instead, the site planning was carried out
in such a manner as to meet the immediate and pressing needs of
the school. This practical approach has created the significant
quality of space. The harmony found within the Old Campus is attributed
to the fact that almost all of the buildings were built within a
short span of time--from 1885 to 1923. Though all exhibit a consistent
approach in design and construction, none include a repetition of
style or form.
The Georgia Institute of Technology Historic District is roughly
bounded by Fowler, Third, and Cherry Sts. and North Ave. in north
Atlanta. Campus tours are offered Monday - Friday at 11:00am and
2:00pm, except holidays. Call 404-894-1939 or visit the Georgia
Tech website for more information.
and Bed Company--Block Candy Company
Built circa 1900, the Atlanta Spring and Bed Company--Block Candy
Company is located in the industrial section northwest of downtown
Atlanta. Representing early 20th-century industrial activity in
the city, the building was constructed for William R. Ware, an Atlanta
furniture manufacturer. The Atlanta Spring and Bed Company was the
original occupant of the space from 1900 until 1909. After housing
several businesses, the building was then occupied from 1928 until
1936 by the Block Candy Company, Atlanta's first confectionery manufacturer,
started by the post-Civil War entrepreneur, Frank E. Block.
The four-story building is a significant example of the utilitarian
industrial design used for large manufacturing facilities at the
turn of the 20th century. Functional in design, the building features
heavy timber post-and-beam construction and masonry load bearing
walls with first floor granite walls and upper floor brick walls.
Exterior features include segmental arched windows, recessed window
bays, brick belt course, and a brick elevator tower. The interior
includes the original fire doors, exposed mechanical systems with
a historic sprinkler system and exposed wood posts and beams. On
the first level, there are brick and granite walls and posts resting
on brick piers capped with granite slabs. The second level or main
floor has tongue-and-groove floors, brick walls, wood ceilings,
and arched window and door openings. The upper levels feature the
same elements, except for concrete floors. This building was once
part of an industrial complex that included the Atlanta Buggy Company
and Ware Hatcher Brothers Furniture Company buildings, as well as
others that have been demolished. The industrial building was recently
renovated as office space, retaining the exposed brick walls and
The Atlanta Spring and Bed Company--Block Candy Company, 512
Means St., is used as office space. It is not open to the public,
but the lobby serves as an art gallery displaying the work of local
The Imperial Hotel is an eight-story early 20th-century hotel designed
in a variation of the Chicago style. It is one of the remaining
tall buildings in Atlanta built in the Chicago style during the
city's first era of skyscraper construction. This style features
a tall, narrow profile, a tripartite exterior design, an internal
skeletal frame supporting exterior veneer walls and elevators. This
hotel is especially noted for its extensive bay windows, a relatively
rare sight in Atlanta. It is one of the few surviving modestly-priced
hotels of this era that catered to the businessmen and tourists
who flocked to the rapidly growing city and formed the mainstay
of its hotel business. In addition, the Imperial Hotel played an
important role in the commercial development northward along Peachtree
The rectangular, flat-roofed hotel has a reinforced concrete frame
faced with red brick veneer inset with terra cotta. Its front facade
has a tall, narrow silhouette, subdivided into a tripartite arrangement
of a projecting first floor, a plainly detailed shaft and a more
ornate cap. Between the pairs of double hung sash windows, vertical
pier-like sections rise uninterrupted from the second to the seventh
floor where a string course marks the start of the cap. Both sides
of the building are articulated with seven rows of bay windows which
extend as continuous projections from the second to the eighth floors,
alternating with rows of small sash windows. The projecting first
floor, providing a nondescript entrance to the hotel, was built
in 1953 to replace the original open brick arcade with Tudor arches.
On the interior, the hotel has public areas on both the first floor
and in the basement with hotel rooms above. The first floor contained
a lobby and a lounge area which was extensively remodeled following
a 1968 fire. Some historic features in the lobby included a Tudor-arched
stone fireplace, marble wainscoting, crown molding around the exposed
concrete ceiling beams and a fan-light above the opening to the
lounge area. Two historic Otis elevators with all their original
equipment and a stairwell rise through the building. The upper floor
rooms are organized off both sides of a T-shaped central corridor.
The hotel was vacated in the early 1980s, and stood empty until
a rehabilitation effort in 1996 restored the building into a low-income
The Imperial Hotel, 355 Peachtree St., now contains 120 apartments.
It is not open to the public.
the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not only important for
its unusually innovative revival architecture and the artistry of
its stained glass windows and wall paintings, but also for its role
as a religious and educational center for the Catholic community
of Atlanta for well over a century. The Church of the Sacred Heart
of Jesus is regarded as an important work of W. T. Downing, one
of the most notable southern architects of the early 20th century.
The church is a significant Romanesque Revival design in the context
of American ecclesiastical architecture of the period. There have
been no alterations since its construction in 1898, other than occasional
restorations of paint, changes in the high altar, and the refinishing
of the church towers. The land for the church was purchased by the
Marist Fathers of Jefferson College in Louisiana in 1897. The property
was transferred a few months later to the Marist Society of Georgia.
One year later, the church was dedicated by Bishop Thomas A. Becker,
Bishop of Savannah. In the 1960s, the ownership of the church was
transferred from the Marist Society of Georgia to the Archdiocese
The exterior is built of pressed brick and terra cotta with marble
embellishments. Its western facade is composed of two identical
towers flanking a central bay and portico containing a vestibule
and tribune. The long rectangular mass of the church contains a
nave flanked by side aisles and gallery which terminate at an apse.
This sanctuary is covered by a single pitched roof. The portico,
a tripartite entrance under a corbelled pediment and marble cross,
projects from the facade creating deeply recessed doorways. Arched
and circular windows light the tympanums above these doorways. Above
the entrance and gallery, the gabled bay containing a large rose
window supports a corbelled cornice and marble cross echoing that
of the portico. Along the side facades, seven strip buttresses rise
to a cornice and are contiguous with a corbel table. These buttresses
divide the basement floor and the two sanctuary floors into equal
bays containing round arch windows. The basement, half sunken into
the ground, is used for offices. When it was completed, Sacred Heart
was situated in a residential part of town and surrounded with large
trees. At the time, many people of Atlanta felt the church was being
built too far out of town to serve any useful purpose. Today, the
only grassy areas left are two small strips of courtyard on the
church's north and south sides.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located at 353 Peachtree
St. in downtown Atlanta. It is open to the public during regular
church services; call 404-522-6800 or visit the church's
website for more information.
The Candler Building was one of Atlanta's most luxurious high-rise
buildings of the early 20th century. Great care was taken in the
design of the 17-story building as it was meant to be a monument
to Asa G. Candler--prominent Atlanta businessman, one-time mayor,
and philanthropist who founded the Coca-Cola empire. Candler came
to Atlanta in 1873 and his work as a wholesale druggist led to his
acquaintance with the original developer of the Coca-Cola formula,
Dr. Pemberton, and the druggists who sold the drink. In 1888, Candler,
Woolford Walker, and Dr. Joseph Jacobs organized a corporation to
take over Coca-Cola. Candler bought out the others' interest over
a three-year period. His skills at merchandizing launched the success
of his product, and his Coca-Cola-based fortune enabled him to pursue
interests in real estate, banking, politics, and the Methodist Church.
Asa Candler originally lived in Inman Park but
moved to Druid Hills in 1916, the year he became
In 1903, Candler purchased land for his intended office and commercial
high-rise. Candler selected architects George E. Murphy and George
Stewart, but was involved with many of the construction and design
decisions, such as the selection of the snow-white Amicalola marble
that sheaths the building's exterior. The marble, from the quarries
of the Atlanta Marble Company in northern Georgia, was used in the
cornerstone laid December 20, 1905. Within the cornerstone was placed
"a Bible, copies of the regular issues of several of Atlanta's daily
newspapers and other appropriate souvenirs," including a portrait
of Asa Candler and a bottle of Coca-Cola. No expense was spared
in design of the Candler Building, to ensure that it would be one
of the finest high-rises in the central business district. Typical
of the era, its exterior was visually and structural divided into
three parts--a two-story base, a 12-story shaft and a three-story
capital with large overhanging cornice. The interior of the Candler
Building featured special floors designed for use by doctors, dentists,
and surgeons; a banking hall; six passenger elevators which were
"at all times under the charge of a thoroughly competent engineer";
a barbershop; and what were said to be the "finest baths in America,"
located in the first basement of the building. Duplicate air-cooling
and electric systems were installed to reduce the chance of a total
systems failure, and a building-wide "vacuum air-cleaning device"
was installed. The triangular building had entrances on all three
sides; the largest and most elaborate of these was on the Houston
Street side and provided access to the Central Bank and Trust Corporation,
which Candler organized in 1906 to occupy the lobby floor of his
new skyscraper. The size and prominent location of the building,
the magnificent sculpture executed by craftsmen under the direction
of F.B. Miles, and a total, well-conceived design all contribute
to the deliberate monumentality of the building.
The Candler Building is located at 127 Peachtree St. in downtown
Atlanta. It is still used as an office building, and some of the
business within are open during normal business hours. The Atlanta
Preservation Center (www.preserveatlanta.com ) also offers guided
walking tours of the downtown area that begin at the Candler Building,
March-November on Fridays at 12:00 noon, Saturdays at 10:00am, and
Sundays at 2:00pm; there is a fee.
The Fairlie--Poplar Historic District is Atlanta's historic central
business district and includes the largest concentrated collection
of commercial and office buildings in Atlanta from the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. Individually, these buildings represent some
of the city's finest late Victorian and early 20th-century commercial
buildings, and range from storefront commercial buildings to skyscrapers.
Local interpretations of prevailing national architectural styles,
including Chicago, Renaissance Revival, Neoclassical, Commercial,
Art Deco, Georgian Revival, and Victorian Eclectic styles, are found
here. The buildings of the district also represent the shift in building
technology from loadbearing masonry and timber walls to steel and
Known at the time as "Atlanta's new modern fireproof business
district," the area developed during the years when Atlanta emerged
as the commercial center of Georgia and the Southeast. It constituted
a major northward expansion of Atlanta's 19th-century business district,
which was largely concentrated in an east-west band along the railroad
tracks cutting across the city. The new business district contained
a wide variety of wholesale and retail operations, which marketed
a broad spectrum of consumer goods and services. Public agencies
and many of Atlanta's business offices were also located here. Building
materials included brick, stone, cast iron, wood, pressed metal,
terra cotta, and plate glass. The buildings in this district range
in height from two to 16 stories, the taller constructed with steel
or concrete frames, while the smaller buildings were built with
loadbearing masonry and timber structural systems. Individual buildings
listed in the National Register of Historic Places that lie within
the Fairlie--Poplar Historic District include the English-American
Building , and the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse.
The Fairlie--Poplar Historic District is roughly bounded by
Marietta, Peachtree, Luckie and Cone sts. Many of the businesses
in the district are open to the public during normal businesses
hours. For more information visit Fairlie Poplar. Walking tours are available at 2:00 pm on Sundays from March-November. Visit The Atlanta Preservation Center for more information.
The English--American Building, built in 1897, is Atlanta's oldest
standing skyscraper. It was designed by Bradford Gilbert for the
English--American Loan and Trust Company. It pre-dates New York
City's larger and more famous Flatiron Building built in 1901 by
D.H. Burnham and Company. The English--American Building has played
an important role in structuring the urban environment of downtown
Atlanta. Both the exterior surfaces and the narrow triangular form
have continually provided a strong anchor to the central business
district (the Fairlie--Poplar Historic District).
In 1910 it became known as the Empire Life Building for six years
until it was renamed the Flatiron Building.
The building is an 11-story, narrow triangular steel-framed building
which conforms to its lot between Peachtree, Broad and Poplar streets
in the center of Atlanta's downtown business district. The steel
frame is enclosed at the base in heavy limestone piers, while stone
facing in upper stories provides a vigorously sculptural form for
the entire building. The street facades contain the base and shaft
capital components. The base is equivalent to two stories in height
with large glass areas separated by stone piers. The two upper floors
above a heavy cornice and a parapet are the cap of the building.
While the exterior of the building remains intact, some alterations
to the original fabric have occurred. The original brick and limestone
wall surfaces have been subsequently painted. A corridor originally
passed through the center of the building with elevators adjacent
to this passageway, and the original walls of this area have been
remodeled with smooth marble. The Georgia Savings Bank and Trust
Company purchased the building in 1920 and held the title for more
than 50 years. In 1974, the Hamilton Bank and Trust Company acquired
the building. Presently, Historic Urban Equities Limited owns the
building and leases office space to various organizations, including
several architectural firms.
The English--American Building, more commonly known as the
Flatiron Building, is located at 84 Peachtree St. in downtown Atlanta.
It is open to the public during normal business hours.
Office and Courthouse
The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is one of the most architecturally
important and distinguished buildings of the early 20th century
remaining in downtown Atlanta. Built in the Second Renaissance Revival
style, the Old Post Office was first occupied in 1911 after more
than three years of construction. James Knox Taylor, Supervising
Architect of the Treasury Department at the time, designed the building.
