Historic Buildings, People & Things in Atlanta History

October 2, 2014

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

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 will be about Todd Road. Check back soon for the final article in this series. 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 …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. Check back soon for the following articles. 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 …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

The 6th Annual Frontier Faire at Fort Daniel

Learn About Frontier Life & The Cool Weapons at The Fort Daniel 6th Annual Frontier Faire - Photograph by Robert Coffey

Are you a reenactment fanatic? Or maybe you love archaeology, and want to see how the latest and greatest technology is uncovering secrets from the past? Well coming up next month you can satisfy both needs, and provide a wonderful and educational outing for the kids. It’s the 6th Annual Frontier Faire on Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at the Fort Daniel site, located at 2505 Braselton Road, Hog Mountain, Georgia. The Fort Daniel Foundation and Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (a chapter of the Society for Georgia Archaeology SGA) hosts this event every year. This year the theme is the Bicentennial …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

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