Historic Buildings, People & Things in Atlanta History

November 23, 2014

Todd Road

Intersection of Todd Road and Virginia Avenue in the heart of the Virginia Highland neighborhood in Atlanta, GA - In the background is Murphy’s, a popular restaurant - Ray Keen 2014

This is the last of three articles about early Atlanta Pioneers Richard and Martha Todd, their family, and remnant traces of their early presence in the Atlanta area. The first article was about the Todd Homestead, and the second article was about the Todd Cemetery. If you look at a map of the Virginia-Highland area, it is plain to see that it is a planned development with streets laid out mostly in even grids. Near the main intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues, however, a street called Todd Road cuts at an odd angle for a few blocks across the …continue reading

Todd Road

Intersection of Todd Road and Virginia Avenue in the heart of the Virginia Highland neighborhood in Atlanta, GA - In the background is Murphy’s, a popular restaurant - Ray Keen 2014

This is the last of three articles about early Atlanta Pioneers Richard and Martha Todd, their family, and remnant traces of their early presence in the Atlanta area. The first article was about the Todd Homestead, and the second article was about the Todd Cemetery. If you look at a map of the Virginia-Highland area, it is plain to see that it is a planned development with streets laid out mostly in even grids. Near the main intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues, however, a street called Todd Road cuts at an odd angle for a few blocks across the …continue reading

Atlanta Cemeteries Part 3

Scottdale Has Parts that are Overgrown Like Here and Parts That Are Maintained by James Robertson - History Atlanta 2014

Just in time for Halloween here are a few more Atlanta graveyards. For Atlanta Cemeteries Part 1 we explored Thomasville Cemetery, Alsobrook Family Cemetery and Sylvester Cemetery. Atlanta Cemeteries Part 2 looked at the Todd Family Cemetery, Harmony Grove Cemetery and Historic Sardis Cemetery. This Atlanta Cemeteries Part 3 focuses on Scottdale Cemetery, its neighbor Washington Memorial Gardens and Peachtree Baptists Church Cemetery. Scottdale Mills Cemetery First Recorded Burial: Unknown – Before the Civil War? How Many Burials: More than 150 Location: 2849 Jordan Oaks Lane, Decatur, GA 30033 (to the east of the two condo units) History of the Cemetery & Other Notes: The past of …continue reading

Atlanta Cemeteries Part 2

A Krause Headstone from Harmony Grove Cemetery - History Atlanta 2014

Just in time for Halloween here are a few Atlanta graveyards. This Part 2 looks at the Todd Family Cemetery, Harmony Grove Cemetery and Historic Sardis Cemetery. For Atlanta Cemeteries Part 1 we explored Thomasville Cemetery, Alsobrook Family Cemetery and Sylvester Cemetery. Be sure to check out Atlanta Cemeteries Part 1. Atlanta Cemeteries Part 3 explores Scottdale Cemetery, Washington Memorial Gardens and Peachtree Baptist Church. Scottdale is an old mill town cemetery. Washington is an African American cemetery with old slave burials. Peachtree Baptist Church is a typical Victorian cemetery, with intricate headstones and an old-world atmosphere.  Todd Family Cemetery is a …continue reading

Atlanta Cemeteries Part 1

Thomasville Cemetery - History Atlanta 2014

In celebration of Halloween we have traveled out to several Atlanta cemeteries to not only record their current state, but to explore the history behind these graveyards. For Part 1 of this series we explored Thomasville Cemetery, Alsobrook Family Cemetery and Sylvester Cemetery. Atlanta Cemeteries Part 2 looks at the Todd Family Cemetery, Harmony Grove Cemetery and Historic Sardis Cemetery. Todd Family Cemetery is a burial ground in the backyard of Virginia-Highland residence. Harmony Grove Cemetery is a restored graveyard in Buckhead with a diverse history. Sardis Church Cemetery has been maintained wonderfully by its sister church. Atlanta Cemeteries Part …continue reading