The Old Post Office is an imposing building, covering one block
in the center of downtown. The five-story, U-shaped building has
a granite exterior on the street facades and buff-colored brick
surfacing in the court area. The ground story is rusticated while
the upper wall surfaces are smooth, providing a background for a
variety of ornate openings. Surmounting the building is a heavy
cornice making the low roof invisible from the street.
The basic interior floor plan has not changed drastically, although
some details have been either altered or eliminated. The halls of
the first floor or main post area consist of series of arches resting
on flat marble pilasters. Wainscoting and window and door framing
are marble while upper wall surfaces are plaster. Elevators are
located near the stairwells, although the original grillwork has
disappeared. The United States Court of Appeals is located on the
third floor. The large, rectangular courtroom is covered with elaborately
carved oak paneling, repeating many of the motifs of the exterior.
In 1931, major postal services were moved to a newer building.
The U.S. Post Office and Courthouse is located at 76 Forsyth
St. in downtown Atlanta. It is now the Federal Court of Appeals
and is not open to the public.
The form of the Hurt Building, constructed from 1913 to 1926, was
dictated by its irregularly shaped site and is one of Atlanta's numerous
triangular-shaped buildings. Said to be the 17th-largest office building
in the world at the time of its construction, it is a good Atlanta
example of the skyscraper form that was developed by Louis Sullivan
and the Chicago School. The main shaft of the building was erected
in 1913 and the building was finished, with the exception of the decoration
of the rotunda entrance, early in October of that year. The Atlanta
Constitution reported on September 28, that the new Hurt Building
would open its doors about October 1, 1913. World War I delayed the
construction of the wings and light court of the building until 1924,
with the final portion of the building being completed during 1926.
The Hurt Building stands 17 floors in height, and is composed
of straight fronts, a flat roof, level skyline, subordination of
ornament, a regular pattern of fenestration, and cornices of moderate
projection. The four lower floors, which constitute the base of
the building, were made to cover the entire allowable building site
with the exception of the apex of the building--facing the main
business section at Five Points--which was cut back 30 feet to allow
a greater window area and a more majestic view of the building.
The 13 floors above this base follows a V-shape arrangement: the
two wings extend from the western apex of the property along both
Exchange Place and Edgewood Avenue leaving an open light court between
the wings opening toward Ivy Street. If any ornamental elements
could be singled-out in the Hurt Building they are those of classical
derivation. For, in addition to the classical details found in the
rotunda, pilasters are also found which separate the windows of
the ground floor, and a balustrade, located on top of the rotunda,
is extended as an entablature down the sides of the building to
mark the base. The rotunda consists of a moderate dome set on marble
columns and, situated at the western apex of the building's triangular
site, acts as the entrance level extending through the building
to Ivy Street on the east.
The Hurt Building also reflects the ideas and concepts of its
builder, Joel Hurt (1850-1926). Hurt, an Atlanta engineer and builder,
was a motivating force in many new developments in Atlanta. He was
known to have made preliminary drawings for several years before
he hired J.E.R. Carpenter, a prominent New York architect, well
experienced in the design of high-rise buildings, to draw up the
final plans for the Hurt Building. Hurt's training as an engineer
helped in the final design of the building, as he strove to keep
the "frills" of design down to a minimum and sought to create a
more "efficient" and direct approach to design for the sake of clarity
and unity. While the building is more ornamental than other streamlined
buildings of the modernism school, the unity between structure and
design is maintained, and it holds up well against more recent postmodern
designs in architecture. It remains one of the most highly visible
and architecturally important examples of early skyscraper construction
The Hurt Building is at 50 Hurt Plaza, in downtown Atlanta.
It is an office building, and is not open to the public.
The Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company is the oldest surviving building
associated with the early days of "Coke," the soft drink that has
been called "the holy water of the American South." From 1900 to
1901 it was the headquarters and plant of the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling
Company, parent of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The building
represents Coca-Cola's transformation from strictly a fountain treat
to primarily a bottled drink. Until the mid-1890s, Coca-Cola was
sold only at soda fountains. At that time the head of Coca-Cola
, Asa Candler, was not interested in bottling.
Candler was approached by several individuals who wanted to bottle
the soft-drink for him in different regions. Benjamin Thomas and
Joseph Whitehead secured a contract with Candler for exclusive rights
to bottle Coca-Cola for the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest, with
Candler supplying the syrup. This contract has been heralded as
one of the most valuable contracts in the annals of American business.
Thomas opened their first plant in Chattanooga. It was Whitehead,
with investor John Lupton, who opened the second plant in Atlanta,
originally known as the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Whitehead
assumed the responsibility of marketing their bottled product and
the operation expanded so quickly that they outgrew the plant on
Edgewood Avenue within a year. Whitehead and Lupton began selling
franchises to other bottlers, first in Atlanta where 16 franchises
were established, and then nationally.
The bottling plant itself is an interesting Victorian commercial
building. Constructed in 1891, the two-story brick building was
irregularly shaped to fits its angled corner lot. It originally
provided space for shops on the lower floor and living quarters
above, before being adapted for a bottling plant. The eclectic features
of the building include a Dutch stepped gable with oval attic window,
a wooden balcony under a pedimented gable roof, Italian Renaissance-inspired
arcade, round-arched windows, square turret, and a pyramidal hipped
roof. During its time as the Coca-Cola bottling plant headquarters,
there was an automated factory in the basement where the Coca-Cola
syrup was produced, and offices on the upper floors. Today it houses
the Georgia State University Baptist Student Union. The property
was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1983.
The Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company is located at 125 Edgewood
Ave., at the corner of Edgewood Ave. and Courtland St.
Built in 1903 to house the newly formed Coca-Cola Chewing Gum Company,
the Coca-Cola Building Annex represents the early development of the
Coca-Cola Company and its attempts to diversify its line of products.
Other products included cigars and candies. Unlike their soft drink,
the gum was not successful and Coca-Cola dropped the product in 1905.
The building was an annex to the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling
Company Plant , Atlanta's Coca-Cola bottling headquarters which
contained office space and a highly automated factory in the basement
where the Coca-Cola syrup was produced.
The three-story Classical Revival Annex building extended the
main building by five bays with its cornice heights, building materials,
fenestration and organization of the facade closely matching the
headquarters' exterior. The three-part main facade features a rusticated
basement level, a first floor with large plate-glass windows framed
by paired pilasters, and at the second and third levels, double
and tripartite windows grouped between pilasters. Classical Revival
details include terra cotta brackets and capitals, a modillion and
dentil cornice, and elliptical windows. Historic fabric that remains
intact on the interior of the building includes common bond perimeter
brick walls, exposed floor joists, wood sub floors, wood baseboards,
and window surrounds. Rehabilitations that took place from 1983
to 1984 and 1993 to 1994 have subdivided the once large open interior
spaces into many smalls rooms on every level. A light well and skylight
were also constructed on the east side of the building. The present
use of the Annex is for housing homeless HIV-positive and AIDS patients
that are receiving outpatient treatment at nearby Grady
Hospital , as well as administrative offices.
The Coca-Cola Building Annex, 187 Edgewood Ave., is privately
owned and not open to the public.
When it opened in 1892, Grady Hospital represented the most advanced
principles and philosophies of medicine and hospital architecture.
The city-owned and operated hospital was named for Henry W. Grady,
a prominent Atlanta newspaper editor and proponent of the "New South."
He and other leaders of Atlanta wanted a facility that would be
free from all sectarian and denominational influences. When Grady
Hospital opened, it welcomed rich, poor, black and white. The hospital
was originally a connected series of Romanesque style buildings,
but now only the three-story main building survives. The wards,
outbuildings and one-eighth mile of connecting corridors were demolished
in 1959 to make way for a parking lot.
The brick main building rests on a basement of solid granite. Facing
west, the main facade has a one-story portico flanked by a set of
paired windows and set of tiered windows. The large round arch of
the entry portico is detailed with an egg-and-dart molding and carved
keystone. An ornate frieze with the name of the hospital runs around
the three sides of the portico and is topped by a concrete balustrade.
Above the portico are recessed center windows on the second and
third floors. Granite brackets above the second floor bring the
third-floor balcony of open brickwork flush with the facade. On
the north side of the building is the tower with an enclosed fourth
level housing an emergency water tank. Its fifth level is open and
originally housed the emergency bell. The bell was replaced by chimes
The interior of the first floor features a wide hall dividing the
first floor from side to side and another hall crossing the building
north to south, separating the main entry from the rear of the building.
The second floor was designed for 10 private rooms for paying patients.
Although the hospital was provided with steam heat from its own
plant, six of these rooms had working fireplaces. The rooms were
built with rounded corners in the belief that it was more sanitary.
The nurse and staff quarters were located on the third floor. In
1903, a new operating room was attached to the northeast corner
of the main building. Ten years later, a new six-story hospital
building was connected to the main building through the small emergency
room wing. Except for these two major changes, the exterior of the
main building remains intact.
The main building of Grady Hospital is located at 36 Butler
St. in Atlanta. It is currently Georgia Hall, the hospital's Human
Resources Department, and is not open to the public.
the Immaculate Conception
The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the first Catholic Church
and Mother Parish of Atlanta, is one of the oldest standing buildings
in the city. This church is a highly imaginative early Victorian,
Gothic Revival building. It was designed in 1869 by 33-year-old William
H. Parkins, who had come to Atlanta the year before and continued
to practice in the city until 1882. Drawing upon English and European
church architecture, Parkins built what was at the time the most magnificent
edifice in the city. It was the harbinger of the new, post-Civil War
Atlanta, and although today surrounded by the skyscrapers of the 20th
century, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is one of the few
vestiges of the old city and of the work of William Parkins.
The first Catholic Church in the city was a square-framed church
built in 1848 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and named the Immaculate
Conception in her honor. In 1861, Father Thomas O'Reilly was appointed
Pastor of the church, and it was due to his influence with General
Slocumb of Sherman's occupying Union army that some of the original
buildings of Atlanta were saved from burning in 1864. During the
siege of Atlanta, however, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
was severely damaged by shellfire. The parishioners decided to build
a new church dedicated to the Virgin Mary on the site of its predecessor.
The estimated cost of construction was between $75,000 and $80,000.
The cornerstone was laid on September 1, 1869 by Bishop Verot of
Savannah, but it was not until 1873 that the huge church was finally
completed and dedication ceremonies held.
This beautiful example of Gothic Revival church architecture is
an eclectic manifestation of an American version of religious architecture
in which the style is a product of both foreign and local influences.
The overall form of the church with its flat brick walls and square
towers with corner pinnacles suggests a "Commissioners' Gothic"
style which originated in England in the early 1800s. However, Parkins
combined this with a French Gothic flavor found in the three rose
windows and the towered facade. The nave was adapted from Italian
Gothic design, as was the round organ loft balcony. The church super-structure,
built of red brick, has a modified cruciform plan defined on the
exterior by a pitched roof over the long nave, intersected by shorter
transept roofs adjacent to the apse and its side chapels. The most
striking feature of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception's exterior
is the pair of square towers flanking the central gable over a tripartite
entrance. Alterations were done to the interior in 1923, 1954, and
1969. The exterior has remained largely intact except in 1923 when
it lost a parapet balustrade with large trefoil crosses that connected
the four pinnacles of its northern tower. In 1954, the Church of
the Immaculate Conception was rededicated as a shrine.
The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is located at 48 Martin
Luther King, Jr., Dr., SE in downtown Atlanta. It is open to the
public during regular church services; call 404-521-1866 or visit
the church's website
for more information.
The Georgia State Capitol, completed in 1889, is a landmark in
the history of 19th-century American architecture. In style, form,
and plan, it is a perfect expression and symbol of the idea of a
Capitol building for the "Capital of the New South," as Atlanta
was called after Reconstruction. Reminiscent of the U.S.
Capitol Building, it directly expressed Atlanta's new nationalism
when city leaders were rebuilding the destroyed Confederate railroad
center in a new image. Atlanta became the temporary location of
the State capital in 1868, and when this became permanent in 1877,
the city offered the State five acres on which to erect a capitol
building. It took several years of legislative appropriations and
bids before construction began in 1884. At the cost of nearly one
million dollars, the architectural firm of Edbrooke and Burnham
of Chicago designed the Neo-Classical style building.
The Capitol's main entrance, approached on a wide concrete plaza,
faces downtown Atlanta. Dominating this west facade is a four-story
portico, the pediment being supported by six columns in the composite
order and six rusticated piers. This entrance leads into the main
floor located on the second level of the building. Above this pedimented
portico rises a dome and lantern covered with Georgia gold leaf,
topped by a female statue of Freedom holding a sword to her side
and a lantern aloft. Indiana oolithic limestone is the chief facing
material. The rear facade essentially duplicates the front. Inside,
Georgia marble was used for floors, steps, and a facing for walls.
On the west side of the open rotunda, above the entrance way and
defined by the portico, is the House Chamber. On the east side is
the Senate Chamber. Oak paneling in both chambers was a massive
exercise in Florentine Renaissance motifs with an Eastlake Victorian
touch. Statuary, marble busts, portraits, markers, Confederate and
other war flags and banners are displayed on every floor. Under
the rotunda is a Hall of Fame with marble busts of the Georgia signers
of the Declaration of Independence, as well as other notable citizens
from the past. The fourth floor corridors have displays which comprise
the Georgia State Museum of Science and Industry. In continuous
use as a state capitol housing the legislative and state government
offices, it remains an important architectural and historic landmark.
