Historic Buildings, People & Things in Atlanta History

July 24, 2014

Past Pictures: Lemuel P. Grant

Lemuel Pratt Grant in the 1880's or 1870's - born in 1817 and Died in 1893 - Georgia State University Library

Our Past Pictures Series examines a string of images from the history of Atlanta. For this edition we look at images associated with Lemuel P. Grant, timely since the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta is upon us, which started on July 22nd, 1864. Lemuel Pratt Grant is considered one of the founding fathers of the city of Atlanta. Born in Maine in 1817, he came to Atlanta before it was Atlanta with the railroads in the early 1840′s. Like other company men that came with the railways, such as the patriarch of the Peters family that built Ivy Hall, …continue reading

Past Pictures: Lemuel P. Grant

Lemuel Pratt Grant in the 1880's or 1870's - born in 1817 and Died in 1893 - Georgia State University Library

Our Past Pictures Series examines a string of images from the history of Atlanta. For this edition we look at images associated with Lemuel P. Grant, timely since the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta is upon us, which started on July 22nd, 1864. Lemuel Pratt Grant is considered one of the founding fathers of the city of Atlanta. Born in Maine in 1817, he came to Atlanta before it was Atlanta with the railroads in the early 1840′s. Like other company men that came with the railways, such as the patriarch of the Peters family that built Ivy Hall, …continue reading

Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes

A Doll Head in a Old Television - Constitution Lakes Park - History Atlanta 2014

In southeast Atlanta lies a nature preserve unlike any other in Georgia. Doll’s Head Trail at Constitution Lakes Park is part wildlife refuge, part hiking trail, part snake pit and part art exhibit. The land has been transformed by both humans and the flooding South River into an ecological sanctuary smack in the middle of an industrial district. It’s called Doll’s Head Trail because of the in situ artwork created with trash, many of it doll heads, that is left over after the South River floods. At the center of the park lies two small lakes that were formerly excavation …continue reading

Past Pictures: Tenth Street

10th Street around Peachtree in Midtown Atlanta Georgia on February 26th, 1966 - Georgia State University Library

In our Past Pictures series we present a chain of images from the history of Atlanta with one thing in common. For this series we look at Tenth Street. Each picture is presented to spark conversation and memories about the areas you see in each vision of the past. In short, this series is meant to meander through history, much like how our city streets curve and change names. This time we look at Past Pictures of Tenth Street, an interesting corridor that stretches from Monroe Drive on the east before ending right after Brady Avenue on the west. Its …continue reading

APC Alert: The Atlanta Cyclorama

The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum - Courtesy of M.H. Mitchell

The Atlanta Preservation Center (APC) released an Advocacy Alert regarding the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum located in Grant Park. Faced with various problems in keeping this incredible resource of Atlanta history available to the public since it was donated to the city in 1898 (mostly problems with deterioration and upkeep) today the Cyclorama faces a new crisis. City officials are considering relocation of the painting to another site. Rumors have swirled in preservation circles recently regarding this landmark. Zoo Atlanta could certainly use the land and the space which some estimates place upwards of $20 million. What entity …continue reading

Rhodes Memorial Hall

Rhodes Memorial Hall Built in 1904 on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta - History Atlanta 2014

It was built for Amos Giles Rhodes, one of the first large-scale furniture magnates to market reasonably-priced furniture to the middle class. His innovative desire to modernize the old-school furniture business (he was also one of the first furniture retailers to offer payment installment plans) is similar to how he approached his new mansion on Peachtree Street. Despite the old fashioned look of a medieval castle, the home was a marvel of modern electric technology. The result was “Le Réve” (French for “The Dream”) which is today known as Rhodes Hall or Rhodes Memorial Hall, currently home to the 800-pound gorilla …continue reading

The Henry Heinz Murder

Henry C. Heinz around 1940 - IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives

It was a Tuesday night in September of 1943 when Henry Heinz captured his man. For nearly three years someone had been breaking into his Mediterranean-style mansion on Ponce in the evenings, many times while he was still awake, sneaking around and stealing cash from one of his many wallets or his wife’s purse. He vowed to catch the thieving devil, even offering his neighborhood patrolmen a reward of $100 if they captured him. But each time the intruder would slip away undetected into the Druid Hills neighborhood. Not that Tuesday night. He finally had his man. Unfortunately it would …continue reading

Atlanta Fire Station No. 19

Atlanta Fire Station 19 in 1925 - Photo Courtesy of Fire Station 19

It represents the Atlanta Fire Department with their commitment to timely duty along with the history of the charming neighborhood it serves. It is the oldest operating fire station in the city of Atlanta, helping the residents of Virginia-Highland since the 1920′s. But now Atlanta Fire Station No. 19 needs our help. Before we talk about the history, let’s talk about the plans to restore and preserve this piece of Atlanta history. The firemen are seeking help through donations. A plan is in place to restore the arched truck bay door, update the living quarters, fix water damage and return the …continue reading

The Shellmont Inn

The Shellmont Inn - The Former Nicolson Family Home on Piedmont Avenue - History Atlanta 2014

One of the first structures built in Midtown Atlanta, started in 1891 and finished in 1892, the Shellmont Inn is old. So old that if someone in the neighborhood north of Ponce and south of Piedmont Park claims their home is older you should raise a skeptical eyebrow. It’s located at 821 Piedmont Avenue, on the southeast corner of the Sixth Street intersection. The story behind this remarkable structure starts with the train smoke of early Atlanta history. The land upon which the Shellmont Inn resides was once owned by Richard Peters, the railroad executive who came to Atlanta before …continue reading

Help Sylvester Cemetery

The Oldest Marker in Sylvester Cemetery in East Atlanta - Elenor R.M. Brown Died 1838 - History Atlanta 2014

Do you love East Atlanta? Have you ever heard of Sylvester Cemetery? Well if you love East Atlanta, then Sylvester Cemetery needs your help. Help clearing the vines that grow so fast it seems they creep when you blink. Help cleaning up piles of debris and trash that appear overnight. Help fixing retaining walls that are crumbling apart. Help raising gravestones that have been knocked over by vandals. You can help Sylvester Cemetery, East Atlanta. Start your quest to volunteer on the Sylvester Cemetery website. The history behind Sylvester Cemetery is the history behind East Atlanta. Flat Shoals Road was …continue reading

The M. Rich Building

The M. Rich Building in 1942 When It Was A Grant's Department Store - Georgia State University Library

Imagine a brick maze of interlocked buildings from before 1907, smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta. In short, that’s the M. Rich Building. It involves five formerly independent structures, interlaced with pathways, doorways, archways and hallways all created by former owners. Some of these interconnected buildings were themselves organic annexes of rooms and storefronts, either torn down or constructed into the current T-shaped complex. It features two addresses, 82-86 Peachtree Street and 111-115 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, along with a rich retail past that spans Atlanta history. The M. Rich Building entrance located at 82-86 Peachtree Street calls …continue reading

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