The Carnegie Library Stones

Many of the Decorations for the Carnegie Library now Reside in an Atlanta City Property that Served as Dumping Grounds - History Atlanta 2014

It was a weeknight in May 2014 when I was introduced to the Carnegie Trail. Since that evening trespassing signs have gone up and police will write tickets to trespassers. So if you head out there, just know you have been warned. We were lucky, able to walk and take pictures of this city-owned land in DeKalb County without the threat of fines. My hiking companions from the Atlanta Preservation Center were still in office clothes. I felt prepared for the walk, wearing walking shoes and camouflage cargo shorts. Our two guides, animator Joe Peery and his friend Joel Slaton, were two of …continue reading

The Switchyards Building

Rendering of the Switchyards Building Set to Open By the Summer of 2015 - Courtesy of Switchyards

This area has always been a site of dreams getting real. From a rag-picker’s desire to have a home for his family to a technology incubator that launches design-centric brands for consumers. It’s 151 Spring Street, the soon-to-be Switchyards Building, a potential hub of consumer and design start-ups opening by the summer of 2015. “We’re naming the building the Switchyards Building and hope it’s named that for years to come,” wrote Michael Tavani, founder of Switchyards, in a recent email exchange. “A nod to classic names of buildings – named after the tenant. Switchyards’ mission is Made with Soul in Atlanta. We hope …continue reading

Trio Laundry: Neglect or Incompetence?

The Historic Trio Laundry Building in the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta with the top Cornice partially removed in Late August 2014 - Photograph Courtesy of Paul Hammock

What would you do if you were given $750,000 to play with? Buy a new home? A new car? Start saving for the rugrat’s college? Or perhaps all three? Well, the Atlanta Housing Authority was given this exact opportunity by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and what they did with the cash was a shame. In fact, they have been given much more than the $750,000 they used to buy the Trio Laundry Dry Cleaning Building in January 2009 – $20 million to revitalize the Grady Homes housing project, now Auburn Pointe, to be exact. And what …continue reading

The Todd Family Cemetery

The Todd Family Cemetery - The Todds Moved to the Virginia-Highland Area in 1822 - Ray Keen 2013

This is the second of three articles about early Atlanta Pioneers Richard and Martha Todd, their family and remnant traces of their early presence in the Atlanta area. The first article is about the Todd Homestead, and the third is about Todd Road. In the backyard of the residence at 797 Ponce De Leon Terrace in Atlanta, is a little known but historically important burial monument memorializing two of the earliest non-Native American inhabitants of the area, Richard and Martha Todd. The Todds moved to this area in 1822 and were some of the earliest settlers of European descent in what …continue reading

The Todd Family Homestead

The First Todd Family home Built in 1823 - It Burned Down in 1910 - Phototgraph Courtesy of Romona Liddell

This is the first of three articles about early Atlanta Pioneers Richard and Martha Todd, their family and remnant traces of their early presence in the Atlanta area. The second article is about the Todd cemetery, and the third is about Todd Road. It is generally accepted that Hardy Ivy and his family were the first people of European descent who settled in what is now the city of Atlanta. Hardy Ivy Park, at the intersection of Peachtree St. and Baker St. in downtown Atlanta memorializes this early pioneer. Not a trace of the Ivy homestead remains, and Hardy Ivy’s …continue reading

The Erskine Memorial Fountain

The Erskine Memorial Fountain in Grant Park - History Atlanta 2014

“Let it be sacredly guarded and cared for by those charged with the responsibility of municipal government,” said Atlanta Mayor Porter King, when the city received the Erskine Memorial Fountain in early May of 1896. If you’re not aware, it is now falling apart. So WTF? That WTF is directed at all of the City of Atlanta governments, both past and present, with a few exceptions, and not just at the regime of Mayor Kasim Reed. It’s a problem his office inherited, stretching into the past more than a century, when the Erskine Memorial Fountain was first abandoned by our …continue reading

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