The Georgia State Capitol is located at 206 Washington St.
on Capitol Square in downtown Atlanta, near the intersection of
I-20 and I-75/85. The Capitol and the Georgia Capitol Museum are
open to the public from 8:00am to 5:30pm Monday-Friday. To view
the legislature in session, please note that the General Assembly
meets from January-March and also during special sessions. For specific
tour information call 404-656-2844 or visit the State
Central Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1885 as the congregation's
second church. Central Presbyterian was organized in 1858 with 39
members from Atlanta's original Presbyterian congregation. The church
was designed in the English Gothic style and has rough cut limestone
on the main facade and plain brick on the others. It has a high
bell tower with a pyramidal roof and truncated tower. An entrance
foyer at street level has stairs leading to the sanctuary that is
one level above the street. It retains its original stained glass
windows, stairs, wainscoting, plaster walls, and altar area.
Socially committed to the community, the church established outreach
programs to all areas of the city by launching a dozen mission Sunday
Schools and five new churches by 1890. In 1907, it founded the Atlanta
Union Mission to provide shelter and meals to the homeless. A public
health clinic for babies provided free medical service to children
of needy families beginning in 1922. In 1925, a three-story adjacent
building, called the Campbell-Eagan Building was constructed, with
brick walls and a slate roof . The first and second floors housed
classrooms while the third level contained a gymnasium with a balcony
and a stage. The church continues to support the community through
its daycare center and Family Clinic.
Central Presbyterian Church is located at 201 Washington St.,
in Atlanta. It is open to the public during regular church services;
call 404-659-0274 or visit the church's website.
Atlanta City Hall, completed in 1930, is a fine example of a Neo-Gothic
government building. The Atlanta City Hall is an 11-story tower
set on a four story rectangular base, with pointed arches and uninterrupted
piers. The reinforced concrete building has a cream-colored terra
cotta veneer covering the entire building. There are white marble
balustrades and steps at the Mitchell Street entrance. The lobby
and other public spaces have decorative marble wainscoting, walls,
and pillars, and ornamented plaster cornices. Prominent local architect
G. Lloyd Preacher, who moved to Atlanta from Augusta, Georgia in
1922, designed Atlanta City Hall. Preacher designed many buildings
in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Among his designs in Atlanta
are the Wynne-Claughton (Carnegie) Building,
the Pershing Point Apartments/Hotel, the Medical Arts Building,
and the McGlawn-Bowan (Standard) Building.
Atlanta's citizens have come here to visit city officials, attend
meetings, and other business related to city government since its
opening. In 1926 an $8 million bond issue was approved by Atlanta's
citizens, of which $1 million was used for the construction of the
new City Hall. The City of Atlanta moved its records and offices
to the new City Hall in February 1930. Many historic events have
taken place in this building. Mayor William B. Hartsfield called
upon the legislature to desegregate Atlanta's schools without State
intervention, and Maynard Jackson became the first African American
elected mayor of any southern city since reconstruction. Three city
halls existed in Atlanta prior to this one, the first (1855-1882)
being located directly across the street from this building, on
the current site of the Georgia State Capitol.
The second City Hall was located at Pryor Street and Martin Luther
King, Jr. Drive in a building owned by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
(1882-1911). The third City Hall was located in the U.S.
Post Office and Courthouse (1911-1930). The current location
was originally the site of a private home and later a girl's high
school until the city purchased the land in the 1920s for the site
of the future City Hall. The main offices of City Hall remained
at this location until March 1989, when a new addition at 55 Trinity
Street opened and the 1930 building was closed for renovation work.
The City Hall Annex facing Trinity Avenue was completed in March
Atlanta City Hall is located at 68 Mitchell St., S.W., at the
southeast corner of the intersection of Central Ave. and Mitchell
St. Now serving as the Council Chambers for City Hall, it is used
for many public meetings including that of the Atlanta Urban Design
Commission; contact them for more information at 404-330-6200 or
visit their website
for more information.
Atlanta Historic District
After the devastation of Atlanta during the Civil War, the city
began to rebuild itself around the railroad tracks that brought
goods and people to the city. However, by the 1920s, Atlanta had
a growing traffic problem. A series of viaducts was built to bridge
the railroad tracks and relieve congestion in the downtown area.
The viaducts illustrate a dramatic early 20th-century chapter in
local transportation and were part of a largely unrealized City
Beautiful plan to fashion a Beaux Arts civic center above the railroad.
Atlanta continued to grow above these viaducts--and above the original
street level of the center city. The ground floors of these buildings,
essentially sealed off by the viaducts, reflect the typical architecture
of this period. Those that front Alabama, Pryor and Peachtree streets
remain the most intact examples.
These post-bellum business blocks were abandoned for decades, but
were rediscovered and redeveloped as a shopping and entertainment
district called Underground Atlanta in the late 1960s and early
1970s. Today they remain a distinct, urban environment. The storefronts
along the north side of Alabama Street are the surviving lower portions
of buildings that were demolished to make way for the MARTA rapid-rail
line. Most of the storefronts in Underground Atlanta date from the
late 19th and early 20th centuries, and are generally Victorian
in style. Within the district is also the Zero Mile
Post, which marked the beginning point of the State-built railroad
line that fostered the development of the city.
Underground Atlanta, a shopping and entertainment district,
is open to the public during normal business hours. For further
information visit www.underground-atlanta.com.
Atlantic Railroad Zero Milepost
The Zero Milepost stands as a reminder of the early railroad days
and the birth of the city of Atlanta. This stone milepost marks
the southeastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad.
It was this railroad that provided the impetus for the beginning
and subsequent growth of the city of Atlanta and marks the center
of the city from which the Atlanta city limits were measured. The
rectangular, stone marker measures approximately one foot wide on
each side and 42 inches tall. The crown is pyramidal and the inscription
"W & A RR 138" is roughly carved into one side and "W & A RR OO"
on another. The Western and Atlantic Railroad was established by
the State legislature after another rail line connecting Charleston
to Cincinnati bypassed the State, and went through Tennessee instead.
A convention was held and it was decided that the State of Georgia
would build its own railroad through the center of the State and
allow private branch lines to join with it. When the legislature
met in November of 1836, a bill to construct a railroad at State
expense was introduced and passed 76 to 65. No specific locations
for terminal points were named but generally they were to be on
the Tennessee line near the Tennessee River at or near Rossville
and then in a direct route to the southeastern bank of the Chattahoochee
Colonel Stephen Harriman Long was hired to survey and build the
road on May 12, 1837. After several earlier moves it was decided
that the line should extend south of the river to provide a better
location for lines to Athens, Madison, Milledgeville and Forsyth.
The location was changed in 1837 to land Lot 78, District 14, DeKalb
County (between the present Forsyth and Magnolia streets). After
construction began in 1838, discussion continued on the location
of the southeastern terminus. Then, in 1842, a new and final point
was established, only 1200 feet from the previous point, in the
northeast corner of Land Lot 77, 14th District, DeKalb (later Fulton)
County. This point was located at Loyd Street, now Central Avenue,
between Alabama and Decatur streets from surveys by C.F.M. Garett
and F.C. Arms. A five-acre tract including the point was donated
to the State by Samuel Mitchell in 1842 which allowed for the construction
of the depot buildings. In 1850 the zero milepost was placed at
this location. From this small, struggling railroad town has grown
one of the largest metropolitan cities in the country.
The Western and Atlantic Railroad Zero Milepost, within the
Underground Atlanta Historic District, is located
under the Central Ave. viaduct, between Alabama and Wall sts. It
is inside a building that currently houses the Georgia State University
Security Office. To reach this site, enter the parking garage at
the corner of Central Ave. and Alabama St., take the elevator to
the basement, and ask for directions to the Security Office.
Hotel Row is a single block of historic commercial buildings along
Mitchell Street that, when built, was part of Atlanta's original
business district, in the shadow of the city's main railroad station.
This district is largely unchanged from the beginning of the 20th
century. Only the first floor storefronts have been modified. The
brick buildings are between three and five stories high with plate
glass storefronts and symmetrical facades. Several buildings were
built specifically as hotels. Built as a Jewish community center,
Concordia Hall is the oldest building within Hotel Row and survived
a fire in May 1908 that destroyed the rest of the commercial buildings
on this block. The three-story brick building once featured a high
Victorian facade with gabled roofs, arched windows crowned with
pediments, parapet cornices and a projecting onion dome turret at
the southwest corner. Because of alterations in the early 20th century,
much of the detailing is gone. The ground level along Mitchell Street
was originally designed for small shops and served as additional
income for the Concordia Association. The interior includes five
separate shops occuping the street and basement levels and corresponding
to the five bays which line the main facade. The second level contains
one large open room in the front and smaller rooms facing the back
alley. The third level consists of more than 20 guestrooms with
The Gordon Hotel is a three-story, buff-colored brick building
featuring three bay windows on the second and third levels, recessed
between Ionic pilasters. The street level facade also features stone
pilasters with Ionic capitals and a dentillated cornice. A narrow
alley runs between the Gordon and the adjacent commercial red brick
building. The Scoville Hotel, formerly the Marion Hotel, is a three-story,
buff-colored building having four paired windows across the upper
levels. Modillions and dentils ornament the heavy cornice line.
The interior lobby of the hotel contains some original light fixtures
and a crafted wooden front desk. The floor is a black and white
checkerboard tile pattern with the name "Scoville" laid in red tile
in the front foyer. The commercial building next to the Scoville
is a three-story stone, frame and red brick building featuring three
window panels recessed between clustered brick piers. The piers
support heavy stone lintels beneath a cornice. The Sylvan Hotel
is the last building that constitutes Hotel Row. It is a four-story
building constructed of buff-colored brick built to house guests
and workers of the railroad. Five bays wide, the building now houses
retail establishments on the street level.
Hotel Row includes 205 through 235 Mitchell St. (odd numbers
only). The first floor shops are open during normal business hours.
Hill Historic District
The Castleberry Hill Historic District is a densely developed commercial
district adjacent to one of Atlanta's main rail lines. It consists
of one- to three-story brick buildings historically used for retail,
wholesale, and light industry. Growing alongside the Central of
Georgia / Southern Railroad tracks from the 1890s to the 1930s,
the district covers approximately 40 acres and includes more than
100 buildings. It is the only remaining collection of railroad service
and distribution buildings that document the roots of Atlanta's
beginnings as a railroad town. The district began as a residential
area occupied by a mix of working and middle-class people. It grew
as a trade and commercial strip, a support center for railroad and
railroad-related businesses and a shopping area for the adjacent
residential areas. By 1878 one of the city's first mule-drawn trolley
lines was routed through the district. In the 1880s a new freight
depot and several spur lines were built along the main tracks, rapidly
increasing the pace of commercialization and industrialization.
Peters Street, running the length of the district, is lined with
retail buildings designed in modest late Victorian and early 20th-century
Commercial styles. They are predominantly one- and two-story buildings
with flat roofs and high parapets. All originally had street level
storefronts set between brick piers, but many of these first floors
have been altered. The buildings are detailed with corbelled cornices,
segmented and rounded arch windows, cast stone sills, and decorated
spandrel panels and stepped parapets. Situated along Nelson and
Walker streets are almost solid rows of two- and three-story warehouses.
The majority were built in the 1920s, and are early 20th-century
Commercial style buildings with flat facades and modest amounts
of detailing. Industrial sash windows and track loading doors are
found in most of the buildings.
Castleberry Hill Historic District is roughly bounded by Nelson
St., Southern & Central of Georgia Railroad, McDaniel, Peters and
Walker sts. The shops within the district are open during normal
business hours. For special tours, check with the Castleberry
Hill Neighborhood Association.
Center Historic District
The Atlanta University Center District encompasses a group of the
country's major institutions of higher learning for African Americans.
They have not only pioneered in offering educational opportunities
to African Americans, but have been a progressive force in the development
of the black community in Atlanta, which in turn, has had considerable
impact upon the nation. Located west of Atlanta's central business
district, the six colleges of the Atlanta University Center include:
Atlanta University; Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown and Spelman Colleges;
and the Interdenominational Theological Center. Atlanta University
was founded in 1865 as an institution offering a liberal arts education.
In 1929, Atlanta University became the graduate school for the affiliated
group of colleges.
At the northernmost end of the district is the oldest campus,
which is now occupied by Morris Brown College. The National Historic
Landmark building Stone (Fountain) Hall is located
on this campus. One block east and north of the Morris Brown campus
is a residential street. This was a part of the original property
of Atlanta University on which faculty homes were located. On the
western boundary of Morris Brown and the Interdenominational Center
are residential streets containing many typical Victorian frame
cottages with occasional examples of Eastlake style detailing. Also
in the area between the old campus and the later Atlanta University
campus are the buildings of the University Homes housing development.
These are two-story, red brick buildings with wrought iron balconies
above projecting entranceways designed in a modified International
style. The southern section of the district is occupied by the quadrangle
of Atlanta University's present campus surrounded by Morehouse,
Spelman and Clark Colleges. Also located within the boundaries of
the Atlanta University Center District are two historic churches.
West Hunter Street Baptist Church occupied a late Romanesque Revival
building in the northern section of the district until 1972. Friendship
Church, in the eastern section, is strongly linked by tradition
and history with the district.
The Atlanta University Center Historic District is roughly
bordered by the transit right-of-way, Northside Dr., Walnut, Fair,
Roach, West End Dr., and Euralee and Chestnut sts. The grounds of
the University are open to the public. For further information about
the Atlanta University Center, visit their affiliated
library. The Atlanta University Center Historic District is
also highlighted in our Historic
Places of the Civil Rights Movement itinerary.
Built in 1882, Stone Hall was the administration building for Atlanta
University until 1929. It is a three-story red brick Queen Anne
style building with Romanesque Revival elements. The school opened
its doors in 1869 on a campus consisting of approximately 50 acres
west of downtown. In 1929, Atlanta University united with Morehouse
College and Spelman College to form the Atlanta University
Center affiliation. Morehouse and Spelman continued to offer
undergraduate degrees while Atlanta University became the graduate
school for the other two colleges. As part of this affiliation,
Atlanta University gave up most of the buildings on its original
campus and moved into new quarters with the other two schools.
Stone Hall is the building most closely associated with the history
of Atlanta University. It primarily functioned as the college's
administration building, but it also contained classrooms and meeting
rooms. When the colleges merged, Stone Hall was one of the buildings
leased to Morris Brown College, which changed the name of the building
to Fountain Hall. It is still used as a classroom building. Stone
Hall has undergone no exterior alteration since its construction.
The interior has seen some changes, including the installation of
modern heating, cooling and electrical systems, but the original
floor plan remains intact. Stone Hall was designated a National
Historic Landmark in 1974.
Stone Hall (Fountain Hall) is located on the grounds of Morris
Brown College at 643 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Visitors to the
campus are welcome. For more information visit the Morris Brown
Completed in 1910, the Herndon Home, was the residence of Alonzo
Herndon and his family. Herdon was a former slave raised in a sharecropping
family after the Civil War. Herndon studied barbering, and owned
and managed a string of barbershops in downtown Atlanta after the
Civil War, one of which was considered to be the most elegant in
the country with marble floors and chandelier. Investing his income
into real estate, Herndon became the largest black property owner
in Atlanta by 1900. Later, Herndon founded the Atlanta Life Insurance
Company, located in the Sweet Auburn Historic District,
and became Atlanta's first black millionaire. The home was primarily
designed by Adrienne Herndon, Alonzo's first wife and a teacher
at Atlanta University. The couple had one son,
Norris. Adrienne died of Addison's disease just three months after
the home was completed. In 1912 Alonzo married Jessie Gillespie.
The Herndon home is a two-story, 15-room Beaux Arts mansion built
by local black craftsmen. The formally composed building is constructed
with multi-colored brick, and features a two-story entry portico
supported by Corinthian columns. One-story porches to each side
of the building echo this theme in brick piers and wooden capitals.
An elliptical fanlight over the main entrance and the balustrade
above the full entablature of the building's cornice add a distinctly
Georgian Revival flavor to this imposing residence. The Herndon
Home is a lasting tribute to the hard work and talent of extraordinary
African Americans in Atlanta, and was designated a National Historic
Landmark in 2000.
After Alonzo's death in 1927, Norris assumed the presidency of
Atlanta Life Insurance, with Jessie as vice president. During this
period the company experienced its greatest growth. Norris lived
in the Herndon Home for much of his life, and filled it with many
decorative arts from his travels to Europe, as well as keeping his
parents original furnishings. Shortly after Jessie died in 1947,
Norris established the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon foundation,
a charitable trust which operates the home today as a museum recounting
this family's phenomenal rise from slavery to leadership of the
nation's black business community.
The Herndon Home is located at 587 University Pl., NW, in Atlanta. Guided tours are conducted hourly from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment only on Saturdays. There is a fee for admission. Call 404-581-9813 or visit the Herndon Home website for further information.
Park Historic District
The Washington Park Historic District is a historically black neighborhood
in northwest Atlanta encompassing historic residential, commercial,
and community landmark buildings. It is situated two miles west
of the central business district of Atlanta. The combination of
gridiron and curvilinear streets is a result of the neighborhood
having been developed from four separate subdivision plats. One
of these plats created Atlanta's first planned black neighborhood,
while the other three were abandoned by white developers and adopted
by Heman Perry, an early 20th-century black developer. Although
Perry did not receive a formal education past the seventh grade,
in 1913 he founded one of the largest black-owned companies in the
United States, the Standard Life Insurance Company of Atlanta.
The development of the Washington Park area is associated with
the history of racial segregation in Atlanta. Prior to 1919, Ashby
Street functioned as an early "color line" in the city. The area
east of Ashby Street was established as an area for African Americans,
and the area west of Ashby Street was established as an area for
white settlement. Few white families were interested in residing
so close to the historically black Atlanta University
campus. Any plans for white settlement west of Ashby Street ended
when the general manager of the Parks Department of Atlanta designated
Washington Park as the first recreational park for African Americans
in 1919. The Atlanta Board of Education re-designated Ashby Street
School from white to black in that same year. With these two actions,
the area west of Ashby Street was abandoned by white developers
and this early "color line" was broken.
The collection of historic residences within the district consists
of one- and two-story buildings built between 1919 and 1958 featuring
exterior wood clapboard or brick veneer. These close-knit residences
are fairly uniformly set back near the street-end of their narrow
lots. The architectural types represented within the district include
English and Georgian cottages, Georgian, American Foursquare, and
the bungalow, the most commonly found type. The architectural styles
found include Colonial Revival, English Vernacular, and Craftsman,
which is the style most widely represented. There were few commercial
buildings located within the Washington Park neighborhood, historically
concentrated near the edges of the district at the crossroads of
major streets, but many of these stores have been lost or altered.
A c. 1930 gas station featuring an office block with a canopy remains,
as well as a corner store with a large storefront window oriented
towards the intersection. Community landmarks include the William
A. Harris Memorial Hospital, the Ashby Street Theater, the Citizen
Trust Company West Side Branch bank building, and the E.R. Carter
Elementary School (formerly Ashby Street School).
One of the focal points of the historic district is the recreational
park. Prior to the construction of Washington Park in 1919, there
were no recreational parks in Atlanta available to African Americans.
The park started with a gift of six and a half acres and expanded
to 25 acres when completed in 1928. It originally included a swimming
pool, dance hall, pavilions, and tennis courts. The Washington Park
neighborhood has retained many of its landscape features; however,
mass transportation projects, modern residential construction and
subsidized housing development have caused the loss of some historic
The Washington Park Historic District is generally bounded
by Ashby St., Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Simpson St. and Ashby
Ter. The houses in the district are private residences and are not
open to the public.
Washington High School
The first black public high school built in Atlanta, Booker T.
Washington High School was constructed in the 1920s during the city's
major school building program. It was, and still is, an important
cultural institution in the black community. The school has produced
many outstanding graduates, including Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader; Romae T. Powell, judge;
Dr. Asa Yancy, surgeon; and Dr. Mabel Smith Lott, psychologist.
Because of its quality of education, many students came from out
of town to attend this school. The school opened in 1924, 52 years
after public education started in Atlanta. It remained the only
black high school in the city until 1947. The school was named for
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), a Virginia native who had been
born a slave and became one of the most influential black leaders
and educators in the United States. In 1881 he founded and became
the first principal of Tuskegee Institute.
Booker T. Washington High School is a four-story building of reinforced
concrete with brick veneer walls built in a medieval-eclectic style.
It contains 40 classrooms, administrative suite, library, cafeteria,
and science laboratories in the main block. The elaborate main entrance
contains five arches in two tiers, using terra cotta and Venetian-style
columns. Some original roof tiles and mosaic floors remain, as do
original doors, high ceilings, and radiators. A statue of Booker
T. Washington by Charles Keck was added at the front entrance in
1927. It is a duplicate of the original at Tuskegee Institute in
Alabama. In 1938, six classrooms and a laboratory were added as
a Works Progress Administration project. A major, half million dollar
addition in 1948 filled out the original plan and was designed by
the original architect, Eugene C. Wachendorff.
Booker T. Washington High School is located at 45 Whitehouse
Dr. in Atlanta. It is still used as a high school, and is not generally
open to the public.
The Mozley Park Historic District is a typical early 20th-century
residential neighborhood, located approximately three miles west
of downtown Atlanta. The community is named after the original landowner,
Dr. Hiram Mozley, who's heirs inherited the land after his death
in 1902. The houses in the district were built over a 20-year period,
beginning around 1920 when the basic street arrangements were completely
mapped. The houses built in the oldest section of the neighborhood
are Folk Victorian cottages and Craftsman bungalows built on small
lots with varied setbacks and no driveways. There have been modest
changes to the houses, including new awnings, siding, and rear additions.
The overall neighborhood plan is that of a gridiron, typical of
many Atlanta neighborhoods. Many of the streets have retained their
original granite curbing and narrow sidewalks with hexagonal pavers.
Lots are primarily 50 feet wide.
The district also includes the Mozley Park Recreational Area.
In 1922, the citizens of Mozley Park and the surrounding area asked
the Atlanta City Council to purchase the Mozley estate for a recreation
area to serve residents of the southwest side of Atlanta. The Civil
War breastworks and trenches that remained on the site were leveled.
A park was developed with roadways, landscaped areas, lakes, a swimming
pool, and a bathhouse. The only other non-residential building in
the district is the Frank L. Stanton Elementary School, named for
Georgia's first poet laureate. It was built on a wooded hill adjacent
to Mozley Park. The school is a traditional two-story, red-brick
building with limestone trim and awning windows. In the 1950s and
1960s, public project developments, including the construction of
Interstate 20, altered portions of the landscape in Mozley Park.
Some older houses and streets have been demolished. But because
of the minimal alterations to the majority of the houses, the neighborhood
has maintained its integrity as an early 20th-century residential
Mozley Park Historic District is roughly bounded by Westview
Dr., West Lake Ave., Seaboard Coast Line Railroad tracks, and Rockmark
and Martin Luther King, Jr., drs. The houses in the district are
private residences and are not open to the public. Mozley Park at
1565 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. is open 6:00am to 11:00pm daily.
West End Historic
The West End Historic District exemplifies the pattern of growth
and development that characterized metropolitan Atlanta during the
19th and early 20th centuries. West End's development began in the
1830s with the establishment of the White Hall Inn at the important
crossroads of White Hall (now Lee Street) and Sandtown Roads (later
Gordon Street, now Abernathy Boulevard). In the late 1840s, the
Macon and Western Railroad line (later Central of Georgia) was established
just east of the tavern, which provided easy access to downtown
Atlanta, and increased the potential for growth around the White
Hall area. Speculators, notably George Washington
Adair, John Thrasher and Thomas Alexander, bought lots surrounding
the inn anticipating future growth. In 1868 the inhabitants of the
area received a charter, and the land speculators began subdividing
and promoting the newly incorporated town as the ideal suburb of
Atlanta. Adair changed the name of the community to West End, after
the "fashionable" theater district in London, England. Adair joined
with Richard Peters in 1870 to form the Atlanta Street Railway Company
to provide trolley access to his suburb. West End became a desirable
suburban community in the 1880s, and grew rapidly in population
and prosperity, so that by 1930 there were more than 22,000 residents.
Notable residents included E.P. Howell, former Mayor of Atlanta
and owner of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, as well
as several authors such as Frank L. Stanton, Madge Bigham and Joel
Chandler Harris, known for his Uncle Remus Tales.
West End contains a rich mixture of architectural styles of the
types popular in Georgia cities (and throughout the United States)
during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most predominant
house type found throughout West End is the Craftsman bungalow,
but other significant styles include Queen Anne, Stick Style, Folk
Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Neoclassical Revival. In addition
to the bungalow, other house types include the gabled ell, New South,
Queen Anne, and American Foursquare. The houses are primarily constructed
of wood and some of brick. By the 1920s, 50 businesses were clustered
at Gordon and Lee streets including branches of Sears, Firestone,
Piggly Wiggly, and Goodyear.
By the 1940s, West End was an aging, but still vital community.
The West End Businessmen's Association, formed in 1927, later produced
and implemented urban renewal projects to stem the exodus of West
End citizens to the suburbs. Historically occupied by white residents,
by the 1960s the neighborhood had become home to many African Americans.
The northern edge of West End became home to many African Americans
associated with the Atlanta University Center.
The construction of Interstate 20 was part of the urban renewal
targeted for the West End, to create greater accessibility to the
business district, but in effect it physically separated the black
and white areas of the neighborhood. Also part of this renewal were
the enlargement of J.E. Brown High School and Peeples Street School
and the creation of two new parks. In recent years there has been
a resurgence of pride and interest by West End residents. In 1974,
they formed the West End Neighborhood Development, Inc. to improve
the socioeconomic position of the community and its residents, and
increase interest and awareness of the historic neighborhood. The
Hammonds House, once home of a prominent Atlanta physician, now
houses many 19th-century antiques and a notable collection of African-American
West End Historic District, in the southwest section of Atlanta,
is roughly bounded by I-20 to the north, Lee St. to the east, White
St. to the south, and Langhorn St. to the west. The Hammonds House,
located at 503 Peeples St, is open to the public Tuesday-Friday
from 10:00am to 6:00pm; Saturday-Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Call
404-752-8730 for more information.
This country retreat on Snap Bean Farm was once the home of Joel
Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus Tales. Harris
was also a prominent journalist and editor of the Atlanta Constitution
newspaper. Influential black songwriter, author and statesman, James
Weldon Johnson, said in 1921 "the Uncle Remus Tales constitute
the greatest body of folklore that America has produced." Harris
had just published his first Uncle Remus book when he moved to this
house in 1881, and did most of his subsequent writing here until
his death in 1908.
The building was constructed in 1870 as a simple farmhouse by
George Muse, founder of Muse's Clothing, a well-known and established
Atlanta store that was in business for more than 100 years. Eleven
years later, Harris rented the house and later purchased it in 1883
from his employer at the newspaper. He hired architect George P.
Humphreys of the firm of Norrman and Humphreys to remodel the house
into a rambling one and one-half story frame cottage in 1884. The
residence embodies distinct characteristics of the Queen Anne style,
which include an asymmetrical plan with a steeply pitched gable
roof and a heavily latticed porch, surrounded by trees and gardens
where Harris raised a variety of fruits and vegetables. Harris also
built homes for three of his children on lots on the west side of
his property facing Lawton Street. Today, two of these remain and
are private residences.
More commonly known as the Wren's Nest, today it is the oldest
house museum in Atlanta. Largely unchanged since Harris's death,
the historic home contains the original Harris furnishings as well
as the original paint colors. It is an excellent and rare example
of the early Victorian Queen Anne style in the Atlanta area. The
house was dubbed the Wren's Nest in 1900, when the Harris children
discovered a wren had built its nest inside their mailbox. They
promptly erected a second mailbox so the birds would not be disturbed.
The Wren's Nest was designated a National Historic Landmark
The Joel Chandler Harris Home, more commonly known as the
Wren't Nest, is located at 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.,
in SW Atlanta, off I-20 at exit 55A. It is open from Tuesday-Saturday,
10:00am to 2:30pm, except major holidays. Guided tours are offered
regular hours. Special storytelling sessions, a reading garden,
amphitheater space, and a museum store are all available. Call
404-753-7735 or visit www.wrensnestonline.com for more information.
The Adair Park Historic District is a residential neighborhood
located southwest of downtown Atlanta and adjacent to the Norfolk
Southern Railroad tracks. This bungalow suburb was developed from
the 1890s to the 1940s, when Atlanta was transitioning from a "railroad
town" to a true city. Shortly after the Civil War, land speculators,
notably George Washington Adair, John Thrasher and Thomas Alexander,
began purchasing land in this area anticipating future growth. To
increase the value of this land, Adair joined with Richard Peters
in 1870 to form the Atlanta Street Railway Company to provide trolley
access to the area. He also established the Atlanta Real Estate
Company, and continued purchasing land for development. Adair's
company became the largest developer of property in Atlanta before
he died in 1889. His sons, George and Forrest, continued the company,
and began designing the Adair Park subdivision and selling lots
Similar to neighboring West End, the predominate
house type within the neighborhood is the bungalow with Craftsmen
style detailing. Architectural styles represented include Folk Victorian,
Queen Anne, and English Vernacular Revival. There are also a few
apartment buildings within the district. Residential front yards
within the district are generally small due to narrow lots and houses
placed close to the street. Landscaping is informal with grass yards,
mature trees and shrubs. There are some sidewalks, granite curbing,
steps from the street to the yards, and retaining walls within the
district. The few historic commercial buildings are generally one-story
freestanding or attached neighborhood stores. Most are constructed
of brick and feature storefront bays. Community landmark buildings
include the George W. Adair School. Constructed in 1912, the school
is a two-story brick building designed in the Academic Gothic Revival
style with red brick. Other community buildings include the Stewart
Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Adair Park Baptist
Church. The recreational park in the district was established in
1922. Adair Park comprises 20 lots originally designated for houses
that were not sold due to the sloped topography and swampy ground.
Landscaped with open areas, mature trees, and historic walkways,
the park has on its grounds a one-story brick bathhouse built in
The Adair Park Historic District is roughly bounded by Metropolitan
Pkwy., Lexington Ave., Norfolk Southern Railroad and Shelton Ave.
The houses in the district are private residences and are not open
to the public.
and Old Post Area--Fort McPherson
Fort McPherson, one of the most picturesque installations in the
South, has been an important military post since its inception in
1889. The fort was named for Union General James McPherson who was
killed in the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. It has had
a variety of missions, including serving as a convalescence center
during the Spanish-American War and World War I, and as a processing
center during WWII. The buildings in the northeast corner of the
property constitute Staff Row and Old Post Area. Built from 1891
to 1910, this district includes a parade field and 40 buildings,
including officers' quarters.
All of the buildings retain their original red brick walls and
white wood trim. The majority have a common bond brick pattern,
arched windows, gabled roofs with wood decking, and hand-seamed
metal roofing. A few, such as Buildings 5 and 10, have circular
walls with domed roofs. Almost all of the buildings along Staff
Row (Buildings 1-20) have intricate brickwork on the chimneys and
trim. Classical details are also found in the roof trim with dentilled
entablatures. Building 10 stands out most prominently in the district.
Designed in the Queen Anne style, it has a rambling plan with several
turrets with small-paned windows. It also employs classical elements,
including Doric columns. Today, Fort McPherson serves as the Headquarters
of the U.S. Army Forces Command.
The Staff Row and Old Post Area is located in the north east
corner of Fort McPherson. The Fort is not accessible to the public.
For more information visit the Fort's website.
A. Wilson House
The Judge William Wilson House, a two-story Greek Revival
building built over a period of three years from 1856 to 1859, is
one if the rare pre-Civil War buildings still standing in Atlanta.
Wilson was the son of early settlers in Atlanta. He acquired 1,200
acres from his father in 1839 and created one of the largest plantations
in the area. While Wilson was serving with the Georgia Volunteer
Infantry during the Civil War, his house was used by Union General
William T. Sherman as temporary headquarters during the Battle of
Atlanta. After the war, Judge Wilson served as a justice of the
inferior court in Fulton County, a representative in the Georgia
General Assembly, and as the sheriff of Fulton County.
The exterior walls are constructed of fieldstone and mortar that
has been stuccoed. The walls are reported to have been constructed
by pouring the materials into a form. A two-story portico with a
second floor porch was removed in the early 1960s when a two-story
frame addition was constructed on the foundations of the portico.
The original front door, now located in the addition, has an over
light and sidelights. A screened porch is located on the rear of
the building. The interior floor plan is typical of the Greek Revival
style with a central stair hall and four rooms on each floor. Other
Greek Revival features include molding around the doorways and windows
and the high ceilings.
Members of the Wilson family and their slaves are buried in a
small cemetery located southwest of the house. A detached kitchen
and several slave cabins were once located on the property. The
kitchen was southwest of the house, but was demolished due to its
deterioration in the 1960s. The slave cabins were located directly
south of the house, but the exact location is unknown. The Wilson
House remained in the family until 1962 when Dr. Thomas N. Guffin,
great grandson of the builder, sold the property to the Holy Family
Hospital so that it could be used as nurses' quarters. Most recently
is was used as a community center by Southwest Community Hospital.
The Judge William A. Wilson House is located at 501 Fairburn
Rd. in Atlanta. It is currently not in use and not open to the public.
Burns Cottage, a replica of poet Robert Burns' birthplace in Scotland,
was constructed by the Burns Club of Atlanta. The club was organized
in 1896 as a social, literary, and memorial society and has held
a celebration on the anniversary of Burns' birthday every year since
1898. In 1907 the club began an effort to obtain land and erect
a "Burns Cottage" to be used as a clubhouse. A nine-acre tract of
land was obtained on what is now Alloway Place. Atlanta architect
and member, Thomas H. Morgan, obtained the exact measurements of
the original Burns cottage in Alloway, Scotland, and prepared plans
for the Atlanta replica. Construction of the Georgia granite building
was supervised by Robert McWhirter, a member of the club and a skilled
stone mason, and was finished in 1911. The asbestos-shingle roof
with shallow eaves has gables that connect directly to the chimneys.
Of the three doors on the front of the cottage, only one is used.
The small windows reflect the Scottish practice of taxation, in
which windows were taxed.
The low, one-story building is generally rectangular, but is slightly
curved, as was the original, which accommodated the curve of the
road it was built along. The interior of the house is also a close
replica of the Scottish cottage, and was divided into the traditional
four areas: but, ben, barn, and byre. At the far end is the but,
which would have been the kitchen, dining room, and parents' bedroom.
Next to the but is the ben, which would have served as the living
room and childrens' bedroom. These two rooms are decorated with
memorabilia from the life of Robert Burns. The assembly room, which
replaces the barn and byre, is used for club meetings. The three
fireplaces in the cottage are constructed of random stones with
mortar joints raised and rounded. The fireplace in the center of
the cottage has an inset stone plaque in memory of the poet. The
only remaining outbuilding is a one-story stone caretaker's house,
originally a log cabin. It was redesigned in 1969 to bear a closer
resemblance to the cottage. The grounds once covered 10 acres and
included a dance pavilion, barbeque pit and shed, a tennis court
and putting green for club use and for rental to other groups. Changes
to Burns Cottage include the rear addition of small, functional
kitchen, porch and restrooms. The assembly room's original stone-flagged
floor was replaced with a concrete one, a fireplace was added at
the far end, and some of the small windows were closed.
Burns Cottage is located at 988 Alloway Pl. in Atlanta. It
is privately owned by the Burns Club of Atlanta, and generally not
open to the public. For more information please contact the club's
president, Dr. James Powell, at 770-471-0725.
The Grant Park Historic District encompasses one of Atlanta's oldest
neighborhoods. The district includes Grant Park, a 131-acre green
space and recreational area, and the residential neighborhoods surrounding
it. The majority of the buildings are residential but the district
also includes school buildings, churches, neighborhood commercial
clusters and recreational buildings. Rambling Victorian era mansions
and small cottages, early 20th-century bungalows and many brick
paved sidewalks characterize the Grant Park neighborhood. A majority
of the buildings were built from the late 19th to the early 20th
century. Large two-story mansions face the park, more modest two-story,
modified Queen Anne, frame dwellings were constructed on surrounding
streets, while one-story Victorian era cottages and Craftsman bungalows
predominate in the streets to the east of the park. Grant Park's
distinctive landscape includes rolling hills and scenic vistas.
The neighborhood's grid street pattern and narrow rectangular lots
which developed during the 1890s and early 1900s are representative
of Atlanta residential plans of this era. The streets are lined
with mature trees and there is an extensive sidewalk system, portions
of which retain the original brick. Due to the topography, retaining
walls are an important landscape feature.
The district also includes remnants of the home of its earliest
settler, Colonel Lemuel P. Grant. Grant came to Atlanta in 1840
to participate in the construction of the Georgia Railroad. During
the Civil War, Grant was responsible for the design and construction
of a system of defensive fortifications for the city of Atlanta.
After the war, Grant's business career expanded, as did his land
holdings in the southeast quadrant of the city. In 1883, he carved
out about 100 acres of his vast estate for a public park which he
donated to the city--the first large city park in Atlanta. The city
expanded its boundaries to include the park acreage, and purchased
44 additional acres in 1890. In 1909, the Olmsted Brothers, sons
and successors to America's pioneer landscape architect and park
designer Frederick Law Olmsted, planned numerous improvements for
the park. Though considerable erosion has taken place, their influence
is still evident.
A section of the main line of the Civil War earthen breastworks
and a battery known as Fort Walker are preserved in the southeast
corner of Grant Park. The Civil War history of the area is also
represented by the Cyclorama, a 360-degree detailed panorama painting
of the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. The canvas is heavy gauge cotton
duck, 358 feet in circumference and 42 feet in height. It weighs
9,000 pounds. Before the painting was started, intensive study of
the terrain of the battle site in East Atlanta was done in the summer
of 1885 by a group of 10 German artists working for the American
Cyclorama Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The artists returned
to Milwaukee in the latter part of that year armed with notes, drawings,
portraits of commanders on both sides and official maps and papers
from the War Department. It was first displayed in Detroit in 1887
then toured major cities of the country until it was purchased by
a series of different owners, and finally given to the city of Atlanta
in 1897. The marble and granite building that houses it today was
constructed in 1921. Between 1934 and 1936, a Works Progress Administration
project gave the painting a three-dimensional foreground. Plaster
figures, exploded shells, fragments of rails and cross-ties, blasted
stumps, simulated grass and bushes, and Georgia clay were added
to the base of the canvas. Also within the Cyclorama Building is
the Texas, an eight-wheel American type steam locomotive
built by Danforth, Cooke, and Company of Patterson, New Jersey and
placed in service on the Western and Atlantic Railroad in October
1856. The Texas was made famous as one of the three locomotives
that pursued the General, a stolen Confederate locomotive,
on April 12, 1862 in what is now known as the Great Locomotive Chase,
also known as Andrews's Raid. James J. Andrews, a civilian, and
19 Union soldiers seized the General and three box cars at
Big Shanty, now Kennesaw, Georgia, and headed
north toward Union lines. Their mission was to destroy the railroad
and cut off communications from Atlanta, a major supply point for
the Confederacy. The Texas entered the chase north of Big
Shanty, ran 51 miles in reverse in pursuit of the locomotive, and
towed the damaged General back to Ringgold, Georgia after
it was abandoned by Andrews and the Union soldiers. Andrews and
seven of his men were hanged by the Confederates as spies. The Texas
continued to serve the Confederacy throughout the Civil War, was
later renamed the Cincinnati, and from 1890 to 1904 operated
on the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. Left neglected
for many years, it was moved into the basement of the Cyclorama
Building in 1927 and finally restored in 1936 and put on public
The Grant Park Historic District is bounded by Glenwood and
Atlanta aves. and Kelly and Eloise sts. Walking tours are available at 10:00 am on Sundays from March-November. Visit The Atlanta Preservation Centerfor more information. The Grant
Park Neighborhood Association also sponsors periodic tours
and events, and another organization, the Grant
Park Conservancy, is committed to the preservation,
restoration, beautification and maintenance of historic Grant
Park. The Cyclorama
Building, 800 Cherokee Ave., is open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm
and there is a charge for admission; call 404-624-1071 for
Built in 1896, the Atlanta Stockade was, at the time, the largest
city-built penal complex in the State. The compound consists of
a prison, a blacksmith shop, stables, and the remains of a third
auxiliary building. The prison is also significant in its use of
early concrete, including both poured reinforced concrete and cast
concrete block. The Stockade is the second prison built on the site,
with the original building constructed primarily of wood. The original
purpose of the site, when purchased by the city of Atlanta in 1863,
was for a cemetery, but plans changed and it was used as a hospital
before becoming a prison.
The prison is a large Neoclassical and Gothic building constructed
in four phases. The 1896 portion was a two-story concrete building
with steel-reinforced concrete walls. In 1905, it was enlarged on
three sides, including the Classical portico with five columns and
four four-story Medieval towers, which served as guard stations.
A third-floor room was also added on top of the original prison.
In 1910, a three-story addition was added to the northeast side.
From 1913 to 1916 another three-story dormitory wing was added to
the southeast side of the building. Exterior details include alternating
textures on the towers and rusticated concrete made to look like
stone. Some window and iron bars remain, although no window glass
does. The original concrete stairs still exist and interior details
include concrete wainscoting and molding in the warden's office.
The Stockade was officially closed by the city in 1924. The Girls'
High School was built by December of that year on the grounds of
the complex. In 1927, the Atlanta Public School system moved their
service center into the former prison. This served as a maintenance
and repair facility until 1938. From 1938 until 1962, it was used
as a furniture warehouse by the school system. After 1962, the stockade
was barely utilized until 1987 when it was converted into low-cost
The Atlanta Stockade, 760 Glenwood Ave., is currently an apartment
building and is not open to the public.
Oakland Cemetery is an 88-acre hilly area in the southeastern section
of Atlanta which contains the city's oldest extant burial grounds.
Among the 40,000 interred at Oakland are: the unmarked graves of paupers,
Confederate and Union soldiers, a Jewish section, an African American
section, 24 former Atlanta mayors, six former governors, prominent
Atlantans including Gone with the Wind author Margaret
Mitchell Marsh and golf great Bobby Jones. The cemetery was established
in 1850. A brick wall enclosing the cemetery with a pattern of brick
pilasters, recessed panels and corbels was built in 1896. With 50
miles of brick streets and walkways, the grounds of the cemetery are
an expression of the 19th-century landscape ideal of a cemetery-park
and provide a luxuriant setting for its profusion of Victorian cemetery
Three of the oldest sections of the cemetery were set aside for
specific groups and have visually distinct environments. The Confederate
section, occupying six acres of high ground, is marked by an 1873
obelisk and a monument to the unknown dead. The granite monument
illustrates a wounded lion lying on a furled Confederate flag. The
Jewish section, dating to 1860, is crowded with elaborate monuments
and mausolea bearing inscriptions in both Hebrew and English. The
black section of the cemetery is on the northern end on sloping
ground that looks toward the historic east-side black community.
The landscape here is less crowded and the markers generally less
The marble and granite gravestones throughout the cemetery range
from simple, unadorned flat granite markers to grandly scaled obelisks
and mausoleums. Both round and low-pitched arched stones with a
variety of tympanum motifs dating from the mid-19th century are
particularly prevalent. Markers in the shape of urns, occasionally
displaying a common 18th-century motif of winged cherub or soul
figure are used widely. Other notable and typically Victorian figure
motifs found in the cemetery include a sleeping child or cherub
in a shell, the weeping wife or mother bowed in grief with palm
leaf or laurel wreath in hand, angel figures and the solemn classical
figure who may be clinging to a cross. Widespread marker forms include
anchors bound with rope, rough hewn rocks covered with ivy and lilies,
tree trunks from which all limbs have been removed, crosses bedecked
with flowers and portrait stones.
Oakland Cemetery is located at 248 Oakland Ave., NE, near the
intersection of Boulevard St. and Memorial Dr. where Martin Luther
King, Jr. Dr. ends. The main entrance is located on Oakland St.,
off Memorial Ave. The Visitor's Center is located in the Bell Tower
Building, and is open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Guided tours are available
March-October, Saturdays at 10:00am and 2:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm
(except holidays); there is a fee. Guide books are also available
for self-guided tours. For further information please call 404-688-2107
or visit www.oaklandcemetery.com
The Cabbagetown District, east of downtown Atlanta, originally
consisted of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill and the housing built
for the factory workers. The mill is a complex of buildings constructed
primarily between 1881 and 1922. The main factory buildings are
five-story brick buildings designed in a Neo-Romanesque style. Two
of the three original mill buildings remain today. Founded by Jacob
Elsas, the mill manufactured standard-sized cotton bags at a time
when most of the cotton in the South was being shipped to the North
to be processed.
Because this area of Atlanta was sparsely populated in the late
19th century, the owners of the mill company decided to erect housing
for its employees. Housing along the streets was built at different
times. The houses, situated on very small, narrow lots, vary in
type from shotgun cottages to more sophisticated bungalows. Many
of the houses have Victorian ornamentation that is mostly evident
in their porches, doors, and windows. The first housing section,
known as the "Factory Lot," was built around 1881 but is no longer
extant. The oldest remaining houses were built between 1886 and
1892 along Reinhardt Street. Much of the housing was without plumbing
and electricity until well into the 20th century. Hydrants located
on back porches and the outhouses were replaced with indoor plumbing
in the 1940s. Kerosene lamps and coal heaters were replaced in 1950
when the houses were wired for lights. A park known as "Noah's Ark"
due to a nearby large, one-story apartment building provided recreational
space for the community. There was also a baseball field in Cabbagetown,
known as "Red Hill" because of the red clay of the field.
The mill maintained the entire neighborhood and its lawns. It
also provided garbage, security, medical, dental, library and nursery
services for its employees. Only when the Elsas family sold the
mill in 1957 did most of these services end. At the time the mill
was sold, the residences were offered to their respective tenants.
Those buildings not bought were sold in groups to non-residents.
The mill itself was closed in 1977 and remained vacant until the
mid-1990s when the complex was converted into loft apartments. Occasional
commercial enterprises are found through the village, most of which
are long-established family-run stores that serve the immediate
community and its needs.
The Cabbagetown District is bounded by Oakland Cemetery, Boulevard
and Pearl sts., Memorial Dr., and the Georgia Railroad tracks. The
houses in the district are private residences and are not open to
Concentrated along a short mile and a half of Auburn Avenue, the
Sweet Auburn Historic District reflects the history, heritage and
achievements of Atlanta's African Americans. The name Sweet Auburn
was coined by John Wesley Dobbs, referring to the "richest Negro
street in the world." Like other black communities throughout the
country, Sweet Auburn's success was intricately tied to the residential
patterns forced on African Americans during the early 20th century--the
result of restrictive laws in southern states which enforced segregation
of the races, known as Jim Crow laws. It was here that many African
Americans established businesses, congregations, and social organizations.
Several churches located along the avenue, such as Big Bethel
AME and First Congregational, helped build and maintain the heritage
of the street. The Royal Peacock Club provided an elegant setting
where many African Americans could perform and bring the changing
styles of black popular music to Atlanta. Originally called the
Top Hat Club when it opened in 1938, the club hosted local talent
and national acts such as B.B. King, the Four Tops, the Tams and
Atlanta's own Gladys Knight. One of the many significant commercial
buildings within the district is the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.
The second largest black insurance company in the United States,
Atlanta Life Insurance was founded in 1905 by Alonzo
Herndon, a former slave from Walton County, Georgia. The company
steadily grew so that by 1910, there were more than 42 branch offices.
The central building of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company complex
is a Beaux Arts building facing Auburn Avenue. The district also
includes the Rucker Building, Atlanta's first black-owned office
building, constructed in 1904 by businessman and politican Henry
A. Rucker. The Atlanta Daily World, the first black-owned
daily newspaper, was founded here in 1928.
Sweet Auburn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
However, like so many other inner-city neighborhoods, Sweet Auburn
fell victim to lack of investment, crime and abandonment, compounded
by highway construction that split it in two. In 1992 the National
Trust for Historic Preservation recognized that it was one of America's
11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The Historic District Development
Corporation (HDDC) was formed to turn the trend around, starting
with houses surrounding the birth home of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., and working outward. HDDC designed Sweet Auburn's
renewal to improve the community without pricing lower-income residents
out of the neighborhood. Since 1994, HDDC has built and rehabilitated
more than 110 single-family homes and more than 50 units of affordable
rental housing. HDDC is are now focusing on the renewal of the district's
Sweet Auburn Historic District is located along Auburn Avenue,
generally between Courtland St. and I-75/85 in downtown Atlanta.
Walking tour maps are available through the Atlanta Convention
Visitors Bureau, 404-222-6688. For more information contact the Friends of Sweet Auburn. Group walking tours are also available. Call 404-688-3353 or visit the Atlanta Preservation
Center for more information.
King, Jr., National Historic Site
This traditionally black neighborhood of several blocks in Atlanta
includes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist
Church where he was a pastor, and his gravesite. Martin Luther King,
Jr., was the nation's most prominent leader in the 20th-century
struggle for civil rights. Born in 1929, he excelled as a student
and graduated from Atlanta's Morehouse College
in 1948. Also in 1948 he was ordained at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Following his ordination, he became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer.
He later studied at the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania,
then graduate studies at the University of Boston. In 1954, King
became the pastor of the Dexter
Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Following Rosa
Parks' refusal to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Martin
Luther King, Jr., led the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott from
1955 to 1956 (381 days). In 1957 he was elected president of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization
formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights
movement. He moved back to Atlanta in 1960 and was co-pastor with
his father at the Ebenezer Baptist Church while still President
of the SCLC. Martin Luther King, Jr., worked tirelessly to assure
the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights
Act of 1965. He was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil
rights activities and delivered some of the most famous speeches
of the 20th century including his speech
at the March on Washington in 1963, his acceptance speech of
the Nobel Peace Prize, his last sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church,
and his final "Mountaintop"
speech in Memphis. King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis,
Tennessee, where he was helping striking sanitation workers.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in a two-story Queen Anne style
house at 501 Auburn Avenue, in a neighborhood known as Sweet
Auburn. The house has a one-story partial front and side porch
with scroll cut woodwork trim, two porthole windows, a shingled
gabled end, and a side bay. The porch sits on an enclosed brick
foundation. Dr. King was born in an upstairs middle room on January
15, 1929 and lived here until 1941. The Ebenezer Baptist Church,
where for eight years he shared the pulpit with his father, is a
short walk away at the corner of Auburn Avenue and Jackson Street.
It is a three-story red brick building detailed in stone and has
several groupings of stained glass windows. Construction of the
church began in 1914 and was completed in 1922. Across from the
church at 449 Auburn is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for
Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., which continues King's legacy and
work. King's gravesite occupies most of the cleared lot east of
the Ebenezer Baptist Church to Boulevard Street. In 1976 a memorial
park was installed around the marble crypt. The park consists primarily
of a brick and concrete plaza with arch-covered walkway and chapel
partially surrounding a reflecting pool. In the center of the pool,
on a raised pedestal rests the King crypt. On it is engraved the
inscription: "Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968, 'Free at last,
free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last." This National
Historic Landmark historic district is also featured in our We
Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement
The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, administered
by the National Park Service, includes King's birth home, church
and grave. The National Park Service's Visitor Center, at 450 Auburn
Ave. features exhibits about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the
Civil Rights movement. The park is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm;
from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day open until 6:00 pm; closed
Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. Call 404-331-5190,
or visit the website for
more information. The surrounding almost 70-acre Martin Luther King,
Jr., National Historic Site and Preservation District includes
the Sweet Auburn Historic District.
Inman Park was the first planned residential suburb developed in
Atlanta. Its promoter, Joel Hurt, was one of
the city's most important early builders. Improvements to the district,
such as streets, a park, part of Atlanta's first electric streetcar
line, landscaping and tree planting were well underway by the time
the first lots were put up for auction in 1889, officially opening
the development of the Inman Park suburb. Subsequently, more land
was acquired and more lots subdivided by Joel Hurt's company, the
East Atlanta Land Company, and Samuel Inman, the financier and cotton
broker for whom the area was named. Inman Park was for some years
occupied by many prominent Atlanta families who built typical late
19th-century Victorian homes on its picturesque landscaped streets.
The founder of the Coca-Cola Company, Asa G. Candler,
and his brother Warren A. Candler, a bishop in the Methodist Church
and supporter of Emory University, both lived in the district. Among
other important citizens of Atlanta who also lived in the neighborhood
were Wilbur Fiske Glenn, an influential Methodist minister for whom
Glenn Memorial Church on the Emory University
campus is named; George King, founder of Atlanta's King Hardware;
former Governors Allen Candler and Alfred W. Colquitt; Robert Winship,
founder of Winship Machine Company; Ernest Woodruff, financier and
officer of the Coca-Cola Company and his son Robert, who later assumed
a prominent role in the Atlanta community.
Found in this historic district are examples of Queen Anne architecture,
Colonial Revival, and Shingle Style homes and bungalows. Some notable
buildings include the Jacobean Revival home designed by Atlanta
architect W. T. Downing, called the Ernest Woodruff House, built
in 1902. At the intersection of Euclid and Elizabeth streets are
the Joel Hurt House and the Asa G. Candler House. The Hurt House,
a brick building also designed by Downing, has a landscape designed
by the Olmsted Brothers, the sons and successors of Frederick L.
Olmsted, and the home itself reflects aspects of the Prairie School
style. The Candler House is a monumentally scaled, red brick home
articulated by white wooden details including a two-story Ionic
columned portico, arched windows and doors, and ornamental cornices.
Distinctive landscape features also characterize Inman Park; in
addition to the two triangles of open space at the intersection
of Euclid and Edgewood avenues, known as the Triangle and the Delta,
Springvale Park provides a large corridor of green space in the
center of the area. Inman Park's landscape designer was James Forsyth
Inman Park underwent a slow decline for much of the 20th century
until about 1970 when area residents founded the Inman Park Restoration,
Inc. Inman Park is historically important because it provides an
Atlanta example of the typical late 19th-century picturesque suburb
conceived in a form similar to Frederick Law Olmsted's earlier influential
Riverside outside of Chicago. Inman Park later influenced the growth
of other Atlanta suburbs in the late 19th century.
Inman Park lies near the eastern boundary of the city of Atlanta
and is due east of the financial center called Five Points.
district is roughly bounded by Lake, Hurt and DeKalb aves. and
Krog St. The houses in the district are private residences and
open to the public. Visit the Inman
Park website for further information on the neighborhood.
Walking tours are available at 2:00 pm on Sundays from March-November. Twilight tours are also availalbe from April-October. Visit the Atlanta Preservation Center for more information.
The Inman Park--Moreland Historic District is comprised
primarily of residential buildings that date from the late 19th
and early 20th centuries. It also includes two historic schools,
two historic churches and several commercial buildings. Architectural
styles within the district include Colonial Revival, Beaux Arts,
American Foursquare, Bungalow/Craftsmen, and Commercial. Most buildings
are one- or two-story residences, constructed of wood or masonry,
with low overhanging roofs, front gables, dormer windows, and front
porches. Noted Atlanta architect Willis Franklin Denny (1874-1905)
designed several of the buildings including the Kriegshaber House,
located at 292 Moreland Avenue, listed individually in the National
Register of Historic Places.
The district also stands as testimony to the incrementally developed
Atlanta suburb. This type of suburban development, comprised of
several related subdivisions, is characteristic of much of Atlanta's
early 20th-century suburban growth. It contrasts with the contemporaneously
planned suburbs like Ansley Park, Druid
Hills, and the adjacent Inman Park. This
district got its name from its association with Major Asbury F.
Moreland, a primary property owner in the district in the late 19th
century. His property, known as "Moreland Park," was subdivided
in the early 1900s. In addition, the Copenhill Land Company developed
a subdivision between 1895 and 1920, in the area around Copen Hill,
the most elevated rise of ground in the district.
The Inman Park--Moreland Historic District also includes the shopping
area known as "Little Five Points," which was officially designated
in the early 1920s as a commercial area by the City of Atlanta.
The commercial buildings, most of which share a common party wall
and have storefront windows and tile roofs, are located on Euclid
and Moreland avenues at the Little Five Points intersection and
on North Highland Avenue near Colquitt Avenue. As the population
grew in east Atlanta in the area where the trolley lines converged,
Little Five Points became one of the earliest major regional shopping
centers. The southern part of the district along Moreland, Austin,
Alta, and Euclid avenues is the site of the former Moreland Park,
a popular resort in the 1880s and 1890s.
The Inman Park--Moreland Historic District is bordered on the
north and northwest around Seminole, Cleburne, and North Highway
aves. The houses in the district are private residences and are
not open to the public, but the commercial shops are open to the
public during normal business hours. Visit the Inman
Park website for further information on the neighborhood.
Directly west of Albion Ave. is the Jimmy
Carter Library and Museum.
The NuGrape Company of America began in Atlanta in 1921 as a soft
drink company. It was an innovator in the 1920s by bottling its
own drinks, now a standard in the beverage industry. The National
NuGrape Company building, built in 1937, served as the national
headquarters for more than 600 bottlers of NuGrape around the country
and housed the advertising office and home laboratory for the company.
The syrup was also made here and stored in 50-gallon oak barrels.
The National NuGrape Company building is a three-story, wood-framed
Stripped Classical style industrial edifice. With its brick pilasters
and simple cornices, this building incorporates understated classical
detailing on an otherwise unadorned facade. This style represents
a transition between classically influenced architecture, with pediments
and pilasters, and modern architecture, which is characterized by
plain wall surfaces and little or understated stylistic detailing.
The exterior features a flat roof, stone cornice cap, blond brick
on the front and west facades, red brick on the rear and east facades,
steel-framed tilt factory windows with multiple lights, and brick
pilasters with stone caps. The west facade has similar detailing
as the front. The east facade has single-door entrances on each
level to provide emergency exits by metal stairs. The bridge connecting
the building to the rail spur is on the third level. Originally,
the floor plan consisted of a first floor lobby, offices on the
first and second floors and two large open spaces each on the first
and third floors. The interior has been altered to consist of a
first floor lobby and a lengthwise central hall on all floors with
The National Nugrape Company used the building from 1937 to 1971
when it was sold to Ryco Printing Company. After Ryco left the building
in 1990, it was converted into apartments.
The National NuGrape Company building, 794 Ralph McGill Blvd.,
contains private residences and is not open to the public.
Company Assembly Plant
The Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant is an outstanding
example of early 20th-century commercial and industrial architecture
in Atlanta. It is one of the earliest automobile assembly plants
in the Southeast and represents the beginnings of the automobile
industry in Atlanta. As a result of Ford's pioneering decision to
decentralize its production facilities, it is also significant for
serving as the headquarters of the company's southeastern operations
from 1915 until 1942.
In 1907, four years after the Ford Motor Company was founded,
the automobile maker opened its first small sales office in Atlanta
in a converted harness shop. Because of the high volume of sales
in the city, Atlanta was selected as a regional branch two years
later. In 1914, Ford made the decision to concentrate its sales,
service, administration, assembly, and shipping operations for four
southern states in Atlanta. At the height of its operation in this
plant, Ford sold an annual average of 22,000 vehicles. Model T's
(1915-1927), Model A's (1927-1932), and V-8's (1932-1937) were assembled
in this building. After selling the building to the War Department
in 1942, another plant was constructed in the Atlanta suburb of
Hapeville in 1946 to continue Ford's industrial presence.
Built in 1914, the assembly plant is a four-story, rectangular
industrial building. The north and west sides are veneered with
face brick and trimmed with terra cotta and colored tile. On the
south and east elevations, the concrete frame is respectively faced
with common brick and left exposed. Character-defining windows,
which occupy much of the plant's wall surface, are large, multi-paned,
metal, industrial sash. The building's finished sides are detailed
with brick pilasters between bays and a prominent terra-cotta stringcourse
dividing the first from the upper floors. The roof is flat, and
from it, project three elevator towers, a water tower, a central
gabled clerestory that runs the length of the factory section, and
a rooftop office or work area located in the southwest corner.
Throughout the interior, rows of concrete columns with mushroom-shaped
capitals support the concrete slab floors. It is divided into a
showroom/office area at the front end on the first floor and a factory
area to the rear. The front entrance leads directly into the large,
centrally placed showroom, which retains its original plaster walls.
An elevator and a stairway finished with marble treads and risers,
ceramic-tile landings, and a cast-iron railing are located to the
west of the showroom. A heavily reinforced floor along the central
portion of the second level supported a rail bed and allowed rail
cars to be brought into the building and directly under the craneway
In 1942, the building was sold to the War Department for use as
an Army-Air Force Storage Depot and Offices of the Third Air Service
Area Command. Several alterations were made at this time, including
partitioning much of the open space and flooring over the light
well at both the third and fourth levels. Retail shops and apartments
now occupy the building.
The Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, 699 Ponce de Leon Ave.,
has retail stores on the street level open during normal business
Callanwolde was originally the home of Charles Howard Candler,
eldest son of Asa Candler, who succeeded his
father as president and director of the family-founded Coca-Cola
Company. It was named after Callen Castle in Ireland which was given
to a Candler ancestor by the English crown in the 17th century.
Built in the early 20th century (1917-1921), Callanwolde was designed
by Henry Hornbostel of New York. Hornbostel also created the campus
plan and several buildings for Emory University.
From 1929 until his death in 1957, Charles Candler served as board
chairman of Emory University.
Callanwolde is a successful amalgamation of 19th-century Gothic
Revivalism and 20th-century ideas of form and function. The front
facade of this two and one-half story home has medieval half-timber
rhythmical design across the upper stories, crenellated bays and
Tudor arches. It was constructed with modern materials of poured
concrete and steel and a rubble base of tile covered by stucco.
Embodying the ideals of an open floorplan, most of the rooms have
access to the great hall on each floor. The great hall is paneled
in walnut obtained from W. M. Healy of Southern Railway, a friend
of Candler. This wide paneling was used in Pullman cars and is unobtainable
today. Two rear wings originally created an arcaded courtyard. In
the 1980s, this inner courtyard was completely enclosed to provide
more space for special events at the arts center (its current function).
Originally a one-lane bowling alley was located in the basement;
however, this area is now used as a pottery studio. The home has
an Aeolian music system especially designed for the house and installed
during its construction. Consisting of seven divisions, the instrument
is contained in four separately constructed chambers strategically
located throughout the house. Decorative ornamentation in the ceiling
and walls of the mansion conceals the chambers. The most spectacular
of these ornamentations, a system of rib vaults elaborated with
an intricately designed pierced tracery constructed of pre-cast
masonry grillwork, is located in the ceiling above the grand staircase.
Controlled from the console located in the first floor great hall,
all chambers can be utilized simultaneously or separately, permitting
selective projection of sound to all major rooms in the mansion.
While basically an electric powered wind pipe organ, simulation
of five or six different instruments can be presented from the keyboard
of the console.
Callanwolde was used as the Candler home until 1959; it has since
served in the educational program of the First Christian Church
of Atlanta, as an artist studio, and now, the Callanwolde Fine Arts
Callanwolde is located at 980 Briarcliff Road, NE in Atlanta.
The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center frequently hosts concerts, performances,
readings and other special events. The second floor art gallery
features exhibits by local artists, and is open free of charge Monday
- Friday, 10:00am to 8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 3:00pm. Call 404-872-5338
for more information or visit the website.
The residences built in the Druid Hills Historic District during
the early 20th century are among the finest examples of period architecture
in the Atlanta metropolitan area and the State of Georgia. These
period houses range from mansions to bungalows. The district includes
a wide variety of eclectic and revivalist architectural styles,
with the Georgian, Tudor, Jacobean, and Italian Renaissance represented
in the greatest numbers. Druid Hills is also one of the major works
by the eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his
successors, the Olmsted Brothers, and their only such large-scale
work in Atlanta. Druid Hills is important as the home of many of
Atlanta's citizens who were prominent in early 20th century political,
financial, commercial, professional, cultural and academic affairs.
As the second major suburb of Atlanta, Druid Hills had a profound
effect on the direction of future suburban development.
During the late 1880s, Joel Hurt conceived of an "ideal residential
suburb" to be developed at the future site of the Druid Hills Historic
District. Hurt, a prominent Atlanta businessman and developer, helped
create Inman Park, Atlanta's first suburb,
in the 1880s. Between 1889 and 1892, Hurt organized the Kirkland
Land Company, and in 1892 Hurt secured Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.(1822-1903)
, as a planner and designer for the new suburb. Olmsted, nationally
known for his work at South Park in Chicago, Prospect Park in Brooklyn,
and the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., was to prepare
preliminary overall plans and designs. By 1893, Olmsted's preliminary
plan called for a broad, curving, divided major avenue (Ponce de
Leon Ave.), with a succession of public parks in the median, bordered
by large estates. Financial difficulties slowed work on implementing
Olmsted's plan. In 1905, the Olmsted Brothers submitted a final
plan, and construction began. In 1908, the Kirkland Land Company
and its holdings in Druid Hills were sold to the Druid Hills Company,
whose president was Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler.
The final work was completed in 1936. Aside from Candler and his
family, other prominent residents of Druid Hills included John Ray
Patillo, president of the Patillo Lumber Company, and William D.
Thompson, dean of the Emory University Law
school. Some of the most distinguished early 20th-century architects
practicing in Atlanta designed houses in Druid Hills, including
Walter T. Downing, Arthur Neal Robinson, Henry Hornbostel and Neil
Reid. The Druid Hills Historic District also incorporates in its
entirety the previously listed Druid Hills Parks and Parkways Historic
Druid Hills is roughly bounded by the Fulton County line on
the west, Briarcliff Rd. to the northwest, just over the Emory
line on the north and following the southside of Emory Rd. The
boundary cuts south and juts east around the Fernbank Forest
Center, then cuts east and south along tracks of the Seaboard Coast
Line. South it is bordered by North Ave. and the Atlanta City
The houses in the district are private residences and are not open
to the public, but there is more information available through
Hills Civic Association. Walking tours are available at 10:00 am on Saturdays only from March to November. Twilight tours are also available. Visit the Atlanta Preservation Center for more information.
Emory University was founded in 1915 as a Methodist school in conjunction
with the strong support of Atlanta's Candler family
and their Coca-Cola wealth. The campus of Emory University was designed
by Henry Hornbostel of New York. Here Hornbostel created a natural
garden campus with Georgia-marble buildings of modern Italianate
design. The landscape of the campus is tied to that of the Olmsted-designed
residential community of Druid Hills, adjacent
to the campus. Prior to the establishment of Emory, Asa Candler
disputed the extent of control the Methodist Church should have
over Vanderbilt University before he would contribute funds to that
institution. As a result Candler initially endowed Emory with a
million dollars as well as contributing property in Druid Hills
for the campus. The university was an outgrowth of Emory College
at Oxford, which started as a Georgia Conference Methodist Manual
Labor School in 1834. Asa Candler's brother Warren Candler, a Methodist
bishop, served as the first chancellor of Emory.
In his design for the Emory campus and its buildings, Hornbostel
incorporated the natural growth of dogwood and pine trees with the
winding roads and small bridges over ravines--in harmony with the
surrounding landscape of Druid Hills. The Emory buildings, characteristic
of Hornbostel, were designed with a modern approach to a traditional
style. The use of the block form buildings with wide eaves and arched
windows in combination with pink and gray Georgia marble in a random
"quilt-like" pattern suggests the forms of Italian villas and buildings
characteristic of Renaissance Tuscany. By using indigenous materials,
such as the culls of quarried Georgia marble slabs, and by integrating
the building into the landscape, Hornbostel created a series of
buildings that complimented their surroundings.
The Emory University District is roughly bounded by N. Decatur
Rd, Oxford Rd, Dickey Dr., Kilgo Cir., and Asbury Dr. The campus,
comprising nine different colleges, is generally open to the public;
tours are not offered regularly but can be arranged through the
admission offices. The Michael
C. Carlos Museum at 571 Kilgo St. is located on Emory University
campus and houses a permanent collection of over 15,000 objects,
spanning nearly 9,000 years from prehistoric cultures to the 20th
century. Visit the Emory University website
for further information.
Within the metropolitan Atlanta area, the Stone Mountain
Historic District is a rare surviving historic railroad town. This
intact community contains nearly every major element of a railroad
town in Georgia, including the homes of the town founders, the rail
line, central business district, residential neighborhoods, and
community landmark buildings. These collectively represent nearly
a century and half of local growth and development. The town is
located at the base of Stone Mountain, a granite outcropping that
rises 700 feet above the surrounding terrain and 1,683 feet above
sea level. Although the mountain is not included with the district
boundaries, it is visible from points throughout the town and is
a key component of the setting of the historic district. Granite
from the mountain was relied on as a major construction material
for the city.
The historic district comprises residential, commercial, and community
landmark buildings constructed from the 1830s through 1950, and
includes a variety of architectural styles and building types. The
Georgia Railroad line runs north to south through the center of
the historic district. The commercial area at the center of the
district consists mostly of a continuous row of one- and two-story
commercial buildings on the east side of Main Street, opposite the
rail line. The commercial buildings, largely built from granite
or brick, include filling stations, arcaded blocks and commercial
blocks. The historic houses are prevalently bungalows with Craftsman
style ornament and English Vernacular Revival style houses built
mostly in the first decades of the 20th century. Twelve buildings,
constructed as residences, are now serving commercial functions.
Residential buildings constructed in the earlier decades of the
19th century were built in the Greek Revival style. The second half
of that century saw less ornate architectural styles. Houses from
this period may be characterized as Folk Victorian. Craftsman style
houses were built throughout Stone Mountain from the late 19th century
to the first decades of the 20th century. Elements of the Craftsman
style are exposed rafter ends, porches supported by massive wood
supports or brick piers, decorative brackets and windows organized
in pairs and bands. Shermantown, located south of downtown, is a
historically black neighborhood within the district. Shermantown
features small frame houses on small lots, narrow streets and community
landmarks such as churches and stores. Of particular distinction
is the Rock Gym, a granite gymnasium that was built by the Works
Progress Administration c. 1930. It features granite buttresses
and sills and an open truss roof. Its open plan remains intact and
the building now serves as a recreation center.
Stone Mountain Historic District is located in east central
DeKalb County, 10 miles east of Atlanta on route 10. The district
is roughly bounded by Stone Mountain Cemetery, Stone Mountain Memorial
Park, Lucile St., CSX Railroad, VFW Dr., and the city limits. It
contains several commercial shops which are open to the public during
normal business hours, and many private residences which are not
open to the public. Stone Mountain Park is not within the historic
district, but is located adjacent to the town. For more information
on Stone Mountain Park visit www.stonemountainpark.com.
By clicking on one of these links, you can go directly to a particular
Bibliography for Atlanta, Georgia
Links to Atlanta Tourism and Preservation
Links to Sites featured in the Atlanta Travel Itinerary
for Atlanta, Georgia
Ambrose, Andy. Atlanta: An Illustrated History. Athens,
Georgia: Hill Street Press, 2003.
Bayor, Ronald H. Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Castel, Albert E. Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign
of 1864. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansa, 1992.
Cohen, Rodney T. Black Colleges of Atlanta. Charleston,
South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.
Craig, Robert M. and Richard Guy Wilson. Atlanta Architecture:
Art Deco to Modern Classic, 1929-1959. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican
Publishing Co., 1995.
Davis, Stephen. Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston, and
the Yankee Heavy Battalions (American Crisis Series, No. 3).
Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 2001.
Galloway, Tammy Harden. The Inman Family: An Atlanta Family
from Reconstruction to World War I. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University
Gournay, Isabelle, Gerald Sams and Dana White AIA Guide to the
Architecture of Atlanta. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia
Greene, Melissa Fay. The Temple Bombing. Reading, Massachusetts:
Hunter, Tera W. To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives
and Labors After the Civil War. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard
University Press, 1997.
Kemp, Kathryn W. God's Capitalist: Asa Candler of Coca-Cola.
Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2002.
Kuhn, Cliff, Harlon E. Joye, and E. Bernard West. Living Atlanta:
An Oral History of the City, 1914-1948. Athens: University of
Georgia Press, 1990.
Kuhn, Cliff. Contesting the New South Order: The 1914-1915 Strike
at Atlanta's Fulton Mills. Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 2001.
Kurtz,Wilbur G. Historic Atlanta: A Brief Story of Atlanta
and Its Landmarks. Atlanta: Cherokee Publishing Company, 1991.
McMurry, Richard M. Atlanta 1864: Last Chance for the Confederacy
(Great Campaigns of the Civil War Series). New York: Bison Books
Mason, Herman, and Herman Mason Jr. African-American Entertainment
in Atlanta (Images of America). Charleston, South Carolina:
Arcadia Publishing, 1998.
Miles, Jim. Fields of Glory: A History and Tour Guide of the
Atlanta Campaign. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1995.
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. New York: Warner
Books, 1936, 1994.
Pomerantz, Gary M. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: The Saga
of Two Families and the Making of Atlanta. New York: Scribner,
Roth, Darlene, and Andy Ambrose. Metropolitan Frontiers: A Short
History of Atlanta. Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1996.
Roth, Darlene R., and Lori Parks. Greater Atlanta: An Illustrated
History of the Region, 2000.
Russell, James Michael. Atlanta, 1847-1890: City Building in
the Old South and the New. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Thompson, Joseph F., and Robert Isbell. Atlanta: A City of Neighborhoods.
Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.
Beatty, Patricia. Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee. Mahwah, New
Jersy: Troll Communications L.L.C., 1990.
Harris, Joel Chandler. The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus.
Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.
Kent, Deborah. Atlanta. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing,
Snow, Pegeen. Atlanta. EngleWood Cliffs, New Jersey: Silver
Burdett Press, 1989.
to Atlanta Tourism and Preservation
Offering exhibits, programs and an extensive archival collection
that encompass the city's history, the Atlanta History Center is
also the caretaker of four historic properties, including the Tullie
Smith House and Swan House.
Atlanta Preservation Center -- www.preserveatlanta.com
The city's only independent advocate for historic buildings, neighborhoods
and landscapes, this non-profit organization has worked with government,
business and community leaders to preserve more than 100 endangered
residential and commercial structures and neighborhoods. They also
offer regular walking tours of many neighborhoods in the city.
Convention and Visitors Bureau
A site dedicated to vacationing, dining, shopping and transporation
Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
This office of the Georgia State government promotes the preservation
and use of historic places for a better Georgia. Properties are
nominated to the National Register through their office.
Trust for Historic Preservation
This local non-profit promotes an appreciation of Georgia's diverse
historic resources and provides for their protection and use to
preserve, enhance and revitalize Georgia's communities.
Georgia Historical Society -- www.georgiahistory.com
One of the oldest historical organizations in the nation, the Georgia
Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization that serves
as the historical society for the people of Georgia.
Department of Industry Trade & Tourism
Discover what the state of Georgia has to offer at the website for
the state's Department of Travel. Find out about upcoming events,
accomodations and entertainment or order a brochure before you travel
to Atlanta in person.
Mountain National Battlefield Park Administrative History
Carter Library and Museum
Part of the Presidential Library system administered by the National
Archives and Records Administration, this research facility and
a museum contains Carter's White House papers, documents, memoranda,
over a million photographs, and hundreds of hours of audio and visual
American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER)
The HABS/HAER program documents important architectural, engineering
and industrial sites throughout the United States and its territories.
Their collections, including a number of Atlanta sites, are archived
at the Library of Congress and available online. You can view these
by clicking on the link above and entering the search term "Atlanta."
for Historic Preservation
Learn about the programs of, and membership in, the oldest national
nonprofit preservation organization.
Hotels of America
A feature of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Heritage
Traveler program that provides information on historic hotels and
package tours in the vicinity of this itinerary.
National Park Service Office
National Parks have been interwoven with tourism from their earliest
days. This website highlights the ways in which the National Park
Service promotes and supports sustainable, responsible, informed,
and managed visitor use through cooperation and coordination with
the tourism industry.
National Scenic Byways Program
This website, maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, includes information on state and nationally designated byway routes throughout America based on their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. Visit the America’s Byways Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway website for more ideas.
Sites featured in the Atlanta Travel Itinerary
Park Historic District
Atlanta Biltmore Hotel and Biltmore Apartments
Brookwood Hills Historic District
Hill Historic District
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
Hills Historic District
Georgian Terrace Hotel (Fox Theater Historic District)
Grant Park Historic
Park and Inman Park-Moreland Historic Districts
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield
Martin Luther King Jr., National
of the Immaculate Conception
Hall, Atlanta University
Sweet Auburn Historic District
William P. Nicholson House
Atlanta, Georgia was produced by the National Park Service,
U.S. Department of the Interior, in cooperation with the Southeast
Regional Office, the Atlanta History Center, the Historic Preservation
Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).
It was created under the direction of Carol D. Shull, Keeper of
the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service,
Patrick Andrus, Heritage Tourism Manager, and Beth L. Savage, Publications
Managing Editor. Atlanta, Georgia is based on information
in the files of the National Register of Historic Places and National
Historic Landmarks collections. These materials are kept at 1201
Eye St., NW, Washington, D.C., and are open to the public from 8:00am
to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday (although
the collection is currently closed, click
here for more information).
The National Park Service's Southeast Regional Office (SERO) proposed
this project. National Register web production team members included
Jeff Joeckel, who designed the itinerary, Rustin Quaide, and Shannon
Bell (all of NCSHPO). Yen M. Tang (National Council for Preservation
Education intern) was instrumental in compiling material for this
project, including maps, photographs and text. Property descriptions
were written by Yen Tang, Shannon Bell, Rustin Quaide, Andrew Halter,
and Mark Barnes (SERO). Jody Cook, Architectural Historian with
the SERO, provided invaluable historic postcards, color photographs,
and editorial assistance. Essays were written by Andy Ambrose, Karen
Leathem and Charles Smith of the Atlanta History Center (Antebellum
Atlanta); Tommy Jones, Architectural Historian, SERO (Industrial
Atlanta and Growth and Preservation); and Yen Tang and
Rustin Quaide (African American Experience). Special thanks
to the following for their photographic contributions: Atlanta Urban
Design Commission, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau/Kevin
C. Rose (www.AtlantaPhotos.com),
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation,
Druid Hills High School, Fox Theatre, The Herndon Foundation, Piedmont
Park Conservancy, SodaTraderZ.com, and Winter Properties.